California 2013 Part 2

Anacapa Island: Going diving.... 
Getting ready
"it's going to be cold.."
Once in the water, it's pure magic! 

Giant kelp

It was like swiming through a forest.


Here's a little video. It's not top quality but I had to concentrate on not getting lost or entangled in kelp at the same time : )
video

Now I didn't see any sea lions underwater when diving but this guy was waiting at the harbour for me when I came back with the boat. We must have misunderstood each other...
I will get myself one like this next time.
I stayed at an alpaca farm for a couple of days on my way to a national park. I think the alpaca and me are equally nervous about being this close together.
I really love their expression : )

Seqouia National Park. I made a detour in the contry to see these giant trees.
This is the biggest one,  2000 years old. Impressive.

Big trees, big pine cones.
It was kind of hard to make them fit in my photos.
A meadow, filled with flowers and mosquitos it turned out...
Forest Meditation
I didn't see any big animals in the forest but as I was about to leave, this deer showed up.  It didn't care much about me driving and taking photos.
On the way back to the coast. 

A big truck for a small dog...
From alpaca farm to tipi. I had had enough of hostels, so gave the more alternative things a chance.
The beach at Monterey. Monterey is fairly north in california and the water was really cold but I had to go snorkeling to see what was there: 
If you just stick your head into the kelpbeds, there's lot's of fish hidding.


I went kayaking to see the sea lions and sea otters. People told me there were lots of sea lions on the rocks in the harbour. I found the rocks but no sea lions. I was quite dissapointed until I discovered they had just move to more comfortable places : )


and while I was busy looking at sea lions, this little friend popped up. Much to my surprise, he swam directly to my kayak and climbed on board!
Now sea otters are quite big and I had no idea if they bite or not, so I was very nervous and thrilled at the same time : )
It turned out he just wanted to take a nap.

Here's a little video. I'm so nervous and overwhelmed that I can't even get the words right.
video

Here we have them all together : )
video

Big Sur. I took the road along the coast to get back down south to return my car. I really whish I had had more time, there were so many cool views and places.
Elephant seals!! A nice surprise along the road. I love when they move. It's a delicate study in overlap : )

San Francisco
Where I stayed, very cosy inside.
One of the more colorfull parts of town.
Where the sea lions SHOULD have been!!! Everybody told me there for sure was sea lions at San Francisco but they are apprently not always there. Hmpf!

The 4th of July the streets turned into a circus. People everywhere, selling, eating, performing.
From what I could see then the americans celebrate the 4th of July by gathering in the parks to drink, eat, drink some more and paitently wait for the grand final:
Fireworks! To get the full impression, imagine very cheesy american classic songs being played along with the fireworks : )