stayed in Monterey for four full days--in part to wait out the "storm
of the decade" that produced waves of over 30 feet in height. Our
charming old Victorian hotel, imaginatively named the Monterey Hotel,
was a bargain due to our fourth floor room with no elevator working.
The street in front of the hotel becomes a farmers' market every Tuesday
all day, so our arrival on a Tuesday was quite festive. We did several
touristy things--visiting Fishermen's Wharf, The old Cannery Row district
of sardine/Steinbeck fame, the Aquarium, where we saw hammerhead sharks
and shimmering schools of sardines in multi-million gallon tanks, dancing
jellyfish, and other wonders. We liked a basement pub, a Chinese buffet,
and a couple seafood places for our meals. All in all one of our better
stops. After San Francisco's congregation of sea lions, we immediately
recognized their barking--audible from a half mile away at our hotel.
The jetty was swarming with them. The locals explained that their diet
of a hundred pounds EACH of seafood per day make them relatively unpopular
with local fishermen and other human beings who'd prefer to catch or
eat the fish themselves. Police blocked off access to any road by the
water--surf was slamming across the roads and leaving kelp on the facades
of houses normally 100 yards from the water. Our attempt to find access
led us through the derelict remains of Fort Ord, a booming military
base when I last visited Monterey decades ago.
Copyright© 2002 - Darrell Taylor