Travel Diary 4 : The meteor shower experience

Camping is such a fun outdoor activity, that gets families and friends together amidst the greens and away from everyday life. One of the best things about camping is that there are usually no cellular networks around the area, and one can indulge in nature and connect with people they are with, in the true sense. There is a lot of preparation that goes behind making the stay at the camp, a fun time. The tents, raw materials for barbeque (if you wish to) , utensils, food, water, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, hammock, foldable chairs, grill basket, picnic mats, table mats, stove, lighter, trash bags, paper plates and cups, some games (outdoor or indoor),are the primary things that are required, and the listing usually starts before a week . The list can be as elaborate depending on each group:)   There are many ways of camping, one of it being car camping, where we drive our vehicle till the campground, then we have camping on a recreational vehicle (RV), which is another experience in itself. The other form of camping is when we walk for hours to get to the camping sites, backpacking and carrying all our essentials with us. There is Glamping then, which is the luxury camping than the traditional one.

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On the camping grounds, a marking is done on each campsite and one can put their tent anywhere in the territory. There are common restrooms and many taps around the campsite. Some campsites are between the woods while some can be right next to the beach. The booking of the campsite needs to be done way in advance as they get booked fast, especially the dates and days when one can see something spectacular in the sky.

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For this something magnificent we left for Plaskett Creek Campground on Saturday morning after breakfast. As we head out of the city we realized that the traffic was pretty bad, and a lot of people, were out on a weekend driving south, rather than north, because of the wildfires. We crossed the Garlic capital of the world “Gilroy” and could see different hoardings of events that were due to happen. A Gilroy Garlic festival takes place every year and we saw signs of garlic ice-cream. We skipped on trying that but took some cherries, Mexican mango chili, and strawberries from one of the stores on our way.

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We crossed Monterey and stopped there at a restaurant named Julia’s. After a quick stop for lunch, we drove through CA-1, the Pacific coast way. The views were breathtaking and it definitely was one of the most scenic drives. We stopped at a couple of spots on our way, not to forget the most photographed bridge in California ( Bixby Bridge). The aesthetic design of the bridge makes it a popular stop.

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We also went to the McWay Falls, it is an 80-foot-tall waterfall on the coast of Big Sur which flows year-round from McWay Creek into the Pacific Ocean. We reached our camping spot in an hours time. As we went to our designated campground, we were informed that the grill was not allowed and we had to get a permit to use the propane stove. The permit was half an hour drive and there was an informative video that needed to be seen before the permit was provided. While Soham, Ruchi and me set the tent, Gurtej and Mayank went and got the permit.

The campground was full and different colored tents could be seen. Some were playing badminton, while others were throwing the frisbee, the kids were running around and playing different games. There were no school groups, unlike the previous camping experience. We could see the coast from our campground. As we set the tents and the permit was shown to the ranger, we started grilling the marinated paneer, capsicum, onions. The grilled pineapples were pretty good too. After the scrumptious dinner, we went to scout for the area where we could watch the meteor showers from. We went across the road and a trail led us to one of the prettiest sunsets that we had ever seen. The color of the horizon was orange-pink, and the sound of the waves complement the scene. The view was so pretty, all of us were in awe.

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We headed back to our camp deciding that we wouldn’t get a better view from that area. After a little more of search, we knew where we had to head to look at the Perseids around midnight.  The exploding kittens kept us busy for some time until it was time for us to go to our spot. If you guys are wondering what it is, there are no kittens involved, but it is a fun card game. We had chosen a shoulder along the road and put our picnic mats. All of us lay down and those two hours were the most amazing view of the sky that we had ever seen. The stars,  showers of meteors, the milky way, planet mars all of it was so clear. It felt like we were standing beneath the planetarium. It was marvelous. The time went by so quick and we got back to our campgrounds for the rest of the night.

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The morning was a treat for us as we made sandwiches and some Maggie. We packed our stuff and head to Hearst castle. We took a guided tour and fell in love with the architecture of the place. Comprising of 165 rooms and 123 acres of gardens, terraces, pools, and walkways, all built to Hearst’s specifications, it showcases a legendary art collection. There are two pools, one is called the Neptune pool, while the Roman Pool at Hearst Castle is a tiled indoor pool decorated with eight statues of Roman gods, goddesses, and heroes.

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On an interesting drive back, we stopped at Lombardi’s pasta familia, which had some good Italian serving. The ambiance was cute, and the place had a nice decor. We were back home in time for some good dinner, had conversations and different games of music while we were in the car.

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And this is how our trip can be summarized as a doodle 😀 , Courtesy : Mayank:)

Camping is such an amazing recreation that one should try going to whenever possible. Having had two camping encounters, and different stories for each one of them, camping will be my first choice for a weekend getaway.

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