Exploring California never gets old, especially living so close to the Pacific Coast Highway. Any ocean city along this highway has its own bit of charm and comforting waves, and, Sunday blessed us with a perfect day to explore one of them.
We chose Montara for the day’s adventure.
But first, a stop at the Pacifica/Montara border to the Devil’s Slide Bunker.
Pacifica is one of the many cities I lived in (nine to be exact) and this has been on my to-see list for the longest time. During all my family’s trips to Half Moon Bay when I was little (my grandma was convinced the only good fish and chips came from here,) I remember staring out the car window and wondering about this lonesome building perched upon the Devil Slide’s cliff. Who left it there? What art made its way onto its walls? What oceanic view came from its point?
Of course my parents never pulled aside the car to get these questions answered, especially because it is along the Devil’s Slide– a hazardously narrow portion of Highway 1 atop a steep cliff. But, years later, the San Mateo County government revamped this dangerous area into a tourist destination. The county built in biking and walking trails, widened the roads, added parking lots, and more. This reconstruction softened the meaning behind Devil’s Slide’s name and graced visitors’ easier (and safer) accessibility to its sights– including the Devil’s Slide Bunker.
This piece of wonder that I’ve waited so long to see in person turns out to have an eerie past. It is a remnant of World War II in which the U.S. army built as an observation deck.
It is militarily abandoned, but, it remains tourist and graffiti-artist visited.
We actually timed our beach day to begin in the afternoon so that we can photograph the sun’s daily kiss to the horizon. However, we still had plenty of time to milk. Might as well add a foodie spot to the day, right?
Up next: La Costanera, a Peruvian restaurant designed with openness to complement its oceanic environment; its floor-to-ceiling windows allows its visitors a 270 degree view of the seascape, its decor gave a modern touch to the rustic fishermen’s appeal, and the food…
The food had splashes of various colors and the ingredients were just as vibrant. Christopher tried swordfish for the first time whereas I had mahi mahi with a purple yam sauce. Neither are photographed because… We couldn’t wait.
Here’s a photo of two gentlemen at the appetizer/bar section of the restaurant instead. See what I mean by the colorful plates? Oh, and we recommend saving room for dessert. Specifically for the caramel-filled churros. Did your mouth-watered at the thought of caramel-filled churros?
As if La Costanera did not spoil us enough, it happens to be located at a clean and not-too-crowded beach. Christopher continued our wait for golden hour by chillin’ in that beautiful day.
Gahd, I love the beach so much. Look how blue and pristine this shoreline is!
By 7:30pm, we finally made our way to our last stop to assure we spend sunset at an even more epic location: the Point Montara Lighthouse.
This gem, erected in the 1870’s, serves as a guiding light today for the U.S. Coast Guard. Standing tall in a California State Park hostel, the lighthouse also serves as a safe haven for travelers.
For sunset, a few of the hostel’s guests sat at benches next to the lighthouse and were transfixed by the view before them. Because wanted a little bit more breathing space in order to photograph the view without disturbing the visitors, we took a leap of faith and went on a trail near the lighthouse towards another part of the cliffside.
After wandering down the trails, we finally picked a spot…
And we made it just in time.
A day with the ocean is a good day.
Photos taken with GoPro Hero 4 Silver, Sony a6000, and Fuji Instax Mini 90