Looking at elephant seals and big feet

After leaving Pismo Beach, we drove north along the coast towards Monterey.

We stopped to see Morra Rock where this woman told me that she had retired there having lived in San Francisco. The area had ideal weather: the temperature was moderate all year round.

The rock, I learnt, is a volcanic plug (the leftover neck of an extinct volcano). Two tribes regard it as sacred. One tribe believes that they have the right to climb the rock, the other believes it’s so sacred it shouldn’t be climbed. The general public can’t climb it regardless because it’s fragile.

We stretched our legs hiking a short distance to a waterfall.

The most engaging stop was to view elephant seals. There was someone from the local animal society who told us all about the unusual animals. The females weigh up to 700kg (114 st) and males up to 2260kg (350st)! The seals have torpedo-shaped bodies which reduce drag in the water, thick blubber which insulates them from icy water, eyes that let them see in low light, and sensitive whiskers to find prey. They’re also smelly!

Whilst the guide was explaining this, I saw this giant man. He was over 2m (7ft). There’s a photo of me trying to put my foot next to his so that I could show how big his feet were. I tried to do this without him noticing. Every time I got close to him, he politely moved away, thinking I was trying to get a better view of the seals!

A woman I later spoke to turned out to be his mother! She had seen me trying to take a photo of our feet! She told me that everyone in her family, apart from herself, was tall. Nike, who make size 22 shoes for a particular basketball player, also send her son shoes twice a year from the same batch.

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