Immediately south of the city of Carmel is one of the most beautiful and inspiring state parks in California-Point Lobos. Words and pictures could never describe this unique work of nature. This is a must visit place.

We hiked 5 3/4 miles as we walked the trails which circumnavigated the park. Several prominent points jut into the pacific and each provides a new and unique vista. Vistas which are candy for the eye and inspiration for the soul. Flowers of all colors and types decorate the surfaces of rocks in defiance of logic-How could such lush vegetation grow on such a surface? The magical colors of the water and sky play against each other in a constantly changing pattern. It is pure magic.

We would stand in an area for several minutes just to absorb as much as we could-but in each area one could spend hours-the variety of plants animals,and sea life is incredible. A whole other world exists for those able to dive in these waters-another paradise beneath the sea. Sea Otters and Lions float in the colorful waters below the rocks and emit their barks which mingle with the songs and shrieks of the birds.

The name Lobos comes from the Spaniards who once occupied the area. It was named as Punta de los Lobos Marinos, point of the sea wolves(barking seals). The area was then used by Portugese whalers in the mid 1800's. An old whaling shack still stands near the parks marina and serves as a museum for the area. The area was then utilized by Chinese and Japanese fisherman for abalone meat- known as an oriental delicacy. The mother of pearl shells of the abalone were prized as deorations. Luckily in the early 1900's California citizens recognized the unique qualities of the area and over many years worked to create this very special Reserve. The hike worked up quite an appetite. We had lunch at Porto Bello in downtown Carmel By The Sea. The Tuna Nicoise salad was a special treat. The salad was preceded by a fabulous corn and crab chowder. My glass of Pinot was

Cycle Gladiator and evoked the smells of the flowers on the hike. Barb and Nancy shopped the unparalleled stores of Carmel.

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