La Jolla

La Jolla Coastline

La Jolla coastline
La Jolla coastline

Ocean beaches are nice, but for aesthetic beauty, to my mind, the interaction of ocean and a craggy coastline beats the lapping of sea on sand hands down every time. La Jolla, California has both.

La Jolla (pronounced la hoy-ah, or, at least, that’s how I pronounce it; I hope the locals pronounce it the same way) is a city, not just an oceanfront. However, this post isn’t about the city because I didn’t spend much time there. Maybe next time.

 More La Jolla coast
More La Jolla coast

Instead, I went for the seaside, which I visited many years ago. I longed to return to take in its beauty again. And I did.

La Jolla has a reasonably long, straight, sandy beach that I stopped at and strolled along but, after spending time on the beaches of Carlsbad and Oceanside, California the day before, my reaction to the La Jolla beach was along the lines of, if you’ve seen one beach you seen them all. Consequently, you won’t see any pictures of La Jolla’s main beach here.

Rock and sand
Rock and sand

Travel a little south of the beach, driving up a hill, and you will find a small (small being a relative term) cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with a couple of coves below. Stairs lead from the top of the cliff to the coves, allowing you to go down easily and explore.

The coves have everything: Small sandy beaches; rocks jutting out into the water; rocks protruding up out of the water; and a portal that was carved naturally in an outcropping of the cliff-side, through which you can gaze out at the ocean.

Gentle interaction of rock and water
Gentle interaction of rock and water

Rocks on or near a shore paint a very different picture than waves rolling up on a flat beach. Even when the surfs are slight—as they were when I was there—to my eyes, the white of their washing on the rocks adds more energy to a seafront scene than what you see on a straight, smooth, sandy beach.

I climbed down the steps into the coves and scampered on the rocks on the shore below. Well, not exactly scampered. When I was younger I, as much as a pudgy kid was able, scampered on rocks when presented with the opportunity to do so. However, at my age, I tend more towards walking slowly and tentatively on rocks, taking care with every step.

Portal to the sea
Portal to the sea

To complement the scene, a number of sea lions (I checked on the Internet; they are sea lions, not seals) frolicked in the water close to shore, while others rested on the rocks.

A couple of days after my visit to La Jolla, a friend told me that the city of La Jolla now considers this to be a problem. Apparently, the sea lion’s excrement (sea lions will do, what sea lions will do; as we all do) is creating a major smell problem.

I didn’t notice a stench when I was there. I don’t know if a tide had recently washed the crap out to sea, the wind was in a favorable direction to pull the smell away from me, my sense of smell has deteriorated in my old age, or there was some other reason or maybe a combination of reasons, but I enjoyed watching the sea lions and didn’t experience any offense to my olfactory organs.

A friendly resident of the sea
A friendly resident of the sea

And, from the sea lion’s perspective, if you have no choice but to be a sea lion, the La Jolla shores seem like a great place to live, particularly if the alternative is to live in a northern climate in the winter. Did I mention that my home is in Toronto, Canada?

 

Frolicking and resting sea lions
Frolicking and resting sea lions

3 comments

  1. Oh, the sea lions are so cute! The first time I saw the majestic West Coast was when I traveled to Oregon in 1986. We made frequent stops along Hwy 101, and that’s where I saw my first sea lions. I’m with you; I love that craggy ocean terrain.

    1. Thanks! I’m not much of an animal lover, but I saw the sea lions as a great addition to the scene. Maybe my nose was plugged that day or conditions carried the smell out to sea then, but, despite being there for a while, I wasn’t aware of a odor problem until someone told me about it after the fact.

      So, at least on that day, it wasn’t a problem for me. Maybe if I go back another day it will be.

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