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A Night Beneath the Lantern

Experiencing Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel

When booking a bunk or a private room at Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel, it is noted that guests must be extra vigilant when driving to the hostel as the driveway is hidden and can be easily missed. We realized they weren’t kidding as their welcome sign suddenly found itself in our rear view mirror as we drove up the highway. Thankfully, there were several convenient places to turn around. We had to slow to a crawl in order to catch the turn the second time. Once we were pointed in the right direction, we started to wonder if we had made a mistake. The scene in front of us didn’t look anything like a seaside hostel. A chain-link fence stood ominous on either side of the car and large storage containers were lined up along the inside of the driveway. We glanced at each other apprehensively.

“Let’s keep going, maybe the hostel is around the corner,” Chris said. Sure enough, after we pushed past the fence and storage containers, a small parking lot appeared and the scene brightened. In front of us, Pacific Coast waves lapped at sheer cliff walls carpeted in flowers and succulent plants. On the right, a small lighthouse stood proud, its lantern sending pulses of light across the water as if determined to rotate until the waves stopped rolling in.

Making sure to put on the parking brake, we made our way down the steep path to the hostel, only a few hundred feet from the lighthouse. The ominous feeling dissipated as we walked past colorful buoys, white picket fences, flower gardens, giant shade trees, and a toothy great white shark holding up a welcome sign.

We were a few minutes early and a sign on the main office door said it was closed until 3:30. There were plenty of things to do while we waited, from walking down to the hostel’s private beach to reading about the lighthouse’s mysterious past.

... The rest of this article will be available to read on our website through our special web-reader soon!

by Clare Hancock