Friday, 30 August 2013

Dana Point

Brendon is standing at the cave entrance

Brendon's surprise trip for me was to visit Dana point. I did too much sailing on the weekends before and it was time for us to go somewhere together, without racing and boating. Dana Point was named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr who wrote Two Years Before the Mast. Kinda strange to name a town after a dude who made his fame practically suffering good two years on a tall ship. First we went to San Onofre State Beach, which has some famous surf when all wind and sea are in perfect constellation. Was a pretty one if we don't think of the Nuclear Power Plant standing right where the beach ends.

Romantic beach getaway

Or as a matter of fact the beach doesn't end, the backdrop changes into fluorescent dogs and mutant ninja turtles.

They were mutants...

The Dana Point harbor is great. And big, open, pretty impressive and if somebody is not crazy about sailing boats then it is possible a very boring place. We even met a guy in the pub, who was well into his 80s walking 5 miles every day to get his two pints of beer there and about 3 days from heading to Australia as a returning tourist. We decided he was an ex-military dude based on his perfectly trimmed hair and even more perfectly ironed slacks with shirt and a Ralph Lauren pullover... I had fish sandwich and home mixed ginger ale.

Replica Pilgrim

Dinner was sushi and pretty good cocktails after watching the sunset by the water. Seemingly there were thousands and thousands of people parking all over the harbor. We figured that whole Camp Pendleton was partying here.

So very pretty with water in the air...

Next morning we toured out to the headland, which is an enirely different cup of water with rusting broken weather marks, caves, birds, hermit crabs and dead sea lions with dead sea otters. There is something for everybody. We had a lovely walk around it. I could have spent there hours and hours. I mean we spent there hours and hours. Then we came home.

Some sort of sea grass

Monday, 27 May 2013

Morrow Bay, Hearst Castle and big beasts of the sea

Morro Bay

A Sleepy little fishing village half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay was the first place I’d seen with really nice beach breaks since leaving Australia. It was well into winter though, so everyone was in thick steamers, booties, even a few hoods. It looked something like this, but not so sunny or full,
The surfers were not alone in the water, sea otters, seals and sea lions seemed to live a charmed existence in the harbour. Great water quality and plenty of baitfish.  A hand full of trawlers and tuna boats docked at the wharf (attached directly to various restaurants) clued me in to exactly what we would be eating – Sashimi and Sushi.  There was no disappointment that night, the Pacific Ocean had delivered.

Marine layer incoming...

Big Rock

The Big Rock is still there, behind the marine layer...

San Simeon

At first glance, the beach appeared to be littered with drift wood, huge pieces of drift wood. Initial thoughts turned to flotsam from Fukushima. Many things had been washing up in the months preceding this visit- Does flotsam smell like a cattle truck in summer? Does it roll around flicking sand high into the air? No, it does not. Apparently what does stink up a beach and render it unsafe for a dip are 2000kg Elephant Seals. The immense aquatic beasts like to bask, swim a bit, maybe fight for a while, and then get back to basking. I wonder why they weren't all over the much nicer beaches just south of San Simeon…

Drift wood from a distance

Love at first bite

We all need somebody to lean on

Or sleep on...

Hearst Castle

If you've seen Citizen Kane, you have a fairly rough idea of what William Randolph Hearst’s life was like.
The colloquial origin of this expansive dwelling is that Hearst no longer liked camping up on the hill and desired something ‘A little more comfortable’. Having not been (or seen) behind the doors of any modern palatial private residence, I was unprepared for what we would see. Many of the materials had actually come from European churches which Hearst had pulled down, shipped out and re-purposed -with great effect! Hearst actually did this with many of his dwellings- the man was to European manors, churches and palaces what the English are to the rest of the world’s treasures. No doubt Jackson’s Neverland and Hefner’s little house are the McMansion equivalents of La Cuesta Encantada.

PS there was still wild Zebra.

Palm trees in the mist

Ready for a European Christmas


The Grotto shouldn't be left out

Castle view

2 years later...

So the Paris post never happened.

As a matter of fact a whole lot of other posts have never happened.

But we moved to Los Angeles and will try to start again to inform friends and families about our wonderful world of wonders.