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

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