We bid a fond farewell to a very rainy dreary San Fransisco and drove our rental car out of town towards Highway 1 ...destination Santa Barbara for a few nights. John did an amazing job driving not only on the 'wrong side of the road' but through the tragic weather, stopping along they way was sometimes impossible but we managed a few photographs...
Sadly what is usually a picture perfect drive along the coast with quaint seaside towns like Monterey and Carmel to stop in was spoilt by unusual wild weather, strong winds, rain, sleet and even rock falls! Just north of the famous Hearst Castle we came across a long stretch of beach literally covered in elephant seals...late November the adult male seals weighing over two tons arrive at the rookery and fight for a portion of the beach, pregnant females begin arriving around mid-December forming harems around the alpha males. Birthing takes place usually a week after they arrive, bonding between mum and pup is done by vocalising so its a pretty noisy environment. About four weeks after they are born the young pup is weaned, the mum mates again then heads off to sea - family life is over.
Santa Barbara is a beautiful place to visit, we stayed in a lovely hotel opposite the beach, Hotel Milo was the perfect destination for a few days and we enjoyed the pool and hot tub, did lots of walking, visited the Old Mission, rode bikes, shopped (of course) and discovered a wonderful place for happy hour and a beach sunset!
The Boathouse @ Hendrys Beach is just a short drive away, and is definitely worth a visit...especially during "happy hour" from 3pm to watch the sunset!
Hope you are enjoying my holiday snaps....back in a few days with our last stop..Los Angeles...bye for now x