Tag Archives: Hearst Castle

San Francisco to Montara, Wednesday, 1 August 2012, Day 58

Lighthouse Accommodation

I woke up in my cupboard to the sounds of Peter singing the little drummer boy song by Bing Crosby and David Bowie and it has been in my head all day Cheers mate ūüôā Early start but I guess that is what happens when you have a young family with you. I said Ta Ta to the Paarsen family it was good to see you and headed to the nearest Safeway/Starbucks for breakfast to figure out the plan for today.

Pieter and Annemieke

I am going into San Francisco to see if I can find somewhere reasonable to stay tonight but this plan fails miserably as I cannot found anywhere to park the bike without paying and the hostels are all full or expensive so plan B kicks in. I am not really in a busy city kind of mood at the moment so I decide to do the 49 miles scenic drive around town and then to head out to Monterey. I am keen to get back on them twisty roads rather than fight downtown traffic. I loose the signs for the 49 miles scenic drive after taking about 20 minutes trying to find it in the first place and I am lost after about 30 minutes so as I am on the far side of San Francisco I just punch in Monterey on my GPS and I head back to Pacific Highway Number 1.


I am in a bit of funny mood my guts are rotten and I think I am well knackered after yesterday hard physical ride so when I see a sign for a hostel 30 mile outside of San Francisco I pull over to take a look at it and it turns out to be a gorgeous lighthouse keeper house turned into a hostel. Its only 2 pm but I decide I like this place and I want to stay here so onto plan C. They have a place yay but I cannot check in until 3.30pm so I go for  ride to the nearest supermarket get some vitals for the evening and I am back and checked in by 4pm. The weather is still overcast and not so warm but hang around the lighthouse where they have their own little beach and great views which would be even better if the clouds ever lift. It is 10 pm and I have just been chilling around this place for the last 6 hours it was a good call to stop I needed this little break.

Lighthouse home for tonight

Tomorrow Hearst castle I have been there twice before but I find the place fascinating so I will be making it a hat trick of visits.

A couple of days ago in Oregon there was another lighthouse which had a gorgeous B&B in the old Lighthouse keeper house with rooms that started from 250 USD per night. Seemingly there was a 7-course breakfast with full guide and history tour of the food and the lighthouse. I really wanted to stay there but it was well beyond my budget and then a couple of days later same set up only this time a hostel for 26 USD per night and I will go to Safeway‚Äôs for breakfast down the road so how cool is that ūüôā

Montara to Cambria, Thursday, 2 August 2012, Day 59

The Corkscrew at Laguna Sega

I needed a short break and an early night and I was ready to hit the road again this time to Cambria as I had managed to book a hostel there tonight and it is near Hearst Castle my main destination today. Well that was the plan but I got to Hearst Castle way to late and it was closed fortunately I am only staying 10 miles down the road so I will pop by tomorrow morning before heading to LA. So again my planning on mileage letting me down but I do have an excuse as I was driving to Monterey I remembered that Laguna Sega race track was near so I did a little detour there on my way and before I knew it I was at the race track. I can hang around these places for ages so this is the reason I did not get to Hearst Castle before it shut and that and all the other stops I did along the way as even though the weather was crap and I was driving through clouds and mist most of the day still a lovely ride with lots of distractions and wildlife to see.


Laguna Seca

Today I saw a sea otter (I had no idea that you get otters at the sea I thought they were freshwater and it must be bloody difficult building dams in the pacific) seals, pelicans, elephant seals to name some of the animals I saw to-day so an excellent day on the wildlife front.

I saw the famous corkscrew and took loads of pictures (for the racing geeks amongst you will understand my fondness for¬†this holy place) basically a good day if not a bit chilly I finally made it to the hostel at 7.30pm so also a reasonably long day as well. Skype Richard Kooyenga who has offered me a couch in LA, I saw him a couple of years ago at a school reunion and it’s probably 30 years ago at school the time before that so a lot catching up to do and he also mentioned that Russell Fearon another school mate of mine is around as well and I have not seen him since I was about 16 so it¬†should be a laugh catching up with those two.

I saw a sign for the 17-mile drive near Monterey and I recall it was supposed to be quite scenic so I turned of into it. I came round the corner and found out it was a toll route so I thought it may be part of the National Parks of US for which I have a ticket as there is no way am I paying USD9.75 to get in. Nope my pass is not valid and by the way motorcyclist are not allowed in. That pissed me of and made me want to pay the USD9.75 and go in anyhow. It has been ages since I have seen any anti motorcyclist sentiment and it reminded me of when I first moved back to the UK and they where always refusing to serve anyone wearing leather jacket in the pubs. Last no motorcyclist area that I was in was in Quebec but I just ignored those signs but this time there was a rent a cop and barriers so no entry for Philly and his motorbike today. I am plotting a big demo turning up with 100 of bikes and blocking the entrance and demanding to be allowed in, equal rights for motorcyclist, motorcyclist are human, motorcyclist have feelings to etc. My rebellionistic feelings soon disappeared, as the road got more interesting as I entered Carmel valley where the last time I was here I got a ticket for parking on the wrong side of the street facing the wrong direction! Something about that this part of the world and me that are slightly at odds with each other.

Carmel Valley

Big Sur

Tomorrow I will attempt to get to Hearst Castle and then to LA I am looking forward to it.

Elephant Seals

Must be love!

Mather from Cars

Cambria to Brea (Los Angeles), Friday, 3 August 2012, Day 60

Hearst Castle

Well I made it to Hearst Castle and as expected I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I spent all morning there, I did the Upstairs Suites Tour as I had been here twice before so I thought I try to see another part of the castle this time.

Hearst Castle




I love this place the pure decadence of the place is amazing and obscene all at the same time. I managed to get away at 2pm and I started making my way to Richards in LA. The GPS reckoned I would get there at 6.30pm so I thought at a leisurely pace should be there by 8.30pm with a stop for lunch and any shiny objects I saw along the way. It turned out slightly different as I did not calculate on LA Friday night rush hour traffic. Bloody hell after driving around on empty roads for nigh on 2 months this is a complete mind f**k I am trying to following the GPS which is telling me I need to be in the left lane of 8 lanes and I am in the right lane of 8 lanes and traffic all around me in total grid lock. You are allowed to filter in the state of California but with all my luggage on the back I have a huge arse on the bike so this is quite difficult so I am not getting anyway fast. The trick I find is to ride aggressively and just to hammer it like the locals do and that seem to work but it needs a lot of confidence and the road surface are also crap with lots of banding so I am fighting that as well.

I get to Richards at 8.30pm right on schedule except the schedule was completely different from the original plan. Its time to fall of the wagon after that experience and Richard had a cold beer waiting for me it will be the first of many as I have been dry for 60 days so there is a lot of catching up to do. Cold Beer mmmm lekker! We headed straight out to a Chinese for dinner and then we hit a few more bars before crashing on the Richard sofa at about 2.30am ish I am knackered ,¬†slightly pissed and happy a good night of catch up with Richard the perfect host Mi casa est tu casa ūüôā