Barking Seals, an Old English style town, Life in the SLO lane and Madonna Inn,

Our “Rambling Rose” bed combined with our trusty ear plugs resulted in a very good sleep.  In fact we had the best part of 8 hours sleep last night – our body clocks are adjusting to US time.

We joined the hosts (Claudia and Vern) and the other guests for a very delicious breakfast at 9.00am. The homemade scones mixed with a serving of cereal and pancakes certainly gave us the sustenance we needed to start the day.  Breakfast conversation centered on where people were from and the travel stories that we had all accumulated over the years.  We also picked up some tips for local sightseeing opportunities .

After posting yesterday’s blog and getting our camera gear sorted we jumped in the car and headed north along Highway 1.  First stop – an outstanding organic coffee shop located just on the edge of town.  The Princess ordered a Vanilla Chai Tea Latte and I got my standard morning “heart starter” – Latte with one brown sugar.  We ordered a “slab” of homemade slice and downed this with ease – way to nice!

We enjoyed the drive North along the highway.  The road is close to the beach and the coastline up here is much nicer than down around LA.  It took about 40 minutes to drive to the must see Elephant seal colony that calls a part of the coast “home”.  It was a real treat to see so many wild seals lazing around on the beach.  They were quite active so we were able to take some nice photo’s of them.  The dunes on which the boardwalk is established is also home to many friendly squirrels.  We were able to get up close to them an get some nice nature photo’s of these creatures too.

We drove back in the direction we had just come but this time we stopped at a few nice places along the way.  The William Hearst Beach was a nice place to stop and take photo’s.  A lovely swimming beach in a protected bay with a lovely long pier.

After continuing south for around 10 miles we pulled off into the lovely town of Cambria (  The main street of this town is full of shops, galleries and restaurants that are located in buildings that are built in the Old English cottage style.  The boardwalks are lined with beautiful flowers and most of the shops had flags flying for Memorial Day.  The sun was shining and the temperature was ideal.  It was a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours.

We dined in Cambria at a place called The Old Stone Station. The ambiance and food were excellent and we left feeling rather happy to have chosen this venue for our lunch.

From Cambria we continued south past Morro Bay and down to Saint Luis Obispo (SLO).  We arrived in SLO around 3.30pm and this meant we had plenty of time (light) to be able to walk the streets and take some photo’s.  The town is kept beautifully clean and tidy and it was a real pleasure to be able to meander the streets and take in the sights at leisure.  We stumbled upon the original 1700’s mission buildings, walked along the restaurant lined creek and enjoyed some window shopping in the many interesting shops in the town.

A friend in Hong Kong had recommended that we visit the Madonna Inn while we were in SLO so we drove a short distance from the centre of town to the Inn.  One has to enter into the building to truly appreciate what an amazing place it is.  Going inside is like stepping back in time to the 60’s.  The decor is amazing and the design and structure is incredible.  A must see if you are going to visit SLO (and we recommend you do).

From the Madonna Inn we took a drive out to the SLO airport (I needed an aviation fix) before returning to town and finding an excellent Indian restaurant.  The Taj Palace was voted No 1 Indian in SLO this year and, judging by the taste of our supper, we can understand why.  We enjoyed a very tasty Chicken Korma with a nice glass of local Merlot – nice way to finish a day’s touring.

The night drive back to Morro Bay didn’t proceed as planned and, after a short stop at a petrol station we were offered a “follow me” option from a young local girl.  She was heading in the direction we needed to go so we took up the offer.  However, she did get her North and South mixed up so we ended up driving the wrong direction after turning onto the freeway.  This was quickly resolved when we recognised some of the landmarks from earlier in the day and we arrived back at our accommodation around 10.4pm.

It has just turned midnight here and we are both ready for bed.  I will post this and some more photo’s in the morning – before we leave for Yosemite.

We will close this out with a quote from the Governor of California – Big Arnie S. ‘Hasta la vista!!

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