$80 groceries $17 morning tea $39 petrol $15 lunch $26 souvenirs
We slept in again until 8 a.m. despite leaving the curtain open – it was rainy (all day) and the sun had barely risen. Since we had to leave by 9 a.m. we ate what we had (apples and bananas) and arrived for our tour of Hearst Castle. At 9.20 we were bused from the visitor centre, 5 miles up the hill to the castle. Our bottom halves got soaked by the driving rain as the tour started by the pool, and then we walked to the castle.
The castle was in 13th – 15th century European style, built from sandstone and aged timber, original panels, furniture, tapestries, statues and copies from Europe. It was very impressive. There were also lovely Christmas decorations. The gift shop had lovely art works. I bought a miniature Persian weaving.
We warmed up with morning tea and left at 11.30 along highway 1 – a twisting cliff road which turned out to be very scary as the rain had caused a lot of rocks to slide onto the road as there were no fences or barriers. We had to constantly dodge these and at one point a rock about the size of a football rolled down under our car and bounced around underneath. There seemed to be no damage. The weather made the trip slow and we eventually arrived at Monterey for lunch at 4.15, by which time Matthew and I didn’t feel like food at all and ended up sharing a sprite and small fries (I’ll have another one if you have another one). Michael and Chris ate up big. Our trip so far included a detour along 17 Mile Road which we thought was an alternative route to where we were going but turned out to be a windy loop back to where we started.
The road was fine after Monterey and we stopped to see the Santa Cruz Pier and amusements along the sea front even though they weren’t operating in winter. On our way out of town we finally saw our first supermarket and bought a load of things.
We eventually arrived at our hotel at San Francisco at 8 p.m. It was a very nice room but we were expecting tea and coffee making facilities – these turned out to be in the foyer. Michael and Matthew went to Radio Shak to buy a 240 – 120v transformer so we can use our own electric jug (and charge our camera batteries) but they had sold out. We made several trips to the foyer to get tea, coffee and boiling water for cup-a-soup. We eventually got fed and organized for bed by 10.30. I expect another sleep in tomorrow.