Kingdom on a Hill - Hearst Castle

Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
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Trip End Dec 10, 2008


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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, September 19, 2008

We left Morro Bay and headed a shortish distance towards Hearst Castle.   We were a little early for our tour, so thought we would stop at Point Piedras Blancas  - California's largest elephant seal colony.  This is not a Kelly Tarltons - it is just a matter of stopping on the side of the road and looking down at the interesting creatures.  There were hundreds of them along a short stretch of coast, and you were that close it was like you were intruding.

We went back to Hearst Castle and boarded a bus at the office that winded it's way miles & miles up the mountain (glad I wasn't driving) and we arrived at this 'Enchanted Castle'.    This was the private residence of Mr W.R. Hearst (a newspaper magnate - owning 50-60% of the newspapers at that time).    It was a palace in every sense of the word, that was built primarily to 'show' his many art collections (some 300 of them).  It was built 1920's/30's and he entertained celebrities eg: Charlie Chaplin, and famous guests.  There was lots of guest houses on the property and were able to go through a couple of these - the interior design justified the outstanding views.  It also had a enormous ranch with wild animals and bear enclosure etc - real fantasy stuff.

This story was one I could write so much about - how his upbringing influenced his decisions, his need to share what he had, his passion (and I mean passion!),  -    His uncompromising attention to detail was incredible and  just inspiring.  

A real highlight of our trip.

We then headed up towards Santa Cruz area along the coast.   This was stunning scenery, but the roads were narrow and windy and so from that point of view it was quite a hard trip.  In hindsight we would have allowed a lot more time for this trip, although we stopped often we would have liked to have rested and enjoyed the scenery even more, some special moments along the way, like feeding the squirrels etc.

We arrived tired and happy at Watsonville KAO Campground, close to Monterey Bay (about 20 mins from Santa Cruz). 
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