Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Carpinteria to Los Angeles

With our trip almost at an end, it was time to return to Los Angeles. After breakfast we drove down to the Carpinteria beach.

The camera dial was miss-adjusted and I got a weird zoom photo of the oil rigs off shore. They are about fours miles away.

We were puzzled by the dark cloud looking north along the beach.

I have walked down to touch the Pacific Ocean. It's amazing to think that a few days before I had touched the water on the other side of the ocean in Tasmania.

Notice the gigantic wave rolling in. Actually, the area has experienced tsunamis when there have been earthquakes.

Condominiums lining the beach. 

It would be interesting to see the beach in winter. I suspect the big ocean waves are blocked by the off-shore islands.

Looking south. By California standards, it's a pretty decent beach with a wide flat area of sand, good for volleyball.

We then headed south along Route 1 that follows the ocean shore.

Next stop was Ventura Pier. It claims to be the longest wooden pier in California but much of it is above sand and not water.

Of course we had to walk out. According to Google Maps measurement, it appears to be about 1600 feet but it seems a lot shorter than the Urangan Jetty.

Looking north. The beach does not look all that inviting.

Looking south.

At one time trains came out on the pier.

There were several fishermen hoping for a bite.

There is an octagonal platform at the end of the pier.

Islands in the distance.

One of them, Santa Cruz, through the zoom. That mountain is 2450 feet high.

Look at how calm the water is. Now click on this link to see a gigantic wave hitting the pier a few years ago.

Pylons holding up the octagonal part.

A rather substantial seagull.

So we walked back to the shore. I felt this pier had more character than the one at Santa Barbara.

We continued or drive past a marina.

The GPS then decided to take us on an inland route via the mountains so we headed off into farming land. Much of this land is quite close to the ocean so presumably would be extremely valuable. We suspect that local ordinances restrict the use of this land to farming so that property developers don't turn it into housing tracts.

It shows what heat, good soil and water will do. And of course, the availability of cheap labor from Mexico to pick the crops.

Horse ranches became plentiful.

We stopped to have a look at this fancy property.

Those are very impressive gates, but Marianne noticed a sign indicating that this was the tradesman entrance. It turned out that we were back on route 192 again.

Eventually we came back to the ocean at Malibu.

The view from Malibu Bluffs Park. A helicopter made an appearance.

Looking north.

Marianne was having a whale of a time but she complained that the seat was hot. It was about 80 degrees by the water but well over 90 inland among the hills. Apparent you can see whales from this bluff at the right time of year.

By now we had done enough driving so we headed off to Los Angeles before the afternoon rush. Even at 2 pm the traffic was certainly no joy.

So it has been a very enjoyable trip. We have seen and done a lot and met many friends and of course, enjoyed a week and a half with our daughter. In addition, we have added Hervey Bay to our 'hobby' list as a possible place to live.

So finally, another food photo. We went to a small Mexican restaurant called Mariscos la Fiesta around the corner from our motel and I had a delicious octopus and shrimp ceviche. It was served cold and the octopus was not at all chewy. Plenty of shrimp. and the salsa was fresh and spicy. In Australia people would be queuing to get in and prepared to pay huge amounts..

Marianne had a fish ceviche that was a bit bland but improved with the green hot sauce.

The restaurant was full of locals when we entered and empty when we left. It's very much a place for locals but I must say that a steady diet of Mexican music would get old after a while. Next time we come to Los Angeles I would like to eat there again.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Route 192 and a winery

Since we are in California, we decided to visit a winery and chose one that sounded promising near Santa Ynez. To get there we could use the freeway or Route 192 which we enjoyed yesterday so we drove along it again.

But first, Marianne's breakfast on a bagel. Carpinteria held its avocado festival a week or so ago so they must be grown locally. However Aussies would be disappointed that there was no 'smashed avocado' on the menu.

I had scrambled egg and feta on a bagel in a dish called a B-Eggl.

So we headed out of town again towards the hills on route 192.

There are fields everywhere growing crops. This was interesting for the hoops.

Route 192 is basically a road with lots of curves and a necessarily low speed limit. Both on this trip and yesterday's, we passed radar traps. The speed limit changes constantly so I needed the GPS to tell me how fast I could go.

Every now and then you get a magnificent vista.

Or weird trees and rocks like this.


Eucalyptus trees beside the road.

Interesting church. There was a wedding taking place the day before.

More curves. It may be slow going, but it is faster than a jammed freeway on a weekend.

The day we arrived in the area, the sky was very murky. Yesterday it was somewhat better but today the sky was a wonderful blue.

Prickly pear beside the road.

Interesting bridge crossing.

We stopped at a view point. Presumably bears inhabit the area. 

Because of the traffic, it is difficult to pull over and stop to take photos of the view. Here was our big chance.

These hills and mountains are spectacular. And very dry.

There was a bad fire a few months before. I would not want to live in the area since it is so dry and the insurance premiums have got to be horrendous.

We were puzzled by this cloud formation.

After getting lost a little, we found our winery which was supposed to have interesting gardens. The entrance way looked promising.

View from the parking lot.

Some of the gardens.

We walked into the tasting room. We were offered a flight of six wines for $20 each so we started off with a chardonnay that was fermented in concrete eggs like this one. They are made in France.

After several wines, our hostess suggested we take our glass of wine and go for a walk to look at the view out the back.

And it was a lovely view. There appears to be a horse track in the foreground and behind it is where they grow their syrah grapes.

Horse farms are popular in this area.

We were pleased to finally see some fall leaves. We hope to see plenty more when we get home.

Curious fence.

You could sit out here and enjoy your wine but with a temperature in the high nineties, perhaps not.

Nice wide veranda.

The tasting list. Our hostess added a zinfandel as an extra, I think because we chatted away to her. Apparently she likes Aussies because they are more interested and ask more questions.

My favourites were the viognier and the  2014 reserve syrah.

We had presumed that Bridlewood was a privately owned winery but our hostess told us it was now owned by the giant Gallo

And here she is. She has a degree in chemistry and wondering if she should get a wine making degree. The tasting cost $20 each.

When we returned to the car, the thermometer read 111 degrees but it plummeted to 95 when we drove off. The low humidity made the high temperature bearable. Back in Carpinteria it was just 81.

We drove back to the Airbnb via the freeway and Marianne managed to get a couple of photos of the coast.

So it had been a very pleasant outing with some reasonably good wine. I quite like this part of California, but Marianne is less enthused because it is so hot and dry. I think the secret here is to go out in the morning, have a siesta in the hot afternoon and stay outside in the cool of the evening.