Monday, May 28, 2007

Big Sur 

Waving goodbye to our psychedelic bathroom we wondered if there are people who try to collect the full set. There surely must be.

Then we had one last look at all the pretty horses and sped off in search of that old Highway One again.

We stopped in Cambria to buy a paper (Front page story - "New structures would be severely limited on 900-acre ranch overlooking Estero Bluffs"; Property pages - "Holy Shit! How much?"; Sports pages – none) and ordered sandwiches at the deli counter.
This involved ticking millions of boxes on a spreadsheet for the endless permutations of types of bread, spread, filling, cheese supplement, meat supplement, salad options, stock options, whether you want them to reclaim your VAT and pass it on to whale charities, donkey charities, retired biker dude charities, and whether you want to eat it straightaway, tomorrow, next week, next month, or never.

So we scoffed our haul watching surfer dudes in action, then went to see Hearst Castle.

William Randolph Hearst was born extremely rich, then devoted his life to becoming, like, mega-extremely rich, a feat he pulled off with considerable aplomb.
He owned an enormous newspaper empire, his style was jingoistic and sensationalist, and it's said he played no small part in starting the Spanish-American War in order to boost circulation figures.
“You provide the pictures,” he may or may not have apocryphally told his reporters, “and I'll provide the war.”
It is known, however, that both Hitler and Churchill filed copy for Hearst during their lifetimes.

The castle was never completed in his lifetime, chiefly because no sooner was a room finished, then he'd change his mind and have it torn down again.
There are fifty six bedrooms, sixty one bathrooms, nineteen sitting rooms, and two rather tasty swimming pools. Personally, I'd knock through to create a small lake.

Everybody who was anybody wound up here – I'd guess that when invited you either turned up or kissed your career goodbye – and he was the not very thinly disguised inspiration behind Citizen Kane.

We carried on our way, stopping awhile at this popular hangout for sea lions.
We also saw and heard a sea otter, which made Girlfriend jump up and down with delight. You should hear the racket they make when smashing clams together in their little otter paws.
The light was fading, a bit yellowy and deliciously gloomy as we headed on.

We're staying in a little wooden lodge in Lucia. It's great. I'm thinking it would make a perfect writer's retreat.
What couldn't I do in a room like this?

Miles of the day: Ninety five-ish.

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