It would be odd of me to keep repeating the fact that there are all sorts of things to see along the PCH and not actually visit any of those things. Precisely that was on today's itinerary, helped by the fact that the weather was very pleasant. It was so pleasant that it erased all memory of chilling grayness.
Maybe that's because I don't live here. But that's beside the point.
Opposite Hearst Castle is the village he owned (and his corporation still does). That's right, not only did he own a 250,000 acre ranch with a coastal view and 90,000 square feet of living quarters, but also a bunch of other properties including a village called Lucia on the very coast his ranch overlooked.
Today, the village mostly consists of houses that are still used by his descendants, and therefore the interior of which are not on any tour routes.
Next to the village is William Randolph Hearst memorial beach, the bit of coastline that said tycoon made into a dock for cargo and passenger steamers, so that all of the usually bulky artwork and adornments he bought across the globe could be directly shipped to basically the front door of the estate.
Once getting off the ships, cargo had to make its way up the eight-mile-long driveway by truck, a route that the tour buses take us patrons on to see the castle now.
Nearby, there is an elephant seal habitat; they weigh about as much as a car and are about the size of a small one too.
A sign tells us that this is a privilege to witness. Makes sense, since this isn't any sort of zoo or planned viewing area, but a bit of coast that the seals themselves decided to rest on. They are always here since the state of California has made sure to keep them relatively undisturbed.
Nevertheless, there is always a (technically-speaking) human being who by most definitions belongs with the seals, who does his darnedest to get the attention of
Guess you can't keep them all out. Though, the seals were too busy belching, sleeping in the sand, and occasionally battling to notice their vertical cousin anyway.
On the way northbound we coincided with a train of classic Volkswagens taking a cruise down the PCH.
Oh, and there was a suspicious non-VW van from BC enjoying the PCH as well. Apparently, we weren't the only ones with the idea.