March 2017-California

In Southern California we skipped LA and headed straight for Piedras Blancas to see the Elephant Seals, WOW, they are huge!  The volunteer on site was a wealth of information, we learned a lot about these amazing animals.  Elephant seals are incredible divers, they can even sleep underwater.  The volunteer on site explained to us that we have to consciously hold our breath while elephant seals have to consciously breathe.  When they are sleeping on land, they are NOT breathing, what ?!  The deepest recorded dive is 5788 feet and the longest recorded dive is just over two hours.  Elephant seals are a noisy bunch, the pups are especially vocal and moms wean them after only four weeks.  We spent two days at the rookery, it was fascinating to watch all the activity.  We had to laugh at one adolescent male trying to “get it on” with any seal within striking distance, mostly pups-not going to get anywhere with that!

Next stop was Monterey to visit the world famous aquarium and it did not disappoint.  The Open Sea, the Jellies and the Tentacles were our favourite sections.  Before getting to San Fransisco we had to stop in Carmel, could not afford to do any shopping but loved drooling over the ever so charming houses.  We spent two days walking around San Fransisco, boy is that a workout!  There is some fantastic architecture in San Fran and of course we had to ride the cable cars.  A friend highly recommended visiting the cable car museum and it was an unexpected delight, it was fascinating to see the cables at work and learning how the whole system operates, did you know that the primary braking system on the cable cars are pine blocks that are pressed against the rail to stop the cars and they have to be replaced every four days!

We also got to spend a few days in Sausalito with new friends who were also fantastic tour guides.  The Golden Gate Rec Area is beautiful with great hiking and fantastic views over the bay.  Our friends also drove us up Mount Tamalpais, I did not think the views could get any better but they did, WOW.  I don’t think we can honestly say that “we left our hearts in San Fransisco” but it is one of our favourite cities.  Please click here to view our March flickr album.

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