To the Ocean!

12 Mar

For the up coming week end we booked a site at Guajome – a San Diego County Park, it looked a good location to stay before we finally headed for the coast. The camp ground was laid out well with water and electricity provided for $24 per night. We are appreciating the benefits of County Parks more and more lately as the California State Parks have become so expensive.

Several short trails were within the park and we were able to take one of these plus a short hike on the main road to get us to Rancho Guajome Adobe, historical site. While this is another part of the county park system the trails do not link up, we thought this a shame. We realise we are in the minority who walk to places but surely the linking of the two parks would be beneficial to both.

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When we arrived at the Adobe site at around 11.30 am it was almost deserted but the P1250125ranger on duty advised that a docent led tour would probably be available at 12 noon. It was a much hotter morning than we were anticipating so while we waited we took advantage of the cool shade on the adobe porch.

The porch runs around the four sides of the courtyard garden, in the centre a fountain, to the right of the above photo a huge 100year old bougainvillea was flowering, a beautiful place to sit on a hot spring day!

 

 

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The original ranch land was a wedding gift to Ysidora Bandini , daughter of a prominent San Diego businessman when she married an army lieutenant from Tennessee, Cave Couts in 1851. The couple managed the ranch profitably and became well known locally for their generous hospitality.

The  County Parks Service has renovated the property since it came into its care in the 1970’s after the family finally moved out. A fire had destroyed one area of the building, the rest was in great disrepair. The 7,000 square foot ranch with 28 rooms has been been furnished to represent the hey day of its past. Many awards have been given for the way the site has been redeveloped. It was quite easy to picture how grand the lifestyle of the affluent ranch owners was.

From Guajome our intention had been to drive along the coast highway then head inland to another county park …. somehow we missed the turning to take us to the county park, with difficulty we found a place to turn around and decided to take a $35 dry camp site at Doheney State Park at Dana Point. We had found the Pacific and could not leave it behind!

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In fact we liked the place so much we opted to stay two nights. We had not arrived until tea time the first day so a day to explore was required. As it turned out it was chilly, windy and dull on Tuesday which actually makes for very good walking weather. We set off from our site just after 10 am and for the next two or more hours walked around the harbour area, looking at boats and birds!

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We have been heading for Malibu for about 3 weeks now, then something else crops up…. we had a recommendation for a RV park there. As I mentioned before, camp grounds in California are pricey, we want the best for our money, are not worried about dry camping some of the time just a nice place to stay.  To get to Malibu however we had the city of LA to negotiate. Best way seemed to be to get on the Interstate and just go for it!

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Our reward – Malibu Beach!

Our disappointment was the access to the beach was very limited with no place to park, the RV Park was further from the beach than we hoped for and with a price tag of $49 for a limited services site we decided to drive on. Ventura county has some beach parks – we headed for one of those – the one we had seen good reviews for not Rincorn Parkway where the road and rail noise were said to be an issue. Unfortunately there was a ‘temporarily closed’ sign across the park we wanted to stay in so, guess where we had to stop???? Yes Rincorn Parkway.

This “camp area” is actually a portion of the side of the roadway, approximately a mile in length, adjacent to the ocean wall one side and the road the other, 40ft or so from the rail line and within a quarter mile of the main 101 freeway! But the sea view was amazing!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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Having driven around 150 miles, sitting eating our evening meal looking along the tideline at the blue ocean made the busy interstate ride fade away very quickly!

For information of other travellers or those interested – the crashing waves drown out the noise of the interstate, the roadway went totally quiet after a busy period around 5.30pm and we only heard one train through the night. $27 for dry camping is not bad for this view but we only stayed one night.

As we had discovered at Doheney State Park that dry camping in the non premium sites is $35 we thought we would check out Carpinteria State Park next.

The small town of Carpinteria has a lovely feel to it, lots of small stores in the downtown area which is a short walk from the park and beach front. We were lucky to arrive on Thursday when in the afternoon a farmers market was set up in the central down town area. A real farmers market, probably the best we have seen, with twenty or so vendors selling fruit and vegetables – beautiful strawberries and salad greens, one with sprouted  salad seeds another with local grown walnuts, cheese and flowers too. We sampled various items on offer and bought some of the biggest juiciest most flavoursome strawberries we have tasted.

Another bonus at this park was the local brewery, again just a short walk from our camp site. Our route back to haRVey was punctuated by a visit to Island Brewery

http://www.islandbrewingcompany.com

to taste a selection of  the many beers brewed there and enjoy the company of some of the locals.

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ended with another beautiful sunset!

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One Response to “To the Ocean!”

  1. Sue March 12, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    L.A. traffic?? yikes! you guys always seem to find good places to stay. I didn’t think there would be any availability, especially at less expensive places. Great pics, makes me want to head for the ocean, but Death Valley calls!

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