No we have not made a massive detour to Copenhagen but did have a quick lunch stop in the small Danish-American town called Solvang on our way to Santa Barbara. Solvang, meaning "Sunny Field" is an appropriate name as it was indeed very sunny. The town sports various windmills, a number of tributes to Hans Christian Andersen and some of the shop keepers wear traditional Danish costume. I felt it was all a little bit twee but a pleasant place to enjoy our picnic of hummus and ryvita!
Sitting on the dock of the bay - 29th September 2011
We arrived in Santa Barbara with a big sigh of relief. The journey was a hot and sticky one not helped by a brief lapse in concentration resulting in us driving momentarily on the wrong side of a very busy road! Stuart was quick to rectify the error without incident but our hearts missed a few beats in the process.
Our home for the next few nights was in a motel situated on State Street, the main road leading to Stearns Wharf. We decided to walk to the seafront thinking it could only be a mile or two. After an hour of walking Stuart started to question whether we were heading in the right direction! I decided to take control of the situation and popped into a local garage and asked the guy behind the desk the direction to the seafront. With an amused smile he confirmed we were going in the wrong direction and that the beach was some 7 miles down the road. He pointed us in the direction of the bus stop and waved us on our way. We could not possibly get the bus - we never start a walk and not complete it, so with determined strides we turned around and walked every step of the way.
Santa Barbara seafront had that end of season feel. It was looking a bit tired, not helped by the really bad smog. I was a little disappointed because I had read that it was a beautiful beach but I think some of our beaches in the UK are more deserving of this claim. We walked the length of the promenade, sat at the end of the pier looking for elusive whales or dolphins and visited the harbour area. We did spot the female sea lions that had finished their shopping and were resting on the deck of a couple of boats in the harbour! As the day progressed the sun started to shine and I started to glimpse some of the beauty written in the guides.
I have kept this one short and sweet because our adventures in Sequoia and Kings Canyon have been far more lively and eventful, including new encounters with no less than five furry friends of the Hofmeister variety!