After a peaceful night sleeping through a lot of frogs and insects going off we woke early to a beautiful clear day. We had a lazy morning, breakfast, checking emails etc by the pool before driving the five minutes into Julian to explore a bit. A lot of places were shut, not sure what that's about but we checked out a few places including The Cider Mill and bought some treats there like sugar free frog jam (fig, raspberry orange and ginger) and also some sugar free dark chocolate cashew clusters which are very yummy.
We got a bag of ice to top up the drink esky, the food is all in a fridge in the common area and the chiller pads in the freezer so we should be good to go tomorrow.
Back to our room and we had lunch by the pool before setting off for the California Wolf Centre.
It's a few miles out of town down a long dirt road. Despite others being booked they didn't turn up so we had a private tour, just us and one of the staff there. He was great, we had a very informative 30-40 minute chat with him before going outside including him showing us various skulls to compare bob cats, coyotes, domestic dogs, Mexican grey and grey wolves. It was really interesting and our guide clearly knows his stuff.
He took us to two enclosures, the first was a Mexican grey Wolfe pair then a much bigger enclosure with a grey wolf pack. It was 2-3pm so for the most part they were hanging out in the shade but still gorgeous critters. We spent an hour or so watching them and asking our guide q's. We didn't get any great pics cos of the wire fence but for all that it did give us an awesome insight into their habits and the conservation work they're doing to try and get the populations back up to where they should be. There were also plenty of very fat and happy looking ground squirrels their which we loved.
From there we tried to find the nearby Julian Cider Works but failed, the GPS took us to the address listed on line but it was nowhere to be found. Very strange.
A similar distance on the other side of town was a tasting room for Julian Cider, a totally diff company. We went in and tried their seven tasting tray; six different ciders and an alcoholic root beer which, like all root beer IMO was disgusting. The ciders were ok, at least two of them I know Gina would've loved including the black and blue which had black and blue berries in it and the razza with raspberries. None impressed us enough to buy any though.
Heading back to Julian we stopped at a roadside fruit shop and bought some local pears and tomatoes. While there we mentioned the abortive attempt at going to the other cider tasting rooms so she called up the owner to tell him he was losing people cos they couldn't find him. She put me on the phone and I got directions and we tried a second time but still without success. When I told the guy he needed to put up some signs he was, oh I know they're being made and will be up by December! December? Seriously? That's no way to get a business up and running IMO.
We got back to our room about five and had another nana nap this time til about 8pm. It's definitely a bit of a worrying trend this year but we were both really tired before we left so guess that's it.
We got up and spent an hour or so checking in on the boys back at 100% Reef Safe and generally catching up with everything on line while sitting outside our room listening to the night time chorus all around us.
It's quite strange here, all the shops that are open shut by 5pm and anywhere that sells alcohol is shut by 6pm. Some restaurants don't open other than lunch and those that do open for dinner seem to shut as early as they can too. We went for a late drive after dinner, about 10pm and the place was all shut down. We drove to a look out we found earlier in the day to check out the night sky. It was amazing, very little light pollution and no moon, just a sky full of stars. Pete got a few very cool pics.