15 September: A taste of California’s Central Coast

Author: Mrs A

Location: Atascadero, California, USA

Saturday: Our day commenced with a walk and hummingbirds, as all good Saturday mornings should! Mr A took Moki for a short walk, and then came back for me. We ambled down the road, checking out the fabulous views and houses tucked away into the hillsides. We decided that Dave and SJ have the best view in the neighbourhood.Back at the house, SJ had put some food out for the birds, and feathered friends flocked to their feast. The house is surrounded by nectar producing flowers, many we recognise from Australia, such as the kangaroo paw. This was a real favourite of the tiny sapphire green birds.Before long, Tim and Dave had returned from their 80km cycle (!) and were feeling ravenous for lunch, so we piled into a couple of cars and headed 30 minutes towards the coast to the fishing town of Morro Bay. Morro Bay is known for the huge volcanic rock which sits at the entrance of the bay, and the very active sea otter population, attracted to the fish in the bay as well as the discarded scraps.

Fish and chips and a dozen oysters were called for, consumed in a waterside café complete with karaoke blues singer. It was a fun atmosphere and delicious food.After food we wandered along the waterfront looking for sea otters. They were not hard to spot, great little fishers, swimming on their backs to better eat their catch, often chased by herring gulls keen to steal an easy meal.Wine tasting was next on the agenda, so we headed inland, stopping off at a couple of fabulous lookouts en route.We drove to Opolo Wineries, where Moki was allowed to join us in the seating area while we tried some local tipples. Tim and I were the only ones keen for a taste, heading into the busy tasting room to try our drops.

Joe, one of SJ’s work colleagues arrived to pick up a box of wine, kindly offering to cover the cost of our tasting and donating a bottle of wine to our travel collection. What a generous guy – everyone we have met has been just so lovely here.We finished off our day with some take-out from a local restaurant in Atascadero and trying a local brew. Another fine day in California!

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