After a pretty good couple of days looking around Big Sur I got up early to try and get my tent packed and carry all my shit back to my bike without having Malcolm and Joe wait around for me. I hate having people wait for me. It stresses me out.
This next bit of Highway 1, south of Big Sur, does actually get pretty good. There’s still constant traffic, but it’s a nice twisty road and the sun was out again. It was really windy is all, which kinda sucked a bit. We stopped a lot on the way down the coast – to check out the Elephant seals, and also Hearst Castle… although we didn’t end up going up to visit the actual castle because 1. It costs a bit, and 2. We had to wait for over an hour.
We didn’t really know where we were going to stay the night, but I knew we were going to be passing the famous Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. Money was tight for us all at this point though and I knew Malcolm and Joe probably wouldn’t be keen to stay there. I suggested we get lunch there though and at least check out the restaurant. I’d heard about The Madonna Inn from Warren and he’d told me that Lux and Ivy (The Cramps) used to stay there. I’d checked it out online and really dug it’s super kitsch aesthetic.
I think we were all pretty gob-smacked when we parked up and went into the restaurant. The carpets, the lights, the ornate tables… it was all so bizarre. You just don’t see places like this (anymore?). We were all enchanted enough that we checked out room prices and agreed to spend a night in the ‘Imperial Family’ suite. Having had a couple of nights camping we were pretty stoked to be in such a plush room, but shit got really awesome when we went up to the heated outdoor pools! We soaked ourselves for quite a while in these, had beers and didn’t get out until we were looking like wrinkled prunes. Feeling pretty good we headed down to the bar and ballroom where we’d heard there was going to be a live salsa band. There wasn’t. There was a DJ. But there was salsa dancing… which actually we didn’t end up watching (or, thank God, getting involved in!) because we met a dude at the bar and chatted to him and his friends all night long. They were great but I totally forget their names? The girl was a soil scientist and her partner was into music and knew quite a few NZ bands. We talked about the Dead C a bit and I told him I’m mates with Bruce.
For the first night on the whole trip Joe went to bed first!? And I went down to Denny’s for a feed.