Tuesday, 17 July 2007

11th July – Napa Valley

As the weather was still very overcast and cold we decided to head up to the Napa valley as we had been told that inland the weather is often better. They were right. After just an hour or so driving the clouds cleared to reveal fantastic blue skies and beautiful scenery. It reminded us of the Med area of France but on a much vaster scale. Vineyards as far as the eye could see and for miles of driving.
We decided to stop at a little supermarket and get some bits for a picnic including of course a bottle of California red! We found a lovely little quiet park in Calistoga and the weather was perfect. Not too hot, no humidity.
The Napa valley is 30 miles long and is a bit bigger than the parallel Sonoma valley. After reaching Calistoga we had driven the whole of the Napa valley so we headed over towards the coast for our first glimpse of the Pacific ocean.
I had heard from many people about California’s beauty but never having been I just thought that it was another nice place. After all there are many pretty places that we have been to. Some dramatic, some grand and some unusual. Now I know what the big deal is about California – it has it all!! That day we drove through beautiful vineyards, towering forests and alongside a dramatic coastline. All in the space of a few hours.
We drove down Highway 1, the Pacific coast highway, to Point Arena and found an idyllic place to stay called Wharf Master’s Inn. It was a restored home from the late 1800’s. For about the same price as a Travelodge in London we got two rooms overlooking the ocean with Jacuzzis and open fireplaces. The only disappointment was the awful $30 pizza we had for dinner.
We lit the fires and filled the Jacuzzi tubs and settled in for an early night with a G & T (us not the girls!).

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