Catalina Island

Freddy and I decided to get away for a few days together. (Its been a while – yeah yeah).
Our destination for no reason other than we both wanted to see it… Catalina Island.
Its due west of Dana Point, not far off the coast, but far enough to make it a little interesting.

Of course, to get there, you have to take a boat. We chose the smaller of the two that fairy back and forth. Turns out we won’t be doing that again. The bigger boat is much faster and smoother. It means another 1/2 hour to our drive to get to the point where it docks, but eh, it will be worth the drive to save the sea time.

Once on the boat we just sit and chat. It took a solid hour and a half. Neither of us felt great going over, it was pretty rough and the staff warned us as much. (It was a pretty windy day).

When you get there, you have two methods of getting around, walk or golf cart.
Cars are not banded on island, but its just so small that the number of cars is severely limited (I’m told the wait list is about 10 years long). Where as every resident automatically gets a golf cart permit. So yeah, noisy, smelly golf karts are everywhere.
Here is the local supermarket parking lot to give an example.

Some people try and hot them up, or deck them out, make them a bit interesting, but for the most part, they just look like golf karts. There is also more than the fair share of them broken down in the streets. I guess it costs too much to get them repaired and its very expensive to ship them back to the mainland to dispose of them.
And yes, 99.9% of them are two stoke…. Electric ones were very rare. Reason being most people don’t have a garage and so have no way of recharging them. You are not allowed to drape a power lead across the sidewalk (footpath), so it limits your recharge options a lot.
We looked at hiring one, but at 50 bucks an hour, it was a bit rich for us.

So, we walked. It was beautiful weather and just a delight to walk about taking in the sites.
First place we walked was up a hill!

Well worth it.
Short version short, we walked 7 miles the first day. Had a nice fish and chips lunch…

Just hung out and had a nice day.

Next day the goal was to check out the botanical gardens and the Wriggly memorial. Yup. More walking.

It was the weekend of the annual marathon, so there were some runners out and about. Nice uphill slog for them from the starting line, but they turned around at the memorial.

The memorial is just amazing. High up on the hill (but not at the very top) and pretty massive given its location. 100 steps exactly from the base to the top.
It would have been amazing in its day, as it stands now its still very impressive and beautiful with brass doors, blue tiles and amazing marble inlay.
Photos do not do it justice, but here is a panorama of the inside along one wall.

Remember, you can click on pictures to make them bigger….

We hung out there for a good while just soaking up the place.
It was also very quiet when we were there, we had got up and got going pretty early and so not one was around, the runners were well below us and focused on running, not sightseeing, so yeah, it was bliss.

I wanted to hike to the top of the island and see the Ocean on the other side, Freddy said that as long as I took my time she was in for the hike up the hill, so we set off to the summit of this smaller ridge.

Lets try this little movie… Not sure it will work for everyone, but eh, try something new…

If you cant play it, its a short movie of me puffing trying to hold the camera still and pan from one ocean to one sea.

All in all that day we ended up doing around 14 miles on foot. Nice effort.

Next morning, it was just a matter of taking the boat home. We goofed and did not get in line quick enough and so the only seats left were outside…. It was rather cold (we were NOT dressed like the people in this photo), but on the upside we did see a few whales and Freddy was thrilled about that.

All in all a very nice weekend. We have decided that island life is not for us. I love my high speed Internet and 2 day Amazon deliveries and Freddy likes long drives.