Headed to the little town of Cambria. We don’t yet know how sweet this little hamlet is. We don’t yet know about the scare crows the town puts out every year to welcome fall and we don’t know about the great beer, great cafes or the Cambria Hostel where we would spend the next two nights.
We rolled into town after another great adventure out on highway one. More sweeping turns, more cliffs, more windy beaches hemmed by rock. We stopped to refuel the motorcycles and wolfed down some $1 hot dogs. We called the hostel from the gas station and found two empty bunks.
Cambria is divided into two halves. The first half houses the library, a cafe and lots of other independent shops. After the bridge, I think its called east Cambria, is another cafe, the Ale House – where we were about to spend a deliriously fun evening but didn’t know it yet – a little supermarket and up a dead end side street the Hostel and Inn. The historic home serves as a charming bed and breakfast and a hostel for wandering travelers on a budget. Brandon gave us a tour of the living room, kitchen and our room before recommending the Ale House for good beers.
We showered and headed out. The town is sleepy, wind blown trees whistle on a far off hilltop. The ocean is not far off. The Ale House is more of a living room than a house. We stake out at a table in the window and our destiny is realized. The place we rolled by just a few hours ago, the place we never heard of until an hour ago is now our home for the next few hours. Banjer Dan takes the stage. He is politically progressive and outspoken, which is fun and not surprising here in California. He shares stories, songs, his brand new banjo, sing alongs, takes requests and even makes up a drinking game for us. It is good fun and we are glad to have stumbled on Banjer Dan.
The next morning a traveling family from Europe made everyone crepes in the communal kitchen and a group of strangers got to know each other around the big round table. Our lack of planning meant there wasn’t a bed for us the second night but Brandon was nice enough to let us pitch a tent in the backyard. we spent the day eating fish tacos, sipping lattes and exploring Cambria. Behind one hidden cafe was a garden of succulents, plants with juicy leaves like aloe, purslane and the like. The backyard garden was populated with some very bizarre plants and in the middle of it all a big tractor. We planned to go on a hike but last nights beers made us lazy.
The bikes sat the whole day, and despite all our riding, months of it, I missed the bike and longed to go explore on it. What unknown adventures would we have next?
Tomorrow we would head east, away from the ocean, through the grape grove hillsides, on our reluctant trek homeward.