California

Inspiration
Travellizy team
23 May 2020 / 7 minutes to read
Moto Extreme in California: Off-Road and Comfort in the Desert
Mototourism attracts more and more fans around the world every year. The romance of the road, the spirit of freedom and unique experience - these are the main reasons why adventurers increasingly choose not organized tours, but independent trips on two wheels. But not everyone who knows how to ride a motorcycle can overcome thousands of kilometers on it. Mototravel requires good preparation from the biker. Today, we will tell you how to get extreme motorcycle driving skills in the USA.   Unusual roads for ordinary travelers American motorcycles are primarily associated with Harley Davidson, and this is a good choice for those motorbike travelers who plan routes exclusively in habitable places with good roads and infrastructure. But there are people who feel that they have traveled fairly well on smooth roads with regular pit stops, 24-hour restaurants and air-conditioned lounges. Such motorcyclists rush to the distant corners of the world, where a coffee shop and a gas station are one in hundreds of kilometers. In such places, there are no mobile communications, restaurants and other attributes of comfort.  An adventure touring bike was created for such non-trivial travel options. Durable and powerful, motorcycles of this class are suitable for trips to places with no highway, but just a direction. Is it worth driving along the riverbed formed by the melting of a glacier in Alaska? Of course! Or maybe your desire to overcome difficulties leads you through a vast desert, where red dust, disturbed by wheels, will hang in the air for another half an hour? It's a great idea!   Bavarian experience in the USA BMW motorcycles are legendary masterpieces of engineering. Designed in Bavaria at a factory with more than a century of history, they are famous for their power and reliability. Thousands of motorcyclists explore the world on two wheels, trusting this heavy, high bike. Models created for difficult terrain are called enduro, hardy. In the BMW motorcycle line, the modern sports and tourist enduro has the letters GS in its name, Gelände/Straße (German: "off-road/road"). If you don't want moto-travel to become a huge disappointment, you should hope not only for innovative solutions implemented in transport. You need to learn how to properly use this miracle of engineering. In order for motorbike travelers to learn off-road driving skills, California enthusiasts opened the first official training center in the US, BMW Offroad RawHyde in 2002. Experienced instructors and motor mechanics have become the core around which thousands of owners of BMW and other off-road motorcycles have been gathering for almost 20 years.   Camp in a remote place California RawHyde Adventures Training Center is a ranch located off the busy highway leading to Los Angeles. This is a huge private area, fenced and guarded. The area of the camp is amazing in size: more than 1000 hectares! Several office premises, a kitchen, a dining room, warehouses, a motorcycle workshop, and, most importantly, training grounds, which vary in difficulty levels, have been built here. The remoteness of the base allows the organizers to ensure the safety of guests and also solves the problem that is inevitable in this business: engine noise several hours a day.   Guest accommodation Fans of motorcycle adventures are people who are accustomed to spending the night in nature and in the open. The training center has found a harmonious way to combine comfort and Spartan conditions, similar to an army or boy scout bootcamp. Having bought trainings at the usual cost, guests sleep in a common room, where every sleeping place is fenced with panels. The organizers undertake the issue of food for guests, taking into account individual dietary requests. During training, a lot of energy and fluid is spent in the body, so a full diet is an essential part of preparation. An experienced chef prepares three meals a day every day, providing everyone with fresh hot food: first-class steaks, fish, fresh vegetables, and of course, desserts. The climate in southern California is sunny and hot, and the camp is located on picturesque hills. Guests can take showers right on the terrace:   Training: work on your skills  During the training, all participants must be dressed in full motorized equipment. Given the hot days and great physical exertion, everyone is advised to use constantly the hydraulic system, which allows you to drink directly when riding a motorcycle. Distracting from classes will not work: the schedule is tight, and every student must have time to understand the exercise, and also repeat it several times successfully. Here are a few exercises that are practiced during the training. The basic exercise is the ability to get your own bike to stand up. A popular biker proverb says “When you ride hard on a mountain bike, sometimes you fall, otherwise you're not riding hard”, so even if the biker is a woman, this does not save her from practicing the motorcycle lifting exercise. In the photo, a cheerful biker holds in his hands a tree he has knocked down: A motorcycle stuck in the sand with wrong biker's behavior can be a big problem. The weight of the loaded motorcycle reaches 250 kilograms: Despite the heavy weight of the motorcycle, the biker may well learn to jump on one wheel: The industry is constantly upgrading tourism motorcycles: high-tech electronics, on-board computer, security systems. But overestimating their strength or incorrectly performing the exercises, the biker endangers himself, the passenger and other participants in the movement. In the photo below, you can see an example where the biker forgets that he may not stick his foot when the motorcycle falls. Despite the sensitive guidance of the instructor, one of the participants received a leg injury. Fortunately, the damage was not serious. If the injury does not allow the biker to continue the lesson, he/she will need to wait for a full recovery and continue the course at another time. Americans are very thorough in their security concerns. Strict standards, certifications, regular checks from public services are imposed on the personal responsibility of business owners. But having good health insurance is everyone’s job, so check your insurance plan in advance and make the necessary changes.   Desert night Those who are ready to consolidate the acquired skills, they can additionally pay for a weekend trip to the Mojave Desert. Several bikers ride in picturesque places, putting into practice the knowledge gained. California deserts are very picturesque and always surprise travelers with a variety. Cosmic landscapes, unusual rock forms are admirable. But do not think that if these beauties are located far from big cities, then the usual amenities are not available. In the photo, you can see a clean restroom located in the middle of the desert: An escort car is driving with the group, which stores all the necessary things, including soft drinks for every taste. Dinner awaits tired travelers under the starry sky at the place of the overnight stay. Meat and vegetables will be expertly cooked on the grill. The organizers provide a tent and a sleeping bag for everyone. What you should not expect is the opportunity to share your impressions for the day with friends and family: there is no mobile communication in the desert.   Motoculture for all ages Nowadays, motorcycle culture in the United States has changed its face: the motorcycle has long ceased to be associated with aggressive youth gangs. Motorcycle travel has become a popular hobby for wealthy retirees. Vigorous grandfathers and grandmothers ride across the country, getting to hard-to-reach corners. RawHyde Adventures mototourist training center is no exception: according to statistics collected after training thousands of clients, the average age is 40-50 years. Regardless of age, several days of joint efforts and adventures unite the guests of the center. Many continue to communicate on social networks and meet during trips and bike rides.   Journey to the edge of the Earth For those who are firmly convinced that a motorcycle is the best way to explore the world, RawHyde has prepared unique tours around America. One of the most unusual is a trip to Patagonia. The unique color, almost unaffected by globalization culture, stunning landscapes - this is what awaits travelers, while they travel for 16 days across the South American continent from South to North. The high cost of the tour (from $ 10,000) makes it a piece of travel product, an exclusive option to acquire a unique experience. You can see what awaits mototourists in the video at the link below:   Attractions in the area of the RawHyde training center The California camp RawHyde is one of four located in the USA. It is located in Southern California. About an hour's ride - and you are in the center of Hollywood, the studios of the film company Universal (we wrote about them in another article at the link.  If you travel from northern California, stay in Solvang, the unofficial Danish capital of the United States. The trip can also be combined with watching elephant seals or visiting the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Traveling around the world, we learn better not only the new corners of our beautiful planet, but also ourselves. And our Travellizy Team will help you choose the most suitable travel option!
Places
Travellizy team
20 May 2020 / 6 minutes to read
Cozy streets, bulb-shaped roof mills, enthusiastic tourists, the aromas of coffee and rolls - this description is more suitable for villages in northern Europe. But this is the California city of Solvang, built with love and care to preserve Danish culture. Today's Travellizy article is about the unofficial Danish capital of the Americas.   City of immigrants Solvang is a city in southern California, which boasts a rich North European cultural heritage transported across the ocean. At first, immigrants arrived on the East Coast of the United States, but pretty soon, they became disillusioned with the climate and moved to the West of the country. Snowless winters, warm off-season and 287 sunny days a year attracted several dozen Danish immigrant families here in the early twentieth century. After the cold and cloudy Scandinavia and the East coast, the warm slopes of the Santa Ines valley became native to hardworking Danes very quickly. The population of Solvang is less than 5500 people, but about a million tourists come here annually.   Danish architecture with an American approach Solvang was founded in 1911, but did not immediately take on an appearance that attracted many tourists to these picturesque lands. At first, the settlement was built in the usual style for the American West, but already in the 30s. The twentieth century, citizens began to stylize their homes in a characteristic Scandinavian spirit. Wood is a material that is very often used in the design of traditional Danish houses. Not all residents of Solvang could afford to decorate the facades of their dwellings with the characteristic beams of a tree, so they got out of position by simply drawing stripes on the walls. Such a trick adorns the street, but does not require additional expenses. Also with stylized roofs: some of them look like tiled, but if you look closely, you will see that modern materials are used for the roof.   European atmosphere The streets of Solvang are so charming with their cosiness, so they set up for a relaxed vacation. Fans of quiet shopping come here to walk around small shops. But those who like huge shopping centers with world-famous brands will be disappointed: there are no such stores in the city. Those who enjoy an active holiday will enjoy renting bicycles through the hills, or choose a walk along the hiking trails. And if you want to give rest to your feet, you can buy a ticket for a trip on a wooden horse-drawn cart. Such entertainment is always a delight for children.   Photogenic city Due to the fact that the third generation of the city’s residents already works together on the image of Solvang, its streets look as if from pictures of brochures. The most recognizable and popular symbol of the region is mills. Signboards emphasize the fashionable trend of the bearded Viking: It turns out, that even the publishing house can be in the Viking style. The city is very clean, there are many colors and flags of the Kingdom of Denmark and the United States on the streets: Neat buildings look good both in photographs and in life.   Cultural life There are several museums in the city. One of them is the Vintage Motorcycle Museum. Motorcycle enthusiasts will spend a lot of time here looking at the chrome-plated iron horses: Those who are fascinated by the tales of the famous Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen will be happy to visit a small museum dedicated to his work. The city even has its own statue of the Little Mermaid: it adorns a fountain at the intersection of Mission Drive and Alice Road. Skipping it is quite simple: the size of the statue is half the size of the original set in the Gulf of Copenhagen.   Sausages and pastries But it is not only spiritual food that welcomes the guests of Solvang! If you like juicy and spicy sausages, then restaurants, cafes and bars will be glad to see you. There are many options in the city, how and where to eat for a reasonable price: about 30 restaurants are at guests' disposal! It is not surprising that you may be confused with such a choice. Therefore, hundreds of hungry tourists choose a restaurant with a name that speaks for itself: “Copenhagen Sausage Garden” at 1660 Copenhagen Drive. Fresh meat goes well with beer, which is plentiful for every taste. After a hearty and nutritious dinner, you can enjoy pastries: Danish pastries are famous all over the world. Snail rolls with cinnamon or raisins, braided from puff pastry, are the Danish sweets traditionally eaten with coffee.   Preserving uniqueness Arriving in Solvang, do not waste your time looking for Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee, or other chain coffee shops and fast food establishments. The city does not allow the opening of McDonalds and similar food services, even if they are ready to make a design in the Danish style. Thus, the community helps to maintain a unique atmosphere, and city guests get a unique gastronomic experience. A cheerful mood is set for tired tourists by local coffee houses, each of which tries to surprise sophisticated coffee lovers. Rare varieties of coffee, home-made roasting, fashionable brewing methods: make sure to have a fragrant drink here, taking your time and enjoying the moment. If you do not know what nitro cold-brew or pour over is, the barista will enthusiastically tell you about the intricacies of cooking.   Danish monarchs and Solvang On public signs, an attentive traveler will notice signs of royal regalia, and this is for a reason. In 2011, Solvang solemnly celebrated the centenary of the city, and Prince Consort Henrik, husband of Queen Margrethe, became the guest of honor. Prior to this, members of the Royal Family paid official visits to Solvang three times: in 1939, 1960, 1976.   Wineries and cinema If you like good wine no less than leisurely walks in picturesque places, then a trip to Solvang will become your Mecca. The best wines of the Santa Inez Valley are at your service. But do not hope that you can taste at least a tenth of the local wines during a short trip: there are more than 120 wineries and beautiful vineyards in the valley! A scene from the movie “Sideways” To get the most pleasant experience from wine tastings, before a trip to Solvang, watch the movie “Sideways”. The film premiered in the fall of 2004. The film has received numerous awards, including an Oscar and two Golden Globes. A lyrical comedy intertwined with a road movie tells the story of two middle-aged men and women whom they meet in a week-long wine tasting adventure. Filming was carried out in these places, and although 16 years have passed since the film was released, thousands of tourists are still inspired for travel by it. The wineries of the hospitable region, sincerely shown in the film, were so loved by the audience that the fans made a special online Google map, which marked the location of the shoot. Therefore, if you consider yourself a true connoisseur of wine, add some wonderful locations to your visit plan. You can watch the trailer by clicking on the link.   Route recommendations Solvang is a popular weekend getaway for Los Angeles residents. The distance between cities is less than 200 km, so having left for it in the morning, you can enjoy the Danish atmosphere and go on the return trip in the evening. A visit to Solvang can be combined with a beach holiday: the city is located about halfway between the famous beaches of Santa Barbara and the resort town of Pismo Beach. This city is known for beaches, a colony of monarch butterflies, and wineries. Unlike Solvang, the architecture and lifestyle here are fully consistent with the standards of the West American resort city. The wide pier is a special attraction of the city: the length of the structure is 365 meters. Unlike the piers of Santa Cruz or Santa Monica, there are no stalls or restaurants. Nothing distracts passers-by from walking and enjoying the cool ocean wind. Fishermen make themselves comfortable, enjoying their hobby and a view of the city: If you plan to visit California on September days, make sure to check the timetable on Solvang's official website at https://www.solvangusa.com/. At this time, Solvang celebrates the days of Denmark, holds many cultural events, concerts, exhibitions. We hope that our readers will be able to experience the amazing atmosphere of the city, where Danish and American roots are forever intertwined. Our experienced Travellizy Team will always help you plan your trip in advance!
Inspiration
Travellizy team
4 April 2020 / 6 minutes to read
Dream Machines: How Classic Motor Shows Are Held in California
Are you interested in classic cars? Maybe World War II aircraft? Or are you fascinated by vintage sports cars? What if you see everything in one day, with the addition of an extreme motorcycle show, racing a monster truck, tasting local craft beer and the opportunity to watch 2,000 rare motor vehicles? Here is a brief summary of what the California show “Dream Machines” offers. Travellizy today's material is about an impressive event, not very known to tourists, but very popular in California. The show has been held annually since 1990, and it was canceled only once in 30 years: due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. In the distant nineties, a group of local activists, united in an organizing committee, decided to gather like-minded volunteers in the picturesque town of Half Moon Bay. Since then, locals have been organizing this holiday of mechanics and drive, and all the profits are transferred to the local care center for the elderly. Half Moon Bay, a small town located about forty kilometers from San Francisco, is a popular holiday destination for residents of Bay Area. Beaches, hiking trails, fish restaurants, all kinds of outdoor activities - this is what attracts vacationers here. But if you plan to attend the Dream Cars show, be prepared for the tricks on the road and arrive in advance. 20-25 thousand people usually arrive on the day of the event, so most likely you will have to wait a bit at the entrance to the parking lot. Your patience will be rewarded in full! Even people who are far from automotive topics delightedly examine the cars assembled on a vast territory in a few minutes. To accommodate 2,000 vehicles, the organizers are given a local airfield, and the distances are so large that a free shuttle bus runs through the territory. The chrome parts of hundreds of cars sparkle in the sun, mesmerizing the audience. But the views are moving on to the next luxury cars, of which there are hundreds. Chic classic cars invariably attract the attention of visitors. Leather interiors, polished body and interior parts give a complete impression of the comfort and aesthetic enjoyment of a driver and passenger ride. There are signs on the hoods asking not to touch the cars, but you can take pictures and admire as much as you like. Car owners at this time communicate with other motorists or answer visitors' questions. In the USA, there are a lot of clubs and associations of fans of motor vehicles: this is an automobile nation. The presence of vehicles is the norm and necessity, and buying a classic or vintage car is a call of the soul and an expensive hobby. To maintain the mechanism, which is 60-70 years old, is not easy. Three times a day, all cars driven by the owners emit a dull roar. This is fun and unexpectedly loud, especially if you have chosen a place near a unique car powered by a jet: Those who decide to listen to the roar of the engine are advised to use ear plugs or to move away. The owner of the car hands out several pairs of ear plugs and starts the engine. Well, this is exactly what the public expects: the sound is exactly the same as from a jet plane. Who cares about the engineering component, after demonstrating the sound of the engine, it can examine the entire car in detail, and ask its creator specific questions. Some cars are more like exhibits in the museum: thoughtful individual design, custom-made additional details, a repainted body and a unique interior. This includes an outlandish vampire style car in the photo below. If you imagine that for some reason Dracula needed a truck, then this option undoubtedly corresponded to his expectations as accurately as possible, including a hunchbacked servant awaiting orders: Inside the cabin, you can see an awesome steering wheel depicting a fanged demon and rugs with a Gothic pattern: But not only fiction surprises the guests of the holiday: here you can ask the price of the most unusual and rare vehicles. In the photo below, you can see a custom racing boat. This is a well-deserved veteran: the maximum speed record achieved on this powerful car is 334 km/h. It reached this bar in 400 meters! The boat is not used for its intended purpose now, but it always takes pride of place in parades, exhibitions, demonstrations. To set a world speed record on water is an extremely difficult engineering task, costly and very dangerous for the rider. So if you are interested in buying a rarity, you can bargain with the owner of the boat, knocking down the initial price from 59 thousand dollars to 40-45 thousand. The performance of freestyle motorcyclists is constantly popular with the audience. The level of skill they demonstrate during the 20-minute show provides spectators with a breathtaking surge of adrenaline. What the Fitz Army motocross team does during their performance delights the most sophisticated audience. In 2015, freestylers took part in the TV show “America's Got Talent” and aroused admiration from the public. The jury, including supermodel Heidi Klum and comedian Howie Mandel, applauded the athletes while standing. If you are interested in watching this audition, this video is available on website.  At the end of the performance, motorcyclists ride along the audience so that everyone can clap the palm of a courageous thrill-seeker. Motorcyclists soaring into the sky from springboards are replaced by an air parade. During the days of the festival, the airdrome is hosted by the Liberty military historical community. Volunteers have been buying, repairing, and returning military aircraft (in this case to the sky) for years. During the show, those who wish to personally feel like a military pilot can buy a ticket and ride with the breeze over the surrounding hills. This is not to say that the price of such rare entertainment will suit an ordinary family: a ten-minute flight on the most recognizable American plane of the fortieth R-51 Mustang is estimated at $ 1,195, and only the pilot and tourist will be in the cockpit. But this is not the only flight option, there are other planes with less biting prices. If you are not yet ready to pay impressive amounts for joining military history, you can admire the winged iron dream machines from the ground. Fans of detective investigations will love to see a small parade of old police cars. They slowly drive to their sector before the opening of the exhibition, and take their places. The owners of such cars are often police veterans or members of their families, and there is more than one police story behind each car! The auto show is perfect as a one-day trip for a family with children: without leaving the airport, you can dine at the food court and have fun. Local restaurants and cafes prepare popular dishes, desserts, and experienced brewers offer local craft beer. So that the kids do not get bored, they can actively spend time in the playgrounds. Musicians perform on stage, so you can even dance to popular American music. Gaining strength, the guests again walk along the rows of cars. As we wrote in another article, interest in robotics is growing in the United States. So it is not surprising that you can see how students demonstrate their projects during the exhibition of all kinds of cars. Perhaps, having observed the team of peers controlling robots, your children will want to join this fascinating direction at the intersection of mathematics, engineering, science and technology. Normal-looking guys won more than one robotics competition, and are always happy to tell everyone about their project. Thus, thanks to the organizers of the show, enthusiasts of the most modern mechanisms, lovers of custom cars and admirers of antiquities can meet and chat: All cars that arrived at the event are on the go (with rare exceptions). Therefore, when guests leave the show in the evening, the way home becomes like a children's riddle: “A Buick of 1925 is in front you, a Jaguar of 1974 is behind you, a 1942 bomber is above you. Where are you? The correct answer is: “At the exhibition "Dream Machines"! The organizers rescheduled the event from 2020 to April 2021. We hope you can visit this unique holiday of mechanics and chrome, and our experienced Travellizy Team will help you organize your trip!
Inspiration
Travellizy team
9 March 2020 / 6 minutes to read
Elephant Seals: A Trip To California Coast Giant Predators
The west coast of the United States attracts motorists from all over the world with its picturesque roads along the Pacific Ocean. When travelling along the scenic Highway One, which is about a thousand kilometres long, travellers will find inspiring views, seafood, and the opportunity to see with their own eyes the northern elephant seals. Travellizy will tell you where to see these beautiful animals.    What Do Elephant Seals Look Like And Where Can You See Them In Nature? This is the largest mammal predator that can be observed on the shores of the western coast of the United States without diving into ocean waters and without visiting the aquarium. And even in the aquarium, the elephant seal is a very rare guest. Due to the extremely complex lifestyle and method of reproduction, keeping it in captivity is almost impossible. The elephant seal is a real giant, as the name suggests. Males can reach a length of 4-5 meters and a weight of up to 2.5 tons. Females are also not babies, although they are much inferior to males in size: the length of the body is 2.5-3.6 m and the weight is 400-900 kg. Speaking about males, their nose grows up to 30 cm long, which gives it a resemblance to the land elephant. To make it easier to imagine the power of these animals, just remember that their weight and length are approximately equal to a regular off-road car. In the Pacific Ocean, there is a predator that is larger than the elephant seal in size, it is a killer whale. This ruthless hunter is ten meters long and weights five tons, you wouldn't wish such an enemy on anyone. But the killer whale does not leave the ocean, while elephant seals spend up to 20% of their lives on land. On land, elephant seals look funny and inactive, but in water, despite their enormous weight and size, they behave like real killing machines. They hunt in deep waters, cleverly catching squid, sometimes fish and crustaceans. Diving for food lasts up to two hours, and the depth at which the elephant seals provide themselves with food reaches one and a half kilometres. It is amazing that such a busy rhythm of life and nutrition alternates with interruptions when elephant seals do not eat anything for three to four months. It is at this time when they move to the beaches of the West Coast of the United States, so thousands of nature lovers seek to watch elephant seals. There are two popular places in California where you can do this. They vary in format, but in both cases, you can satisfy your interest in biology.   Ano Nuevo: Winter Excursions The best option for observing elephant seals is a tour of the Año Nuevo Natural Reserve. They don't offer independent walks, so you need to sign up for a guided tour. Tours are carried out only in the winter season from December to March because the beaches will be empty at other times: elephant seals get fat in the water column thousands of kilometres away from California. Having thoroughly eaten, they will move inshore to comfortably accommodate on the Pacific coast. Tours are held daily and they last approximately two hours. If you think that you can just come and buy a ticket, then alas, this does not always work out. Ano Nuevo is a popular local attraction. Many families with children love to come here on weekends, and groups are small. Therefore, if you want to secure your entry ticket at a convenient time for you, you must reserve a place on the park's website in advance. There are almost always tickets on weekdays. Booking for the next season begins in October, but keep in mind that elephant seals will leave the shores of California by the end of March, and instead of thousands of animals you will see a couple of dozen. The tour route is chosen by the volunteer guide. Since sea elephants sometimes block passages, guides constantly inform each other by walkie-talkie about changes. Sea elephants are not considered to be dangerous to humans, but humans are dangerous to them. Due to uncontrolled whalers' catch, these ocean colossi were almost completely eliminated at the end of the 19th century and even declared as extinct. Only the fact that they spend most of their life in the water column saved the species from extinction: a small herd of 100 animals found refuge on an island remote from civilization near California. It is this herd that is the ancestors of all the living descendants, which number is more than 200,000. But scientists continue to take care of the safety of these cute predators: there is a strong possibility, that due to genetic restrictions, they will not survive changes in living conditions or epidemics. During the tour, you can’t get food and drink anything except water. In any place where the group passes, animals can also pass, which means that the ecological cleanliness of the reserve depends on visitors. During the walk, beautiful views open: The behaviour of elephant seals on the beach depends entirely on their biorhythm. Males come in November-December and secure sections of the beaches. What happens here resembles a war zone in an aviary. Militant screams, fights, blood and wounds - this is what the battle for survival looks like. Only the strongest and most courageous males will be able to form their harem, the number of females in which can reach up to a hundred. But groups are usually much smaller. When pregnant females arrive, the beach is already divided. Having looked around, they give birth to charming cubs and feed them for four weeks. They do not hunt mothers at this time, which means they do not eat or drink. Is it hard to become an alpha male? To answer this question, you just need to think a little: only one percent of elephant seals will be able to have a harem and offspring. Many babies will be crushed by nestmates, or they will be washed away by the surf. Some of them will become the feast to predators, but others will not be able to learn how to hunt and die from exhaustion. But even in adulthood, sea elephants are not very happy: most of them will not be able to defeat alpha and will simply swim alone for years. Sad weak males weekly hang around near the beaches, where their more successful nestmates live. Lonely, inactive, they make sluggish attempts to get closer to someone else's harem from time to time. But sensitive mothers immediately begin to yell, attracting the alpha male's attention. He defends his harem, often does not even use physical force: a threatening roar and posture is enough for the loser to crawl to a respectful distance. In winter, it is very windy near the ocean or cold on cloudy days, it may rain as well. The tour is held in any weather, so you should definitely take warm clothes with you, preferably a waterproof jacket or windbreaker. On a rainy day, you will not be allowed to open the umbrella in order not to disturb the animals.   Piedras Blancas: A Large Nesting Area If you are not sure that you are ready to spend 2-2.5 hours familiarizing yourself closely with the nuances of elephant seals' life, but you want to make unusual shots and see them live, then the Piedras Blancas Rookery observation point is at your service. It is located near the small town of San Simeon halfway from San Francisco to Los Angeles. This is a conveniently located platform for observing the giant nesting of elephant seals. Many tourists who visit Hearst Castle come here to observe at the elephant seals, so to speak, without SMS and registration. The entrance to the site and parking is free. And there is definitely something to see: up to 18,000 individuals live on the six-kilometre stretch of coast. They come here throughout the year, but peaks occur in January, April and October. This place is believed to be the most convenient in the world for observing elephant seals: next to the highway, there is a beautiful track, free parking, no entry fees, no need to reserve places.   A Popular Meme: Homunculus Loxodontus, or The One Who Waits A curious fact: a few years ago, Homunculus Loxodontus or The Elephant Man made by the Dutch artist Margaret Van Brefort became a super-popular meme over the Internet. Many people have been fallen in love with this cute fat man, who is humbly waiting near the doctor’s office. As you can see, the elephant seal became his prototype. If you are fond of animals and curious, you will enjoy watching the elephant seal colonies in California. These chubby giants and their cute cubs with big eyes will win your heart forever!