Friday, August 17


It's easy to forget that the Sierra Nevada mountains were once gold rush territory. Therefore we shouldn't have been surprised to discover the wild west charm of Groveland, tonight's hotel stop. We're staying in the delightful Charlotte Hotel, a two-storey wooden structure with a classic roadside verandah. The building is beautifully maintained and has obligatory creaking pine floor boards.

The hotel sits just across the road from the Iron Door Saloon, reputedly the oldest continually trading saloon in California. It's one of a number of carefully restored buildings that line the narrow main street. To call Groveland charming is an understatement. Furthermore, despite its tiny size there appear several quality dining options available. Our hotel even has its own restaurant with a rather tasty menu. I think we'll be dining in this evening.

The Charlotte Hotel was built in 1921 by Charlotte DeFerrari, a feisty miner's widow. I overheard the staff telling one guest that people claim to have seen her ghost, most often in Room 6. We're across the hall in Room 9 so hopefully we'll sleep undisturbed tonight.

Groveland has been an unexpected gem. I found this town and our hotel via a random online search. If you're heading towards Yosemite, stay a night at the Chalotte Hotel.

UPDATE: 9.00pm
We've just finished dinner. Without a doubt it was one of the best meals we've had on the road in the USA, if not worldwide. When we went to offer our compliments to the chef we discovered he was the hotel's owner. Doug and his wife, Jenn, bought the complex last year. The owner is a local boy who trained as a chef then sailed the world working as a private chef on the yachts of billionaires.

PS: Did I mention Charlotte Hotel has the fastest wi-fi connection we've ever encountered on the road? This hotel just gets better and better.

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