LA could be the more industrial suburbs of Perth it is so similar. But the weird thing about driving here is that so far on the freeways etc. it actually reminds me more of Jordan due to some strange trick of muscle memory (driving on the right side of the road)!
Well after I woke up this morning in the Venice Beach hostel I had left over Chinese for breakfast, which was starting to taste pretty funky. While I ate I had a look on the computer at the trip ahead, scanning north along the coastal highway for about half an hour, and then I zoomed out and saw I was less than 1/4 of the way to San Fran! So abandoned the idea, and closed the lid. Was going to be a long trip man.
I thought about the trip ahead, and started to think it was a stupid idea. Whats this travelling alone business? How am I going to have any fun? Well, it would be better to have company, but I didn’t, I was travelling solo, on my way back from a tiny island called Statia to Australia, maybe to only one this year to make that obscure trip! So I made myself a pact. I was going to approach at least one random person everyday and try to get into an interesting, not superficial, conversation!
So I got my ass up and checked out, and rode the LA public transport system to Inglewood. I must have walked for a full hour through Inglewood to get to the van place, saw a few interesting characters, including one Vietnam vet who I spoke to for abit. He was sitting by a “gas station” hiring his bicycle out to people it seemed, holding up a garbled sign on cardboard. Supposed to be a pretty wild neighbourhood that Inglewood, but Im pleased to report that wide eyed Staf didnt get into any trouble.
Got to the campervan place finally, and walked in. Said hello to a couple of fellas sitting there, and they assumed that I was there to do some spraypainting of a van! I wish I had played along, and just gone and painted one in retrospect, I wonder if I could have got away with it. Or rather, how long I could have got away with it for before they wondered what all the kangaroos were about…
So inside, and the guys are super friendly, and even have an Aussie Rules football sitting there in the office! Had a long chat, boasted a bit about my van, and I think I actually made the guy a little nervous that I was going to set up in competition to him! At any rate, he said that he hoped that that was not my plan, and begrudgingly let me leave with one of his vans hehehe…
But wasn’t my plan at all, and I set the trip meter running and hit the road back to the Venice Beach hostel to pick up my pack. The place was called the Venice Beach Cotel by the way, highly recommend it, but it was time for me to move on.
Got my shit together, and then screwed around, heading out of LA, then back to find a supermarket, being unsuccessful and only finding a 7 Eleven, and then getting sick of the city and just heading out north anyway! I had me some water, some snacks, and a footlong subway
Was really nice to clear the city and look back on it.
Got up to Malibu, just north of LA, and made a couple of stops. First to buy Rum, which was a full SEVEN TIMES more expensive than on Statia! Then to chill on the beach and have a swim.
Malibu was nice man, just out of LA, and then you are out close to nature already. What I like about it was that in LA, almost everything about the environment was man made, and then here, it was just a narrow strip of man made corridor, with beach to the left and hills to the right!
Went a bit further north and the afternoon sun was down so low as to be damn well blinding to drive into. So I stopped again, this time to watch the sun go down.
Well, after the sun went down I kinda got in a driving mood, and even though I was missing seeing some of the coast by day, I just couldn’t stop and headed on. After all, I was supposed to make Frisco by tomorrow, according to my rough schedule!
But schedules are made to be broken. Especially since living in the Caribbean, Im totally hopeless now at sticking to anything! But I powered on and made good progress.I wondered where I got this phrase trying to “make Frisco”, sounds pretty stupid I guess, but I have now figured it out, its straight outta Kerouac!
See, the whole point of the trip was to drive Highway 1, otherwise knows as The Pacific Coast Highway. Supposed to follow the coast! The highway followed the coast of California for the most part, but I was disappointed to shave to follow its deviating inland,, having to drive the “101” instead for a big section, driving through some terribly ugly sprawling city called Oxnard, full of fast food joints and poor Mexicans. But I stuck to the signs, and pushed on towards my goal, Frisco, shooting photos out the window and trying to stay on the damn right hand side of the road.
Finally the 101 let me back onto the Highway 1, and I figured it was a good enough time for a stop. So in a little nook under a freeway bridge, somewhere between Ventura and Santa Barbara’ I pulled in a cooked up a feed. This was actually a camping spot they recko ned, and signs abounded wanted me to pay $30 to stay for the night, but I just had my feed and pushed on, looking for a little less regimented spot to snooze.
Stay tuned for a full revelation of the van’s paintjob!