All the leaves are brown…

Not strictly true, in fact all the leaves are green, but I thought I’d continue with the song lyric titles. Anyone who knows any songs about Fiji let me know, we fly there tonight.
Right, California.
First stop was LA. Our transfer dropped us at about midnight at the Holiday Inn in Santa Monica only to be told that the chap from STA had somewhat misguided us. ‘HI’ didn’t stand for Holiday Inn, it in fact stood for Hostelling International. Luckily, the hostel was only a short walk down the road. Off we set, only to walk straight through a film set – stage lighting, directors chairs, boom mikes, the works. All kind of weird and a bit cliched. Was this really what LA was like?
Got to the hostel to find that they had no knowledge of our booking either, and that we had to sleep in the movie room for the night. Thankfully the desk assistant Cortez (who looked and spoke like the tranny out of Baz Luhrmanns Romeo and Juliet) organised a room for us while we were asleep.
Got up the next morning, wandered around Santa Monica, down onto the beach where Baywatch is set. Hired these chopper pedal trikes and ragged them up and down the promenade. I lived up to my nickname of ‘Blunders’ by trying to turn and running some californian woman off the path and into the sand where she came to an abrupt halt. She wasn’t happy.
Next day we went to Hollywood. Took the obligatory photo of the sign and walked up and down Hollywood Boulevard looking at the stars named. Only recognised about 1 in 5 names, but took the time to jump up and down, stamping on Phil Collins. Made me feel quite good. I’d recommend it to anyone.
I also had my photo taken with a Jimi Hendrix lookalike. Hollywood kind of sucks to tell the truth. It’s all a bit tacky. You’d call it a tourist trap but theres not enough there to trap you. Ended up leaving after about two hours.
Onto San Francisco. We have been staying in another Hostelling International site, this one on Fort Mason, an old Army Barracks.
It backs out onto the bay and has awesome views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. There are parrots in the trees. Parrots!!

Went to Alcatraz the day before yesterday. We paid about 20 dollars to go and got the ferry trip and a guided tour thrown in. Its quite cool and worth doing, all slightly eerie and they give you a bit of history of the island. For example, I wasn’t aware that the Native Americans reclaimed it after the prison closed, and molotov cocktailed the coastguard when he tried to get on. Interesting tour.
Yesterday we got the bus to the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge and walked across it. A worthwhile activity and free to boot. Stupidly windy though, but you get great views of the city and the bay from the other side.
When we got across we realised the only way back was to walk double the distance to the ferry terminal, or turn round and walk back. It’s a mile and a half long that bridge. We turned round. My feet hurt now.
Whilst walking to a bar last night we saw a skunk. I didn’t even know they had them here. Funny thing was it was right next to a black and white cat. I half expected to see a road marking van drive over the cat and leave a white streak across it’s back. C’est L’Amour ne’c’est pas?

Anyway, our time is up in California and the States as a whole. Next stop is Fiji. To be honest I’m quite looking forward to being able to put my feet up and relax for a bit, because we’ve jammed a whole lot of stuff into not much time and it’s been good, but tiring. Will update from there anyway.


Whether you’re a newbie traveller looking for help or a backpacking veteran with words of wisdom to share, our community is waiting for you.

Join the Community
[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]