Overland miles: 127 Tacocount: 0 Days without Tea: 0
So I thought it was about time I wrote something about the travelling side of things seeing as that’s the main purpose of this trip, much as Jovian plans to (and will) eat his way through the continent.
First stop was LA where we were lucky enough to stay with a friend’s sister (thanks to Paula for sorting that out). However, despite being locals in one sense, and staying in a hip condo in the west of the city (basically a flat that you own versus one you rent), we weren’t locals with a car which makes LA an even bigger place. Luckily for us , our host Avghi, lived near what she described as a major bus intersection. On further investigation this turned out to be six bus stands behind a mall with buses leaving every 15 minutes – for two hardened Londoners who get impatient if a bus or tube doesn’t turn up within two minutes, you can imagine how frustrating this was. But as it was the only way we were going to see anything without spending all our money on taxis, we stoically made our way to Venice Beach for some people watching.
Two buses and an hour later, we were on the strip only to discover it wasn’t quite like they showed on Baywatch… Rather than glamorous bronzed bodies we were mingling with wobbly novice rollerbladers fighting for space amongst American tourists on rental bikes. Still, it was good people watching fodder, mostly because we got to laugh at the locals weaving in and out of the crowds on their Segways – yes people really do own Segways over here.
Saturday was our second epic bus journey, this time to the Mexican border town of Tijuana. It was also the day Jovian’s romantic notions of travelling on a Greyhound bus were rudely quashed. First of all, the greyhound terminal, as all the people we’d met in LA had warned us, was ‘on the wrong side of town’, in fact, it was in an area known as skid row because it’s so dodgy. The bus was not the shiny silver machine shown on the Greyhound website, but a ramshackle old charabanc that smelt of chemical toilet, and we were sitting next to a girl that had just got out of federal prison for transporting illegal immigrants over the Mexican border. It made a journey on the UK’s Megabus seem like a first class trip on the Orient Express. All this transpired to make it quite an interesting journey and suffice to say, we now know more than we ever wanted to about life in a US prison.
I won’t waste time writing about Tijuana, only to say if you like the sound of clubs that play loud Mexican pop music at ear – splittlingly high decibel levels, bars that serve weak beer by the litre, and motels that charge by the hour then it’s the place for you!
After making a speedy exit from Tijuana, we’re now heading south in search of fish tacos and Baja California’s famous beaches…