Sodom, Gomorrah and LA.
As you can tell by the heading I'm not a great fan of cities. What God created is so much more inspiring than what his image has brought about (Hearst didn't do bad though) We woke to an amazing sun rise packed up and set off down the 1 to Pismo Beach where we stopped for coffee at the 'Rock and Roll Diner' which was inside a couple of old railway carriages. Feeling refreshed by the atmosphere we rejoined the 1 then the 101 past Santa Barbara towards our stopping point for the night, Topanga State park which, according to the literature had camping. We spent at least an hour driving around the park to different entrances looking for camping but found none and in the end started looking for a motel. The first ones we came across were $200 a night so with the help of gertie the trusted GPS we contacted Motel 6 and got a room in between the interstate and and the main runway of LA Lax airport for $65 + tax. Had a terrible fast food meal across the road before engaging earplugs for a restful night. We had brought cereal and milk for breakfast but found the cereal was stale and the milk was off which was a good start. Where do you visit in LA? We plummed for Long beach, Beverly hills and Hollywood so setting off on the six lane 405 interstate. We headed the 20 old miles through sprawling sprawl and mad drivers to Long beach before going to see a rather sorry looking Queen Mary flanked by an even sorrier looking Soviet Submarine. On through the port passed demonstrates who didn't have anywhere to escape too living as they were by an oil storage dump, to a rather nice lunch spot at the Kenneth Hahn Park Glen Moore Lake. The very nice lady on the gate let us in free as the usual fee is $6 a day. Met Mark and Matt at a Starbucks stop who invited us back for the night but we (I) were in a 'get out of town quick' mode so we declined, but they suggested we go to the Griffith Observatory, so we looked at a few big houses in Beverley Hills and drove through Hollywood on our way there. Jill was very struck by the poverty, homelessness and dirt of the city, I was trying not to be struck by the mad drivers who at least turned on their indicators while along side you to let you know they were going to cut you up. By this time I was suffering from the ' Interstateal highway blues', (verses later) but as we climbed the hill towards the observatory at least the view got better. There was a statue to James Dean who made the observatory famous in 'Rebel without a cause', Good views of the Hollywood sign, and views of the city with the ocean which we were told was very rare as the smog usually stops you seeing that far. The observatory had a 12” Zeiss refracting telescope which looked quite impressive. With one more view of the city looking east we headed back into the mayhem to late to find a camp site, and finding the Motel 6 in Hollywood rather expensive at $85+tax headed east to another Motel 6 that was only $56 +tax situated by the Interstate 60.