Planes, trains and automobiles!
Trip Start Apr 06, 2010
89Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
We got nice seats on the train...upper deck, loads of leg room, double window etc
The views from the train for the entire journey were amazing, ranging from lakes, mountains, forests, and rivers, to sand dunes and beaches. For one stretch of the journey in south California the train ran alongside the coast on a track perched on the cliff edge, and we could see dolphins, seals and surfers all without having to move from our seat. We arrived at Union Station in Los Angeles half an hour early at 8.30pm, jumped in a cab (didn't fancy walking around dark and deserted downtown L.A at this time of night with all our stuff) and headed for our japenese hotel in Little Tokyo
Our last morning in America was spent on Olvera street (L.A's oldest street lined with market stalls, cafes and original colonial buildings) and eating burritos from a mexican street cafe. After lunch we caught the bus to Venice where we had booked a night in a hostel right on the beach. From the bus we could just about make out the Hollywood Hills and wished we had a little bit more time here as it seemed much nicer than people suggested it would be. Like every place we had visited in the states, the people were very friendly towards us and couldn't have been more helpful when it came to kicking us off the bus at the right stop over an hour later and pointing us in the direction of our hostel. It was an overcast cloudy afternoon and unfortunately the stereotypical muscle beach was pretty much deserted apart from a few market stalls along the boardwalk. In true american style we had our last meal at Danny's Diner (could be the last meal for a long time where beef means beef, not horse). Even in the last couple of days it had hit us that we no longer have a car to carry the load and before we called it a night we tried our best to slim down the backpacks ready for our flight to Guatemala tomorrow
We had to change buses a couple of times to get us to the airport the next morning, but it was worth it to pay $1.25 each rather than the $22 each that the hostel shuttle bus wanted. The first leg of the flight went pretty smoothly until we began to land in Dallas, which is where we had to take our connecting flight to Guatemala City. Hurricane Alex was beginning to stir up some really bad weather in this part of Texas, and we were held in the air for half an hour or so before we could land. This wouldn't normally be a problem, but we only had 50 minutes as it was to catch our connecting flight, and we were still in the air just 10 minutes before the next flight took off. Panic stations set in and we legged it off plane number 1 and sprinted through the terminal to find out that the next flight was from a different terminal altogether, reached by the slowest monorail transit in the world. Completely out of breathe, we reached our gate 5 minutes after scheduled departure time and were blessed with the news that the flight was an hour delayed and we would be going to Central America this afternoon after all.