The West Coast Rules!!

Trip Start Jun 01, 2008
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, July 14, 2008

So I'm here in Hollywood, LA after getting off my 7 day tour with the green tortoise this morning. To say I had a good time is the biggest understatement ever. Although no Colin Farrell to be found yet. Damn him!!

The morning they picked us up a big group of us sat on the pavements of Broadway and waited until the big green bus rolled up and we all hearded down and then onto the bus where we met the drivers, one who is terrifyingly like Keith Richards lovely but definitely not the full shilling like! The other driver was also really lovely! Certainly helps make for a promising trip!

The first day we got on the bus and because Big Sur is on fire we had a change of route and headed to a path up to the red wood forest (the bit that isn't burning) and hiked up into the forest and checked out the stupidly big trees!) After this it was straight to santa cruz and into the California sunshine. We took a walk through the streets and then onto the boardwalk where there is a permanent fun fair so we checked that out and after a while headed back to the bus for a short drive to cannery row where we took a walk on the beach saw some sea otters just floating around, and got beer supplies for the night. Back to the bus, our beloved new home and along to a beach for dinner and a few drinks and of course (because there're one everywhere) some mental guy gatecrashing giving out random magazines, talking about pilgramidges and then trying to sell everyone drugs. Funny!! We sat out on the beach till pretty late and a mist descended and it was actually really cool to just listen to the waves through the darkness and get to know everyone better. Some seriously cool people on the bus!

At about 1 am we set off and after the drivers doing 'the miracle' ie turning the whole bus into a giant bed we drove through the night and very nearly into a gate that was plonked in the middle of a long stretch of road to shut it off?! For some reason me and a guy on the bus found this hilarious and week long giggles began!

We woke up the next day in a beach carpark and found the beach to be a habitat for sea elephants who lazed around getting fatter then wobbles up and down the beach, only a few shuffles at a time before a nap (I'm being reincarnated as one!)

Pretty amazing sight to have breakfast to! After this it wa back on the bus for a drive to montery bay where we spent a few hours checking out the beach and the pier and the cool views, oh and the pelican that was completely unphased by humans and just waddled around aimlessly! After lunch we drove to our campsite for the night which was right across from the pacific so we piled down to the beech, some of the braver (or more stupid) people went in, the screams made me happy it was only my feet getting wet, it was freezing!! The sun set over the ocean was amazing to say the least and as the sun went down we headed back to the campsite and had dinner and made a fire and sat around getting pretty drunk and having good old fashioned drunken meaning of life conversations until the early hours. Me and two others decided to sleep outside, despite the rain (I'm sure the beer had something to do with it!) and we got tucked up in our sleeping bags and had the best sleep I've had in ages. Absolute bliss, just the waves in the background and the sea air!

Waking up outside was great and we all got up and pitched in made brekky ate and then we headed on out back on the bus and along the pacific coast highway, ready and armed for a long drive to Hollywood! We hit the walk of fame and proceeded to find a star for someone called Spanky MacFarland... seriously what were his parents thinking? So we wondered around took some photos went up to see the Hollywood sign and then after that avoiding the terrifying 'lookalikes' and I use the term loosely. (There was a wonderwoman I'm sure was a man!!) Anyway we went back to the bus got checked in at the hostel. I was very happy to find the man on the desk at mine was neck to toe in tattoos, and needless to say very very hot!

We headed to Venice beach where the boiling hot sunshine was out and ready to expose a not so horrible truth... Baywatch lied!! Seriously all the female lifeguards were very very average, not a silicone implant in sight! The male ones however... HOT!!! David Hasslehoff, your crown has gone!! I planted myself for some sunbathing and sight seeing near a very hot one and soaked up the venice beach sun before checking out the board walk and avoiding the rubbish street performers and the 1000 shit tattoo shops!

The sun started to head down so I headed home for some chill time and got ready for an early start back on the bus. Many a hangover greeted me so our drive out through the desert was littered with sleeping bodies everywhere.

I had forgotten how much I love the desert and the drive out there was amazing, the flat plains and huge mountains for some reason just fill me with joy. Stunning landscapes! We rocked up into Joshua tree national park a few hours later and got out into the desert heat which was accurately described to us as 'hotter than hell'. Anyway in the park there are huge rocks that through volcanic eruptions emerged fully formed from underground and they are huge. Factor 45, hats and water and we all head out to go scrambling across the rocks and along a path to skull rock for more climbing and views. It only lasted so long before we headed for the air con of the bus and onto another hiking point through hidden valley. Again it was super hot but it was pretty amazing to find this big valley hidden behind these huge rocks!!

We walked around and retreated to the shade after and hung out talking before heading to our campsite to make pizza out there (seriously the driver is a genius of a cook!) and we ate out on the rocks watching the sunset with some beers and the darkness descended but we carried on wandering around, I took the decision not to ask about spiders and assumed ignorance was bliss. I had an encounter with something big and black running past which lead me to scream and flail and run but it turned out to be a mouse - I mean they look so much like spiders!! What and idiot honestly!!

Anyway a campfire was soon underway and we were drinking around it before I headed out to stare at the royal blue sky and see amazing clouds and stars. A thunderstorm broke out so we all piled onto the bus and then after he rain passed we went back out to watch the lightning that went on forever! I don't think theres anywhere else in the world you could see something like that. I don't think I'll forget it my whole life.

After a good chat around the fire with my new and fascinating friend the driver a few more people showed up and bed time was upon us. I stayed awake all night really and just stared at the sky in marvel!

Waking up the next day it thankfully wasn't so hot and after getting completely cleaned up and the bus packed we set off from our last camp night and headed along route 66 (I was stupidly excited as we all were) We all ended up in the middle of the road like a bunch of tourists with the staff of roys garage staring in despair!! (we tragically did not find Roy himself!)

It was a pretty long drive but it was cool, everyone was so hyped about vegas, that was until our bus broke down in the middle of the road!! Classic, anyway to cut a long story short, 1st gear for as long as possible, several battery restarts and then a cab ride we got to our hostel and got ready to hit the strip. We caught the bellagio fountains headed to harrahs, caesers and the bellagio and got back around 3:30 am, an hour and a half later we're up ready for the bus. The retarded staff at the hostel declined to pass on the message that we could have stayed in bed a couple of hours more. I was devastated, not to mention rough!

Our driver showed up minus the bus and with a coach and a driver called Javier! Queue a day of snoozing and then the recounting of every episode of the office ever made and hysterical giggling! That was until we got to zion national park which ascended around us as we approached and drove through the cutest shops in Utah. We were soon in the park and with the sun and my hangover I decided to go to an easy viewing point, however I think I was sleep deprived and decided this would be bottling it so I headed to the most difficult hike there was and went up. About half way I thought I was about to die!! But I made it and it was worth every moment of exhaustion, the view over the canyons and mountains was indescribable.

I walked back down which was decidedly easier than up and went down to the lake for a while and cooled down from the sun before meeting up with some people and then headed back to the coach where we picked up some new people and I said bye to a load of people who were carrying on. A long and absolutely stunning drive through the Colorado and Mojave deserts as the sun set and Tom McCrae singing to me was bliss in the highest level. I never wanted it to end. I did however want to end the life of the two filthy fucking hippy women we picked up. One of whom hadn't shaved either her armpits of legs for a good few decades and the other of whom sang for three hours solid. Much despair was amongst the bus. But I ignored and watched the landscape for every second of the drive back to vegas.

We switched back to a tortoise bus, this one however was from the 70s ie no air con and the middle of Nevada!! Mmm comfy!! We had a few hours in vegas and went to circus circus, with no mescaline available it was uneventful but air conditioned!!

A drive through the night and a bemused bunch of truckers as at about 3 am we all rolled into a gas station for the toilet in our pjamamas and bleary eyed!

I was soon back here in LA - which is actually despite all accounts pretty damn cool!!

Saying bye to my lovely drivers sucked so so much, but after a suggestion, a promise, and no arm twisting I'm back on the bus in 12 days for a 2 week journey!! Woop woop!! The east coast is being ignored because the west coast is to go completely yank "where it's at." I love it here! So tomorrow I head out down to san diego to meet some drinking buddies from san fran and to really begin the countdown to batman. Life is good!!
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