Published: April 7th 2008March 8th 2008
One night in LA
My good pal Daymo came over from London to meet me in LA and we finally met after Daymo got through a very sluggish immigration queue. Jet-lagged, tired after the long flights from the UK and Fiji, with no guide book and no plan except to head to San Diego at some point, it took us a while to get organised, plus, of course, we had to have a couple of beers for old times' sake. It was rush-hour in LA so we didn't want to travel too far and I was running short on funds and so wanted to stay somewhere cheap, so we plumped for the backpackers paradise that is the Tradewinds Adventurer in Inglewood, home town of Jules Winnfield; Samuel L. Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction.
We weren't expecting much, but the place was amazing for the money. We had free champagne on arrival, a large twin room with two double beds, and pretty good food in large portions. There was even a heated swimming pool. The only downside was that we were advised by a couple of locals not to leave the complex after dark. One guy had recently been mugged at
Daymo prepares to eat pancakes
The Adventurer, Inglewood, CA.
gun-point upon stepping out of the place. It was no hardship as the lovely Katie, behind the bar, kept the beers flowing.
Pacific Beach - San Diego
Daymo was in need of some sun, so the next day, we loaded up on pancakes, caught the bus to the smart Union Station and then caught the train to San Diego. I was impressed by the comfort of the seats on the train and the view of the coast as we headed south. A couple of hours later we were in San Diego. Daymo's an expert on the area and knew that Pacific Beach, almost as chilled out as Fiji, was the place to head for. He'd also found us a top notch place to stay, just back from the golden beach and a few minutes walk from Kono's Surf Club.
Kono's Surf Club
There's not much surfing going on at Kono's, but there's a hell of a lot of eating. The breakfasts served here are legendary and Daymo and I weren't holding back. My second attempt at being a vegetarian went out of the window the morning I forgot to say "no bacon" when ordering the Breakfast No.1. Man,
Surpringly excellent budget place to stay. Inglewood, CA
it was good: pancakes, syrup, eggs, toast, a muffin, potatoes and bacon, all for just six bucks or so. We went there every day we in were in PB, sometimes queueing with the locals for what seemed like hours, watching the PB characters (the guy who does lunges and sings rock songs at the same time, the older fella who does ballet moves on his blades etc) wander the board-walk.
The highlight for both of us was the two days we spent riding Harley Davidson Fat Boys. We toured the desert and mountains towards Palm Springs. For the most part, the roads were twisty and it was great fun leaning the hogs from one great vista to another. It was hard work, though, and by the time we reached Desert Palms at the end of the first day we were both shattered and had gone deaf.
The second day we spent a more time than we wanted on freeway. It was still fun, but very cold as we belted along the eight-lane monstrosities.
End of the trip
All too soon it was time to head back to the UK, but it felt right, I'd missed my
San Diego, CA
friends and family, the sophistication of Europe and was running low on cash. I'd had a fantastic year.
There are more photos below