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Published: September 8th 2013
I had always believed Venice Beach was a place full of posers, muscle men, roller blade skaters etc and so I persuaded the other 3 that it would be a good place to spend Saturday people watching and for a spot of sunbathing. as it was only 4 miles away.
We chose to eat breakfast outside on the porch this morning it was a beautiful day... quick catch up with news from home and into a cab with our beach towels ready to see what it had to offer.
Each day we meet new guests at The Channel Rd Inn and have spent lots of time drinking wine chatting and getting to know some lovely people from all over America. They have all been so friendly and seem interested in our home life back in the Uk I will miss our five o'clock chats
Anyway, the taxi driver told us he would go to Venice Beach during the day happily but wouldn't go at night as it was a hot bed of drugs which slightly altered my view of what to expect.
He dropped us right in the heart of the Venice Beach "strip" outside a bike
hire shop, it was busy and there were lots of guys just hanging around we were quickly approached by a guy who wanted to shake our hands ask our names and said he worked for the tourism department and showed us where everything was.. before starting to tell us about the world AIDS problems and asking us for a donation.. you just can't go anywhere without someone wanting money from you and after a while it starts to annoy you.
Another guy and another walked over with begging slogans..I need bacon.. or Anything helps.. or something similar..people in costumes with card saying no free photos.. just all homeless and desperate for money. I saw a woman with her head shaved skinny and dirty wearing a full length ball gown washing her clothes in the sink of the outside public toilets, a guy dressed head to toe in indian style with a wolf fur headpiece, another guy walking along in a dressing gown, and another wrapped in a double sized duvet trailing it behind him...
Jackie hated it, at one stage she wanted to wash her hands and I showed her the outside sink, ...unbeknown to me. (honestly). it
wasn't a sink but a shower and as she pressed the tap the shower above her head let out a jet of cold water! thankfully she jumped out of the way in time Martin & Mike laughed their socks off, .....It clearly wasn't her day ...in the taxi on the way there the driver turned on the aircon for us and the air jet was not were you would expect, Jackie was sat in between Mike and I and it made her eyes flash momentarily...cracked me up...
We walked past Muscle Beach... not a ripped muscle in sight just a couple of little guys fully clothed doing curls.. Nathan would have looked supreme .. no competition here Nath..nada..
There were lots of guys playing basket ball and a tennis tournament was in progress, shops selling T shirts and tat lined the strip..most surprisingly there were at least two shops advertising marijuana for sale.. prescribed by the doctors within!.
We didn't like it much and headed to the beach which in contrast was lovely.. we found a nice spot and watched the surfers catching the waves and the kids learning to surf.. paragliders in the sky and ladies
walking past as you bathed in the heat selling freshly cut fruits calling Mango Mango..
A lady was practising her yoga just over Martin's shoulder and put her body in the most unusual positions which you really don't expect to see when you suddenly look up from your pillow.. she had no inhibitions and Martin made me laugh when he said she had reminded him he needed to park his bike!... some sights are best left at home
We stayed for a bit longer then left in a cab back to Santa Monica which we thought was a bit nicer to buy some lunch I was amazed to see yet more sleeping bodies under trees or walking aimlessly with their world in a hand truck. A woman about my age normally dressed joined the many reaching in the bins for plastic bottles which they drag around in huge bags, they must get paid for them, but the woman reached in and took out a few bottles, one had an inch or so of water in and she proceeded to drink from it .... yet another moment when I thank God for my life.
Jackie and Mike went
to subway but Martin wanted more than a sandwich so we found Macckie D's . We ate our burgers and just as we were leaving a family carrying a very small child in a car seat came in, I was horrified to see the Mum looking really scruffy her sagging tummy hanging under her dirty short T shirt and her eyes completely glazed over .. I have watched with empathy the many homeless we have seen during our trip but this disturbed me, thankfully the man looked ok.
Time to go back to the hotel.. it was nearly five and we wanted to be back in our comfort zone, the sunny porch, some sweet Californian wine an some nice company.
Martin and I ate at the grill across from the hotel and Mike took Jackie for an Italian, time to pack before bed...VEGAS tomorrow... I am sooo looking forward to it
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