Santa Ynez mission
In the 70’s one of my favourite TV shows was The Rockford Files. As we are driving along Highway 1 through Malibu I think it would be good to visit the location used for Jim Rockford’s trailer home. To be honest when we get there I’m a little disappointed as the parking lot at Paradise Cove looks nothing like it did in the 70’s and you can’t even park there without paying 12 dollars. They let me do a U-turn and I grab a quick picture. The Malibu beachfront also isn’t that special, considering it is some of the most expensive real estate in the world, but as Aussies perhaps we are conditioned to having such great beaches and maybe we didn't find the best of Malibu.
Last night we were staying near San Ynez a town a little way north of Santa Barbara. It has a “Mission” and as we seem to have avoided visiting any of these so far, we think we should visit this one as this might be the last chance before we leave the US. The mission turns out to be in Solvang a “Danish” village that looks more like Denmark than Denmark itself. The
Solvang Danish village
village has a bit of a theme park feel including an imitation Little Mermaid outside a burger shop and it’s packed with tour groups but it’s a bit different I suppose. Up the road Los Olivos is really just a collection of wine tasting rooms catering for weekend trips out of LA but as the lady at the tourist office tells me it’s also where Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch is. We find the ranch entrance but there is no signage or anything here to indicate its history and the main buildings are hidden behind a ridge some distance back from the entrance gateway so there isn’t much to see. I believe the ranch is up for sale and has been for some time at a highly inflated price.
We’re keen to do a hike and the tourist office suggests a walk to the Whispering Caves down by the coast, the trailhead is at a small cove with an impressive iron railway bridge. After a short but steep climb we reach the lower of the 2 caves, the higher caves are a little further up the trail but quite hard to enter.
After Malibu we keep driving south to
Solvang Little Mermaid
the outskirts of LA. It’s our last day in the rv and though we don’t want to see much of LA, we do take a diversion through the Hollywood area. We drive down Santa Monica Boulevard and as much by luck as anything else find ourselves in Hollywood. We catch a glimpse of the Hollywood sign on the hills before I take a wrong turn and am funnelled out onto the freeway. We end up in Burbank where the film studios are before we find the way back out to the traffic jam of the San Diego freeway.
Our final night is at an rv park right on the LA beach and virtually at the end of the LAX runway. It doesn’t sound great but is actually not too bad, even if planes are taking off through the night. We need to drop off the rv at Long Beach by 11am tomorrow which is about 20 miles away, and even that short distance could take us an hour or more in the crazy LA traffic.
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