Awake at 5.30 am again, some jam on toast then once the lights were fitted to the bicycles we were away. Many thanks to Tom and Nancy for the time we have spent with you, you have been very kind and generous.
It was only a very short ride to the station and at 6.55 am the train left on time. This train was not as luxurious as the last one, more like the normal trains back in the UK.
We had the whole of the top deck of one carriage to ourselves for half of the journey. This service is called the Surfliner, it follows the coastline back down to San Diego if you stop on it. What was really nice was seeing all the towns, beaches and cycleways we had spent 4 weeks cycling along and through from the train. There was a lot of “oooh look do you remember …….” the train even went through a number of the campgrounds we stopped at.
With the sea to our right and a glorious sunny day giving vivid blue seas the views were outstanding. It does make you sad to be slowly travelling towards the end of the journey.
After 6 hours we arrived at Union Station in Los Angeles, this is very close to downtown and not too far from Thuan’s house. Setting off uphill (and it is always so!) The road eventually became Sunset Boulevard (yes the actual one) and Thuan’s house is up a steep hill just off Sunset.
We received a warm welcome and shown our room for the 5 days we will be stopping here. An unpack and shower was the next priority after which Thuan walked with us down to the supermarket, Vons in this case. We have accumulated quite a number of store cards during our time here, unlike home they are just used for you to access a discounted price, no card = full price.
Once back we went to downtown Los Angeles to a Bicycle Collective meeting. We caught a bus from Sunset directly into downtown for the flat rate fare of $1.75 here (the lowest priced city so far). The meeting included a tee shirt, some food (tacos of course), a drink and a nice book on cycle routes in Los Angeles. It was a general get together of the many bicycle clubs that exist in Los Angeles.
We reversed our route back to Thuan’s house where we sat a while had a drink and ate some more, we are slowly putting weight back on as we are not cycling now!
Thursday 8th December and Hollywood beckons. It is off to see the walk of stars today along Hollywood Boulevard. As we are right on Sunset, Hollywood is only two blocks away, but Sunset is a very very long road. After a 6 mile walk we arrived at Hollywood Boulevard. Along Sunset we passed through some lovely areas and some not so lovely to areas, and as always lots of homeless.
There is also a lot of Scientology here, many stars follow this “church” (cult?), the one thing I know for sure is that it has a huge amount of money at it’s disposal.
We passed the home of Capitol Record, a number of film company headquarters no doubt the destination of many people looking for fame and fortune (I have booked in Janet for several castings already!).
There was even some filming going on in the streets, a police escort closing off part of the road. Nobody we knew though, there must be more low budget films made here now than the Hollywood blockbusters.
And of course we saw the HOLLYWOOD sign in the distance.
At the walk of fame every star you could think of had one, including Donald Duck and Donald Trump (although his had been defaced). We encounted dozens of lookalikes where for a donation you can take a picture of them, people “giving” their dvd or music cd away for a donation etc etc.
There was a complete block closed off as they were preparing for the world premiere of Star Wars Rogue 1 on saturday. The red carpet was already there along with a full size X-Wing fighter all very impressive.
We walked up as far as the famous Chinese Theatre where we sat and had a coffee.
It was now 4.30 pm and rush hour, Los Angeles has the slowest traffic ever, as we sat on the bus being passed by people walking faster than we were travelling!
Food tonight was the 5th food group, pizza and some ice cream to finish.