Oh we had a tapper on the plane. For those of you who aren't familiar with the plane tapper it is a person who is sitting behind you and finds it necessary to pull as hard as they can on your head rest everytime they need to haul their bodies out of their seat, and a particularly bad tapper is one who does this same motion whenever they need to re-adjust themselves in their seat
. A tapper usually combines this annoying habit with frequent bumps and kicks into the back of your seat while they rearrange themselves or get an item from the holding net behind the seat.
We headed down to Venice Beach and stayed at a hostal there while we decided what we were going to do now since both plans seemed to be out of the question.
There were no double rooms available so in we went to the dorm room where we met Russell.
For those of you who arn't familiar with sleeping in dorm rooms let me explain the Russell. A person that waits until everyone in the room has just managed to get to sleep amidst the snores and other unsavory sounds before entering and turning the light on, pulling their backpack to pieces and russeling through it, then the sleeping bag comes out, zip, unzip, zip again, then the bathroom ritual, in out, in out (each time door slams, light on, light off) then a cell phone call may be made, obviously long distance from the volume of the voice. Eventually silence after a few more russels are made BUT then Russell awakes long before anyone else in the room (7ish) and repeats the procedure above.
Venice Beach is so interesting and we had a great time there just people watching and wandering around
. After speaking to some people at the hostal we found out about some smaller car rental companies and rang around and found a car for 139.00 per week, sweet, or so we thought! After telling the hostal manager our good news he couldnīt stop laughing because apparently anything for that price would be a complete s··t box and when it broke down we wouldn't get any assistance! We decided that it couldnīt be that bad and since Tim is a mechanic we went ahead with it (not that we had many other choices at this stage!). Upon collection of the car we were pleasantly surprised that it was a subaru station wagon and actually really nice.
We headed up the pacific coast towards San Francisco and passed the spot where James Dean died in his 1955 porsche. We stayed in a National Park the first night near Big Sur. We pulled into the camp sight and Tim was taking a wee in the bushes and I was re-arranging the back of the car to sleep and next minute Tim is screaming out to me to get in the car because there were racoons coming for him! It was so funny, the two of us locked in the car too scared to go outside in case these cute little animals attacked us. So that was night one. Night two was even more eventful.
When we got to San Francisco we thought we would just pay for a hostel and have a bed and a shower at least
. Of course we got lost driving around and the hostels were all booked out anyway so we drove over the golden gate bridge, took some photo's and tried to find a campsite at an old military base that also had a hostel there. Finally found our way there and went to the hostel to see where the campsites were and they told us that they are free but you have to get a permit and the office was now closed and they like to give fines to people that camp there without a permit, the hostel was also booked out being Easter weekend. So what do we do?? So we thought that if we wrote a note explaining the situation and that we were tired and it would be dangerous to drive any further and left it at the office then we might be ok. Then we drove around a bit and then went back to the office just to make sure that no one was there and noticed that the 2 cars parked outside the office had government plates and we thought that the Ranger might be inside. Then we thought about just sleeping in the car and risking the fine. Then Tim came up with this amazing idea that we should park in the carpark of the hostel and sleep in there. Bear in mind that this is a pretty desolate part of the coast with not too many houses around and the ones that are there are just old army barracks turned into a hostel and an art gallery. So we find a park in amongst the car park that is almost full and nestle the wagon in between two cars and backing it up against the hill. Opposite the car park is the art gallery building with a party going in full swing and lots of loud music. At this stage we are quite pleased with ourselves as were confident that we would not get discovered sleeping in the car hidden amongst the others and if we did we had the perfect excuse, we had been at the party and were too drunk to drive - perfect, or so we thought! So we have our snowboards and our 2 packs that we have just hurled in the back, so we couldn't just jump in the back and go to sleep, we needed to make a bit of room so I was in the back and moving some of the stuff around and some people started walking towards our car so we laid low as not to arouse any suspicion as we were not really meant to be there
. Then they drove off and I started moving the stuff around again and more poeple came and got in there car and drove off and then this woman came over. This is where this story is heading by the way. This woman was parked right next to us and Tim was in the front seat and I was just about to get out a go for a wee before she came over and Tim who was sitting on lookout in the front told me to close the door but I only managed to get it half closed because of all the stuff in the back and had to grip on to it to keep it closed. So we thought that it was dark and if we stayed still that she would drive off and then we would get in the back and we could go to sleep. But no, this woman was from the party and decided that she was going to get changed at the back of her car and get some clothes from the boot. She started talking and we thought that someone else must have been with her, but it turns out that she was drunk and talking to herself. I was in an awkward position and holding on to the door with one finger and Tim is in the front tyring to lay still like he was sleeping and trying not to get noticed. We were whispering to each other cos we couldnt move or see her and Tim was telling me to shoosh and to keep down. So here we are in the dark in this car park not doing anything wrong except for sleeping in the car without a permit and this drunk woman was getting changed less than a meter away from us. Then she farts, and we are struggling not to laugh and I've got tears running down my face and the harder I tried to stop laughing the more tears were coming down my cheeks
. And Tim is in the front telling me to shoosh, then this woman starts talking to herself rambling on about being a hippie. So she gets changed and my hand is getting tired holding on to the door keeping it closed and Tim is starting to get uncomfortable too then she decides that she is going to have a cigarette and sit in the front of her car. Ten minutes later she pushes her remote to lock the car about 10 times and the horn is going beep beep and the indicators are flashing and we are laughing more and more trying to keep quiet. Then she walks to the back of the car again and we are wondering what she is doing and then silence for a short while. Then she starts to vomit, the alcohol has taken its toll on her and she is spewing like there is no tomorrow, between spews she is saying things like 'goddaaammn' and 'oh my god' and 'whoaaaaa' adding to our laughter more and more. This has been going on for about half an hour now and then there is silence and then 'pshpshpshhhhhhhhhhh', she's taking a wee. We are in silent stitches and my arm is getting sore and Tim is uncomfortable. Then she plays around with her remote for her car again and the door closes and then a car starts. We are thinking that she is going to drive off and going to crash and hurt herself or someone else and I'm about to jump out of the car and stop her. Turns out it was the car next to hers and it was someone else driving off then we piss ourselves laughing once again and think of what would have happened if we had have jumped out and stopped her
. She would have had the embarrasment of getting changed, farting, talking to herself, spewing and peeing with us right next to her. Finally she walked back to the party and we laughed our heads off for ages. Then the next morning we woke to see that there was only one car left in the car park and her car was gone, so I hope someone else drove it and not her.
We spent the next few days in Lake Tahoe snowboarding which was amazing, it was still dumping down snow which is unusual for April and so we got lots of powder which we were stoked about. The town of Tahoe is right on the stateline for Nevada and California and so the Nevada side is full of casinos and buffets!
Next stop was Las Vegas where we had loads of fun gambling which neither of us seem to be any good at and drinking 99cent beers and margaritas which we are definately good at! From here we travelled down to San Diego which is a great city and took a trolley (like a tram) down to Tijuana for the day which was fuelled with margharitas, coronas and tacos! It sure made the boarder crossing back into the states interesting!!
So we managed to make it back to LA with no car problems and flew down to Lima so will send another email soon about South America. Will add the photos from America soon.
We arrived in LA late one Tuesday night without too much hassel at customs despite the fact we had a sheesha pipe stashed deep in our snowboard bag! Since it was late and we were both a bit tired and jet lagged and wanting to scatch each others eyes out we decided to head for the nearest super 8 motel which was a real c··p hole in a nasty area just a few miles from the airport. The next day after discovering that it was going to cost way too much to fly to Colarado (our first choice) and that we were not eligible to rent a car (our second choice) we were at some what of a loose end to say the least, more eye scratching took place at this point!