Well so much for our body clocks being on Californian time, we both awoke at 3.00 am. I managed to sleep a little afterwards, but Chris didn’t. We went for breakfast at 7.15 am then went back to the room to pack and load up the car for the drive to LA.

We decided to go to LA via Malibu and Santa Monica, along the coast road, rather than the 101, thinking it might be less stressful. We set the GPS for ‘least use of freeways’ and it led us a merry dance through the countryside before getting on the Pacific Coast Highway.

It was quite scenic going through the countryside, and there were not many cars, but it was still a bit tricky. The Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH as the locals say, was busier, but probably easier for us than the 101.

PCH

Our Neverlost GPS then took us to a driveway of a place in Malibu where we obviously couldn’t park. So we moved on, stopped at the nearest place where we could safely park and reprogrammed the GPS to go to Santa Monica.

At Santa Monica there was plenty of parking, we paid $12.00 and parked in the car park right next to the pier. It  was here that I emptied the contents of my backpack into the passenger seat, swearing that my sunglasses were in there somewhere, I was sure of it… They were on my head of course.

We had a quick look at some of the pier, then we went to the Will Powers plaque, and the end of Route 66.

Will Powers Plaque

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Then we walked along Muscle Beach, there weren’t many muscles there, just a lot of sand and a bike path/walkway running through the middle of the beach. Weird.

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Then we walked back to the pier for a proper nosey around. We stayed in Santa Monica for a bit over one and a half hours then got into the car for the last leg of the journey.

The drive from here to the Hertz depot in LA was particularly painful. We were meant to fill up the tank with petrol before returning the car, but all the petrol stations we passed were on the other side of the road, and every intersection was a ‘no U turn’. We ended up at the Hertz depot with half a tank of petrol and having to pay $59.00 for them to fill it up, the price of a full tank plus some. To be frank, although we knew this was a rip-off, we didn’t care. We were glad to see the back of the car. We’ve also decided there will be no more driving here. We’re going to arrange for a coach to take us from LA to Vegas next week.

After we paid Hertz we took a taxi to our hotel in LA, this ride cost almost another $56.00. This was turning out to be an expensive day.

However, we did have a win with our hotel. Everything I’ve read and heard about the Ritz Milner led me to believe our room would be tiny. It wasn’t. Our room is refurbished and they’ve obviously knocked two rooms into one. It’s going to be a very comfortable stay here in LA after all. We booked this hotel because it was cheap and close to the Staples Centre, the venue for our second Depeche Mode show on Sunday night.

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After all our expenses today we opted for a cheap and cheerful dinner of a shared Subway foot-long. And tonight we arranged to meet a Depeche Mode fan friend of mine, Donell. She’s going to show us around Melrose Avenue street art on Saturday.

This was a long day with an early start so exhausted, we fell into bed at 10.30 pm.

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