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Vicki’s Travel Diary

Friday, 16 Sep 2011

Location: Los Angeles, USA

MapI arrived in Los Angeles yesterday evening after an uneventful flight. South West airlines are very much like Easyjet - all straightforward, you get to choose your seat on board, and only snacks are served. It was all very laid back, it being an internal flight, and there was no security at all on arriving at LA. I sat next to a lady with a black cat - I've never flown with a cat before!
On arrival at LA I went to pick up the rental car. They'd given me a free upgrade but when I got to the car it was en estate and I wanted one with a boot, so I could hide my gear, so I had to ask them for a swap. The price then went down, - so much for the "free" upgrade. I'd practiced driving an automatic on the "wrong" side of the road, so that was all OK, but of-course I hadn't driven with a satnav telling me where to go. So I'd only gone about half a mile when it told me to turn right. I only heard the "turn right" bit so I turned the next right, as I was just about at a junction. It was only after I'd turned right that the next bit of the instruction "in 0.5 miles" filtered into my brain. Realising that I'd taken a wrong turning I looked for an opportunity to make a U turn. Meanwhile, it told me it was re-routing so I carried on, expecting it to guide me back to the freeway at another junction. I'd worked out that the best was to my hostel, in Hollywood, was to take the freeways. Anyway, instead of the most obvious route it took me what I assume was the shortest route, through the suburbs. I had no idea where I was going, so had to totally trust this electronic voice - you know what a control freak I am, and always like to know where I am on the map!
Anyway, it all worked out OK and I finally arrived at the hostel. I did nearly cause a crash at one point by trying to turn left when the lights were on red - I assumed there would be a left green filter! Then a cop came along on his motorbike, but fortunately wasn't after me! At that point I was glad I'd taken full insurance on the car, even though it cost a fortune.
The hostel is very big, with lots of people from all over the world - but so far they all seem very young. I've already had one lad ask me for advice! There was all you could eat spaghetti and meatballs last night, for $6, which was good, than I had a couple of beers and an early night. I'm in an 8 bed female dorm, and the bed was very comfortable so I had a good night's sleep.
My camping gear has arrived so I've checked that this morning then I'm just about to go on a guided tour of Beverley Hills.