srini_vas (srini_vas) wrote,

A Marathon Walk, a Beach Cruise and a Drive of a Lifetime

Though I visited Los Angeles and its famous Universal Studios, Hollywood already, when the latest set of my colleagues (from Bangalore, visiting Sunnyvale) asked me to join them for a Los Angeles trip, I jumped, as there is a lot of driving opportunity :) A 7 hour long drive on a Friday evening, with a couple of hours through some scenic surroundings and the rest through a boring and monotonous interstate highway (I-5) took us to Los Angeles.

I stayed back on Saturday for my own adventures, while the rest headed for Universal Studios, Hollywood, in the car that we came in. I wanted to go to Santa Monica, a lively beach with a lot of activity and a buzzing down-town next to it. With no car to take me there, I quickly checked for public transport and found that I have to switch 3-4 buses to reach there (around 20 KM). As it was one month since the last Marathon and I have one more month to go before the next Marathon (Kaveri Trail Marathon, SriRangaPatnam on 19th September), I decided to walk across the city to reach there, with some vague idea about directions. I ended up walking for around 4 hours across the city through suburbs, palatial houses, high rises only to find that I took a wrong turn after 15 KM and I was 15 KM away from Santa Monica. In no mood to spend the rest of the afternoon also walking, I waved at a taxi and reached the beach. Treated myself to some divine spirits and lunch at an open air restaurant in down-town, Santa Monica, from where I could oversee a bunch of crazy activities on the pedestrians-only roads. Took a beach cruiser cycle on rent at the beach and I was back to my favorite pastime

We decided to leave early on Sunday and take CA-1, a slower and very scenic route, to get back to Sunnyvale. And, that led us to the best drive so far in US. CA-1, also known as Pacific Coast Highway, is adjacent to Pacific ocean along the coastline of California, with a mountain range on the other side. With absolutely nothing between road and ocean for hundreds of miles and innumerable hair-pin bends and breathtaking views, and a highly responsive Nissan Altima, we felt, a drive just can't get any better. We spent whole day driving with frequent stopovers. This route is classified as one of the Drives of a Lifetime by Nat-Geo's Traveler :)

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