My ithchy, peeling, blistered feet and toes have been diagnosed. The lady at Walgreens instructed me this morning that I have "Athlete's Foot". I was rather proud at first, but quickly reaslised she wasn't paying me a compliment.
Since spending those wickedly cold and damp days in the Yosemite National Park, my feet have not been the same.
Sunday was spent doing very minimal, I think all the big nights had finally caught up with me and I vowed no drinking or eating out. This was obviously in conflict with English Simons plans (he arrived back at the hostel at 7am on Sunday morning). Sunday arvo was spent walking down Hollywood boulevard with Simon and our new German companian, Sarah. It really isn't that much different to Parramatta Road, maybe a few little palm trees. But eh?
Half the road was closed off due to Lady Gaga being in town, apparently? Even that didn't impress me, so we bailed, went home and cooked up a bowl of veggies with some beans. Yum!
Monday started off rather exciting, I passed out like a log the previous night. Recharged and refreshed, I pulled my battered shoes onto my battered feet and went for a happy jog. Mannnnn it hurt! Every red light, or any other opportunity to stop I seized and caught my breath. It felt terrible, but oh so good afterwards. I ran to "Runyon Canyon Park" and ran all the way up this rather steep hill. It hurt like hell, but felt good at the top. The view was amazing..
Half way up
From the top.
Apparently this is the area where all the celebrities come and train? I asked a couple to take my picture, they asked me if I wanted to take theirs? Pfft, no!
In the end I ran for an hour and twenty minutes, I was knackered! A warm shower and some good food picked me right up. Sarah and I met up at half noon and went for a wander down to the Farmers Markets and I purchased my first pair of socks. Sarah and I spent a bit of time weaving in and out of all the stalls, window shopping in the fancy stores (beyond a backpackers budget) and then making our way back to the Bungalow! By this time it was around 3:30pm and Simon was just waking up (I found him passed out in the basement at 11am that morning). We had a few intense rallies of table tennis and then I started to think about... where next?
I've had a blast in California, but enough is enough. Quite honestly, I wasn't that impressed with Hollywood, and I've had enough partying. So whilst enjoying a free dinner provided by the hostel (cheeseburgers, or a vege patty option!) I very boldly booked a 22 hour bus ride back to Portland, Oregon. The reason for this is because on May the 2nd I am have been accepted to take part in a 10 day meditation seminar called Vipassana. I'm totally excited for this, so I want to use this week to just wind down and sort out other stuff, including VISA and work related things for the upcoming Summer Camp in mid June.
That night we sat through some very unfunny stand up comedy and then I went off to bed so I could get up earlier and pack my bags. My sleep was interrupted when Simon rocked into the room at 7am telling me that I had better wake him up to say goodbye. I woke him up every half an hour after 8am and it wasn't until we were about to leave at 10:45am that he rolled out of bed and walked us to the bus station.
Tuesday was literally spent on a bus. I don't even know where my Tuesday went. From our Banana Bungalow hostel in West Hollywood, Sarah and I caught a bus down the street. Then we had to transfer to another bus which would take us to downtown LA. From there we were advised that we needed ANOTHER bus to get us to the bus depot, otherwise we had to walk through "East LA", which apparently with all our bags, we did not want to do.
The next bus revealed that all of Dutchland was heading to Santa Barbara (which is were Sarah was heading as well).. Turns out I should of caught the 3 hours bus ride to Santa Barbara. After saying goodbye, my painful journey began. I recall whining about how exhausting the 14 hour flight from Sydney to LA was... man I had seen nothing yet! The one thing that I consciously did not bring with me overseas was a pair of headphones. If there was ever a time where I wanted to drown out my surroundings, it was now.
"Baby mamma, Home boyzzz and ma gurlll". It was painful to listen to, but I really had no other choice. We pulled into Sacramento for dinner and whilst everyone settled for the McDonalds next door, I went wandering. I found a Steak House and thought I would try my luck. I asked the server what "Vege options" they had. She gave me a choice between a pasta or thai stir fry. I opted for the thai and devoured it within about 8 minutes.
When we left Sacramento at around 9:40pm, I dozed in and out of sleep. I caught part of the conversation between the two white boys behind me. "Crib this, home boys that, my baby mamma" blah blah blah. We pulled over for a half an hour stop at some servo at 4am and I went and got me a foot long vege sub. It was deliciously disgusting, but I was very hungry so was not to concerned. The remaining 6 hours on the bus I pretty much just slept in some awkward postion. I had the two seats to myself and curled up in a fat little ball.
I awoke in rainy Portland and from there, walked the 15 blocks (with my overloaded bags) to the hostel. This is the same hostel that I stayed at last time. Part of the reason I chose this one again is because of the free bread they offer. There is something incredibly comforting about eating loads of bread. From there, yesterday was spent doing as little as possible. I went for a quick run, very quick work out, finished my book/movie (Girl Who Kicked the Hortnets Nest), ate more bread, cooked more food and more bread before I went to bed at approximately 10pm. I woke up at 7am feeling refreshed and started the day off with some bread... I have probably eaten 2 loaves to myself, so what?? From there I went to Walgreens to get some cream for my overly itchy feet, went and looked at hiring a car for the weekend, I want to explore Oregon and Washington.
Not much has been happening on the adventure and expedition front, so it's time to get that adrenaline pumping again!