June 28, 2007 GMT

Wow, what a journey! Delays at every possible opportunity. First at Manchester for three hours, then four hours at Chicago. We got into Los Angeles at 3.30 am Thursday, instead of 5.15 pm Wednesday. That was a trip lasting nigh on thirty hours, thanks to British Midland! Immigration wasn't as bad as expected, neither were customs. But there were plenty of small minded people in uniforms strutting around barking orders, Never mind, we got here and drove alongside a lovely sunrise over the telegraph wires of the Californian landscape.
It was amazing how well I managed to perk up on arrival. I'd only had about four hours sleep in over 48 hrs, yet when we finally got the hire car I was feeling excited, alert, and raring to go. I only felt slightly let down when we were given a damned Ford Focus as our hire car; all the way to the States and get a boring car like that. Though it was cool having completely empty roads, being so early in the morning; it made navigating out of LA really easy. I could just swing across any number of lanes to take the right route. I even swung a great U-turn on Lincoln Bld. We got to Ojai by 6.30 am, absolutely knackered. Cai grabbed some sleep but I hung on till evening to give myself the best chance of getting over jet lag.

Being welcomed into someone's family home like one of their close friends is such a nice experience. We're staying with Al and his family, even though we've never meet them before. Lovely prople and such a great little spot they have in the reaches of the Ojia (pronounced O-hi) valley. We've been given the guest quarters (doesn't that sound grand?), an old second world war Nissan hut. As you can see its a nice wee pad! They used to live in it themselves until they built their earthquake and fire resistant house.

Oh boy, is it hot here or what? And that's me saying that; the sun king, god of the tan. Its actually a pleasure to get up at 5.30-6.00 am to get some things done; even if it is only poring through motor trade mags for motorbikes. Though we feel we need to take things easy it isn't possible to leave searching for bikes till later. Its the most important aspect of our journey, so it takes priority over everything else. Even if we have to undertake the arduous task of reading bike adverts while resting in the shade.

Posted by Leslie Kay at June 28, 2007 06:56 PM GMT

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