Hollywood, Vegas and the Grand Canyon. #2

Beverly Hills was the first stop on day three of the Road Trip.

Home of the rich and famous; the residents value their privacy, so no loitering allowed, the cops will quickly move you on. Apart from this photo shoot spot.

Peace and love
Ringo Starr
In front of the Police department in Beverly Hills, California (Beverly Hill Cop fame)

Next stop Hollywood.

Larger-than-life symbol of the entertainment business, but essentially a neighborhood in California; Hollywood.

Bustling and hustling, it was all a bit frantic.

There was the Hollywood Walk of Fame. An historic landmark which consists of more than 2,700 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard.

Pink stars on the pavement. Could be seen as distinctly underwhelming, however find your favourite film star/ celebrity and let the nostalgia wash over you. Above is my nostalgia trip from the ones I stumbled across. Impossible to look for specific stars. Never did find Elvis! And below some more memorabilia:

On to Santa Monica and the lovely pier and promenade with its chic restaurants and bars.

From a rock guitar soloist to a crazy Hare Krishna group that walked up and down singing loudly and cutting across everything else and the noises of the funfair, the pier was a cacophony of sound. I drank it all in then moved to the relative peace of the promenade, walking and absorbing the beautiful coastal views.

Santa Monica is also the historic end of Route 66.

It was a relaxing sight-seeing day. Lunch was a tasty Hotdog (Kraut) at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, a foodies paradise:

Firle Country Estate.

Last weekend we took a walk on the Firle Country Estate near Lewes in East Sussex. Firle Place is a privately owned country house in Sussex that dates from the time of Henry VIII. Incorporating several villages and farms spread over rolling hills, the Firle Estate, is in the heart of the magnificent South Downs National Park.

https://firle.com/

The Estate incorporates the Old Coach Road, which dates from over 1000 years ago and is the original road running from the Beddingham to Newhaven Road at the Lay, just south of Beddingham Church, to Firle.

The Old Coach running through Firle.

It was a fabulous walk over sweeping downland. We are right in the cusp of the shooting season so there were pheasants and partridge a plenty. We finished the walk of with a pint of cider in Village pub.

A perfect autumn Sunday!

The Lord Lucan Experience.

Another walk from the ‘Cheeky Walks in Brighton & Sussex’ book by Tim Bick, David Bramwell and John Ashton. This one was in Newhaven, East Sussex and followed the last steps of Lord Lucan- a cad and a bounder who in 1974 reportedly killed the nanny, abandoned his car outside 26 Norman Road in Newhaven and then walked into the sea never to be seen again. There are lots of alternative theories as to his disappearance but this one is the one we are going with on this walk.

Besides the car abandoned road, we walked along the stretch of beach where he folded his clothes and left them in a neat pile before drowning himself; an industrial deep water working port;two disused railways; the eerie and deserted village of Tide Mills and up to the underground New Haven Fort.

Norman Road Newhaven where Lucan’s borrowed, bloodstained Ford Corsair was found abandoned.

It was a figure of eight walk that felt longer than it’s six miles, but covered the majority of Newhaven.

And Lord Lucan… is he dead or alive? Did he feign his own death or could he not live with the guilt; or the fear of boing caught? Retrace his final steps and form your own conclusion.

Castle of la Punta de Amber. Mallorca.

The Castle of la Punta de Amer is a 17th century fortification located in Sant Lorenzo des Cardessar on the island of Mallorca. The sandstone structure was built in the late 17th century, and is now a protected site.

A great walk through the coastal nature reserve to get there. A small castle fortress with a local cafe for refreshments after the walk. Lots of feral cats and kittens around!

Cala Millor Sand Dunes.

Today I walked the Nature reserve between Sa Coma and Cala Millor – and found a different landscape of sand dunes- something I wasn’t expecting.

I thought the day was chilly, so changed shorts and T-shirt for trousers and sweatshirt. Found it was hot and went and changed. Half way along the route it went black and rained heavily!

The area was interesting. It is a breeding area for the loggerhead turtle, a protected species that lives in the Balearic Sea They come from different nesting areas in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. In recent years they have increased nesting on the Spanish coast. Climate change is causing a natural dispersion of sea
turtles that are leaving their usual nesting areas in search of other cooler ones.

The Dunes are in the process of being regenerated and there were lots of wild flowers.

The walk followed the coastline and passed through a farm. The walk showed a different Cala Millor to the beach, hotels and restaurants. I was uplifted following the tracks and listening to the bird song.

Groovin in the Ghost Village. (Cheeky Walks in Brighton & Sussex).

Another walk today from the Cheeky Walks in Brighton and Sussex book- this time across rolling downland around Woodingdean, ‘crossing the abandoned ghost village of Balsdean, evacuated and destroyed by Canadian artillery training practice during World War Two’.

Abandoned farm buildings, sheep and the Amex Stadium (home of Brighton and Hove Albion FC) made up the landscape. It was a grey November day, but a good trek across the chalk land all the same. According to the book you needed to walk it to the sound track of Brighton musical duo Grasscut’s album 1 inch/ 1/2 mile- apparently a ‘musical romp through the Sussex landscape’. Incidentally Grasscut also designed the route.

Isle of Wight. Hampshire.

We spent a windy Halloween on the Isle of Wight. We took the ferry from Portsmouth over to Fishbourne £60 return- a 40 minute choppy crossing across the Solent.

The Island is dog friendly and we started on Ryde Beach.

Ryde Beach looking across the Solent to Portsmouth.
Chaos and Mayhem

Back in the car to make our way across the Island to The Needles, the Isle of Wight’s famous landmark.

The Needles.

The Needles is a row of three stacks of chalk that rise about 30m out of the sea off the western extremity of the Isle of Wight in the English Channel.

Last stop of the day was the seaside resort of Shanklin for a late fish and chip lunch.

The island is easy to drive around and has beautiful coastal scenery and landscapes.

Sadly it was time for the return ferry. However there was lots more we want to do and see- so many more trips to this beautiful little gem of an island.