Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Week 2 : Malibu Bluffs Park To Point Mugu

The start of Week 2 of our epic journey sees Amy and I heading west from Malibu Bluffs Park. Pretty quickly I discover another advantage of virtual travel – you can virtually meet old friends. I e-mail Charlotte who I haven’t seen for close on thirty years – well I did meet up with her about 12 years ago but that was back in the days when I was deaf so it doesn’t count – and we exchange life stories. Charlotte is now a poet living in Los Angeles so I challenge her to summarise the last thirty years in a sonnet. I await the outcome.

Whilst looking for somewhere for us to virtually meet up, I discover the Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market and Patio Café. It all looks very tempting and with fish and chips for just $4.95 it seems like a bargain. The only problem is I am not sure what kind of fish it is. However, the is virtual reality and therefore on the day Amy and I pass by it is fresh Whitby cod in a crisp batter fried in best beef dripping. Ahhh.

A few miles further west we leave the coastal highway and head up Solstice Canyon – “one of the most beautiful coastal canyons in the Santa Monica Mountains”. I note with approval on the official website that “dogs on leash are welcome on the park's multi-use trails”. But the lure of this area must surely be the coast and therefore Amy and I return to the beach and our westward progress. We do leave the coast again the next day but that is simply to take a short-cut and it takes us through somewhere called Malibu Riviera. Googling this brings up an article in something called the LaLa Times headed “Malibu Riviera to Secede From Rest of Malibu” but I decide this is just another example of the American sense of humour. The trouble with this place is that you can never really tell.

Then it is back to the Pacific Coast Highway which hugs the coast and skirts the Santa Monica Mountains. For some reason, my progress seems to have been slow this week - 2 miles one day, 1.7 miles the next - and I decide that I will have to increase the daily rate if I am to meet my deadline of reaching New York before the world comes to an end through climate warming. Towards the end of the week we pass Leo Carrillo State Beach with its “1.5 miles of beach for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf fishing and beachcombing”. “The beach also has tide pools, coastal caves and reefs for exploring, and giant sycamores shade the main campgrounds”, trills the park website. The really interesting thing however is that the park is named after Leo Carrillo, 1940s and 50s Hollywood actor and early conservationist who served as a member of the California Beach and Parks commission for eighteen years. As I read the biographies of him, I suddenly remembered him from my distant childhood. There was an early television show called the Cisco Kid. The Cisco Kid had a sidekick called Pancho, a large, happy-go-lucky Latino. And that was Leo Carrillo. As well as his acting and conservation work, he was also a political cartoonist and an author. The beach looks like a fitting memorial.

With some heavy walking, by the end of the week we make Point Mugu. There is a big Naval Air Base here, but Amy and I ignore the planes and the rockets and look out to sea. Two weeks down, five years left to do.

1 comment:

JeffScape said...

Heh... I am very familiar with this area. Can't wait to get back there (within a few weeks, in fact).

I see I'm gonna have to check these virtual travels out!