Day 10 - 5th August 2001
Flying to LA and Banana Bungalows

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I got up at 10am, had a quick shower and packed all my stuff, then travelled to the airport. I arrived there rediculously early, and whiled away the hours reading my book. I boarded the plane on time at 4:30pm, and started the ten hour flight to Los Angeles International Airport. I didn't manage to sleep much on the plane, as there wasn't much legroom and I just couldn't get comfortable.

When I arrived at Los Angeles, it was about midday. The instructions on the paperwork told me to wait at the blue van stop, so I waited at the stop. A bus arrived, but I asked the driver and she wasn't going in the right direction. I went into the airport and asked the tourist information what I should do. They were very helpful, and gave me the phone number of the hostel (which my travel agents neglected to give me!) which I phoned, and I was asked to look for a guy in a red t-shirt standing in the orange zone (apparently the orange zone used to be the blue zone a few years ago). I found the guy and he radioed for the van. This is a service which collects people from the airport terminals and drops them off at their hostel, like sharing a taxi.

Two or three other people got in, and we picked up a few more at another terminal. We started out on the journey and started talking to the other passengers, and discovered that one of them, Carolyn, was also going to Banana Bungalow, the hostel I am staying at. She was from New Zealand, and was staying for virtually the same period at I am.

Eventually we arrived at our destination, and I checked in. Caralyn had a lot off luggage, so I helped her with it to her room. She was annoyed that she was in a mixed dorm, and one of them was playing a large hi-fi quite loudly when we arrived. Then I booked in and got the key to my dorm.

I was booked in to a dorm room with six beds. I turned the light on, and a single light bulb glowed dimly. I went in to the room, and was immediately struck with how messy it was, as there were suitcases strewn accross the floor, and also how grimy it was. There were three bunkbeds, and mine was one of the upper bunks. Nobody else was about. I climbed the ricketty ladder onto my bed, as it creaked ominously. No wonder it's so cheap! (It only costs 15 per night)

The first thing I did was have a shower to freshen me up from the flight. Then I went in to the main office, and there was a packed shedule of trips to various sights in LA, which were organized by the hostel. The quality of the trips looked far in advance of the quality of the accomodation! I booked myself in for the LA city tour on Tuesday.

For my first excursion, I decided to take the bus into Hollywood Boulevard, and take a walk around. Unfortunately, I didn't have any change, and I put a $5 note into the fare machine in the bus, which didn't give any change. That turned out to be a very expensive bus journey! I didn't know where to get off, so I missed the stop and ended up somewhere completely different. Still, I managed to see some of the local area, and then took the bus back to the hostel as by this time I was starting to feel quite tired.

When I got back, one of the other people in my dorm was asleep on one of the other bunks. I didn't notice he was there to start with and ended up waking him up. His name was Enrique, and he was from Spain. We both slept for about an hour, and then two of my other roommates got back. They were both from Austria, and had a hired car, in which we went out to get sme Burger King and beer. After we got back, we sat for a while chatting on one of the tables outside in the twighlight. Then I went to do my washing in the laundrette. Shortly after I got there, a girl called Claire arrived and suggested that we share a washer to save some money, so I put my stuff in with hers. By the time the washing had finished though, she had gone to bed, so I ended up doing her drying too. After that, I sorted all the washing out and slipped a note under her door to tell her to pick it up from my room the following day. Then I went to bed, although I was woken at about 4am by the other two people in the dorm arriving, apparently the had got very lost!

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