Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Went to Hollywood today. Getting there was a bit confusing. There was no time table for bus and that made me nervous, not knowing how long should I wait. And after I got the correct bus for the first one, I mistook the next one. Number on the bus was right but seems I got the one which goes south. Though to go north was correct. It wasn't very pleasant place where the wrong bus took me. Sad atmosphere. I guess there are same kind of place in Tokyo too, but to be in those place in whole new country was not fun. Anyway, took the bus with the same number (next time going NORTH) and I reached Hollywood fine.
Saw the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Kodak theatre, and the "Hollywood" sign. Many entertainers were doing their job.
But as soon as I arrived at the place, somehow I wasn't jumping around from excitement. Maybe tired from the extra long bus trip, but I was sure of this. I ain't no city boy. Didn't enjoy the place as I expected. Maybe if it was holiday or if I joined the tour it was more fun, I don't know. But I just saw the major sights and hopped on the bus again. Although, I found the Steve McQeen's name in the star. I don't know what it's called but you know those stars on the pavement.

Thought I saw Japanese on the bus, but I realized they were Korean from them talking. But wait a minute…they aren't speaking Korean, they are speaking Japanese. My ears forgot Japanese. It's been more than ten days since I heard a conversation in Japanese. English is far from perfect, and now I'm loosing my semi-perfect Japanese. I was surprised how it was difficult to catch what they were saying. hmm…not good.

Anyways, I'm off to San Diego tomorrow. And stop after that will be Grand Canyon!

Monday, 26 April 2010


Arrived here, L.A., around two. Driving here from Cambria wasn't too bad. Mainly highway or freeway so could drive quite fast. Driving into the cloud was fan. I could see the clouds being stopped by the mountains and it was flowing into north side like the water overflowing from a cup. One moment it was sunny and then, as I drove into the clouds, it was dark and cloudy. Very interesting. And since I bought a plug to connect my ipod to the car, I also had fun time listening to all the rock music. Buffalo Springfield for instance. I think they started their career in one of the cities in California.

Santa Monica hostel is so big! From Cambria to this is like wow! no kidding it's the second largest city in America.
Haven't seen around yet but I've seen a lot of people already.
Don't know what to do tomorrow but they have many guides for what to do in L.A., so I might follow those suggestions.
They have free movies on every night, so might check that out before hitting the sack.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

California sun

Didn't do much today. I think the California sun got me. Still not use to the heat. Also a bit tired from going somewhere everyday. Was kind of sleepy all day.

Checking out tomorrow. Cambria was great!. Very peaceful town and the atmosphere at the hostel was also fine.
Next stop for me is Los Angeles! I haven't been in big city in America yet, so don't know what it's like.(Although I flew into San Francisco, I just drove out of it without seeing the city.) I'm not sure what to see yet. Maybe look around the city and watch movie in a big theatre.
I hope I'll have a great time there too.

Picture was taken at the Hearst castle observation sight, five miles away from the castle. I did go somewhere today but didn't explore. I could have joined the tour which goes around the castle, but I had to wait for two hours for it. I was too tired to wait that long so just took a photo and then left.

I'll have a long rest tonight.

Saturday, 24 April 2010


Hiked around the Cambria area today. They have a nice trail which will lead you to the sea, going through the woods.
Had lunch sitting in front of the pacific. I made two, quite big, chicken burritos today. Kept on walking after eating and went back to the hostel. Had early dinner around six then headed for the coast to see, finally, the sunset.
It was so beautiful to see the sunset in such an open view. I didn't know that it is so difficult to take a photograph of a sunset. I couldn't tell whether it is better zoomed in or not. Posted the non zoomed one because I liked that one more. Still much much more to learn about my DSLR.
We had a fine hot day today but I could feel the temperature dropping rapidly as the sun sunk behind the pacific. That is one hot star we've got up there.

The hostel I'm staying now is so comfortable. It has a nice home like atmosphere going on and the location is great too. Good thing I booked for three nights.

Friday, 23 April 2010


"What am I gonna do next" thing was going on again this morning. It was my check out day but there was no further plan.
I had a tough time thinking where to go, but I decided to go south. Quite further south, actually. I'm staying at a place called Cambria now. You can find it on the map going south from Monterey Bay on route1. But I didn't just drive there, I went through two national parks on the way. Kings canyon and Sequoia national parks. Both weren't at their best condition yet. Still many roads closed from the snow. Although, I could see a great view of Kings canyon and I saw the heaviest sequoia tree on this planet. Picture above is the over look of Kings canyon, which reminds me of those crystal geyser logos.
Altitude was so high that it was very tiring driving up and down the road. My empty plastic bottle has deformed itself from such a change in pressure.
After visiting those two parks, it was just driving to the hostel. But the views from the road was great too. I could see for miles and miles and miles in those wide open spaces. Felt the size of this incredibly big country.
Reached the hostel around seven. It is so good! Nature is all around it. I saw a huge pheasant driving here. Looking forward to walk around tomorrow.

I ought to make a plan while I'm here.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Chunk of rock

Got up, had breakfast, made lunch, and off I went to the park. It was raining still in the morning but it didn't last all day.
As soon as I entered the park, there were huge mountains showing their broad surface of rock. Amazing how big they could be. Never seen such a big pile of rock before.
I hiked up and down on those rocks for almost all day. Winter wasn't yet over up there in the mountain, many part was still covered by snow.
Was so excited to see the great nature, which was established, but I was also hoping to see those wild animals too. I did caught a sight of a bear but it was only a glimpse. Didn't have enough time to take a photo. Still, I did had a chance to see a coyote. I'm hoping to see plenty of wild animals at the Yellow Stone National Park.

Extremely tired, but I had a great time. I think I saw as much as I could in a day.
Hope you'll get some kind of an idea how those rocky mountains look like.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Bit of a worry. That was what I felt as the day broke.
Although I had to check out by 10:30, there was no plan after that. So before checking out, I searched if there were any nights that I could spend at the hostel by the Yosemite National Park. No, That was the result. Still, I knew there must be a bed available for one person, so I called up the place. After all it turns out that they do have an available bed for two nights. Great! Destination decided. Next stop, Yosemite.
Maybe I was driving for four to five hours. Since I got confused around the hostel and been driving in a circle. Also it was not a fun drive. It kept raining really hard. Driving fast in a bad weather makes me nervous.
All in all, everything went well though. Now I'm sitting on a sofa in the cafe next to the cottage. So excited to see the great nature tomorrow. I know two days are far from enough, but the guy in the same room ( Jasper is his name. He told me that he and his friend bought a car for $800. How about that!) said he had seen a lot in a day so I hope I'll do as good as him.

I was driving most of the day so the picture above was taken yesterday during the hike. Check that smiling face on the tree. Sweet! I think someone did it but isn't it great if the nature was the cause of it?
Hopefully I'll have a nice one to post tomorrow.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

What a view

Raining from the morning. But I decided to go out anyway to the Big sur, which is located along route1. South from Monterey.
Stu and Anna were looking for a ride and they found me. When Stu asked me if it was okay to join me, I said sure. Because there was no reason not to, and I could do with some company. Not good for your health to be always alone.
As we drove, weather was clearing up. The views from route1 were beautiful!
Stu and Anna were going on a camp till Saturday so I couldn't join that, but I joined them for a day hike on the mountains there. Again, the view from the trekking course was beautiful.
If you ever visit near Monterey, route1 and Big Sur are the must visit sights.
I got back to the car around three. Had a huge brrito for lunch and drove up north again. But since I always wanted to see the sunset, I stopped by the sea and walked down to the beach. The Pacific! Never seen such an open view of the ocean. Oh, this would be a great spot to see the sunset I thought, but No! Here comes a storm cloud always on time to shut off all the sunlight and the blue sky.
Although, I wasn't that devastated. I actually had a great time waiting for the sun to set. Taking pictures and enjoying the view. Picture above was taken then. Silly picture but at least I had fun.

Successful day it was. Exhausted though.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Did some laundry again in the morning and headed for Monterey bay aquarium as it opened.
Great stuff there. Sea creatures are nothing but fascinating! The shapes and the way they move is just stunning.
Those small air bubble like things in the photo are baby jelly fishes. Thought it was a bubble at first but as I got close to it realized it wasn't. They are so tiny.
Some are incredibly huge and some are unrecognizably small. Some are dull and some are super colorful. So many ways to live life under the sea.
Rode along the "17mile drive" in the afternoon. Great views from there. Shame you have to pay, but I think it's well worth it.

It was another nice day today but it looks like we are going to have a couple of rainy days. Still, California is one of those poor water places so it's best to rain every now and then.

I'm planning do drive to the parks down the south tomorrow, if the weather isn't too bad.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Hot day

Got up before the sunset again. Feels good to have a long day.
Had to check out today so I did that, and then headed south to Monterey bay. On the way, I stopped at Moss landing state beach. I wanted to see the sea otters but there were only few of them. Instead, there were many seals begging for food.
Reached Monterey around eleven thirty. So many people! I didn't know Monterey was such a popular place. Maybe because it was Sunday. But even so, there were much more festival like things going on than I expected. There was no place for me to park so I parked the car at the Monterey bay hostel parking. Had a walk till the check in time. But the sun didn't allow me to do so. Locals may say what a nice day, but it was a bit much for me who isn't use to the California sun. Kept searching for the shelter from the sun.
Bought food after and then checked in.
Planning to visit the Monterey aquarium tomorrow.

not so interesting picture but that's my best today, under the heat.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Año Nuevo

Today I got up around six. Saw the sunrise after having chicken soup and a croissant for breakfast.
I went to Santa Cruz to do some laundry and to buy some food. After storing the stuff I bought in the hostel fridge, I had lunch and headed for Año Nuevo State Park where the elephant seals are. To the coast where they were lying was about one and a half mile hike. As I got closer to the coast, I could hear them gulping, or maybe shouting. There were so many of them lying down comfortably under the warm California sun. They looked so peaceful when their eyes were shut.
Left the park after pottering around the park, then I bought a bit more stuff and got back to the hostel. I wanted to see the sunset but it got cloudy so I couldn't. Still, I'm staying at the Monterey hostel from tomorrow so I can see the beautiful sunset there.
My plan is to stay in these hostel for about a week and get use to the life in America. After I got the idea how to stay at the hostels, I will start going to the national parks. How exciting!

Friday, 16 April 2010


Arrived at San Francisco air port after eight and a half an hour flight.
As I entered the country, I headed for the car rental service center. The car was mazda. I ate an apple and hit the road. I couldn't do no practice or see the road so I just had to drive. All the car was so fast compared to Japan, but because the road is so wide, it didn't seem so dangerous. Although I was driving alone, I couldn't stop smiling. Beach, sunny weather, high way, huge trees, me driving in America, it was all fantastic!
I had a big hamburger for lunch. I went to the hostel after but I couldn't stay awake any more. So had a shower and went to bed around seven.

What a tough day it was.
picture is the light house beside the hostel.

Thursday, 15 April 2010



Today was the last day I will spend in Japan this year. I am leaving tomorrow.
I did packing and some other preparation for my trip. Had gyoza for dinner, which was salty, and now writing my blog. Everyone seems so worried but I'll do my best to stay away from any kind of danger. I hope it'll be an incredible year and great experience.
May not be able to sleep from the excitement.