I arrive in Los Angeles at eleven in the morning. The plane lands half an hour early but following apologies from the pilot I am sat on the runway for an hour and a half. Leaving the airport itself is easy as it is an internal flight, no passport controls to deal with.
Outside I notice the twenty degree difference in temperature from New York which I left behind at minus three degrees. The sky is blue and the warmth is appreciated. I arrive at my hotel at Redondo Beach. The hotel and view are breathtaking. There is a marina next to the hotel and the start of Hermosa Beach which I walk along before eating and returning the the hotel for an amazing sunset.
The next day the sky remains the same vibrant blue as the day before. Breakfast at Polly’s on the pier sets me up for the 37 mile (58k) cycle ride to Santa Monica. The ride is mainly flat and offers an opportunity to see the area. Starting at Hermosa beach a two way cycle lane mostly follows the beach to Manhattan Beach and Playa Del Ray. I leave the beach area to see Venice Canal, a man made canal system built in 1905. The canal is lined with a narrow path and then a variety of houses with small bridges crossing the canal. A pretty and quiet area worthy of the detour.
I carry on to Venice Beach. Here there is a two and a half mile pedestrian only promenade strewn with shops selling clothing and cannabis as well as numerous recreational areas for activities including basketball, skateboarding and volleyball.
From here the journey continues for two and a half miles following the beach to Santa Monica Beach and Pier. The pier has a Ferris wheel and roller coaster with shops and restaurants. It’s alive with people enjoying the sunshine, watching dance demonstations and fishermen.
A bridge leads over to Downtown Santa Monica and the 3rd Street Promonade and a shopping area lined with trees, stalls and fountains. An inviting area to relax before the long cycle back.