IMG_4096In L.A. on Wednesday, we rented a van. We had so much luggage among the four of us that we needed a big space to store things as we waited for the 10 p.m. flight to Australia. During the day, in our van, we went to Santa Monica where we lunched on the pier with dozens of pigeons. Then we drove to Malibu where we didn’t see Rockford’s trailer, but we did see many interesting homes along the shore. The beaches were of wonderful fine sand, but the temperatures were such that there weren’t many people sunning themselves. From Malibu we drove to Topanga Canyon Drive, the artist colony, up some curvy moountain roads with no real barriers to the canyons below, and on to Venice Beach where we walked past “muscle beach” with its body builders and beachside shops. We had dinner in Venice Beach, then made our way back to the van rental place, picked up a driver, and headed for the airport.

Most unpleasant was feeling unwashed for nearly three days. We were not a treat if one was downwind of us. Our first stop after we reached Sydney was the harbor with the amazing opera house. We walked out 15 hours of kinks, and prepared for the start of our adventure on the Oosterdam, ship of Holland America Lines.