Day 56 – When I woke up in Leo Carillo, I saw that I had received a message from my friend, Derek, in the middle of the night. I was trying to reach him to see if Michael and I could crash at his place. That would give us a short ride to Playa Del Rey, versus an epic 90 mile day to the next state park. He said we were more than welcome to stay, so we planned a nice slow day.
There were some clouds in the morning sky as we rode the Pacific Coastal Highway south through Malibu. Giant mansions sat up in the mountains overlooking the ocean. The terrain was a little more hilly than the last couple of days, but still easy going after all I’d been through. We put in a good 20 miles of beautiful homes and beaches before we found a little breakfast spot where we could eat. It was a hole-in-the-wall across from a nice restaurant called, Dukes. I ordered a breakfast burrito and a chocolate muffin. I downed them both, along with a healthy serving of coffee. We relaxed a bit, then continued on.
Soon we could see the Santa Monica shoreline in the distance. We came up to the famous Sunset Blvd. and Michael asked me to get a shot with him under the sign. I snapped a few and we continued along the shoreline. There was a nice bike path that went down the beach, as we entered Santa Monica. It was a joy to get off of the busy road and onto the quiet path surrounded by sand. Not far from the pier, we stopped at a Perry’s Beach Cafe and ordered some drinks. They had some umbrellas and chairs that overlooked the ocean. We just sat there and stared off into the endless sea. It was extremely relaxing. I felt like I was on an old fashioned vacation. I didn’t have a care in the world.
Further down the bike path, we went under the Santa Monica pier and worked our way to Venice Beach. Michael noticed a Bavarian pub that he had visited when he was in the States back in 1996. We stopped for a drink and both enjoyed a pint of German beer. I was so happy we didn’t have to go far that day. We really could just enjoy the beaches and sun. The beer hit the spot. We took in some of the street freaks and then continued down the road. Our bike path ended and we had to find our way around the marina in Marina Del Rey. It was a large detour, but it brought us to the fisherman’s wharf where we got giant double cheeseburgers and fries. They were greasy and perfect. We almost finished the fries, when a seagull blasted a load of green shit all over them. At that point, I was done eating.
There was a nice bike path that went up and over a channel of water and brought us into Playa Del Rey. We grabbed some beers and cruised over to Derek’s place. He welcomed us, with hugs and high fives, into his family’s beautiful five story home just off the beach. Derek was stoked to see us, and couldn’t believe how far we had come. It was a great night of talking and drinking. We told stories and joked about our adventures. It was the latest I had been up in weeks. We had light and warmth and a shelter over our heads.
I was so thankful for Derek’s hospitality and the chance to sleep in a real bed. I still washed my clothes in the shower out of habit, but I didn’t set up a tent in the bedroom. What a great, slow day. Couldn’t have been better.
(Repost of my 2014 Pacific Coast Tour Instagrams)