The west coast of America is a popular route for road trippers and so two weeks ago we met some friends in Seattle and have been driving south heading to Los Angeles.
We made a rough plan before we left of where we'd like to stay and driving times but the only real requirement was reaching LA in time for our friends to catch their flight home. Along the way we've seen some beautiful coastline and visited some lovely places, but I don't think we were quite prepared for how much time we'd have to spend in the car.
We covered around 12,000 miles in what amounted to around four days solid driving, passing through three states in two days. We also experienced different weather conditions every few miles. The Oregon coastline was breathtaking and made more dramatic by the September haze and the sunshine in Caifornia made for a great stay in the Napa Valley wine region, but when we approached the Big Sur we were met by thick fog and could barely see the road in front of us as we steered our way around countless hairpin bends with just a narrow grass verge seperating the road from a sheer drop to the ocean.
The route offers something for everyone. We lived the city life in Seattle, tried wine tasting in Napa Valley, visited Alcatraz in San Francisco, seing the tiny cells where the likes of Al Capone served out their sentences, hit the beach in Santa Barbara and partied with the rich and famous in LA.
It's a popular trip with honeymooners, surfers, backpackers and older couples and you're the envy of everyone you meet once they hear about your plans. For our friends who came to visit it was different to other holidays they'd been on as we didn't stay in any one place for more than a day or two but we definitely made the most of our two-week trip and have seen a lot in a short space of time.
If you're on a budget it can be quite expensive, taking into account car hire, fuel, hotels and attractions but there are affordable motels along the way and it would be a shame to travel down without taking hte coastal route as it is so beautiful.
We've now been travelling for ten weeks and for people who want to travel but can't find anyone to go with, one of the things that has surprised me the most is how many people travel alone, particularly young females. In every hostel we've stayed in the majority of girls in the dormitories have been under the age of 25 and travelling on their own for several months. We've heard nothing but good reports so if it's something you've always wanted to do rest assured you'll never really be on your own when you're a traveller.