Friday, July 2, 2010

California: Tar pits and freaks

Did you know LA has active (I don't know if that is the right word) tar pits filled with ancient mammal bones?

La Brea Tar pits are by the LA Art Gallery, just down from Hollywood and smell like a resealed road on a hot summer's day.

The pits are free to visit, but the information centre and museum is $7 and houses a massive collection of bones (Tip: Entry is half price if you go in the last half hour).

Nick says to point out that the correct name isn't tar, but asphalt and while they constantly bubble they aren't hot.

The coolest bones belong to the giant mammoth and the sabre tooth cat - not tiger!

Now, onto the freaks.

You can't say you've visited California until you been to the beaches so we hit Venice and Santa Monica.

The later is a classic family fun beach with a fun park on the pier and playground and workout area on the sand. Immaculate and clean, there are only mildly crazy crazies in this area.

Venice Beach is another story - I think seedy is the best word, but it definitely has character.

One standout crazy was strawberry man, who walked around chattering in a strawberry caftan switching from dancing to aggressive in a second.

Street hawkers want you to listen (eg buy) their CDs or visit their doctor for a medical marijuana prescription.

They say you can get one for any aliment - I wonder if that includes asthma?

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