2012, Los Angeles to New Orleans, Road trip
Words & Photography by Sabrina Dersel
America, America, America!! That is where our Reviewer Sabrina Dersel was heading, so we decided to log her journey so she could tell us all about it!
Here is her journey…!
Before travelling there I, as many of us had was full of many ideas and expectations about this wonderful place. This trip has been inspired for me, by the 1969 movie “Easy Rider”, with a few changes of destinations along the way.
Arriving in Los Angeles at the exact predicted time, it was noted that as soon as you land and are outside you had better get your suitcase quickly, as the access to the carousel is not restricted and anyone parking outside or waiting for their relatives can grab them too!
So, it was off with the SUV black car to Las Vegas; first stop of the trip!
Driving there is quite chaotic as cars are allowed to pass you by your left or right!
It is dark, 2am precisely and most cars aren’t even driving straight.
After checking in the Palms hotel, drinking Champagne and still awake at 6am, fuelled on either the jetlag or excitement, we decide to go and explore the city…with the sun starting to rise on the horizon.
During the next 6 hours we experience a pretty empty Vegas, but still the casinos are open, serving free drinks and people zombified by the slot machines. Quite a sight!
The best café has to go to the “Harley Davidson café”; with a huge bike at the top it looked awesome. Inside the “Excalibur”; a castle like casino, we find the Lynyrd Skynard bbq and grill restaurant but it was a shame it is too early and was closed.
Next day is direct to Death Valley in California. It is a desert valley, the lowest and driest in North America, and the hottest location on Earth! It holds the record for the highest temperature of 134°F or 56.7°C. The max we had at 12pm was 46°C.Hot!
Of course the soundtrack had to be the Marilyn Manson’s album “Holy Wood (In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death) “ .This album was actually recorded, a part of it, in The Death Valley itself as the band went on a few excursions there to “imprint the feeling of the desert into their minds”.
The opening track “GodEatGod” is the best soundtrack for our entry to the DV. Succession of dunes, hills, rocks and hardly any cars driving pass us is one of the best solitary feeling you can ever experience.
The Grand Canyon is next and words again can’t describe how majestic this place is. There are no barriers at all, and you could jump straight off it, if you fancied it!
Later on, we are heading towards Route 66, from Kingman Arizona to Gallup New Mexico. With Signs everywhere you really can’t miss it or forget you are on it.
With it comes all the bikers and their sexy Harleys and others!
You immediately feel a huge freedom driving on this road.
You can’t travel in New Mexico without going on the Highway 666 , which has been renamed 491 in 2003. One and only sign will remind you of the “Devil’s Highway”, situated next to the car park of shops. I’m surprised it is still here, as many signs have been stolen over the years for obvious reasons and if I’m honest,I am quite tempted to do the same!
Roswell is a must stop and a quick visit to the UFO museum is quite entertaining!
The shops here are the biggest attractions with green little men everywhere and space green shots available in all. One inflatable alien will end up kidnapped in my car, seat-belt on!
As we are driving through Texas, there is a succession of desolated houses, trucks and shops…. spooky much! But also very beautiful too.
Arriving in Louisiana on a Sunday morning, we were of course tempted to crash a mass, but then remembered that even the followers of God must be armed, so we safely keep on driving!
Walking in New Orleans and you can’t help but just think of Vampires!
The facades of the houses and their balcony especially at night is quite mystical. The Priestess “Marie Laveau House Of Voodoo” museum and shop (of course!) is on the corner and definitely worthy of a visit.
Also you can go to the oldest cemetery “Saint Louis Cemetery 1” and make a wish on her tomb. The former House of Anne Rice is located in the beautiful Garden District accessible with the old fashion wooden tram. Aim for 1239 First Street.
In the evening, with its rows of sexy shops, loud bars and large crowds, Bourbon Street is an entertaining walk on its own. Neons and drunks are everywhere and it feels like Camden in London!
A two hour trip into the swamps is a must, where you get to feed the alligators marshmallows and hotdog sausages! We got lucky and found a baby gator and was able to hold him!
For the last two days of the trip, we took the plane back to Los Angeles and as you could expect we went on the Rock&Roll path; First stop on the list is the ‘Museum Of Death’ on Hollywood Boulevard; a small size exhibition housing “The worlds largest collection of Serial Murderer Artwork’, with Photos of the Charles Manson Crime Scenes, the Guillotined Severed Head of the Blue Beard of Paris, Henri Landru, Original Crime Scene and Morgue Photos from the Grisly BLACK DAHLIA MURDERS. Also with a Body Bag and Coffin collection and replicas of Full Size Execution Devices, Mortician and Autopsy Instruments, Pet Death Taxidermy, and much much more!” (http://museumofdeath.net/). Heaven in one word!
The walk of stars after that experienced seemed very boring, but with a stop at the “Loaded” pub and shots of Fireball (cinnamon whisky), the famous HOLLYWOOD Sign was sparkling!
The Sunset Strip isn’t disappointing at all, passing mythics venues and bars like “Whisky a gogo”, The infamous”Viper Room” and the awesome “Rainbow Café” makes the Los Angeles days a dream. Eating and drinking at The Rainbow is an experience I would do again in a second, and I m not mentioning this just for the strongest Whisky & coke I have ever had!!
Those fried mozzarella bites were delish and seeing the seat aswell as the play machine Lemmy always invades when he is in LA is quite a thing for me, shame he wasn’t around tonight.
This road trip has been by far the best travel I have done. I never thought I would say this, especially since like many I had not the best opinion of this country, but I was proven wrong and the people I met along the way were very helpful and lovely and the places we visited were brilliant! Driving on those empty roads is a feeling you can never have anywhere else and…frozen yogurts are now my new addiction!
Death Valley I am coming back next year and hopefully on a bike!!