Dave and I couldn’t get a flight from LAX to Peru until five days after his holidays started. It was the first week of January – and we thought it would be much better to wait out our departure in Long Beach, CA, then home in chilly Port Alberni! So we hopped on down there, and had a wonderful low-budget vacation there for four days – not spending much money at all, and doing what we seem to do best: waking and jogging around to see the sights, and eating cheap Mexican food!
We went out every day – some days for long sight-seeing walks and birdwatching, and some days mixing up the walking and running.
We’ll post Peru pix soon – we have hundreds, so there is lots of work ahead of us! But for now, here are some pix of our long walks and runs around the Long Beach area. We just love this kind of tourism, on foot – a way to see the real place, not just what is marketed to visitors, and healthy too!
Setting out on our second day, a mixed jog and walk down to the coast.
We actually really loved going through all of the residential areas: checking out the architecture, seeing what people had in their gardens, and looking at all of the different birds.
I think we went down to the pier every day. Even the seagulls were checking out the pelicans! We saw lots of brown pelicans, like this guy, incredibly pretty in their breeding colours. We also saw white pelicans, and in Peru we saw Peruvian pelicans. Three types of pelicans on our trip!
Yup, it’s Long Beach all right. It’s also very Wide Beach.
Dave gets his Vitamin D.
Big surprise! We didn’t go to Long Beach planning to do any birdwatching… but we were amazed by how many birds we saw, between hummingbirds and songbirds and shorebirds and seabirds and even parrots! And then, surprise surprise, right along the Long Beach walkway, a trio of peregrine falcons circled up into the palm trees above us! As we watched, one of them swooped down and picked up a freshly killed pigeon from the sand, and managed to carry it back up to the palm, where we watched as he plucked it and ate it!
This sign had me a bit worried… must be some crazy dogs there!
And then there were the parrots! We watched these guys as we ate fish tacos on a street corner. They are mitred conures. There are wild flocks of them flying all around – not native to California, probably introduced as escaped pets, but now many flocks of them living wild.
And speaking of Mexican food… we ate it three, sometimes four times a day! Cheap and so good.
On one of the days, we drove down to the nearby Bolsa Chica Nature Reserve, near Huntington Beach. We saw so many cool birds there! We didn’t have our big cameras with us, so our bird pix aren’t great… but here’s a kinda cool one Dave took, of a great egret and a snowy egret fishing side by side (the snowy is pretty spectacular, with his black legs and bright yellow feet).
Now down by the harbour area, another big long tourism walk on our last full day there.
And what a nice way to end our Long Beach trip, with a beer and a margarita on the harbour. (And then still a long walk back to the motel in the dark…. followed by more Mexican food!)
We absolutely loved our trip to Long Beach! We had no idea what to expect, just wanted to kill a bit of time somewhere warmer than here while we waited for our flight. But we’ve realized that this would be a great place to go to for winter training – quite affordable (we stayed at the Super 8 Motel, it was great), and a great place to just be active: walking, running, biking, even kayak and SUP rentals around. And all the birdwatching was such a bonus, never expected that in a big city! We’ll be back!