Michael Portillo's thousand-mile rail journey through California continues south toward Santa Clara in the heart of Silicon Valley and ends in the surf of Santa Cruz. In a high-tech bar, where robots wait on the customers, Michael traces the origins of modern-day search engines and social media to an institution founded by a railroad baron. At tech giant Intel, Michael glimpses the future on a test drive in an autonomous car.
At San Jose, the biggest city in the valley, Michael visits Japantown to meet members of a far eastern community who settled here peacefully during the 19th century but faced hostility during the mid-20th. He is then beaten over the head and body by youngsters a third of his age as he attempts to learn the martial art of kendo. A ride aboard the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad takes Michael through groves of mammoth trees - the magnificent California Redwoods. Emerging from the forest on a second vintage railroad, Michael hits the beach and like a true beach boy, he takes to the waves - on a surfboard.