Friday, 17 June 2011

Beach to Borrego

After no problem picking the others up from SD airport, we returned to the beach to sit outside and share a cake for Laura that Beth brought with her! Was great to be together again.

However, sadly, a site withhout electric or showers was deemed inappropriate :) and we set off out into the desert, east of San Diego. Very quickly it turned from the 70 deg heat of the coast, to 105 deg of the Borrego area. We found a campsite (eventually) called the Oasis Palms Resort. Swimming pool, pool table, tv, tennis courts, all set in an orange, date and lemon fruit orchard (complete with fruit flies by the million), and absolutely no one else there (this is the off season; most sane people come in the winter when it is hot but not exterminatingly so). Not to mention that the owners and managers were lovely people. One of the best places we've ever stayed (and all for $22 per night).

So nice that we spent two nights there (see location below) relaxing and trying not to burn to crisps, whilst still trying to clear the Gandalf Tank (grey, magically always full of crap; you get the idea).

Yesterday, we left for a drive intitially South around the Salton Sea. The San Andreas Fault (although we reckon guilt has not been firmly established) lies just to the edge of the Salton Sea, and Sarah was determined to see if we could witness or perhaps influence some kind of earthquake. Sarah's crazy idea :)

Weird drive around the Sea! A huge body of water in the middle of the desert. It's just wrong. (Michael, jelly??)
We didnt find any earthquakes, but perhaps something will happen in the next day or two :)

Once on the eastern side of the sea we drove close to the shore. Half way along we got stopped at a border patrol check. Lots of cars trucks guns dogs gherkins orange cones and men in green uniforms (I made up the gherkin bit). We pulled over and a guy with a dog wandered around barking (the dog barked, the man wandered). Another friendly patrolman came up to the window.

I was just thinking 'oh shit, did I put on clean underwear' in preparation for my rubber glove experience, when the guy asked,
"Hey yall. Where yall from? What nationality are you?"
Fortunately none of us were Welsh, "Emm, we're British,"
"What, all of you?" he asked, craning his neck in the window to look around the inside. I wasnt sure about this question. Was he surprised that there were more than 4 British people available, or was he expecting us to break under the harshly surprising blend of interrogation?
"Oh shit, you're right," tears welling in my eyes, "there's three Mexicans and a Saudi guy calling himself Alan Kaieada hanging onto the chassis! I'm so sorry! But how did you know?"
Instead I simply nodded, and he and the dog seemed satisfied. After some friendly local tourist tips (yes you can get to the beach on the sea further up the road, and no its not a good idea to pick up Mexican hitchhikers) we were on our way again. Sure enough, we stopped up the coast a bit, and tried to get down to the waters edge. Basically the shoreline is a disgusting fish soup. Thousands of rotting or stripped carcasses of fish line the shore, and stink accordingly. Lewis got his feet in it, and spent twenty minutes screaming "Its all dead fish! Its all dead fish!" as he ran around trying to wash it off, eventually throwing himself into the shower in the RV. Bloody funny from everyone else's point of view.

We drove on, and up away from the sea around dusk. We headed into a box canyon (on a road imaginatively called Box Canyon Road). We then entered the Joshua Tree National Park through dusk and into the dark. Awesome place. We drove 100 miles without seeing another car or person! Eventually we found our way through, and to Twenty-nine Palms.

And the airconditioning failed....