The sun is already high in the sky and it’s getting warm outside when I wake up around seven o’clock. It’s clear that I’m in a different area now. I freshen myself up, get a coffee and also fuel up the car. In the desert you don’t want to be without gas, so I make sure my tank is completely full before I hit the road. It’s about one and half hours from here to Joshua Tree National Park and then a few more hours to San Diego. It’s already very warm early in the morning, so today I can wear my shorts again. I like it that I’ve crossed so many different landscapes and weather types in just over a week. Snow and rain yesterday, a dry hot dessert today.
It’s nice and warm in Joshua Tree National Park, but no extremely hot fortunately. It’s mainly a road through a big dessert. At the first stop there is a garden and cactuses. I’ve never understood the beauty of cactuses until now. Here in their natural habitat they are very pretty actually. Driving further through the park I see big rock formations that are tempting to climb, but I don’t want to stay here the whole day, because I hope to reach San Diego tonight. I do a nice hike in what’s called the Hidden Valley, a place in the middle of the park surrounded by rocks. It’s warm and dry here, but it’s not too bad. I think that Spring is a perfect time to visit the United States. Not too cold in the mountains and not too hot in the dessert.
After the short hike and taking some pictures of the Joshua trees, I drive out of the park on the west side. It’s still about four hours to San Diego. Unfortunately I arrive there just around rush hour and it’s very busy on the road. It’s actually a good practice for my driving skills. Six lanes full of cars passing each other on all sides. The traffic jam adds an extra hour to the trip, but I don’t mind it too much. Nevertheless I am very happy when I can exit the interstate and arrive at the beach a bit later. I park my car and step outside. I smell the fresh air from the Pacific Ocean and feel immediately peaceful. The last time I saw this ocean was from the other side of the world. I am very happy to be back at the coast.
There is a long pier by the beach that I walk all the way to the end. I think I can see Mexico from here. I talk with a fisherman at the pier and he tells me it is Mexico indeed. The border is only a couple of miles away and from time to time helicopters are flying over to check if people aren’t crossing. The fisherman tells that sometimes people also try to swim across the border. He tells me that it’s easy to go to Mexico, but hard to come back in America. I had already decided to stay on this side. The pier is full of people fishing, it’s a nice image. After walking the beach and the pier I decide to drive a bit further North. I think I don’t like the idea of sleeping here while helicopters are flying over every ten minutes or so.
I drive for about fifteen minutes until the sun goes down. Then I see a parking place with a few cars and a camper nearby the beach. I find the last free parking place and will stay here for the night. I walk to the beach and see a small restaurant and coffee place where I sit down to update my blog. Unfortunately I left the cable for my phone in the car, so I can’t add the pictures to the story. I’ll post it tomorrow morning. I like to publish everyday, but I also need to accept it when that’s not possible. It’s just that the people who follow my journey will be behind a day. So right now I’m in San Diego already, but I can publish my story about yesterday not before tomorrow. That sounds complicated, doesn’t it? What it comes down to is that while I’m driving to LA tomorrow, you read my story about the Verde Canyon train. By the way, on top of each post you can see my current location at the moment the story is published, so you know where about I am. I’m now at the West coast of America, driving North in the direction of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oregon and Washington state.