Holidays Our little holiday diary

California Two

Day 2.

Had a fairly lazy morning playing golf on Alfs 52” TV (like a cinema screen) with a Nintendo thingy. In the afternoon, we drove into Carlsbad where Denises boss lives so that she could collect something for her work. We then drove down the coast road (very picturesque) to San Diego Old Town. Had a wander round the shops and garden centres, which had some fabulous things but wouldn’t be very practical here in the UK. We just don’t have the weather for the delicate ornaments they had to offer. Such a pity really. In the evening, in the old town square in the centre is a bandstand with a band playing Pan Pipes. Very haunting music in the setting sun. Everyone but me (Eric, cos I was driving) sat outside drinking huge margaritas. Life isn’t fair is it! All in all, it was a nice relaxing day and we cam home via a Mexican takeaway and picked up Chicken Burritos or something like that. They were huge, a nice way to round the day off.

 

Day 3.

Got up rather late then we all made our way up into Ramona, a very pretty little town. Very American and unspoilt by tourism. We had breakfast out on the pavement (sidewalk) and watched the world go by as we ate. After that, we went on to a supermarket in Ramona to catch up on some shopping. I bought myself a hat and a pair of trainers, (that I still have to this day and wear whenever we go to a reasonably warm country, the trainers I mean, I lost my hat later on the trip). It was then decided that we would all go to a rodeo down in Lakeside San Diego. Diane and I had never been to one before and it was quite an eye opener. I had always fancied trying my hand at horse riding but after watching these events, I think I will leave it to those who are daft enough to go on them. Anyway, we enjoyed the whole show and came away with complete admiration for all the riders there. It was a working rodeo and the riders were competing for fairly large amounts in prize money. To top it all, when we got back to Alfs house, the rest of his family were there and we finished up having a great B.B.Q. out on his veranda. All in all it was a very good day.

 

Day 4.

Quite an exciting day for us today. We were on our way to Las Vegas. In the dim and distant past, I had mentioned to Alf that I had always wanted to visit an American Ghost town, so, in his usual meticulous way, he had planned our Las Vegas route to go via Calico, a small ghost town at the southern end of the Mojave Desert. Unfortunately, there had been a small earthquake the week before we had arrived in the USA so the town had been closed to visitors. Not to be outdone, Alf had rearranged our route to go via Death Valley instead, taking in Ridgecrest, Trona, Stovepipe Wells, Furnace Creek and Badwater (The lowest point in North America 282 ft below sea level). It meant a far longer journey but what the heck, we were on our holidays. Once into Death Valley National park, we happened to turn off the main road and found ourselves running out of tarmac. The track got worse and worse, at which point Alf quietly told us that only a month before, four German tourists had broken down in their car in the same area and died of heat exhaustion when they tried to walk back to the main road. (A sobering thought). Luckily we found a rangers hut and there was a map pinned on the door so we were able to find our way back onto the proper road. Quite a relief! As we made our way up towards Stovepipe Wells we passed through a small town called Trona. We don’t know if any of you remember a film called Deliverance but the atmosphere that was supposed to emanate from there could also be felt by the three of us and we made sure our windows were all closed and we didn’t slow down or stop till we had got well clear of the town. Before we set off, Alf had phoned the golf club in Furnace Creek and booked a round of golf for us. When we got to Furnace Creek, Diane needed the toilet so used a local petrol filling station there to relieve herself  before we carried on, trying to find the golf course where we had booked our round. We never found it but we did find the Devils Golf Course which was a huge expanse of land that was very heavily ridged but no way a golf course. We found out much later that the actual golf course was behind the petrol filling station that Diane had used. Motoring on through Death Valley we eventually passed through Pahrump. Going over the crest of a hill we could see the lights of Las Vegas which is about forty miles away. Finally arriving there we made our way to the Circus Circus where Alf had booked a couple of nights for us.

 

Part Three now, if you want it!.

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