Winging round the West Coast
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We gambled away the grand sum of $4 in pokie machines, we had no idea what to do anywhere else and even the pokie machines we could not understand
We had originally anticipated 2 nights but as previously mentioned it turned into 4. Also previously mentioned, our hotel was less than desirable and we decided we would rather sleep the next two nights in the van. Thus on Saturday night we headed to Walmart to park up. We had a few concerns as it was right by the airport and our concerns held true, the van rock’n’rolled all night as the planes landed. The following evening we decided to head to another Walmart further away, only to be rudely awoken at 4.30am by a screechy security lady "You can’t sleep here." Even though when we first parked up 11.30pm the security saw us and didn’t care, don’t know why mean new lady decided at 4.30 that it was no longer acceptable. So we had to take down the blinds and drive back to the airport Walmart for a couple more hours sleep
After Vegas we drove through Death Valley, aptly named as it really is just desert and we nearly died of heat exhaustion. We then headed up to Yosemite. Yosemite was pretty cool but we were a bit tired so didn’t do too many walks. One walk was particularly disappointing as the Lake didn’t exist at this time as it had all dried up, crazy! We also didn’t see any mountain lions, much to Alex’s dismay. The Sequoia grove was pretty cool though with it’s giant trunks. Alex wanted to see a particular tree which Liz did not, so Liz headed back to the van to cook dinner. It was dark by this time and a bit later arrives a puffing Alex who had sprinted back on an uneven track with thoughts of Mountain Lions pursuing her, being lost in the forest on their confusing trails with no form of light, it was dark people! Her heartbeat slowly returned to normal once she saw the cherry face of Liz and no mountain lion in sight hehe (clearly Alex wrote this).
From Yosemite we headed to the Golden city of San Francisco where all Walmarts hate us. The first Walmart gave us permission to stay there and just as we were snuggled down under the blankets there was a knock at our door, oh no. There was construction occurring that night in the car park and thus all overnighters had to leave, the man told us there was another Walmart just down the road which we could stay at
San Francisco is a bit of a skungy city, very hilly and windy like Wellington but not was pretty. We were a little disappointed as we thought it would be a really funky city. A highlight though was going on a tour through Alcatraz and hearing stories of the famous prisoners held there. We were also told that they got to shower twice a week, gee that’s better than us! We did a bit of a driving tour of the city to see the key sights. We also went to get our make-up done, and it was here that Alex was given a lighter shade than Liz and told this was because clearly Liz was more brown than her, what the?!?! Liz still hasn’t finished talking about it, oh yeah, Liz was called brown that’s right people. We were quite happy to leave San Francisco and begin our journey north. We drove up Highway 1 which runs right up the coast, it was pretty! We stopped just on the Californian border with Oregon to cook tea, it was freezing
We drove for two days solid north along the 101 and are very used to driving on the right, we are a little worried about driving back home! We are not used to the 4-way stop signs of America though. We were told to give way to your right but we have found NO consistent rule at all! Everytime we just prayed and inched our way into the intersection. After our 2 day trip (via Oregon the magical land of no tax and yummy donuts) we made it to Port Angeles to meet back up with DJ from Alaska. We got to stay in his Mum’s RV, it was awesome, a double bed each! It was great fun hanging out with him again, we went for a cool hike around a lake and also to some beautiful waterfalls. It rained the whole way up to PA, but this one day we went hiking the weather was clear, awesome! After 2 nights in Port Angeles we headed off to Canada.
We were very excited to see the ‘thinKMetric’ sign at the border but it was a little embarrassing talking to immigration
Monday morning was a whirlwind of packing and cleaning up. We cut it as fine as possible, having 1 minute to spare before bag check in closed. The lady reminded us of this fact. We were then rushed to the front of the queue to make it through security before our plane left. LA here we come.