Sunday, 21 November 2010
Palm Springs, San Diego and Oceanside
So leaving behind our Canyon adventure and the desert heat we head back towards the coast (yet again) our next stop being an over-nighter 300 miles away in Palm Springs (still desparately hot).
With vouchers in hand we found a surprisingly nice travel lodge with two lovely pools, in-room A/C and a four poster bed outside by one of the pools... all for $30!! A strange but pleasant feeling to be able to go to bed with out having to make it and store everything away in the front seats :) I went to the pool for a cool down, Tim stayed in the room with A/C on full and a TV (it had been a while since he's seen tv so i lost him to bad american dramas for a few hours).
So, Palm Springs seems very nice, we found a nice restaurant that was heaving, always a good sign, so we treated ourselves to a Margarita (it was Monday after all) and they were good :) A very pleasant nights sleep at our desired room temperature, a free breakfast consumed and we got back in a very hot Jeremy, heading toward San Diego. But as we don't like to make things easy for ourselves we plummetted south and travelled along the Mexcian border, ending near Tijuana... one wrong move and we were in Mexico! But instead we ended up in a huge shopping mall surrounded by thousands of Mexicans, feverishly purchasing all the things they presumably can't get back home and cramming them into suitcases. After people-watching for some considerable time, we continued our journey toward San Diego.
As we unable to camp on the beach or in any area close to the beach without being towed away we decided to book into a hostel, a strange thing as we had been sleeping alone in Jeremy for sometime so "sharing" space was going to be a bit of a change... but we we're both excited as this would be a beach hostel and a cool place to chillax for a while. The drive was quite long and hot (of course) but we got to our hostel which was indeed by the beach, the room was probably the smallest room we've been in but was able to home 4 couples...cosy!?!? With beds tagged we headed to the beach to stretch our legs and watch the sun go down. It was all very bay watch, surfers catching the last waves before dark and the coloured lifeguard huts we're lovely.
After a good night's sleep I headed out early with a map along the beach front where I was greeted by some kind of race of 100's of people, I just mingled in and did my own thing then headed back in time for breakfast. By this stage in our journey my trainers have done many 100's of miles and we're really not doing there best anymore and i was in dire need of a new pair, but to cut a long story short i need a certain type, trust me i've tried many trainers and i know what suits me, so with this in mind we had a look around for some new ones for me, but they are quite hard to come by, but as luck would have it, we'd stopped for a drink and happened to sit next to a couple of ladies chatting about running etc. so i interupted them explained my predicament and they pointed us in the right direction to get what i needed and with a bargian in store if we were lucky !!!. It would be on our way out the following day, so i was very excited about that info. With that sorted we wandered round the town, which is very nice and laid back with lovely buildings and green areas.
Once we had "done" the centre we headed back to the beach. I had decided to hire a big foam board from the hostel and test my not very good surfing skills. I was reliabily informed that as the sea was lovely and warm no wet suit required, personally i beg to differ, anyway with a t-shirt and shorts on i dragged my massive board to the beach while Tim brought the blanket and lunch.
I won't lie to you it wasn't pretty, i didn't last long the waves we're huge i was being whipped round like a rag doll in a washing machine, unable to even glide into the shore, after what seemed like ages i dragged myself out and flopped onto the beach, very much like a beached whale! after removing my t-shirt Tim pointed out I was bleeding :( i had managed to some how get quite a gash over my ribs, probably from the fin, anyway i was quite upset and didn't want to go back in by myself, so I used the board as a sun bathing impliment, much safer and very comfy.
With calmer waves, I did go in much later with Tim and managed to nearly stand up which i was very chuffed about, i think i might leave the next surfing until maybe Australia.
Another lovely sunset, we wandered down to the end of the pier to watch it, not quite as romantic as it sounds as we we're surrounded by loads of Mexican families who fish all day, gutting there catch on the boardwalk or the railings, so a pungent sunset to say the least.
Right then dinner time; every night we had seen massive queues for this burger joint called Hodads (which is someone who talks the talk of surfing and wears the kit but doesn't actually surf... so, Tim then!) on the main street from the beach oposite the hostel. So we joined the queue - we are British after all - and it was so very well worth it. The inside of the diner was a trendy diner where i suspect they had spent alot of money trying to look like they hadn't spent any money! The burgers were massive (and I had the kids one!) Tim had the "mans" one and we we're both very pleased with our choices. So with full stomaches and a little walk along the beach to try and walk off some of what we had eaten we headed back to our hostel. We both really enjoyed San Diego, such a nice place to be, somewhere i think you could hang out for quite sometime, if you didn't have the rest of the world to see, well some of it anyway!
Another morning, another great run. Breakfast, then pack and head-out to find the trainer shop. OMG! It was like my heaven it was huge, if only i had an income i could of spent so long there, anyway i digress..we both got our foot analayis done, really just to humour the very smiley assistant, and armed with our data. we went to get shoes.
All very nice and very expensive. Now as we are on a budget, and remembering what the coffee shop ladies had told me, i enquired about the seconds area, so out the main shop and round the back we found my very expensive trainers for half price, (someone had tried them and didn't like them) so once worn and no box, i was the new owner of a pair of Brooks GT10's and Tim got some cross trainers too,and a pair of socks, which will hopefully help his achilies pain as his Merrels are useless now. So happy footed Marsh's we head off up the coast.
We spent that night in a nice campsite in the woods, a cool nights sleep, and the following morning we tested the trainers with a short training-circuit i made for us. Tim was quite keen until we started, so trainers broken in kind of... we headed to our next stop, which would be Oceanside, a nice, clean and tidy place.
We went to the surf museum which small but very well done, especially as they had an exhibition called woman on waves, (in my head one day it'll be me)... we spent hours there. We then had to try and find somewhere to stay, we popped into the tourist info. and were told to go to the harbour and pay a fee to camp in the car park over night. So we did, we found a space right on the beach,over looking the sea, perfect. I went off for a run to explore our new area, so nice to have bounce back under foot, there were lots of boats, a great warrior boats race going on and many surfers.
Back from my run, refreshing cold shower!, wrapped up warm then we fired up a fire pit (several dotted along the beach front), as the sun went down to cook our dinner (chicken fajitas and wraps, oh yes we eat quite well don't you know), it was a beautiful evening which drifted lazily into night time.
While we sat, on another fire pit next too us we were joined by a young man called Rolland with his digeridoo, (this is not a euphamism), Now i have never actully heard one played properly, well apart from Rolf Harris, and I'm not sure if that's good or not, anyway Rolland was good (later his friend turned up with drums which improved things still further), it was a really nice night. He gave us lots of info. for our onward journey as he'd just come back from a long travel himself. He also gave more wood for our fire, thank you Rolland very much appreicated. Their friends turned up and continued to party but we were very tired travellers so we said our goodbyes and slept to the sound of the waves and wood instruments.
The following morning we we're woken at 5.30am by the surfers, who all seem to just apear from no where, surf for a couple of hours then go off to work. not a bad life if you ask me. Went for a barefoot run along the beach, cold showered, packed up and off. We didn't actually get very far as we were both quite tired from our morniing awakening to drive for to long. We found a campsite in a place called Paloma, nice site espcially as it had a swimming pool and jucuzzi which we used until it went dark watching the stars come out. We were both quite excited as we had got a comformation from Linda in Ecuador for us to Helpx with her,so we we're looking forward to our next "job" in South America. Up early and the sat nav programmed we we're LA bound. Bright lights and big city would be a bit of a shock but we had to try and sell Jeremy before we flew out of LA, so we wanted to spend some time in LA getting flyers into hostels etc. This would be the last leg of our American story with Jeremy. A sad time indeed :(