Well, okay, so actually we drove. From San Diego, we drove straight to Indio, which is just south of the Joshua Tree National Park. Got there to late to do anything; to be honest, the area (Palm Springs) looks like there is little to do except bask in luxury of expensive hotels. The next day, we drove through the Indio mountains; this is edge of the desert proper and was, in a nutshell hot (38C) and dry.

The Joshua Tree park was $15 to get in with a car; money well spent. It’s full of Joshua Trees as you might guess, but also amazing rocks, cactus of all sorts, animals, a hidden valley (which really is hidden, I got quite nervous when the exit was not where I thought, but another 100m on). The sunset was wonderful.

Today, we drove across the Mohave desert, or at least the outskirts of it. The fuel gauge just went shooting down, as the air con fought against the desert heat. We skirted London Bridge (for this is where it ended up) and then caught Route 66 (which isn’t called 66 anymore). Oatman clearly lives entirely on tourism; it’s complete with Tavern, jail with gallows and, bizarrely, semi-wild ex-pit ponies. It was actually less tacky than you might think, and the journey there was fabulous.

After that, we headed to Flagstaff which is where I am now, in a motel. It’s pleasant and cool, being at a little over 2000m in elevation. The motel is on Route 66 again. It’s also next to the Himalaya Grill; no idea why they called it Grill; nor Himalaya as it’s not basically curry, although with anise and a few other unusual spices. Well, suffice it to say, I am now very stuffed and rather happy.

Originally published on my old blog site.