US road trip

Published: July 26th 2011
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DAY 11
I got up at 8 30 and packed my stuff ready to leave Vegas. Checked out through the tv system which allows you to skip the long checking out queue in the lobby and got a taxi for $13 to Dollar rent a car where I had to wait an hour as they guy in the front office spent 45 minutes sorting two British couples who had messed up their reservation. Finally I got my car, I just went for the cheapest 5 door car this time because I wasn’t planning to drive a lot really, so I got a claret Nissan Versa. Not a very appealing car but does the job.

I put the Death Valley address in my tomtom and set off towards the Death Valley. As soon as you get out of Vegas it’s all desert but the interesting thing is that it changes constantly. You go from an flat arid area to a hilly one, then one with some kind of trees, then with cactus etc. I stopped somewhere on the way to get some food and I got myself a couple of hot dogs, some water and a cinnamon swirl for $3. Funny how the girl at the counter asked me if I was Australian, I said no, then she said New Zealand, I said no, then she tried with South Africa. I told her I was from Barcelona and then she went, oh I knew you had some kind of accent. Hahaha.

After a couple of hours I got to the Death Valley park, I stopped at a pay station where I had to pay $20 for the entrance. Then I drove to the main areas I wanted to see from the Death Valley. Zabriskie point where you can see spectacular views of the eroded badlands, the Devils golf course where cristalised salt has piled up into mini-mountains, the artist drive my favourite without a doubt, a 9 mile drive with colorfoul eroded hillsides and the Badwater the lowest point in the US. I took lots of pictures and it’s a shame it was so hot, otherwise I’d have liked to explore some of the trails but the temperatures of 48-50 degrees weren’t the best for hiking!

Then it was about 3 30 and I had to decide whether to start my way back towards LA or go somewhere else in the park. I decided to go to Furnace Creek to get something to eat and a drink. Got there and it’s a holiday residence with bungalows and a bar, a restaurant, a museum, swimming pool and…a golf course! Hehe, I went to get something to drink and then before setting off I decided to explore the golf course thinking that it would be closed but it wasn’t. And it happened to be the lowest golf course on earth. And the guy at the shop told me they were doing an especial for $35, 18 hole + car + club rental, so I got changed and went to play gold in the lowest course on earth! I had a very entertaining round, truly enjoying myself, the course was empty, just myself and a 3 ball of French guys I met on the 10th. The holes are not very demanding but its beautiful to play in such surroundings. And I didn’t play to bad either finishing 18 over par. I finished the golf about 6, got changed quickly and started making my way to LA.

According to the tomtom it was a 4 hours drive but I was planning to drive for about 3 hours and at 9ish get some sleep in a motel. I am not sure the tomtom took me through the fastest route but it certainly was the nicest one. Good thing is that I went in one side of the Valley and went out the other side, so got to see different views. And as I said, it’s amazing how the views change within the same desert. I got to see some stunning views of canyons, hillsides and sand dunes and after one hour I found myself driving in a very very lonely road. It was also getting dark so I got a bit worried but it was ok although I didn’t see a soul in miles. The day after I realised the tomtom has taken me through the Mojave desert, that is why it was so quiet.

Finally I made it to a place called Mojave, just one hour drive away from LA and found a Motel6 where I stayed over the night for $35. Managed to get some of my laundry done and fell asleep watching some sports on ESPN. All in all, I drove nearly 400 miles that day, so I was shattered.

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