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Published: August 15th 2011
My old bra...
left in Walmart car-park.
So we left the beautiful Yosemite early with the mission to return the car by 10am; 1/3 of the way there and we realized that there was no way we were going to make it in time; I had a brain wave “let’s call the car company to see if we can bring the car back later”, as we want to extend the contract anyway and sure enough they were fine with it and to think we could have had an extra hour in bed…
We stopped along the way at a fruit and vegetable stand and Walmart to buy some supplies and arrived in San Fran at 2pm. After Dim sorted the car and worked his usual negotiation tactics we drove away in an upgraded car at 3pm (all for the same price we got the economy car last time). We decided to go to Santa Cruz for the night, the drive there was very stressful as the roads were really busy and in our opinion the American drivers are amongst some of the worst we have encountered, which doesn’t help our road rage.
We arrived in Santa Cruz and decided to eat tea on the beach; this
was very nice but Santa Cruz itself was nothing special we felt that the Lonely Planet book had again oversold the place; it was really busy and reminded us of Blackpool so we headed out of there.
We knew of 2 state parks we could camp in but when we got there, they were full; we thought we could sneak into one after the ranger had gone and so we hung around until 10.30pm; did some washing and then went in; there were no tents so we pushed the back seat of the car down and decided to sleep there. We were just putting sheets up as curtains when the ranger pulled up and asked us to move on!!! We found a dodgy rest stop by Highway 1 and settled down to an uncomfortable night sleep in a place where men were using it as a meeting spot; and when Dim got out in the night for a pee in the night he received some unwanted admiration from one guy…
We moved out of there 1st thing in the morning and realized that, that had probably not been one of our best ideas, but we survived. We sneaked into
a campsite to use the shower and then made it to Watsonville to go to the Strawberry Festival; we had breakfast and brushed our teeth by the side of the road and I was feeling a bit pissed off with travelling this morning and living out of the back of the car; it can sometimes give you the sense of what it must feel like to be homeless (but luckily we are not). We went to the Strawberry festival and entered a pie eating contest which was a good laugh and cheered us both up.
We then made tracks towards Kings canyon and Sequoia National Parks stopping near Fresno to camp for a night; we got talking to a huge group of people and they gave us nice bbq chicken which was great; they were ecstatic that we were from England and loved our accents; we played a bit of volleyball with them before having a few glasses of wine and then hitting the sack. The next morning we had a shower in the outdoors from a big water collector, before we hit the road to visit the National Parks.
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