Day 142. Thursday 3rd October. Belle Campground Mojave Desert to Wild Camp Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Highway S3. California.

It’s getting much warmer now as we track south. Our campsite was nicely tucked in amongst some pretty amazing rocks. 

It was an early start at 9.30am. Not sure how we managed that but it was nice to get going again. 

For the remainder of the morning we were motoring in the Mojave Protection area of the Joshua Tree National Park. Stopping to view some of the interesting flora. Cacti, Smoke Tree, Joshua Tree and the strange Ocatillo plant/tree.  All struggling to survive in his arid environment. 

Once out of the National Park the sat-nav took us though a maze of dirt mounds impregnated with stones. The newly laid road clearly experiences torrents of water through it in the wet season. Stacked up against any snag were tree roots, branches and all sorts of detritus being swept along. Obviously the road is closed during these wet periods! 

Our direction is south west. The aim is to hit Tijuana without joining any motorways. You could see Hwy 10 between Phoenix and Los Angeles during the brief time we were running parallel and the trucks were nose to tail. The first town of any significance was Mecca. The road in, passed huge areas of cultivation. Lime trees, grapes, potatoes and several other crops with rows for nearly as far as one could see. Interestingly the grape vines were all affected by phylloxera. Large area’s were being torn up. 

Mecca is a very Mexican town. It does have a brilliant Library. I say brilliant as the wifi is fast and the staff are very helpful. Jen got to print out a couple of copies of our newly acquired Insurance through Thum International. Yes, it’s twice the cost of what can be bought at the border but so much more comprehensive. Including replacement cover on the vehicle, if she gets stolen or is destroyed. Along with repatriation costs for us. All insurance is a waste of money….till you need it!! 

Oh! I had an email from a very nice chap we met on the Trans Siberian Train last year, asking how and where we were. Also offering to take and show us Yakiteringburg and Siberia, when we return. Amazing. 

Our chosen route out of Mecca towards Tijuana was down the Eastern side of Salton Sea Hwy 111 but had to turn back as it was notified as being closed just north of Niland.  It would have been closer for us to cross into Mexico at the Mexicali border. The road on the Mexican side back to Baja is not only a toll road but fuel is more expensive in Mexico and we want to hit the Pacific coast on our way down the Baja peninsula. 

The other route on the western side of the Salton sea, Hwy 86 after about 40 miles, saw us taking a right turn on the much lesser S22. What an interesting drive that was. More of the mountains of dirt. One could call them Bad Lands? 

By 4pm and still 86 miles to get to the border. Driving past a Park campsite had us deciding to call it quits for the day. Only small mileages these last few days. 129 miles today. The fee asked for a camp site was $25. I joked with the Camp lady and told her we needed maximum discount on account of being very old and it being the Off Season. After driving around the sites on offer, we went back to her and all she could offer was $23. “But, if your car is 4WD and like to go up the road a bit and follow a certain track, you could camp for free”! My kind of girl, and there were Hi fives all round. 

Our campsite is uninhabited and has a loo. We are Happiness filled…:) 

Tomorrow a new country, language, and currency, all with their own opportunities and challenges. There is excitement, mixed with a tiny bit of apprehension. I’m not sure why the apprehension? 

2 Comments:

  1. You need to have reversable name signs bro, something like ‘Southern Belle’ north of the border and ‘Taco Belle’ in Mexico. Just an idea. Well done on getting this far but think less out of the way camps from now on. Oz just beat Uruguai 45 10 but far from convincing. Just camped not far from Keppel Sands, getting hotter, 37c on tue.

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