24. Apr, 2016


SUNDAY 20-04-08 

The motion detector went off twice during the night and I had difficulty turning off the very loud piercing pulsing sound on both occasions even though it’s a very easy combination number to deactivate it. The Chef remembered nothing of it this morning; she’d slept through it all. 

Despite my disturbed night I awoke at 06:30, got dressed and went outside to further reduce the volume of scrap, formerly our awning. I needed to reduce its volume as small as possible and then dispose of it somewhere as it was taking up space and was extra weight we didn’t want. My early morning hack-sawing will have woken some new ‘neighbours’ who sometime during the night had been silly enough to move their RV’s up to join us out of the wind. 

After much effort sawing the steelwork, cutting up the awning, and liberal use of duct tape I was left with two large ‘parcels’. All I had to do now was get rid of them. 

After a shower and breakfast we set off towards Carmel which was yesterday’s planned destination. On arrival we tried to drive the RV down in to the town but there were vehicle size restrictions, and so decide not to bother. We needed fuel and found a local Shell gas station at which Vince, a really helpful member of staff, took the parcels of scrap off us and placed them in the gas station’s dumpsters. He wouldn’t even consider a generous tip for helping us out. I’m becoming extremely touched by the generosity and helpfulness of ordinary people who I would be very pleased to tip, as opposed to the individuals who work in casinos etc who expect a tip, no matter how little they do or undeserving they are. 

Having managed to offload the excess weight we made our way down Hwy1. The route, about 100 miles or so, was very scenic, with the ocean always on our right side, climbing, dropping, twisting, turning, but always picturesque. Interestingly we don‘t recall seeing any warnings about the lack of egress off the road. Basically once you’re on it you have to stay on it until the bitter end and there weren’t very many gas stations either. We formed the opinion that this long coastline was a ‘look, but don’t touch’ scenic drive. There were lots of places to pull in and take a look, but very few places to actually access the beach, and we only saw one marked hiking trail during the whole journey, no doubt there are more, we just didn’t see them. 

Tonight we are camped in Santa Maria, where we will probably spend all day tomorrow to give us some chill time. This campground has the grottiest bathroom block but the cheapest washer/driers we have yet come across. I also need to get the RV’s tyre pressures checked accurately. After that we’re thinking about going straight to Malibu. If we find we’ve banked enough time ahead of schedule then we may well try to return to Death Valley for a couple of days en-route to Zion National Park later in the trip. 

Tonight local television weather forecasts are predicting a frost between 04:00 & 08:00, so it could be a cold night. 

LOCATION TONIGHT: Santa Maria Pines RV Park, 2210 Preisker Lane, Santa Maria CA (GPS: N34.981430 W120.435188).