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Mar 22, 2012

American Roadtrip


Short account of our West America Roadtrip between the 13th and 29th February
Category: United States
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Short account of our West America Roadtrip between the 13th and 29th February

Albuquerque

It's in New Mexico, in Albuquerque that we landed on the12th February to collect the brand new Jeep that we had rented. We spent a night in a cheap and very welcoming youth hostel. It's called Road 66, don't hesitate to stop there if you go through this city.

Flagstaff

It's between Albuquerque and Flagstaff that we had a car accident. Our adventure could have ended there. Fortunately no one was hurt, the car was towed and very luckily we continued our journey on 2 legs and 4 wheels.

Grand Canyon

We spent half a day in Grand Canyon covered which is not much as there's loads to do and see there. We were amazed by the wideness and the beauty of this canyon covered with snow

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon is another national park which inhabits a immense amphitheatre made by erosion throughout the centuries and that shouldn't be missed apparently when you go around West America. Unfortunately we didn't see any of it because of the weather conditions. As you can notice below it was hard for us to admire the landscape!

Monument Valley

It's really worth it spending a whole afternoon in Monument Valley. If you have the right car you will love driving in the middle of the huge rocks. This was definitely the best part of the beginning of the trip because of the immensity and the beauty of the landscapes right in the middle of the Far West. Don't miss the small John Wayne museum which is free and introduce the famous westerns that were shot on this splendid location.

Vegas

Eat, drink and play. This is about all I will remember of Vefas after having played 20 dollars on the roulette for a friend and eaten a 8000 calories burger.

There's still the beautiful fountain of the Belagio, magnificent at night which is a must see. I'll also remember the experience of the drive-in cinema (watching a film from the car in a car park while eating buttered popcorns)

San Francisco

In my opinion San Francisco was the most striking city that we visited on the West Coast. With it's impressive Golden Gate and its steep roads San Francisco is a city that doesn't let one indifferent. We stayed a night in a great youth hostel (where they organise parties with beer pongs and free beers) It is located right in downtown and it has a really friendly atmosphere. The guided tour of Alcatraz that you can reach by boat shouldn't be missed as it's both very entertaining and informative.

Monterrey

Monterrey is a charming little town, very calm but that worth being visited. We stayed there only for an afternoon and a night but thanks to our couchsurfer we had the opportunity to see an amazing sunset on the beach. Monterrey is also famous for being Steinbeck birth town.

Los Angeles

The road between Monterrey and Los Angeles goes along the ocean and has some wonderful landscapes to offer. On the way don't hesitate to stop at Las Piedras Blancas which is a bay on which live a whole colony of sea elephants.

We only stayed a very short time in LA. We only visited the Hollywood area. We climbed some hills to see the famous sign. We also walked on the stars in Hollywood Boulevard which goes on for miles. While you're there don't forget to try IN and OUT which is a typically californian fast food branch. Where you can eat a cheaper burger that McDonald. Also if you have the opportunity go to eat a really really cheap 'sandwich' at Diddie Riese. Their sandwiches are made of a couple of homemade cookies and a scoop of ice cream. These guys are so popular that you might have to queue – even late at night- but it's really worth it.

San Diego

Apparently the weather is always sunny in San Francisco. Though it's the only place on the West Coast where we had some rain. This might be the reason why I didn't enjoyed this city as much as the others even though we spent 3 days there. We were going to spend our last night in a youth hostel but Jo and Jess our couchsurfing host where extremely kind and suggest that we stay one more night in their flat. We went through Balboa park which is full of museums. We visited the Museum of Man. It's in San Francisco that we tested a local speciality that is called French Dip. It's a baguette sandwich in which you can put anything (ham, meat...) and that you have to dip in some meat juice. It's really nice and tasty. From the port we saw the last American sunset of this journey.

Police

Yes, I won't lie we've been confronted to the police more than once!

The first time for our car crash. Sun glasses on, cigarettes at his mouth, the policeman took picture of our car which ended almost vertically out of the road. We had a chat and he never did any breath test.

The second time it's because of me that we got pulled over as I took a one way road (with five lanes!!!) ….Luckily I noticed it straight away and with a small reverse the whole incident would have been forgotten if a police car had not gone by. Again the police man just checked our car renting documents, asked where I came from, took the mickey and left.

Finally Patrick got pulled over a couple of times for breaking the speed limit and again policemen were very nice as each time he got away with a warning. If you think of driving in the States you should watch out for the police patrol on the motorway.

Accommodation

During this 2 weeks roadtrip we slept a bit everywhere. We slept on the car the first five days. It's true that with the three of us in the car it was quite tight and cold but we got to save quite a bit of money. The first night we had a cover for three thinking that it would be enough! I will always remember it was on the car park of Mcdonald in Flagstaff and it had snowed all night, in the morning we were freezing and we went to a second hand clothes shop which was on the car park! We spent a couple of nights in the youth hostels that I have already mentioned (Albuquerque and San Francisco) Finally we were hosted by amazing couchsurfers 7 nights (in San Francisco, Monterrey, LA and San Diego) All the people who hosted us were nice and welcoming.

A few numbers

In 17 days we drove 3400 miles 
On the whole we spent 570 dollars on patrol which is about 360 pounds.

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