28. helmi, 2018

An extended camping experience near San Diego

The sun is shining brightly above the Californian skies. It’s winter here, as hard as that is for us Finns to believe. During the day it’s still definitely hot enough for shorts and t-shirts, and even after sunset a cardie is enough to keep me warm. We’ve had a lovely few days, relaxing at the Sweet Water Region Park, in the outskirts of San Diego. Our daily activities have consisted of running in the mornings, hiking in the hills, geo-catching and taking photos of the surrounding nature. We’ve had the opportunity to watch fluffy chipmunks and rabbits engrossed in their usual shenanigans, witness the unique hunting flight of a red-tailed hawk, and observe wolf like coyotes jogging around the edges of the area.

We were originally only meant to stay at the site for a couple of days, while waiting on the arrival of some spare parts for Epeli, but the parts took longer to arrive than we’d anticipated so our stay got stretched to a week, and after receiving the wrong parts, we ended up having to stay for another week. We’re on a bit of a tight schedule, because without a visa we can only spend three months in the states and in the past two weeks so far we’ve only advanced 20km from the border. For this reason, we’re itching to get back on the road, but on the other hand, we really do need to get Epeli fixed before we attempt tackling the traffic of our next destination, Los Angeles. This park has been a lovely and quiet spot for us to wait in though, and we have enjoyed our time here.

Epeli sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the other motorhomes. Our camper looks tiny compared to these huge, luxury vehicles that are about the same size as a bus, with sides that spread out further when parked. They’re like bungalows on wheels, complete with dishwashers, bar cabinets and leather furniture. Attached to the back of these giants there’s often a trailer carrying a car, which is handy for trips to walmart and getting around, avoiding any unnecessary steps in true American style.

We’ve been shopping too, wandering around the gigantic supermarkets, gobsmacked by the sheer volume of available products, and taking in the American way of life. At the egg aisle, the difference in lifestyle between here and, say, rural Mexico really hits home to me. I’d already got used to buying eggs loose and wiping off any remaining feathers and chicken poo before use. To check if an egg was fresh, I’d just crack it open and give it a bit of a sniff. Here, the eggs have been packed into neat styrofoam containers with labels that tell us exactly how long they’ll be good for and whether the eggs inside are average, large, jumbo or extra large, white or brown, organic or free range etc.
The other thing that stands out to us is the staggering amount of packaging; products have often been wrapped individually, before being bagged in a plastic bag and then put in a cardboard box. I try my best to get rid of as much of the packaging as I can while filling our tiny fridge. I notice that much of what I’ve bought I actually just air, and my bin is soon filled with all the wrappers.

In the evening, we sit outside watching the city lights in the valley and counting the aeroplanes landing at San Diego airport. Sometimes there are as many as three of them waiting to land at the same time. We’ve received news about the car parts, unfortunately things have been delayed again by at least a couple of days. All we can do now, is to get our map out and re-think our route to accommodate for the lost time.