Posts Tagged ‘rain’

Re-wired!!

24th March 2011 by Helen
in the thick of it - note the gaffa tape!!

in the thick of it - note the gaffa tape!!

We have been staying in the guest cottage belonging to Will & Carlie in Ranchero Santa Fe.  It’s been a great opportunity to chill a bit (for me) and for Paul to get his teeth into some work – rewiring a Series 2A Land Rover.

2011 03 24 (4) - plants in Will's garden - copyQuite glad we’ve not been in the tent as the weather has been uncharacteristically wet to say the least.  California has had more rain than usual recently. although rather conveniently this has mostly been at night.  The whole area is beautiful with lush green foliage and brightly coloured plants.  Some areas are getting concerned at the excess water and whether or not there might be some damage caused by mud slides in places such as parks and gardens.  Moves have been made to prevent this happening by protecting the land with plastic sheeting.  The overall impression is that Californians take great pride in their environment and take the time and trouble to keep it looking nice.  It works.

San Fran

12th March 2011 by Helen
Alcatraz

Alcatraz

After a bit of a lie in to recover from our day at Cole European yesterday, we spent a little time exploring San Francisco today.

We decided we didn’t really need to visit Alcatraz, although we leant on the railings and peered across the water at the ‘rock’.  The most surprising thing was that it seemed so close to the mainland.  I imagine it must have been really frustrating for those imprisoned on the island.

2011 03 12 (45) - Pier 39 - San Fran - carousel - rotated

riding the carousel at Pier 39 San Francisco

We also took a walk around Pier 39, what I think is the main tourist pier.  It struck us both as being just like Blackpool back home.  Lots of souvenir shops selling T-shirts and such like.  Didn’t see any Kiss Me Quick hats, guess that can’t be very American.  The usual street entertainers, many of which are pretty second rate.  A juggler who had a pretty dismal sound system and no personality to his patter.  One guy trying to do one of those ‘freeze’ mimes – where they stand so still you think they are statues until they scare some poor passer-by – except he hardly stood still – the ones you get in Covent Garden in London were much better.  We stopped a while to listen to blues singer Dave Earl.  He was definitely the best, but then as I love the Blues I might have been a bit biased too!!

this little lad was dancing for all he was worth to Dave Earl's Blues

this little lad was dancing for all he was worth to Dave Earl's Blues

smelling the flowers in San Fancisco

smelling the flowers in San Fancisco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

streets of San Francisco

streets of San Francisco

Landy takes a view on Golden Gate Bridge

Landy takes a view on Golden Gate Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we started our journey south again.  The weather’s warm, the spring flowers are blooming, the rain’s falling.  But it’s been another quite long day and we are tired, so on spotting a ‘campsite’ sign just short of Santa Cruz we make that our stop for the night.  Apart from the usual drone of traffic in the background, in what is proudly declared the most populated State in the US, there is an amazing racket being kept up by the local frog population.

Campsite – KOA at Costanoa (just north of Santa Cruz)

Reunited at last

8th December 2010 by Helen

The day dawned overcast and soggy, as we have come to learn is to be expected here in Seattle at this time of year.  So very similar to England.  A bit of snow a few days back virtually paralysed the city – sounds familiar.  But now it’s back to ‘normal’ again.

The good news is that today is the day we are reunited with Landy.  It’s a relief to know it’s happening at last.  When we were told he had to be steam cleaned we were also told that if the port authorities did not get this job done before the 14th we would have to export him again (by the 14th) or he would be crushed.  Yes, I did say that right.  If they didn’t do the job it would be our responsibility.  But, they got the steam cleaning sorted out in time.  We got our bill (way over the original estimate of course, after all that tooing and froing around the port).

Barton finally reunited with his bike

Barton finally reunited with his bike

Barton (whose bike was also in the same container as Landy and who has been subject to the same frustrating delays) picked Paul up early this morning and they headed off to the port.

Paul knew there would be some work to do when he arrived at the port.  After all, we had had to remove the roof tent and other items from the roof before Landy could go in the container.  The roof tent would need strapping on the roof but virtually everything else was packed inside the car. 

Oh no it wasn’t.

Landy ready to leave the port in Seattle

Landy ready to leave the port in Seattle

We had been told that Landy had passed the x-ray and would not need a full inspection.  It was only the Department of Agriculture who wanted to inspect his externals to make sure there was not stray mud containing bugs and seeds still attached to him.  That was all we thought had happened.  Instead Paul was greeted with what seemed like half Landy’s contents piled on a palette next to him.  The whole lot had been removed and presumably inspected.  Trouble was, the inspectors hadn’t been able to get everthing back in!

Things were shoved in wherever they could get them, the rest left lying on the palette.  So much for the standard overlanders’ advice to try and be present when your vehicle is containerised and taken off again.  No choice and no chance in America.

Still, an hour later, after rearranging the insides to get the rest in and Paul was able to set off.  Not until after the lady in the customs office said she had been reading our blogs (including our comments about customs services so far!!).  She indicated that the customs officers had been reading them too!!

Thanks guys for helping out with getting some much needed diesel

Thanks guys for helping out with getting some much needed diesel

Petrol is king here in America and not all fuel stations sell Landy’s choice of tipple, diesel.  After only being allowed to board the ship with less than five litres of diesel on board, and not having been able to take a jerry can of diesel to the port as all our jerry cans were on board, Landy was feeling a bit thirsty.  Five hundred yards from the fuel station he dug his heels in and refused to go any further.  Stopping just short of the parking lot of Always Affordable Automative Paul found help in the form of a shove forward from a large police vehicle.  The staff in the autoparts store gave Paul a lift to the gas station and back and he was off on his way again.

If Paul thought that was the end of his adventures on leaving the port he was wrong.  What he hadn’t realised was that the customs people had laid our table on top of the roof, underneath the roofrack, not secured to anything.  He found out as he went round a corner and the table slid from the roof in a glide down to the road.  Fortunately it landed a few feet from a parked car an no other vehicles got in the way!!  Once retrieved he was on his way again.

With Landy back at Carl and Marilyn’s we tackled sorting out the roof but we now face a massive job unpacking and repacking the rest before we can go camping again.  But that’s a job for another day now.