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Going to Southern California? Take a detour! Don’t miss Joshua Tree

My mum and I just got back from a week of holiday in Oceanside, half an hour north of San Diego. First of all, 7 days is wayyyy too short. My mum and were both sad to leave, and would much rather still be on the beach (although she’s in Paris right now, so I don’t know why she’s complaining!)

I’m going to write some more posts shortly, about how to spend a day in San Diego, and how to spend a day in Los Angeles (Ugh! Short answer: don’t)

In the meantime, I’m going to post a few pictures of one day trip that you should make: Joshua Tree National Park. We hummed and hawed about it for a while, and finally decided that we really wanted to go. And boy, were we glad we did!

Our day didn’t really go according to plan: we had planned on going in through the North entrance, driving through the middle, and leaving through the South entrance, then going to a town called Indio, the so-called date capital of the world, on our way back to Oceanside.

We started our day by driving to the North entrance, which was a 3 hour journey from Oceanside, only to be told that it was closed due to a flash flood. The South entrance was also closed, which meant that we wouldn’t be driving through Indio either. We turned around, drove 16 miles back to the Joshua Tree entrance, and went to see some amazing, nothing-else-like-it scenery. We drove right down to the Cholla garden, which was just incredible, then straight up again, back to our same entrance. This detour added an extra two hours of driving to our trip that way.

We decided that we still wanted to go to Indio, even though it was a 30 mile detour (each way!) for us on the way home, in the hope that Shields, Indio’s famous date store and café, would be open.

Well, it wasn’t. And then the GPS took us home on the sketchiest, mountainiest road ever. So, that part sucked. All in all, we could have skipped Indio and saved ourselves a lot of driving for nothing, but hey – live and learn! Hopefully you’ll research your trip more than I did. (All I did was think “Hey! Let’s tell the GPS to bring us to the centre of Indio!)

This awkward, unplanned, annoying detour notwithstanding, Joshua Tree is an amazing place to go. Do it!IMGP9406



Mum and the Chollas

Mum and the Chollas

Cholla Cactus Garden

Cholla Cactus Garden

A dead cholla...

A dead cholla…


Keyes view. Scared my mum by sitting (not really) close to the edge

Keyes Lookout. Scared my mum by sitting (not really) close to the edge

Actually pretty scary!

Kinda scary!

My mama, on the Hidden Valley Nature Trail

My mama, on the Hidden Valley Nature Trail

Mum wanted to go to Shields to buy dates. I wanted to go and see a movie: The Romance and Sex Life of the Date.