November 2017

our campsite at Alabama Hills our campsite at Alabama Hills

Alabama Hills, California

The "Alabama Hills Recreation Lands" are situated close to the village Lone Pine at the foot of Mount Whitney, the second highest mountain of the United States, at the edge of the Sierra Nevada. Unbelivable impressive landscapes! The rock formations are beautiful and one is free to climb up and around everywhere. We were caught up for ten days at this amazing piece of land.
The museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine is worth a visit. It demonstrates the history of the 400 western movies shot since 1920. 

Alabama HillsAlabama Hills

Getty Center, Los Angeles

After a whole day visit to the J. Paul Getty Art Museum we were simply overwhelmed.

Architecture, surrounds and gardens of this phenomenal complex high above Beverly Hills are worth a visit already. Only 3% of the huge collection of 45,000 objects are displayed.
Every year at least 4.2 % of the endowment, which started off at 2.2 billion and has grown to 4.5 billion has to be invested in the purchase of new object. With regards to its buying power alone the Getty Foundation takes up one of the top positions of the worlds art museums.

Getty CenterGetty Center

 Getty CenterGetty Center

Palm Springs Air Museum

The PSAM is home to one of the largest collections of Warbirds of the time of the Second World War and the Korea and Vietnam War, including the C-47 and P-51 Mustang. Some of the other flying exhibits ore for example Grumman F8f Bearcat, Supermarine Spitfire, Grumman F4F Wildcat, Bell P-63 Kingcobra and North American T-28.0.
The sophisticated technique at that time of the already retractable wings of some planes in order to safe parking space on the carriers is fascinating. As a hobby pilot I am well aware of the enormous forces, to which in extreme flight conditions the wings are exposed to.

It is also striking that apparently it was not possible to fly without beautiful women. Today’s automobile advertisement must have copied that from the old warplanes.
Proud war veterans, former military pilots as informants in the exhibiting halls were, for us as not such great war enthusiasts, awkwardly haunting.

Palm Springs Air MuseumPalm Springs Air Museum

Santa Monica

One of the landmarks of Santa Monica is the Santa Monica Pier, that was built in the 1920s and which is hosting a small entertainment park today. Santa = it seems the only thing holy around the tourist-flooded pier is money

Santa Monica Pier, not just a visitorSanta Monica Pier, not just a visitor

Santa Barbara

This coastal town is often called the capital of the American Riviera. Extremely neat it is also popular as a celebrity residence of stars like Kirk Douglas and Oprah Winfrey.
In the surrounding mountains of Santa Barbara outstanding winelands have been established.  Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the preferred wines to be found. 

Santa Barbara BeachSanta Barbara Beach

Barona Resort & Casino

In the early evening we reached the massive resort with casino. The security guard in a Follow-Me-Car directed us to our overnight spot. After a short chat he excused himself only to return 15 minutes later. He delivered a personal invitation card from the director of the casino, who had noticed our vehicle with the Swiss sticker, which he really liked.

We were invited free of charge to the most extensive buffet dinner we have ever seen.
Separate buffets of seafood, Mexican, Chinese, Dim-Sum, Mongolian, American BBQ, rotisserie with prime ribs, soups and salat, omelette and crêpes and desserts. We enjoyed this invitation with its extravagance without restraint as we saw how hundreds were feeding the machines in the casino non-stop.

We have not taken away anything from a poor family!

casino

Upcoming transition to Mexico 

Before entering Mexico we organised ourselves the in Australia and South Africa well-proven and helpful relaxation assitant Maxtrax.
We also exchanged the two normal, too weak VRLA batteries of a capacity of 110 A/h with two new AGM with 250 A/h.

MaxtraxMaxtrax

After the recommendation of a friend we in advance also took out a motor vehicle compulsory insurance for Mexico with www.discoverbaja.com in San Diego.
The service was swift and superb. The immigration papers for the entry into Mexico were completed and delivered as well. Even though we have the maximum cover for both vehicles the costs are much less than in the USA.

Discover Baja Travel ClubDiscover Baja Travel Club

Border crossing Tecate to Baja California Mexico

Six sedan cars in front of us were waved through by the customs officer without any problems. But we were directed to the side. As we had some valuables stashed in the back my pulse rate increase. Luckily, she delegated the vehicle control to a younger officer.

Brigitte is our team specialist for customs officers. Before we had extended the back stairs and opened the door of our camper, the man had been thoroughly informed in Spanish about our whereabouts, our plans, how much we were looking forward to visiting Mexico… the lax control was then a pure routine exercise.
After worldwide more than 100 border crossings our experiences have shown us that male officers normally are less strict than the females. 

The immigration was done within ten minutes thanks to the forms prepared by the insurance. Mexico, here we come.

Tecate Baja BorderTecate Baja Border

Photos