California Deserts

As we arrived in Palm Springs at night, it wasn’t possible to understand how it is organised as a city, so the next morning we were absolutely overwhelmed. As I believe I said before, I love the desert and arid places with hot weather. Coachella Valley is as dry as it comes and is embraced by beautiful and dramatic mountains.

Half of Palm Springs is made out of country clubs, as I expected. Whenever I thought of it before coming there I always imagined retired rich people with a dark tan and pastel coloured golf apparel either hanging out next to a swimming pool or driving golf carts around. Sorry if this sounds prejudiced, but I find it kind of funny, though.

One thing I loved was the Spanish architecture heritage and the super organised and lovely neighbourhoods. As we walked and drove around soaking in the vibe, we decided to go north, towards Joshua Tree National Park.

I have never seen Joshua Trees and now I want to have one but can’t find it anywhere in Portugal! They’re really cool and funky looking and there are thousands of them. On our way to Yucca Valley we had to stop a few times as the surrounding nature was taking our breath away. Yucca Valley is a little city with loads of hipster/alternative shops and coffee shops. We had lunch there and visited some vintage shops.

We heard somewhere that there was this place called Pioneertown, only a few minutes away from Yucca Valley, which was created in 1940’s as a set for western movies. So, not as old as it seems, it’s old and interesting enough to take a detour. Some of the buildings have real businesses inside.

This day we had to drive to Las Vegas but we had time. The drive is 3 hours and a half , so we had time to stop whenever we wanted.

One thing about driving from point A to point B that I’ve learned is to enjoy the ride. Because in between are all the things you didn’t predict and you can be surprised if you take a minute to look around. You may find amazing things if you do decide to go check what’s around you. This is how we found The Amboy Salt Flats and the Amboy Volcano Crater, this black beauty in the middle of the sandy Mojave Desert. I have to say that I’ve never seen a volcano before, and Luis was laughing at me because apparently this is a really small one. Nonetheless I was psyched to be there and to think how those black rocks laying still on the ground were once vivid lava (don’t mind me, I have become an enthusiast of geology and mineralogy throughout the years but I’m still very naïve in the field).

Ok, so, after all, we were driving for a bit on Route 66 without knowing, I guess it could have happened before but we were too absorbed with everything to notice it! 😅

One thing I knew I wanted to see near Las Vegas was Ugo Rondinone‘s Seven Magic Mountains. They’re beautiful and we got lucky to see them as this public art exhibition ended at the end of 2018!

All over the roads we drive by, there are peculiar things, some made by nature and some by men. I’m not sure if I felt this way because of the harsh contrast between it and the calmness of the deserts we were coming from, but Las Vegas did not win my heart. We were even thinking of getting married there before we arrived, but Vegas is not worthy of the celebration of such a pure thing as the love me and Luis have for each other. I guess it’s just not for us, as I couldn’t feel anything but the cheesiness and fakeness of everything around me. Therefore I will skip my Vegas experience and my next post will be about Grand Canyon!! ❤

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