Sunday, 30 March 2008

Welcome to Arizona

It's amazing to look back on a map at how far we have traveled in the two months we have been in the US. We have made it to Arizona, which is only one state away from Califorania (the last state before the sea!) We drove through route 80 to Bisbee, where we are now, which was an amazingly scenic drive past yet more mountains. The scenery has changed a lot. There are beautiful sping purple flowers along all the road, but the landscape looks very golden and orange, not a green tree in sight.

On our way to Bisbee we stopped at the tourist office in Douglas and was informed by the lady there that we should walk into Mexico. She said it was perfectly safe, we could leave the RV in the US and that it shouldn't be missed. She also told us that the town on the Mexico side was not at all touristy and uniquely Mexican. So this we did. We were able to walk freely into Mexico through the border gates without anyone questioning us. On our return though we had to answer questions and have our passports taken away and analysed to get back into Arizona. Since then I have heard from many other locals that the border we went through is one of the largest ports for drug trafficing from Mexico, and the locals dont feel its safe there at all! I have no idea why the tourism office is promoting it. Anyway, we walked around Mexico for 30 minutes, got bored, (it was far too hot for walking) and came back to the RV. The Mexico side was such a contrast to the US side, despite being seperated by only one road. The steets were extremely poor and unmaintained. The signs were all in spanish and no one spoke any english. We met beggars looking for spare change. Still, it was an experience. We can now say we've been to Mexico. (Thats a photo of us in Mexico, by the way)

We are now staying in Bisbee which is very close to Tombestone. We've spent two nights here and will be driving to, or through, Tombestone tomorrow. Bisbee is a gorgeous place. We are staying in the old town right next to the old copper mine. The town was once a thriving copper mining industry, but now houses many mature hippies who fell in love with the place on their way to California, and never made it any further. There are so many artists and musicians, and lots of people in strange clothes. The houses are set up into the hillside and its really very quaint. A lovely place to walk around.

This morning Dan, Jimmie and Annabelle were so brave, and took a tour through the old copper mining tunnels. The tour lasted almost 2 hours and they were decked in a mining hat and torch, and protective mining coats, and boarded the real old mining train. They were taken deep into the mountain through tiny tunnels and shafts. When Dan came out he told me that I would have absolutely freaked out in there, so I'm glad I gave it a miss.

Last night, on one of his evening wanders into the town, Dan met some of the local people and was treated to an evening of chatting and making new friends. He met a lovely lady called Cha-cha, who invited us all over to her house for dinner today. So we turned up at her place, which was a beautiful typically American looking house (to me) and I felt a bit odd about turning up at a strangers place to eat! But Cha-cha and her family were so lovely that they put us right at ease. She cooked us the most amazing authentic Mexican meal, and we ate it with her two daughters aged 5 and 17, her father and her grandma (aged 92 but she can still boogie!) Grandma Annie hugged us all when we arrived as if we were old friends. Her father came from Norway, as a stowaway on a ship, a long long time ago. She was just lovely. My kids fell in love with her. But she did keep telling them how beautiful they were, and they do like that!

Barney made friends with their gorgeous little girl and they soon went off to play together. After the meal Cha-cha asked if we needed to do any laundry, or take baths or anything that we can't do in the RV. Dan said that I'd been missing baths for the last two months, and before I knew it a hot bubble bath had been drawn for me! Dan was laughing at me taking a bath in the house of someone I'd only just met, but as soon as I got out they drew him a bath too! We both came out feeling like new people.

It is so nice to travel across the globe and to meet lovely, hospitable, generous hearted people like that. We thoroughly enjoyed their company, and really appreciated tasting the local Mexican cuisine.


Tammy said...

How fun!!! Wow you are getting closer to me, I can't wait!!!

Sharon said...

Hello travellers!
I started reading your blog last week, having sorta forgotten about it (didn't add it to my Google reader) and I am addicted. It is utterly fabulous and all things nice. I am so delighted to hear you are having so much fun and experiencing many wonderful things together. Talk about making memories for your family! You gang are just the best.

I'll keep on reading, and learning from you because me and hubby are (sort of) hoping to spend perhaps 6 weeks driving in the US next spring.

Anonymous said...

I loved reading about everything that you guys have acomplished together! Your family was amazing! If you guys ever come back and want dinner there is another waiting for you!
Mariah(cha-chas daughter)

Beth B. said...

I'm really glad you took a few days in our beautiful state of Arizona... on your travels back through... you should definitely travel to the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Sedona, and the Page/Lake Powell/Monument Valley area.... It will take your breath away with amazement. Good luck with the rest of your travels! I can't wait to read about them...

Bree said...

Thanks Beth, we should be visiting all of those places in a week or so after we've been to Vegas. I cant wait, its the bit ive been looking forward to the most.