Week 30 and part of week 31.
The past weeks we passed through the most densely populated area of our whole trip. California is 11 times bigger than the Netherlands and has a population of 39,5 million. Most people are located close to the coast.
Normally you choose a city for a city trip, but this time we have been too fast and had to kill some time in San Diego before flying home. We first spent a few nights at Mission Beach, sea kayaking and running on the beach. Then 7 nights in San Diego. Being in a city for a longer time than we had initially planned and staying in an airbnb house just outside the center of town, made us look at this city in a different way.
With 1,3 million people it is ranking as 8th biggest city in the USA. Due to the warm, dry climate they are faced with the one of the highest rates of homeless people in the USA. It was devastating to see so many people pushing their belongings or sheltering under blue tarp on nearly every corner. Even from talks with locals we did not get a clear understanding on the background of the situation. Is due to the prices of houses, which have risen tremendously, lack of employment options or do they choose to live this way? We did not see any Latin Americans wandering around, but saw many of them in all kinds of jobs, which suggests that there are jobs if you want to work.
Selection of some but not all of the highlights we visited.
Ellen Browning was the founder of La Jolla Park, again a strong woman who ensured preservation of precious nature!
Fort Rosecranz is the place of rest to 101.079 marines. Emotional, beautiful, impressive!
Cabrillo National Monument
In 1542 Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was the first European to set foot at Point Cabrillo on what is now the West Coast of the USA.
Here we meet bike racer Rick, 58-year-old retired fire fighter who is not positive about the current changes in the USA. He does not understand the general disagreement with the impact of climate change. Few days later huge forrest fires would destroy vast areas of California, even cities where we were a week ago would be partially evacuated. Climate change, agriculture and National Parks close to large urban areas without a buffer zone and houses being constructed of wood cause whole villages to be consumed by fire.
Fun to go to the local hairdresser and manicure. Jamie, 28 with 3 kids, Mexican is a nail artist and now studying to become a teacher! Sorry no photo’s 😦
We have time to immerse ourselves in museums, parks, cappuccino, concerts and home cooked food.
During our trip we did not really miss museum visits, but visiting them here adds to the emotional and intellectual experience.
One of the most impressive exhibitions was in the Museum of Photographic Art. It was a photo contest of school kids (6-18 years old) of this area (San Diego and Tijuana (Mexico)) on the subject of boundaries.
And then finally we could fly home for Christmas.
Thanks Karin&Peter and Henk&Heidi for picking us up at the airport and ensuring we had a harty breakfast before driving to Belgium.
How great is was to see Mom & Dad again and Ingrid, Gert, Victor and Conrad. The boys are so much taller than 7 months ago!
But the same day we arrived, terrible news was received.
Sam, the 5-year-old son of our niece Inge and her husband Harry, was involved in a traffic accident and died in hospital later that day.
No words can describe the hurt and pain that hit Inge, Harry, Lisa and the other family members.
He will always be in our hearts and as of now we will ride for Sam!
It is Inge’s wish to celebrate Christmas as we have never celebrated it before.
Wishing you all a peaceful Holiday Season and a healthy 2018!
Big hug for everybody. Thank you all for your kind words during the past months and for following us!
We will continue our trip on the 10th of January.