I can’t remember the last time I washed my hair and my last shower was three days ago. I feel like I need one. Quite desperately. We’ve been away from civilisation for a couple of days now, and I’m a bit of a mess, to be honest. My ripped pants have dirt stains all over them, my shoes are about as dusty as they can get, and I might be a little smelly.
Annemiek on the other hand is sitting next to me in a skirt, an immaculate white t-shirt and a flowery shirt, her hair washed and blowdried, her makeup all nicely done. Taking a shower in the RV every day she probably smells a lot nice than I do. I promise to take a shower as soon as we arrive at the campsite in an hour.
Where I write this: in the car, 25 miles from Stockton, California.
Waking up in Yosemite National Park, it is bloody cold. “I am sooooo cold,” Annemiek says from her bed with a trembling voice. I tell her to take a long hot shower, while I warm up by going for a small walk. Most campers are still asleep, but the forest is wide awake. I am not so much and after walking for about ten minutes I decide to not go for a walk anymore but warm up in the sun, which works really well as well, I can tell you.
After a couple of minutes of meditating I realise I sit right next to the place where I put a rock on another rock yesterday. I put another one on it. And another one. And another one, and then the whole tower falls over. Dammit. I build it back up and take a photo of it. Pretty cool!
No one around yet. Dancing in the middle of the road to get warm.
In case you were wondering how I looked 10 minutes after waking up after three days of not showering. This is it. Hope you like it. Bye.
Who’s the chaotic one now
No matter how long you’ve known each other, you will always discover new things about your friends when going on a road trip. I, for example, had no idea about how much of a mess Annemiek can be. Not a day goes past or she goes: “Well I’ve looked anywhere but I cannot seem to find my X.” X in the last couple of cases was her phone, her sunglasses, the cable to connect her mp3-player and her favourite necklace. These things emerge again after a couple of days in -usually- the most obvious places.
It’s a funny thing. Especially since Annemiek at home is about as tidy and as organised as Frank. (Only a couple of people will get this analogy. My great friend Frank has EVERYTHING -no seriously, everything- in his house immaculately organised and ordered on either colour, alphabet or both. All pasta pots are facing the same way and cleaning in his house happens with military precision). I on the other hand can sometimes be a bit of a mess.
One of the first few days, Annemiek came into my hotel room five minutes after we had checked in and appeared baffled. My suitcase was open and apparently it was a bit of a mess because she asked: “What happened here? What did you do, you open your suitcase, put a hand grenade in it and wait for it to explode?” Yeah… Well on the bright side, except for the waterproof casing of my go pro I haven’t lost a single thing. Quite an achievement, as I in my travels have lost many things including many shirts and pants, a camera, and once even my passport.
Amazing views coming down from the mountain
We have left Yosemite in the rear view mirror via some incredible roads and are now making our way to the city with that bridge: San Francisco. Coming out of Yosemite we see another side of California, first some mountains and then a valley with a lake and some lovely towns and villages. There’s one really nice one with a small harbour and a very cute town center, I believe it is called Calaveras. Up next is Copperopolis, where we put some –120l (!)- petrol in the car and continue our way to that city with the bridge.
It’s our last night with the RV, and I’ve started to actually enjoy it after a not so great first day. It has enabled us to go to places and stay the night at some pretty magical and picturesque places, and although I wouldn’t have wanted to do the entire trip in it, it has been a pretty special week.
The first guitar notes of Gimme Shelter, from the Stones, blast out of the car stereo as we drive past the Stockton city limits. It is the perfect soundtrack for a road trip: there’s body in the song, soul, peace and excitement and, to finish it off, screaming guitars. California is definitely much richer than any of the states we have been driving through. The houses look nicer, newer, cleaner, better maintained.
More road with a yellow line and blue skies.
Ask me about my horse impression
I haven’t noticed much of how green and environment friendly California is up until the point that we near our destination. On the horizon, more windmills than I can count on my hands and toes are turning and turning. Forget how many windmills we have in the North East Polder in Holland, this is a whole different scale. We turn left before I can take a photo of it, though. Probably for the best. A road with more holes in it than it has straights is supposed to take us to the campground. Let’s see.
“What animal can you do a really good impression of?” I ask Annemiek. She thinks for a bit and then says, full confidence, she can do a great duck. Alright, let’s have it then, I say. Annemiek then starts making the sound of what I can only describe as a very sad, dying duck. I’m a little lost for words. My turn, then, she says. Fully committed I do my best horse impression. Annemiek can’t stop laughing.
I don’t get why she’s laughing, it really is very good..!
Seriously. Ask me next time you see me.
How close can you get to The Netherlands? Look at it! The land is even lower than the water and I’m driving on a dyke!!
This is where I am right now (my mom said this would be a good idea):
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