|Day 5. Sunday 13th Jan.
A bit more sleep last night but still up & about by 5.30am so decided to head down to the coast & stop somewhere along the way for breakfast. Nice & quiet to start off but the traffic increased as the day wore on. We headed down Santa Monica boulevard again & picked up Highway 101, the Pacific Coast Highway that runs all the way up the coast to San Francisco & beyond up to Seattle.
From Santa Monica we passed through places like Malibu Beach with the surfers out on the sea. We stopped about 7am for breakfast alongside the sea. The road was getting quite busy& we came across areas of burnt scrub so some of the California fires must have occurred along this coast.
We did do a couple of geocaches along the way before stopping at a very big, smart new mall at a place called Oxnard. Put $50 worth of gasoline(petrol to us English folk) into Dixie(Viv’s name for our RV due to the number plate). With the gasoline at $3.21/gall this only moved the fuel gauge up from 1/4full to 3/4full. So the tank must hold nearly 30galls which is probably necessary as we were told that the RV only does about 10miles to the gallon - Ouch!!
There was also our old friend Walmart’s right next door so a chance now to stock up with food for the next four days as the camp site we are going to is a bit out amongst the mountains. I also bought a couple of cheap camping chairs, cheaper than hiring them from the RV hire company.
After leaving there we headed towards Santa Barbara before turning inland & heading up over the hills to Rancho Oso camp site our home for the next four nights. I must have set the SatNav for the shortest route because we headed up & up on a pretty narrow road. The hills turned out to be mountains & it was like driving in Switzerland, fortunately without the snow. We were lucky that the traffic was light but it was tight passing cars coming the other way. The views were great down to the coast but Viv was reluctant to take her eyes off the road.
Amazingly we passed several cyclists struggling their way up, silly perishers, we had to be extremely careful about getting passed them. Viv saw a sign saying “No Skateboarding On Gibraltar Hill” which amused her until a couple of miles later these two skateboarders came hurtling down sitting on their boards. How they stopped or turned at their speed we didn’t see. We even passed one guy jogging bare chested up one section. It was thirty miles of interesting driving but Viv was more than happy when we went downhill again to our camp site.
The good news was that the man at the entrance gate was expecting us. This was the first of the camp sites that I booked just before Christmas so I was relieved that everything seems to be working as planned. We were surprised how many RVs & caravans are here, it is a big site but a bit remote amongst the mountains. We had the pick of the available sites & after driving around a bit we settled on one which we thought looked OK & parked up.
All pitches are full service & have electric, water & sewer connections plus a picnic table & barbecue so al the comforts of home. I was a bit surprised to find that the water heater & main heater use propane gas rather than electricity but we do have a fair sized propane tank so hopefully it will suffice. The fridge uses propane when we are moving but switches automatically to electricity when we hook up.
After setting up & having a look round the facilities we had our first shower in the RV & settled in for the evening. As the RV does not have a TV & there was little sign of life on the camp site we ended up watching a film on Viv’s laptop. I brought along a 500MB hard drive full of movies & TV shows to provide our entertainment.
Miles today - 123
Total Mileage - 191