Saturday, December 31, 2016

Year end

 What better way to end the year than going to the movies and sobbing your way through a great story.
Lion- A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.



We then had some lunch in the Hillcrest area and walked "home"- an hour and a quarter walk or there abouts and we past a bit of Australiana on the way- eucalypts and flowering ti-tree
 Past a few places we saw on the tour on our first full day here but this time at a slower speed...

Friday, December 30, 2016

La Jolla


 It was raining but we'd booked the tickets yesterday for the Beach Tour to La Jolla so we went cos the beach is beautiful rain hail or shine.
Unlike some other loud outspoken tourists who chose not to go, complained loudly and tried to get their money back blaming the tour company for the rain ruining their trip to the beach.


Mount Soledad is a prominent landmark in the city of San Diego, California, United States. The mountaintop is the site of the Mount Soledad cross, the subject of a 25-year controversy over the involvement of religion in government, which concluded in 2016.
We stopped there on the way- the rain stopped long enough for us to roam around and explore views and the Veterans memorial.


The Children's Pool is a small beach partially protected by a seawall. The original intention was to create a fully protected swimming area, but in recent years sand has filled in much of the area inside the wall. This is a popular beach for scuba divers because of the reefs just offshore. These same reefs can create very strong currents and other hazards, particularly in high surf conditions.

This has also become a popular viewing area for harbor seals.  Seals and occasionally seal lions haul out on the beach to rest year-round.  The Children's Pool Beach is closed to public access during harbor seal pupping season, Dec. 15 through May 15, yearly.







The roller coaster back in San Diego 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Maritime

We walked the Embarcadero area- basically walked out of our hotel and headed along the waterfront. Splendid weather...splendid day.












Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Journey from Borrego Springs to Julian to San Diego

 We stayed at the Borrego Springs Golf Resort and Spa ... just for the night and headed out after a good night's sleep for Julian and then on homeward.





Apparently grapefruit grow splendidly in the area in the climate of the Anza Borrego Desert there were plenty at the resort

We missed the opportunity to photograph the Dome cacti but on the road out of Borrego Springs we stopped to photograph the display of prehistoric animals of the area ( a huge geological interest area ) The steel welded models were placed there by the late Dennis Avery, ( Avery labels) land owner in Borrego Springs who envisioned the idea of adding 'free standing art' to his property. They were created by artist/welder Ricardo Breceda based in Perris, California. There are over 130 metal sculptures located in Borrego Springs and look magnificent against the mountain backdrop.


 The trim best sister in the world, who drove through the mountains and the traffic and the maze of roads back into San Diego.


 We stopped in the town of Julian and roamed around but first shared a slice of the "best apple pie in the world". These people left it later than us to do the sampling and there were queues all over the town waiting to get in for their lunch and share of the apple pies.

 Michele was happy we got our white Christmas and didn't have to drive through the snow as such. Earlier we saw some snow ploughs and commented on what would they do up here? We found out soon enough :).


A bit of whimsy as there is not enough whimsy in the world.




Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Anza-Borrego Desert

he Park is located on the eastern side of San Diego County, with portions extending east into Imperial County and north into Riverside County. It is about a two-hour drive from San Diego, Riverside, and Palm Springs. Many visitors approach from the east or west via Highways S22 and 78.
From the coast, these highways descend from the heights of the Peninsular range of mountains with spectacular views of the great bowl of the Colorado Desert. Highway S2 enters the park from the south off of Interstate 8.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is the largest state park in California. Five hundred miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and many miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the California Desert.














The park is named for Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep. The park features washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas. Visitors may also have the chance to see roadrunners, golden eagles, kit foxes, mule deer and bighorn sheep as well as iguanas, chuckwallas and the red diamond rattlesnake. Listening devices for the hearing impaired are available in the visitor center.
 

 A Cholla Cactus may look fuzzy, but never touch it! Its spines are extremely sharp and have barbs like fishhooks. It's painful to get stuck by a Cholla. If an animal brushes up against a Cholla Cactus, a part of the stem will break off and stick to the animal's fur. It will eventually fall off, take root, and grow in the new location. This adaptation helps the Cholla to reproduce.




The Ocotillo spreads its roots out in all directions just below the surface to absorb water whenever it rains.  The Ocotillo sometimes has no leaves and looks like a dead plant.  But it is not dead at all!  As soon as there is some rain the branches will be covered in bright green leaves. 
The slot canyon is a beautiful natural formation nestled in the heart of the Anza Borrego State Park, about an hour and a half East of San Diego.
Make no mistake, you will have to work to find this place. (Lucky we had a guide)  While it is technically on the map, it is still difficult to find, as it is located about two miles down a dirt road that is very easy to miss.
The road itself was dirt and a little rough  From where we parked it was about 200 yards to the start of the hike. There are no signs to direct you where to go, just know when you get to the area in the below picture you want to head left down into the canyon for the start of the slot.
Also, make sure that you mark your entrance as it can be hard to tell exactly where you entered when you come back out.
About three-fourths of the way you will reach the natural rock bridge. It is a great place to stop and take in the size of the canyon you are in.


After walking about 100 yards you will see the entrance to the start of the slot canyon. The canyon itself starts to get taller and taller around you, while the path gets more and more narrow.
The next mile or so is an amazing experience. You simply weave your way through the canyon as it gets to about 100 feet on either side of you. The canyon gets so narrow at some place that you actually have to go sideways.