• Day24

    Day 24 - (I Left my RV) in San Francisco

    May 15, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Woke up at 6.00am for the next chapter of our travels.

    We showered, breakfasted, then I packed my rucksack. Next we set about cleaning the RV from top to bottom & chucking away gallons of salad dressing, cereal, cheese, milk, bread etc etc. The final job was to deal with poop pipe, which I bravely did on my own.

    It was going smoothly, albeit our neighbour offered me some ‘really’ useful advice about securing the pipe into the hole. Bit late now! I then turned on the tap to wash the pipe, but I had underestimated the power of the water pressure & suddenly my water hose was spraying water everywhere like an angry cobra, including at my neighbours caravan. Thank god he was on the other side. By the time, I had wrestled the water pipe into submission, I was saturated. Things were not going as planned.

    At 09.15am, we set out on our final drive in the RV. It was an hour & a half of purgatory, driving on Highway 580 in the the rain in a slow moving procession of vehicles. Anyway at 10.50am, we arrived at our final destination, the CruiseAmerica base in Newark, San Francisco.

    We arrived with a spotless RV & I noted that we had driven exactly 3,700 miles. We were dressed smartly & we handed our paperwork to the the check-in guy. He gave the van the once over & said it was absolutely fine. We even pointed out the broken plastic caused by Jackie’s head & he said it didn’t matter. We went into the office, signed off with them & received our $500 deposit in full. No mention of the little dink we had back in St. Louis. We are yet to hear thing about it, hopefully he was lost the bit of paper with our details!!

    First mission complete. Now to get a car rental. We decided Oakland International Airport some 20 miles away was probably our best bet. I spoke with the taxi drivers at CruiseAmerica & the quoted me $60 to the airport or $25 to the local railway station. Good old Uber got us a taxi 4 minutes later for just $31.

    The Uber taxi driver was Fijian and liked the Royal Family. He told us all about Prince Harry’s recent visit & whilst driving showed us on his phone photos of his friend in the British Army. We chatted along with him & persuaded him to drop us off at the Enterprise Car Rental office (it does 5% discount for Blue Light Card holders).

    When we entered the office it was chaos, so we let people go ahead of us until it was quieter. I explained our situation to him that I was looking to hire a car for a 60 day road trip across America to New York. Julian the manager started to look up what it would cost & showed us the ridiculous price of over $6,000. It was a fixed price & as we knew one way drop offs cost a fortune. He didn’t have any relocations. This was not going well, so we told him to serve another customer.

    In the meantime we spoke to his dappy colleague, who was interested in our intended trip. She mentioned that it might be worth going halfway & hiring a car for 30 days then hiring another. She mentioned this to Julian, who looked on his computer & asked where we would want to drop off a car in 30 days. How could I say where we were, probably somewhere in Texas. I think Julian was having a bad day, because he just gave up & said “You can have a car for 30 day for $1,000 & I don’t care where you drop it off”. I queried this & he said “Yes, just give them my name”.

    A customer who had come in & was listening piped “Wow that’s a good deal, it’s showing as $1,400 without the one-way fee”. She was married to an Englishman & was interested in our travels. I took Julian’s business card as insurance, in fact we not sure how insured we are as we turned down all of theirs. Anyway, as a result of our negotiations, we became the proud owners of a royal blue Nissan Sentra, not quite what Jackie had in mind. Still it was a bargain!

    Then in the drizzle, we followed the tail-lights out of the city, moving in a river of red, along Highway 580 & stopping in so we non-descript place for a McDonalds & to take stock. We felt like vagabonds with no place to go, so we got on & sorted ourselves out with 2 nights in a motel in Mariposa.

    The journey through Manteca, Modesta & Merced was dull & tedious, traffic jam followed by traffic jam. Eventually we turned off towards Yosemite National Park & Mariposa, where there road weaved through rolling wheat fields. Conscious of the insurance situation we were lucky enough to get a Highway Patrolman to follow us all the way into Mariposa.

    Mariposa turns out to be a lovely little old fashioned town with a high street full of bars & restaurants. We checked into the Americas Best Value Inn Mariposa Lodge, our home for the next 2 nights. We immediately popped down to the local off-licence & purchased a drop of wine & beer, plus pork scratchings & dill pickle crisps. Outside there were a couple of hillbillies that were filthy, totally out it on some spice like drug. Not a good advert, but they seemed harmless enough.

    Returning we sat on out veranda & got talking to bikers, Doug & Russ. We spent over an hour chatting about places we should visit & routes we should take. They had just come out of Yosemite NP & were able to give us advice on what to visit, current weather conditions etc. Whilst sat there a bright red hummingbird hovered just in front of us. It was a lovely end to the day.

    FITBIT = 8,881 steps / 4.12 miles.

    Song of the Day - Vagabonds by New Model Army
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