San Diego to San Diego 18th November 2000 5500 miles
Our stay at Moira's was a very useful rest. She made us feel most welcome in her apartment and provided us with our own bathroom and use of the kitchen. David offered to do any odd jobs and Moira came up with a honeydew list (Honey do this….). David set to and fixed a banging door, a bathtub overflow, and a sliding door and had a go at a venetian blind with partial success. The CD player defeated him.
The time in San Diego was spent with a mixture of shopping, relaxing and sightseeing. We had a phone call from Pat and David of Vancouver who we last met in Smithers B.C. They had been trying to find us on the road when they got our E-mail telling them we were at San Diego. They drove for 3 hours to meet us. An afternoon trip downtown in their motor caravan and a walk along the harbour gave us good views of San Diego.
While we were walking along the harbour front, we saw a touring cyclist looking at his map.
"Can we help." We asked, and told him we were touring ourselves. "Are you the old English cyclists going to Tierra del Fuego?" He said. We said we were going to Tierra del Fuego. Apparently he had met a local American we had camped with a few weeks ago.
In the evening, Pat, David, Moira and a friend Alex and us went out for a meal in a Vietnamese restaurant. It wasn't a "eat all you can", but we left quite full.
In the morning we set out with Pat and David on a cycle tour of San Diego and cycled around to Cabrillo National Monument for a panoramic view of the city and the naval base. On the way, we passed an interesting display of large model warships made of metal. These were about 10-20 feet long each and were outside the model dept of the U.S. Navy. Apparently the models were made for serious military use and design.
We finally said goodbye to Pat and David. We thank them very much for their friendship.
Joan burned a hole in Moira's best tea towel and extensive searching of the Internet for Macys failed to find a replacement. We had to buy one from a local shop in the morning as we had decided to leave the next day.
At the store, we realised that our bike lock had been left behind and David volunteered to sit outside with the bikes to look after them. When Joan returned (with tea towels), David saw that while he had been talking to a local, one of the bikes had been stolen! David had been siting only 3 feet from the bikes but a turn of the head and one had gone. Nobody had seen anything! The store security guard, Hector, said it was probably one of the local homeless who had taken it and he would speak to them to see what he could do. There was not much hope. It was reported to the police who were very sympathetic but not very hopeful of its return. At the scene, even the local alcoholics and homeless seemed to feel guilty especially when we told them what we were doing. David decided to tempt them with a reward. One hundred dollars for its return, no questions asked. Notices were displayed and the locals informed. Someone had seen a guy with a bike of our description about a mile away and the police were alerted, but he had gone when they arrived. Hector said that the reward may help and it was agreed that we should come back in a few hours time. We did. The good news was that David's bike had been found, the bad news was that some bits had been removed. These were the Tubus rear pannier rack specially obtained from Germany, the Klick-Fix front handlebar fitting, the Cateye altimeter with all the fittings and sender, and even the spare spokes and the hack-saw blade that were taped to the chain stay. The pump was still there! We said that as the bike was incomplete we would give it another day for the rest of the bits to turn up before giving the reward. The next day and no more news. David gave the person that "found" it 60 dollars and said that the rest would follow if the missing parts were found. They never were.
The bike was back but the missing parts delayed us several days and many dollars. We had to buy another rear rack and make a suitable fixing as the hand-made fixing had also gone. The frame did not have attachments for rear carriers. The Tubus carrier on Joan's bike was switched to David's and the new rack fitted to Joan's as she carries less weight. We could not get a Klick-Fix fitting and so the Vaude bar bag had to be ditched or sent home. No suitable bar bag could be found locally and so we did without. The whole episode cost us several days and many dollars. Luckily, Moira was prepared to put up with us for a little longer.
Saturday morning and all packed and ready for Mexico we headed for the border at Tijuana.
A notice seen in the USA.
NOTICE OF REVOCATION OF INDEPENDENCE
To the citizens of the United States of America,
In the light of your failure to elect a President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she does not fancy. Your new Prime Minister (The rt. hon. Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium". Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up "vocabulary". Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up "interspersed".
2. There is no such thing as "U.S. English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf.
3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that hard.
4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as the good guys.
5. You should relearn your original national anthem, "God Save the Queen", but only after fully carrying out task #1 We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.
6. You should stop playing American "football". There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American "football" is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays "American" football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football", but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US rugby sevens side by 2005.
7. You should declare war on Quebec and France, using nuclear weapons if they give you any merde. The 98.85% of you who were not aware that there is a world outside your borders should count yourselves lucky. The Russians have never been the bad guys. "Merde" is French for "sh*t".
8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 8th will be a new national holiday, but only in England. It will be called "Indecisive Day".
9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.
10. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.
Thank you for your cooperation.
END OF NOTICE.