Prescott Arizona was a very nice place.  We weren’t there as long as we thought we would be as the coach repairs were completed much faster than we thought, and Affinity were too busy to deal with any of our less pressing issues.

It was from Prescott that S drove me to Phoenix Airport to fly to Vancouver.  My Aunt and Uncle live there and a visit was long overdue.  While I was in Vancouver, Stuart was to stay with the coach until the repairs were completed.  Once finished he moved on to a Park near Phoenix.

I arrived in Vancouver on a Tues evening, met by Dudley and Paddy-so good to see them, and looking so well.  I stayed for 3 full days and left on Sat morning.  We had such a great time together, sightseeing, talking and even the odd drink!  I was also delighted to meet Zoe, their tiny Yorkypoo.

I was sad to leave, but husband awaited in Phoenix.

S collected me from Phoenix airport and we spent a few more days at the park he had been staying in.  I enjoyed falling asleep at night there to the yip yip and howl of the coyotes, which were very close.  We also made some lovely friends, Craig and Dave especially, but many other people that were some of the friendliest we have come across.  We hope to run into them all again next year.  The park was really nice with such a friendly vibe and 2 lovely swimming pools.  The temp was around or over 100 deg each day, so the pool was quite necessary.

Because it gets so hot here we find we need to get up around 6 or 7 and get walking before about 8:30, after that exercise is ridiculous!  It then stays hot till nightfall which, this far south is about 7:30pm.

We did a couple of trips to the outskirts of Phoenix.  I’ve been looking to buy a Barbour jacket for years but they are not sold in NZ.  I thought I would buy one in the US and the store Orvis stocks them and it’s the first time I’ve seen them here.  I noticed Nordstrom in Vancouver sold them for nearly $700 ca, so seeing them in Orvis Phoenix for less than a 3rd of that was too good to pass up.  We drove into Phoenix to look at the jackets and I decided the one I wanted they didn’t have, it had to be shipped from Virginia.  Orvis got it shipped in 24 hours free of charge and we went into buy it on our way out of the city.  Excellent-a wonderful waterproof jacket-now I just need it to rain!

From Phoenix we headed for Tuscon.  We decided to stay 2 nights at a very nice park that again had a wonderful swimming pool complex.  Tuscon Arizona is the land of the Saguaro (pron, sa war oo) cactus.

I find this cactus very interesting.  They are very human like in their posture and their branches are called limbs or arms.  The native americans see the saguaro as a spiritual cactus that is made in our own image and they greatly respect it.

There is a 150 sq mile Saguaro national park both to the east and west of Tuscon where the cactus are protected for all time.  We went to have a look at the national park visitors centre that S thought rather boring but I really enjoyed, having been a cactus lover forever.  In June/July these Saguaro grow a white flower which is the national emblem of Arizona.  It also bears red fruit which the native Indians harvest and turn into syrup.

There are many species of animals and plants in the Sonoran Desert.  There are 7 or 8 types of rattle snakes, other snakes, wild pigs, coyote, tortoise, roadrunners (remember the cartoon!), rabbits and birds.  Just about every type of plant here has prickles and thorns-the desert feels quite hostile.

Saguaro cactus are only found in a small area of the US, Arizona, California and New Mexico.  Some are hundreds of years old and their fleshy limbs are strengthened by a wooden frame which remains in a skeletal state once the cactus dies.


The Native Indians believe when we die we return to the land and from the land the Saguaro grows in our own image and we must therefore treat the land with respect as it is part of us all.  While we were at the RV park, a huge limb that had been over hanging the restaurant area fell off one afternoon while we were by the pool-we heard the huge commotion as it crashed through the building infrastructure.  Maybe this was some kind of spiritual pay back for charging us so much to stay there…

After our visit to the national park we went into downtown Tuscon (Very Mexican looking) as I had read about a great Mexican restaurant called El Guero canelo which has a reputation for a great Sonoran Hotdog (we are in the Sonoran Desert).  We both had one and can testify that these are very mucho tasty!

Today we left Arizona for New Mexico.  We are heading to an area called Carlsbad which apparently has some amazing caves…