|El Centro, California|
|Wednesday, 23 March 2005 16:00|
This morning we woke up to a cool, overcast sky and as a result, we decided to forgo our wake-up swim, saving it for our next destination park in El Centro. The wind was still horrendous which of course made it seem much colder than the 10C it was when we woke up. But by the time we pulled out of the Desert Hot Springs Spa at 9:45 AM the sun had broken through and the mercury had crept up to 17C.
We drove east along Dillon Road (the rollercoaster road) until we reached Hwy 86S which led us from the Coachella Valley to El Centro. In the seven short days that we have been in the desert we couldn't help but notice how much more colourful it had become. We came across a vast farm area where there were fields of cauliflower, corn and potatoes, vineyards and citrus orchards, a real contrast from the desert sands and almost out-of-place. Soon we were driving near the shores of the Salton Sea, an interesting man-made body of water approximately 35 miles long and 15 miles wide that is more saline than the Pacific Ocean.
We arrived at the Sunbeam Lake RV Park about 5 miles west of El Centro at around 1:00 PM. The park is huge, with over 750 sites and is a really popular "snowbird" destination because of its warm, dry climate and its proximity to Mexico but the "birds" are flocking home in droves so it is only one quarter occupied. There is a swimming pool, a hot tub and a great exercise room but when we checked in we learned that the pool heater is out of commission so it is pretty cold right now, a real disappointment. After we settled in and ate lunch, we drove back into El Centro to familiarize ourselves with the community and to get some tourist info at the chamber of commerce. From the park, we can see Mexico in the distance (which seems weird) and tomorrow we will explore this area some more but for now we are content to spend a quiet evening at the motorhome.