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Dave and Jan's travels, day 340:
Back in the U.S.A.

25th April
Our last update came from the Gulf Coast of Mexico. Thereafter we drove quickly and unremarkably north to Texas.

We had previously met a couple of Texans in Nicaragua who had given us some advice about Texas. To whit, "go to Austin, it's not like the rest of Texas and you'll like it". So we did.

Austin is a nice University town, with about four pedestrians outside the University area. We spent a pleasant five days in a motel waiting for people to respond to our car-selling newspaper ad. Two people rang, both claimed that they would call back but, ultimately, didn't. Eventually we concluded that there aren't Bronco-fanciers in Austin, so we decided to drive to Irvine, Orange County (just the 1,300 miles) to visit friends and try our luck there.

Once again the motorist public spurned us. The main advantage of Irvine is that we were able to sponge off Rod, Sarah, Rebecca and James, whose Californian hospitality we'd sampled on the way to Mexico many months previously. A week of lounging poolside and eating and drinking ourselves silly passed very quickly, but still no sale.

Eventually we sold the car to a dealer. This was a sad moment. Beluga the Ford Bronco is a trusty vehicle that carried us through 24,000 miles of adventures, with only a small number of mishaps. It felt like saying goodbye to a trusty valet. Mind you, the blow was softened when the car hire company produced a smmooooooth convertible for our last two days because all their compacts were out of the garage (see image at right).

From there, we returned by air to New York (curtesy of Jane), and a brief sojourn in Boston (more sponging, this time thanks to Rob and Nicola). In fact, one reason for ceasing updates to this site is that we don't want our "friends" to realise that we now spend our entire life moving from one guest bedroom to another.

And now to Blighty. We've changed quite a bit in ten months: several pounds lighter, a thorough though fast-fading tan, command of atrocious Spanish, and we're moving at about half the speed of our New York era. I recommend this trip to everyone: the west of the USA is ridiculously beautiful, and the people of Central America are so welcoming that the trip south was a pleasure where every day bought new surprises. Happy travelling...


   (click thumbnails for a larger picture)