Trek Diary: Day Eleven (7th July)
As i lay there in my sleeping bag, trying to remember where the hell i was, i noticed a peculiar shadow on the wall of our tent. Normally you can make out the outline of insects and flick them off, but this one was much larger. I was curious. Throwing on some clothes, i ran through camp trying to find the bug net. The bug net was bought for the boys to catch their dinner challenges but it came in pretty handy when these types of situations arose.
He was about the size of my palm, I didnt realise crickets could get so big! I did try catching it with my bare hands but he was kinda spikey and he kept getting tangled up in the net (i felt pretty bad!) but Steve managed to free him. We also found a tree frog on another tent. I think this camp was the most wildlife packed of the whole trip!
After spending the previous day in the back of the van surrounded by sleepy people, i claimed shotgun again. After writing up all these memories, i have realised that i spent quite a lot of the days up in front. (Sorry guys!) This journey was to take us out of Louisiana and into Texas, from swamp land into desert. From staying awake for 99% of the journey i was able to see the landscape gradually change, unlike some of my fellow passengers who somehow managed to miss entire states.
By the time you reach Houston, everything looks very “American” and massive fast food signs line the side of the highway. You know you are out of the south and heading into the west once you start noticing the drive through Starbucks. We didn’t have time to see Houston at all but Steve did have another road side attraction for us to visit…
A house made entirely of cans! I love how America is preserving every part of their history and culture, even these small quirky places. The British tend to take their history for granted, probably because there is just so much of it! I worked in a 13th century city gate for 6 months and was amazed at how many of the locals had no idea where, or what it was! I think i saw more Tasmanian tourists than local people during my time there.
We had lunch at another rest stop and had our daily bagels. Lunch was a time to run around or flop around on the grass for half an hour, a much needed escape from the van. Plus there were always vending machines nearby which meant COLD drinks! You also tend to notice some strange things at rest stops, this particular one had a middle aged couple and a harnessed cat. Not something you would expect to find on the side of a Texas highway. It was also very uncooperative and kept tangling itself up in its leash. As i got back in the van and noticed a very funky smell emanating from somewhere nearby. It turned out that it was me and i had obviously trodden in something grim…i blame that cat. The poopy shoes got swiftly thrown into the back of the trailer and i had to run bare foot across Texas tarmac in the middle of summer. (Do not recommend!) Before we reached San Antonio, another food and booze stop was made in the middle of nowhere. It was here that Lisa and I purchased “The Smirnoff Party Pack” that lasted us far too long. The “Party Pack” was frequently consumed
warm hot because the boys stole all the space in the booze coolers.
The journey was not too bad and we arrived at our destination by mid afternoon. Whilst setting up camp, we were told that there probably would not be anymore mosquitoes from this point on in the trip. With this knowledge, the girls came to the agreement that it was just far too hot to sleep outside. To be honest, it was probably more that we were just too lazy to put up our tents…and so our girls-only tarpaulin camp was created! In hindsight, this was a very bad decision.
San Antonio was hot. Very hot. Unfortunately we missed out on going inside the Alamo due to a short and bikini situation. My shorts were falling off me having lost weight and my pants were continually on show. Lisa, on the other hand, forgot to pack her good bikinis and needed a new one before we hit the water park the next day. Despite this very necessary shopping trip, we did get to see some of the city and had a stroll down the River Walk. I would love to go back and visit again, its a city i could actually see myself living in if i had the chance. They also have a Sea World and a Six Flags (which we didnt visit) which would boost my love for any place!
We were staying at the San Antonio KOA for 2 nights which meant no travelling and a night of partying! After one too many party packs and glasses of box wine, all 26 of us piled into a fleet of taxis. Cowboy Dance Hall was our destination and we seriously need one of these in the UK! Knock down all of the Oceanas and replace them with these! I don’t really do clubs but this was completely different. It had one big dance floor, bars on either side, a stage and a mechanical bull. More importantly, the place was full of cowboys (even real life ones!) I decided that if a guy puts on a cowboy hat, i am instantly more attracted to him. “Four Perves and a Nympho” were on top form that night. Ingrid and I were immediately drawn to the mechanical bull but i did feel that at least one drink needed to be consumed before those shenanigans started. I was pretty surprised i stayed on for so long, but i did fly over the top of its head though. “A” for effort! Apart from the bull in the corner, the obvious difference was the music and dancing. Club music was played from time to time, with the predictable bumpin’ and grinding going on. However, the majority was Country and Western songs which called for actual dancing! The guys come up to the girls and ask them to dance, offers that were graciously accepted…after a few drinks of course! A cowboy named Alexander was kind enough to teach me how to “two-step”. I have never had so much fun in a club before! I did say that the UK should have one but i know that it would never work. Shame…because i really want a cowboy!