Days 21 to 24: Las Vegas to Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, and San Diego

A monkey with blue balls. I couldn’t believe it, but yes, in San Diego zoo there is a monkey whose balls are indeed bright blue. Little does he know that he will probably be among the most enduring images I take away from this holiday.

I’ve got a little behind with writing this blog. I’m sure no-one is exactly sitting at home, sobbing uncontrollably while feverishly clicking ‘refresh’, but I thought I would apologise just in case someone is actually taking an interest.

Anyway, on Wednesday we left Las Vegas and drove to Palm Springs, where we stayed for two nights. Palm Springs has a nice chilled vibe about it, apparently has an approximately 40% gay population, and does have that retirement village feel about it, although I believe Josh Homme lives, or used to live there.

Palm Springs is close to the Joshua Tree national park, so we spent Thursday there, where of course we saw loads of those Yucca plants and other crazy cacti. I was hoping to recreate the artwork of U2’s Joshua Tree album (from back when I liked them), but apparently that was done in Death Valley. Damn.

Friday we drove to San Diego, stopping off in a town called Julian on the way, apparently famous for apple pie. In San Diego we had a rare night of drunkeness, brought on by happy hour beers and cocktails being $2. As a result we got convinced to give a donation to some charity fighting for gay marriage.

On the Saturday we went to San Diego Zoo, which is massive. I think I now have an obsession with monkeys akin to my obsession with sea lions. There were too many weird and wonderful animals to list here, but among my favourites were the dwarf crocodiles, zebras, sloth bear, some weird eagles that had heads like owls, and all the different monkeys. Apart from the blue balled monkey, and a monkey swinging on another monkey’s tail, the orangutans were fascinating. One individual swung up on a branch, did a wee while hanging there, then jumped down to pick up some food with a kind of “damn, I wish I hadn’t just weed on this” expression. We finished off our Saturday with an evening of tapas and live blues.

Sadly, as I sit here just about to click ‘publish’, having done some packing while watching about a million episodes of the American Office, it has just passed midnight on our last night in California. I told you I was behind with the blog, but I’ll do the last post on UK soil…