San Diego

San Diego
Contrary to the protestations of the legendary on-screen newsreader Ron Burgundy, San Diego does not translate to “whales vagina”. Although I did see a few whales in the saintly named city. During my short time there I took in: Seaword, San Diego’s world famous zoo and a tour of the retired aircraft carrier – The USS Midway.

Between Seaworld and the Zoo, I haven’t seen so many large mammals since I was last on Dublin’s Grafton Street. The whales, hippos, elephants and rhinos always grip the inner child for their scale and ferocity; as do the wild cats. The shark enclosure was also intriguing. Remarkably, one of the two recurring nightmares I’ve had since a young age was of a shark encounter. Guess I saw JAWS when I was too young.

As I passed the various animal enclosures, it was great to see up front and in person the diversity of the species: from hairy orangatangs, sleeping hyenas, wild boars and cute penguins. During the tour I also realised that God must have a sense of humour. I mean the Giraffe – what a ridiculous animal. How can you not laugh at its prosperously long neck, tiny head with silly ears and its placid and timid nature. The other laugh that day came at the Zebra enclosure (see photos).

Where a horny male mounted his female concubine. I felt sorry for the poor mare, as her lover’s shlong was huge. It practically touched the ground before finding its target. As if that wasn’t funny enough, to see the blushing mothers flurry away before their kids enquired as to what was going on was hilarious. Joking aside, both are worth a visit although if its a choice of one or the other – choose the zoo.

But a trip to the USS Midway is not to be overlooked. Fantastic to see this city on the sea, which appeals to the macho side of the brain. The engineering that powered the vessel, the battleship’s guns and of course the fighter planes are all impressive. Super stuff.

While in San Diego I did some preparatory tasks for the next phase of the trip. Firstly I loaded up on the appropriate vaccines. Thankfully the persistence of my sister (who is a nurse) ensured I went to the tropical clinic. I left the practice having received: Hep A, Hep B, tetanus, yellow fever injections and packs of malaria and diarrhoea tablets. Sadly no toy was received. Secondly I met up with Will from Brightskygps.

I knew the bikes gps tracker would encounter difficulties south of the USA due the cross border issues with the devices SIM card. I received a new battery pack and advice on how to configure the SIM card I’d bought previously. And further assistance was received in January when the GPS still didn’t. The new and improved GPS tracking owes to Brightstargps. Another example of how nice people have helped me along during this trip. In fact, I noticed that San Diego is quite a friendly city in general.

While walking the city in the morning, I noticed people don’t avoid eye contact and generally greet each other with a good morning or hi. More so than any other city I’ve previously visited. I guess the locals don’t suffer the big city attitude of California’s other metropolises: San Francisco and L.A. I was glad to finish the second leg of my trip in this friendly place.

I left San Diego a week before Christmas and forty minutes after departing I entered Mexico. Given recent news coverage of Mexico’s border area, I had a pit in my stomach and was on high alert as I was waived through border control and headed past Tijuana.

So-long USA and Canada – thanks for a phenomenal time. Hola Mexico, here I come – Ay Chi Wa Wa!

Al Dempsey
PS. My new gps tracker is live. See the homepage for awesome’er graphics (zoom in).
21 January 2011