things are more romanticised than a desert road trip.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of driving with the windows
down, music blasting as the Californian landscape whirrs by. With
the crowds of the city fading into the distance, colours seem to
become more vibrant – especially at sunset.
Tree National Park is among the best places to explore here,
whether hiking, cycling or simply driving. A fascinating variety of
plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong
winds and occasional torrents of rain. The rich cultural history
and surreal geological features add to the wonder of this vast
For a few nights we stayed in eclectic Joshua Tree, where
musicians, artists, writers and hippies flocked in the 60s. Odd
sculptures, installations and unusual structures such as The
Integration (apparently placed on an energetic vortex) serve as
relics of this era, tying the town to its past and preserving its
old-west charm. Between farmers’ markets, thrift stores, funky
shops, organic food stores and coffee shops, the creative spirit
and energy of Joshua Tree is tangible.
Afterwards, we hit the road again and made the short drive to
Palm Springs. Surrounded by the mountains and deserts of the
Coachella Valley, this town feels like an oasis. The mid-century
architecture, the perfectly green lawns and the sky-high palm trees
appear as if straight out of a movie. It’s a favourite getaway of
many starlets and socialites, and you can feel the old Hollywood
glamour as you drive through the city.