Driving towards Death Valley was amazing. You couldn’t get more of a contrast from Yosemite. The landscape soon began to get dry and rocky and to take on the appearance of the American desert. We stopped on the side of the road near some cacti and were amazed by how hot and dry it felt out of the air-conditioned car. By now, the car had been christened ‘Freddy the Ford Fusion’ so I think it’s fair to say that we had bonded.
At this stage, although we were sure that we were in the desert and that it was hot, we really hadn’t seen or felt anything yet! Once we actually got into Death Valley National Park we realised just how dry and hot things could get. We stopped at a car park where there were actually proper sand dunes, like you would expect to see somewhere like the Sahara. We started to walk towards the dues, but soon turned back – it was amazingly hot, hotter than anywhere I’ve been before and, as we found out later, the second hottest place on earth.