Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs

When Ruchi planned to visit LA , it wasn’t just to the regular celebrity haunts and sights . As her friend was living there and working during the day  , it was to experience the daily life there . As soon as Ruchi got settled , she joined a local yoga centre : Modo yoga is a popular yoga studio , with studios around LA . Yoga is very popular anyway in LA but Modo is a cross between  Iyenga yoga and hot yoga : so with all the props but also the heat .

Yoga is a very social activity in LA  , encouraging interaction within the local community with add on book clubs and social events after yoga classes   . Ruchi attended  number of classes during her stay there  .

But one of her main draws to LA was actually wider California : in particular Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs . Ruchi arranged to visit both with her friend over  her first weekend in LA . Having seen downtown LA and Santa Monica and Venice Beach  , Ruchi was ready to head into the desert to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park .

Palm Springs was everything and more that she had hoped for : a year before , she had attended the David Hockney Exhibition in London for her birthday  . She hadn’t realised just how much of the work she had seen there had been created during Hockney’s stay in Los Angeles and Palm Springs . Even the drive from LA to Palm Springs had been documented in Hockney’s paintings showing the windmills and Joshua trees  . Joshua Trees only exist at a certain altitude and in very specific conditions .

On arrival in Palm Springs  it was unsurprising that many LA celebrities and inhabitants had houses there . There was a house where Elvis lived and there are numerous architectural walking tours as the architecture is so striking  . Also , the subject of many Hockney paintings .

Palm Springs was also a great place to get guaranteed good weather : What Ruchi hadn’t anticipated was ‘May Grey’ and June Gloom’ . The ‘beast from the East’ had prolonged the winter in the UK and Ruchi had been looking forward to some guaranteed sun . She wasn’t expecting to be colder in LA than in the UK ! However , when she arrived , she was advised of ‘May Grey’ : the marine layer that hovers around LA during May and prevents too much heat in the city  . Admittedly Ruchi thought she should have checked this before she left as she was expecting to enjoy the sunshine on her visit !

Palm Springs , therefore , was a perfect opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and finally wear the summer clothes she had packed  ! It was also a great place to watch the Royal Wedding that was happening at the same time in the UK and not be envious of the good weather there !

In the evening , Palm Springs is a magnet for hen dos and stag dos with a party atmosphere catered to by restaurants and bars along the main street in Palm Springs .

Sunday is a great day for brunch at the famed ‘Shermans’ and a walk round the local shops  . On the morning of Ruchi’s departure  , she and her friend decided to do a detour to  Joshua Tree National Park .

Joshua Tree national Park is huge . People go there to camp and hike for weeks . It has a circular trail and lots of wildlife  . Ruchi’s main interest had been to get a picture of a Joshua tree like the one on the U2 album cover . But the national park , like many in California , was breath taking . There were plenty of rocks to scramble on and Ruchi was lucky enough to see a chipmunk and a roadrunner .