Well we've arrived in Sedona, Arizona after an eventful first day. We woke up about 06:30 and went for a walk finding a McDonalds & an EggMcMuffin & a coffee for breakfast!. Then back to the hotel and to the pool for an hour or two before we could check in at the rental centre.
We picked the 'bus' up yesterday lunchtime and our first sight of it caused us to start to sweat! It was massive. 35 feet long and 10 feet wide. A huge, gas guzzling 'recreational' vehicle. We spent 30 minutes checking in and watching a video which was intended to help us on our way. It seems pretty simple to use. Water, sewage and electrical hook ups. Several large storage tanks - for grey and black water and the regular appliances. Our concern was driving, everything else would come with time. We did a couple of practice laps each around the car park, mainly to get used to the huge back end & to know how to swing it around the corners without taking out a number of other vehicles / pedestrians!It's at this point I have to mention I chickened out and Abi drove. I just didn't feel comfortable but I'm sure that with practice I'll be OK. We got the sat nav sorted (thanks for the loan Alex, you are a life saver!) and set a course for Cottonwood and our first experience of the WalMart empire. Anyway, we hit route 101 (Phoenix's M25) and headed north to Interstate 17. Abi was a star. She managed to keep the bus between the white lines most of the time and cope with the traffic. You just have to be a lot more switched on and plan way ahead. It seems to fill most of the lane with only about a foot to spare. Not a lot of room for error. Getting carved up by a**eholes who've missed their exit doesn't help but I was proud of her. The rental place only left us with 1/4tank of fuel (gee thanks) so we stopped at a service station & topped her up (at $136 - shes a thirsty little girlie & we're grateful we're not filling her up in the UK!)
From I17 we took route 260 to Cottonwood to provision at the WalMart SuperCenter. It's the biggest store I've ever been in. Looks like a huge aircraft hanger with EVERYTHING you can ever need. From bananas to bikes, fudge to fence paint, sweetcorn to sheets and Abi was in heaven. She loves to find a bargain :-) but we wanted to get 'hooked up' before dark, so we stuck to our list and did a few miles around the store. We've got a bike rack on the back & wanted to pick up some cheap bikes - we found some for $60, which makes it cheaper than hiring them for 2 weeks .. but we're going to have a look in Sedona too as I need one with a taller frame, I was sitting like a man on a tricycle and don't know how high up the seat will come!
All provisioned out, it was now time to find the camp site. The sun was setting as we left & the last 15mins were done in the dark, apart from overtaking a towed vehicle which had to stop and leaving a hairs bredth between us & them, we didn't do bad. The camp site had left out details for us & due to a rather large tree just infront of our spot, we had to pull right forward & then reverse back in - I had to stand by the tree holding a torch so Abs could see where the tree was (!!) but swung it in straight and perfect first time ... I would like to say beginners luck, but she's always a top reverser!
The layout: behind the drivers seat you've got a table & 2 benches & a bench down the side (to seat an additonal 3), double bed above the drivers cab. Kitchen area (microwave, gas hob, double sink, fridge, freezer & cupboards), shower & wc/sink opposite, double bed at the back with wardrobe each side!! So we unpacked, had a clean of the cabin, had a coffee & a cake and called it a night!