After a 6 hour delay at London Heathrow and a change of aircraft we finally made it to a very hot Phoenix Arizona at around 23:00; by the time we managed to get passed border control, customs and baggage it was near midnight. As you can imagine this set all our timing for the first day back, combined with an exceptionally long day. To say the least we were fairly exhausted. Anyway, not to deter us we made our way to Avis car rental to pick up the car and get of our way to Eloy for our first nights stay.
We stayed at the Travel Lodge in Eloy which could only be described as a sweat box, it was so hot in the corridor and our room that it was hard to breathe. I will add though that the receptionist was very attentive and the place was very clean (just what you need). So this night was spent with the air conditioning blaring away continually.
After a short sleep and a quick shower we again packed and made our way to Saguaro National Park; the Saguaro cactus is a favourite of mine and in 2010 we had the opportunity to visit Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument which has a stunning display of Saguaro and Organ Pipe cactus. If you are in the area, both these parks are a must to visit. In summer the parks are super hot and almost empty; so taking lots of water is essential. As the weather is super hot and we had a tight schedule we were not really into doing any hiking in the park and stuck just to a drive with the comfort of air conditioning, with a few stops to get out and admire the landscape. Depending on what your into and your ability to deal with temperatures above 35c you might enjoy walking in the park early morning or later in the afternoon, but we had another place to visit that day.
Kitts Peak is very close to Saguaro National Park south west of Tucson AZ and is home to Kitts Peak National Observatory with a stunning array of different telescope and excellent guided tours by very passionate personnel. Even if you are not too interested in the observatory the drive up is absolutely stunning. Check out their site if you are going to visit as there are many different things going on and some night observation programs. It was really one of them times we wished we had allocated more time to our visit.
We ended our day in Deming New Mexico, but before we arrived we had a little time to quickly visit Chiricahua National Monument just as the ranger station was closing and then after to take a part paved and part dirt road over the mountains in the Coronado National Forest. Chiricahua was a stunning little park with amazing rock formations that is well worth a visit if you have the time as it’s a little out of the way. To be honest as beautiful as it was it was a really long day and we were totally exhausted by the time we arrived in Deming; looking forward to a good nights sleep.