Bakersfield - Fresno
Trip Start Jan 22, 2006
156Trip End Aug 16, 2006
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Moving further North to Fresno, we quickly decided that perhaps we weren't so lucky to have found this hotel after all, as we pulled up at one of the worst hotels that I have ever seen (and before their lawyers issue any summons, for the record it was not a Travelodge this time, we'd moved further down the food chain to Econo-Lodge this time).
First impressions count for a lot and when the first three people that you see wandering around before you even check in are all carrying an alcoholic drink, it doesn't exactly lift your spirits (no pun intended). Especially when they all looked like they may have all been in prison as recently as that morning (in the end it turned out that they were only lorry drivers).
The room that we were put in was actually not too bad (or maybe our standards are falling as the trip goes on), once we'd worked out that all the even numbered rooms were at the front of the hotel and all the odd numbered rooms were round the back. This almost worked in our favour later, when it also confused a Chinese takeaway delivery driver, who tried to deliver a meal for two to our room!
Fresno is twice the size of Bakersfield and following the usual formula of the American towns we have visited, contains about twice the number of malls, fast food outlets and hotels. Although I would say that in general it looks slightly less affluent than Bakersfield (no good sandwich shops either).
The amount of poverty in America has really surprised me, as it's not a side of the country that is ever really revealed in England (or I'm just ignorant of the fact). Also the really poor looking areas, can quite frequently be right next to the richer looking districts of a town. So you have to keep your wits about you when driving around these towns (fortunately the doors automatically lock any time you start the engine!).