Esto lo mando desd un cıbercafe, vaya una historia para llegar aqui.... No he podido procesar mejor las imagenes, hay q abrirlas y girarlas manualmente. Espero q se entienda mi letra. Pero esq esto es ART AS YOU GO PURO!!! al final si q ıremos a la Cappadocia!! aunq estaremos 2 noches viajamdp en bus, q divertıdo!!! q practico esto d tener un espiritu joven jeje. En Turquia donde esta la i latına esta la i turca, vaya un lio!! pero q aventura!! a ver sı para d llover!!!! aqui va esto, ıre poniendo mas cuando pueda :) Y que viva el arte!!
Me acabo d dar cuenta de que las imagenes estan en orden inverso, es decir: la primera q sale es la ultima. Mejor mirar entonces la q aqui sale como ultima jeje. Son las cosas del directo jejejeje
A ver, el orden esta bien al final, excepto por la primera imagen d todas, q deberia ser la ultima imagen de todas. Por lo demas creo q esta bien :)
Segunda parte del blog del viaje a Estambul, Semana Santa 2012
Estamos ahora mismo en la famosa Cappadocia, despues d viajar durante toda la noche en bus. HAsta pronto!!
De vuelta de la Cappadocia, muy contentos pero muy cansados. Y esta manana hemos vısto Santa Sofia (GENIAL) y el palacio Topkapi. Luego nos hemos pateado toda la ciudad, que enorme. Ya vamos a dormir jeje. Manana tarde cogemos avion para Barcelona!!
July 24, 2011 Sunday
This is the 1st official entry in this blog. Our bags are almost ready. We are taking a bit of everything, including cooking stuff and clothing suitable for the 50ºC at Death Valley, and for the chilled San Francisco. We are also preparing arty stuff to carry to the US, like paper and watercolors to do live painting, and of course material for the project Art As You Go! Today I made my first series of glamorous fashion arty complements: earrings made of 3 cm2 high quality prints of my paintings! they look sooo cool!!
July 30, 2011 Saturday
We are at CAlifornia!! This morning we woke up in Barcelona at 4:30am. Now it is 6:30am in Barcelona! So we have been 26 h without sleep!!
Local time here is 21:30h.
The flight from London Heathrow was 11 h. It was good, we had lots of food and watched a lot of movies.
July 30, 2011 Saturday
We rented a car at LA (took a little while to get used to the automatic car), and after 20 min we were at Santa Monica, where Hwy 66 ends!
LAT1: LA from plain
LAT2: Art as u go – LA view
LAT3: Santa Monica pier
LAT4: Art as u go – Mc Donalds
LAT5: Pitufo Santa Monica
LAT7: Old (and NEW) Spanish days at Santa Barbara
LAT8: Phone box in Santa Barbara
LAT9: Santa Barbara streets
LAT10: Turtle’s pool in Santa Barbara
LAT11: More pics in Santa Barbara
LAT12: Mexican restaurant
LAT13: Mexican restaurant
LAT14: Native Americans
LAT15: those gringos… we love them! ;)
LAT16: arriving to the beach in Santa Barbara
LAT17: the whale
LAT18: Western Saloon at Los Alamos
LAT19: Old Petrol Station at Los Alamos
LAT20: No comment
LAT21: Bed & Breakfast at Los Alamos
August 9, 2011
Today, we have been at Death Valley!!! as hot and splendid as we expected!! well, maybe more of both! ;)
August 10, 2011
We did grand canyon...9 h hike, down and back up!!! 102ºF (about 40ºC)!!! sooooooo cool!!! we loved it!!!
On July 31st, Fabien was verbally assaulted while sleeping at the hostel in Santa Monica. The guy arrived inside the dormitories room at 11:30pm, shaking him and asking for this bed. He was screaming the F word many times. Only verbal abuse hopefully. Eventually he left Fabien alone. There was a lot of noise, and the police arrested somebody.Afterward only some snoring to notice during the night . 7 am Breakfast time . pancake and toasted bread on the menu
We collected the car from the overnight parking, thinking we were going to be fined, but luckily it was only $10!
We headed North, 101 Hwy towards SFO. Stopped briefly in Malibu, where it was raining ! come on!!! More than 300 sunny days in CA, we thought that was the deal! Luckily, it stopped a couple of hours later.
We stopped in kind of Mexican Mall to go to the restroom (American for toilet), and a guy offered me a job there !!
We made a halt for few hours in Santa Barbara. Very cute city indeed. We had no idea it was so pleasant. It felt very European, in fact. We had lunch in a Mexican restaurant. I fancied a salad. Super sticky over covered in cream/cheesy stuff! Otherwise, delicious. But still, we couldn´t eat anything that night! We were too full.
In the streets of Santa Barbara, you find electrical plugs close to the benches, to charge your laptop/cell phone! So cool and very practical
We slept at Morro Bay. Beautiful park. Estuary, bird watching, seals. We went for a walk in the forest. We decided to run away from the campsite, because everybody was doing BBQ, and we were still full from the Mexican lunch.
Updated notes in italics (“cursiva” in Spanish)
Alicia went for a run in the morning in the forest, in front of the sea. People at the campsite were having the BBQ for breakfast with last night left over. I hope they don´t eat like that every day! We wnet into town and found a nice bar where we had the typical American breakfast overlooking the sea, from where we could see the seals!! Service was super slow. Butter ultra fat. In fact, we are discovering (by experience) that many of the American topics are not true, for better and for worse, we´ll talk more about it later.
We visited Big Sur, a wonderful scenic route in the Pacific Coast. I met Lorena, a Mexican artist who was running an art gallery at Big Sur.
We went then to El Carmel, a very pretty town, south of San Francisco.
(notes from this day handwritten, still to complete).
We didn´t have time to make our music selection for the road trip, so we are listening to the local radio. Lots of country and Mexican music. Nothing like the American music we have in Cadena Dial, Kiss FM, or even Los Cuarenta Principales in Spain! Might buy few classics when we have the chance (meaning…finding a deal for $5 or less, of course), like Born in the USA and stuff.
Writing this blog in the car. Now I stop, because we are arriving in San Francisco!!
Youth Hostel in Fort Mason, not far from a superb view point overlooking the prison of Alcatraz and San Francisco´s famous bridge! We meet a couple of people in their sixties, and 2 other single men (in their sixties-seventies), and chatted lively over dinner together. It was very pleasant. I found surprising to find people of that age in Youth Hostelling! I think it was great. Very healthy, respectful (in general) and quiet that night. Room with 20 beds!
Updated notes in italics (“cursiva” in Spanish)
I woke up at 4am and couldn’t sleep any longer. Still Jet lagged I supposed. At least, only 1 person was snoring (1 person out of 20 we were in the room, we were lucky!). Breakfast was poor. To compensate the lack of quantity, I indulged myself with a bit too generous servings of peanut butter with maple syrup over my waffle! Not good for you. We meet a very nice local guy at breakfast, who was staying there while he was looking for another flat, because it was cheap accommodation. He told us that the Hostel were we had made the reservation tonight downtown, was located in a not-so-nice area. So we decided to stay here in Fort Mason another night, in a private room. The problem was the price! But then, (we were so lucky, we met a German girl who was interested to share the room with us (there were 3 beds) and sharing also the cost. Great!
After sorting out the accommodation, we visited San Francisco. We didn´t have the exact change for the bus, so we decided to walk downtown. I love this logic, it is so me! We went to Chinatown first. Not as “authentic” as the one in NYC, but very charming. We also walked down those famous ultra steep streets in SFO…and watched astonished the cars parked in the streets with impossible angles!
We walked most of the day, UP and DOWN the hills. We´ll write more about SFO later. We did a super nice apero overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. At night, we did paella in the hostel!!
We visited the SFO MOMA art museum (free that day of the week!). It was quite good. Then, we had a piece of fruit (which we had bought in Chinatown) at Yerba Buena gardens. We walked down Market St until the Civic Center, where we had Hawaiian Food in the streets. Following that, we continued walking up to Height Ashbury. The houses were really nice, English-cottage, almost kitsch style! Nothing to do with the stereotype of American houses we have.
While I was taking a photo at a house, I didn’t realize that there was a guy just there, who thought I was taking a photo at him. He started shouting at me, and Fabien told me to walk away as fast as I could. He was a drug dealer, or so thought Fabien! Oops!
We were trying to arrive by foot to the Golden Gate State Park (quite a long way walking from Fort Mason via Downtown). We arrived to Los Alamos Park, a nice little hill were people walk their dogs. Very social, ideal to meet dogs and dog’s owners!
From the huge Golden Gate State Park, we took a bus til Presidio. Then, we walked through the SFO Cemetery looking for a view on the famous Golden Gate Bridge. The cemetery had a computerized system to locate the graves of the War Veterans! Very efficient indeed. The grave stones were all white and aligned symmetrically, very pretty. We found our super view of the Bridge at the Golden Gate recreational area.
After that, we stopped at Safeway to buy some drinks and nibbles, and also chicken to do Paella at the Hostel! We had our beer inside of a paper bag (it is not allowed to drink in the streets), seating on a bench close to our Hostel, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Superb! And it was very romantic. The nibbles were delicious stuffed olives and crisps.
At the Hostel, we prepared the Paella. It was so much fun! In the common kitchen there were lots of other people, and few of them tried and loved our Paella! We were very pleased with ourselves. I wore the Flamenco scarf while doing the Paella. More typical-kitschy Spanish, impossible! J
Updated notes in italics
We´ll complete all this later. Just to say for the moment a few general comments I wrote down in my note book:
- In some towns/cities here, it is not allowed to smoke in the street.
- They have a lot of Spanish names of places, but they pronounce them in the English way, which I find equally funny and sad.
- You can adopt/sponsor a Highway (American word for Motorways). We are enjoying them so much we might look into it!
- There is a town here in CA called “Mariposa Reina”.
The GPS says: “when possible, make a LEGAL U-turn”.
That morning at San Francisco, we visited the Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39. Lots of nice bars and places to have ice-cream. We went back to Chinatown to buy Fortune cookies! Also bought food for our trip into the wilderness, such as Chinese rice noodles, and fruit. We visited briefly the Italian neighbourhood and passed by the Cable Car Museum, and then we arrived to the famous Crooked Street, a street very steep, narrow and with very close turns. Lots of people were there too, all taking photos and making little movies of the cars driving that street. We were at the top of a big hill, with excellent views of SFO. Also that second day walking up and down the city, we burned the ultra fat peanut butter waffles we had for breakfast!
We left SFO and visited the charming small city of Sausalito. To get there, we had to take the Golden Gate Bridge. Spectacular! At Sausalito, managed to find free parking space and had the leftovers of the Paella in front of the sea J
We slept at Truckee. FREEZING COLD!
Updated notes in italics
We have now completed the first part of trip: civilization. Now, we are entering into the wildness!! Lake Tahoe and then Yosemite for few days. Not back in civilization until August 15, when we go to Las Vegas!!! Yesterday we filled up the car with food and tons of water. Stuff we can store for days, just the essentials: peanut butter, Andy Warhol’s Campbell tomato soup, Chinese noodles, fortune cookies from China Town in SFO, cans of food, chocolate… you know, the usual survivor food kit! J
We have no idea for whole we won’t have:
- Electricity (to charge batteries of photo camera, laptop…)
- Access to the Internet
- A shower!!! In the last camping we slept in there was none!
There was a sign of beware of bears in the camping last night!!
There is still snow in the mountains here in Tahoe. In fact, we had to buy extra warm clothes yesterday, and today if we can we´ll buy a winter sleeping bag! I guess what it said in the guide about 25 ºC at night only applies to Death Valley!!
After the chilled night at Truckee, we stopped at an Outdoor Shop to buy extra fleeces (quite cold if you camp at Truckee, 8000 feet) and a gas stove for outdoors cooking. Then, we arrived to Lake Tahoe. We had forgotten to book accommodation for that night, but luckily we found a camping with free space. We had a brief but intense drama there, because for some reason we couldn’t close the boot (trunk in American English, “maletero” in Spanish) of the car!! We panicked and Fabien tried to find a garage to get it sorted, as we couldn’t drive like that at all. After an hour going like crazy from one place to another (Fabien was told to enter a casino to find the place to go), he found the solution. Apparently, it happens a lot to Toyota cars, you just have to blam it harder, that´s all. It´s the people at Hertz, the rental company, who said that, what a relief!! We were expenting to have to pay lots of cash! After that, we had a quite pleasant evening.
El Dorado National Forest
Updated notes in italics
We slept well, first time since we arrived in CA! not jet-lagged anymore, and not cold either, as we bought yesterday an extra sleeping bag!
We went for a run by the Lake before breakfast. Great views. I went then to the Library, to upload part of the blog and few pics J. In the meantime, Fabien went to shop at the Snowboard Village.
I met a lady in the Tahoe Lake Campground, while I was waiting to have a shower. She told me that 2 weeks ago, in a campground close-by, there was a bear standing by his dad’s tent for 45 minutes! Another woman then said that the day before, during a hike around, they saw a bear on a tree, just over them!!
We did a very nice hike at El Dorado National Forest, route 88, Carlson Pass. We didn´t know anything about the area, it was fantastic! We did a 3.h 30 min hike, walking at some points over the snow!
We met Warren during the trekk, a very nice, chatty and knowledgeable. We exchanged cards at the end. Also met a guy who was doing the Pacific Crest.. It starts in Canada, and crosses Washington, Oregon, California until New Mexico. We was doing that since May,til October!! Some times he had snow up to his elbows! An burned an average of 5000 calories per day!! He had to post himself food to each stop point!! WOW
We were sleeping at the South Shore Campground, in El Dorado, on August 5 and 6.
El Dorado National Park
We did a little walk around the lake. In the afternoon, we stopped at a very kirsch and cool bar in the middle of nowhere to ask for directions, and had a beer and some beef jerky (delicious kind of dry meet to chew). The guy was amazing, and I am not sure if I say that in a good way. He was very sarcastic, not the smartest of men, but somewhat nice. He managed to be kind and insult us at the same time. But it was so much fun. By the way, he was quite drunk, or maybe was just his personality. A very interesting experience. We had a 45 min chat about our trip and life in general. We also talked about Yosemite National Park, and about his family. Apparently, they are all very talented. He was a professional musician in LA for few years. But he said didn´t have the guts to take it seriously to become a star, and ended up working in a bar. He also told us about his niece, a particularly talented want-to-be an actress. Apparently, her career in Hollywood didn´t go as well as she expected, and ended up being a whore. We never quite knew when he was being serious or when he was pulling our leg. Then, another guy arrived in the bar. He was also quite a character. Very funny. They started talking about hookers and hot women, and then talked about the good old American times, before those Germans arrived, when they had that President (they didn´t remember who it was). When I mentioned I was Spanish, this guy said he knew somebody from Chile ¿? Then, they started talking about the US debt and the Chinese. Hilarious, it was like being in a movie. Finally, as we paid, he offered himself a too generous tip without asking. We didn’t mind too much, the show was worth!
At the campground, I found shocking the fact that it was allowed to make fire in the forest at each campsite, with this heat! In fact, when our neighbours left, they abandoned their fireplace with smoking ashes!
We bought a bucket of wood for the fire ($5) and made a second Paella in the forest J. Fabien made a super nice fire to cook, and it lasted for 3 h. We stayed around the fire drinking our beer and eating the Fortune cookies we bought in SFO until it was pitch dark,
August 7, Sunday
El Dorado Nacional Forest
Bodie Ghost Town
Mono Lake Basin
We had Snickers for breakfast. As there were no showers at the Campground, Fabien helped me to wash my hair with bottled water. Freezing cold!! Great way to wake up, a boost of energy!
We went to Sonora Pass, at more than 9000 feet. On the road, there was a huge Salmon harpooned on a stick!! Cool and creepy. After that, we visited the Ghost Town Bodie, which was an old gold mine. It was very nice and interesting to see the old buildings still standing up, and peek through the windows. Some of them were very well preserved, and you could see the old wall paper and furniture covered in a thick layer of dust!
At Mono Lake, we got the 1 year pass to visit all the National Parks ($40 each). Then, we visited the tufa at the lake, which are very cool calcium carbonate formations with the shape of pinnacles.
That night we slept at the Silver Lake Campground. At June Lake loop. With showers!! But they only worked within certain hours, and were not free. We had a great view of the mountains, moon and lake included. We made a fire again that night. I went for a run around the lake before dinner. We had Chinese noodles. By the way, were in a true bear zone!! There were special locker anti-bears to store food at each campsite.
August 8, Monday
Yosemite Nacional Park
We woke up at 6am. That night had not been too cold, but very humid. The guard of the campsite came to us and said “you had visitors last night”. In fact, he had seen a bear in our campsite, and screamed laudly to scare him (he actually heard that during the night).
We had breakfast, shower, and left. Direction Yosemite. It was a 2h 30 min drive. We saw some controlled fires inside of the national park. Scary and impressive though! At the view points (Half Dome, Glacier Point, waterfalls…), there were too many people. Not nice at all. We took the same road back to Verning Lee (Mono Lake), then drove to Lone Pine (2 h more).
The campground was in fact very far from the town, really remote and close to the Mount Whitney (the highest mountain either in California or in the US, I cannot remember). We arrived quite late, at 8:30pm. There were magnificent huge red stones by the road. Desertic. No body, no nothing anywhere. We meet a guy in the parking lot of the camground. He gave us advice on hiking places around (but no time anyway). There was a sign at the entrance of the campground saying “bear activity area”. Scary!! And the place was so remote. It was almost creepy!
We were happy to have some neighbours in the campground, although there did not seem very friendly. We have apero and heated a tin of food, and almost set the wooden table on fire!! It is worth to mention there was an OVEN in the campsite ??¿, one of those very primitive, where you bury the wood/coal in the ground. The moon was so bright we almost didn´t need the headlight…it was like a touch! It felt great being in the wilderness, so close to the Mount Whitney. We were camped very close to a stream with running water.
The guy we meet that evening had told us a lot of scary stories about bears at that precise campground. In fact, we were so paranoid that we brought metallic sauce pans to the tent in case we had to make noise and (try to) make them go away. I had to go to the car to get something I had forgotten, and Fabien came with me to check out for bears!
August 9, Tuesday
It was 5am when we got up at Lone Pine. It was still very dark. We packed the tent and our stuff very quickly and left, to avoid the heat when crossing Death Valley as much as possible. Now I can say we were quite scared of what we would find when we opened the tent! I didn’t tell Fabien then, but I could swear I heard something like a bear breathing heavily during that night. Fabien didn’t hear that but still couldn’t sleep well, and was really to make noise with the cooking pans at the minimum indication of bears! Now that I write about it sounds almost funny.
The first thing we saw in Death Valley were the Mesquite Flat Dunes. It was the result of winds carrying sand and soil from the surrounding mountains. At Furnace Creek, the biggest (and almost only) town in the Valley, the ranger was very helpful. She saved us a lot of time by telling us there was a shortest route to go through Death Valley and still see everything we wanted to see. There was super posh and expensive hotel just outside of the town, a true oasis surrounded by palm trees. Apparently, there was a dressing code to go to the restaurant!
We went to Zabriskie point, a place with stunning views of the hills around. Great colors. It was already super hot at 8am!! We dared to go a 2 km trek in the Golden Canyon. It was great to be able to walk in the desert in the summer! (at midday, it can be up to 50ºC!). We carried a lot of water with us.
Then, we visited Devil´s Golf Course and Badwaters. It was an amazing extension of salt, resembling a sparking white sea! That was the remains of a huge lake that covered all the valley ages ago. There was still a tiny pool of water, slowly evaporating. Amazing!
We drove through Artist´s Drive, a 15 km route in a landscape of multicoloured volcanic rocks. That was a delight for an artist! The last hightlight of Death Valley was Dante´s View. I thought we could do it without a 4-wheel drive, but the ranger had told us it would be OK. Still, we turned off the air conditioning to go up the steep road, just in case the car would suffer. You don´t want to have breakdown in Death Valley! I can say that those 13 miles up the hill have been the hottest of my life!!! But it was absolutely worth it!! The views of the whole valley were fabulous; it was like being in a dream. The huge spot of sea-looking salt was stunningly beautiful!!
After exiting Death Valley we had to do a 8 h driving to Grand Canyon (GC from now on)! 2 h up to Las Vegas (we didn´t enter, thanks God there was a loop around it), and then 6 h more to GC. We arrived at GC Village by 8pm, and still took us like 20 minutes to find the campground, as it was very bad indicated. I guess it didn´t help the fact we (specially Fabien) were extenuated and that it was dark already. We eventually found the campground and pitched the tent with the help of the headlights of the car. Then, we had some food. We didn´t go to bed until 10pm, and had to get up at 5am (again) to hike down the GC!
August 10, Wednesday
At 5am, we had to pack everything in the darkness, as that night we were staying in a different site in the same campground. We had some stressful moments, because we had no idea of where to take the shuttle to the starting point of the hike. At the end we drove directly to the place (Yaki Point) and started walking. The 1st impression of the Grand Canyon (GC hereafter) was breathtaking. It was chilly at that time in the morning. The path was easy, buy sandy, making it slippery. You don’t want to slip down the hill in the GC! We didn’t meet many people on the way down.
There was plenty of shadow in the 1st hour. As we know there was no water to refill our bottles, we were carrying about 4 litres each. We saw 2 groups of people riding mules in the canyon. We had a superb view of the Colorado river. It was so.. Colorado!! Hence the name :)
There was a bridge to cross to the other side. There were few rafting boats in the river. Next time we´ll do that too!
It took us 3 h to go down the canyon via South Kaibab Trail, and 6 h to go up after via Bright Angel Trial. It was extremely hard to walk between 10am and 4pm, because of the high Tª (around 40ºC) and humidity.
Our first intention was to respect that restriction, and just wait at the bottom of the canyon for 6h. But in fact we couldn´t be bothered to wait so long. We just did a 1 h break at the Phantom Ranch, a little lodge at the bottom of the canyon. We bought some post cards there, which were stamped with this text: “delivered from the bottom of the Grand Canyon by mules”.
In our way up, we meet a nice range who checked on us. She said we could refill our bottles with fresh water in 1.25 miles. The longest of our life! In fact, there not much elevation change, but there was almost no shadow!! We finally made it, and did a little break at the famous Indian Gardens. There was a huge thermometer saying: “this is the Tª of your brain under the sun”. It marked 102ºF (about 40ºC). In the last few miles climbing up, we crossed many girls dressed like going to the Mall, and just carrying a small bottle of water! Completely crazy, and the hardest is to climb back up in the heat.
We were so pleased with ourselves when we finally arrived to the top!Of course, there were a lot of people there. We went to an Indian Arts&Crafts shop to ask for the place to take the shuttle back to the car. The Indian guy of the shop tried to trick us saying there was no bus, and had to call a taxi (and luckily for us, his best friend was a taxi driver). We realized it was not true and left. The shuttle stop was just 30 sec walking distance from the shop!
The following day, we headed towards another state: Utah.
Just saw a sign of Bobcats in the next 12 miles!!
August 11, Thursday
Leaving Grand Canyon today, heading to Page to see Antelope Canyon, then sleeping in the spectacular Bryce Canyon, and after that, 2 nights at Zion Park. Then, we’ll go to Las Vegas!! more news from there. And I´ll upload a much more complete photo selection, we haven´t had much time, we are in the wilderness!! not able to shower everyday!! by the way, here at Grand Canyon campground, showers were $2!!!!! more expensive than doing the laundry!
The night before we went to Death Valley, we slept at Lone Pine, in an extremely remote and primitive campground. The moon was amazing, we were very close to the great Mount Whitney (the highest mountain here), and... it was a bear area!! so scary, we could bearly (hehe) sleep that night! we had things with us inside of the tent to make noise just in case we heard something outside!! by the way, one of the most magical, exciting and cool nights of my life! ;)
The landscape has changed: it seems like a flattened version of the Grand Canyon, with electrical posts everywhere. It is quite shocking to see all these Navajo people living in mobile homes. They sell their Arts & Crafts and have huge hand-painted signs by the road.
At the town Cameron, we saw a huge 3 meters diameter dream catcher in an Indian shop!
We are heading up North towards Page, hoping to arrive to the Antelope Canyon before 2pm. According to our guide is the latest time to see the spectacular colors of the rocks, as the sun must be right over the canyon.
I found funny that in many petrol stations, they put huge signs of things like “clean rest rooms”.
At the end, we missed the Antelope Canyon. That was a shame! Well, now we have another reason to come back! We went to have food instead, in a great restaurant called “Ranch House” at Page. Spectacular food! Enormous portions. I had a giant grilled chicken salad. Then, we talked to the owner about the region and cool things to do/see. He was a very nice guy. Thanks to him we discovered the magazine “Arizona Highways”, which is a kind of “National Geographic” in Arizona. He was a very good salesman!
At Page, there was a street with at least 10 different churches!!! Minimum!!
Then we went to a viewpoint overlooking Lake Powell. It was beautiful! It is an artificial lake, a reservoir in fact, filling up with water the continuation of the Grand Canyon.
Between Arizona and Utah, the scenery was incredible. I couldn’t stop taking photos at those amazing red rocks from the car.
We stopped at Kanab, to visit the Frontier Rocks Movie Town. Clint Eastwood was there for a movie in 1975, and the little village they built as decoration is still there! It was sooo cool!
We have seen buffalos in the countryside!! We also saw doers, just by the road! 14 miles to arrive to Zion Park (called hereafter ZP). The sun just disappeared behind those red beautiful hills. We had never seen this kind of landscape before. I just took a photo of the moon over these wonderful hills! At ZP, there is a quite long tunnel. It was very scary, because there were neither emergency exits nor lights! Just reflecting stuff! Regulations about this point are so different in Europe.
The campground was superb, bathed with the moonlight and surrounded by hills. No showers or electricity though. We are now at the campground site table, I am writing these notes with the headlight on, and Fabien is writing postcards to family. We have highlighted with a marker the amazing trip we have done so far, covering 4 states (California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah)! About 2700 miles, and still a lot more to do!
Here it is “Mountain Standard Time”, 1 hour more than in the “Pacific Standard Time”. Our US cell phone changed time automatically. Great!
We are glad we didn´t bring any music at the end. Country is so cool! But on the radio, sometimes too much God preacher’s talk, to be honest. We had lots of that in California and Arizona, and in Utah too. “She feels my tractor is sexy” – somebody singing on the radio now.
August 12, Friday
It was very hot last night, about 30ºC. Fabien couldn’t sleep well. For some strange reason, we are completely surrounded by American-Japanese people at this campground. Our neighbours had a portable hover to clean their tent. They were making a lot of noise early in the morning! We took our time to get ourselves more or less clean (without shower facilities). It still amazes me to find so many families with little kids in all these campsites, and not being bothered about not having showers! How do they do? OK, some of them have RVs (recreational vehicules), but many others are staying in tents just as we are.
Another thing I don´t get: why there is no electricity in the vast majority of the campgrounds?? Not even in the restrooms! If you don’t have your own generator you are in trouble.
We had breakfast, did a bit of laundry (it is so hot that clothes dry in 5 min) and went to the visitor centre of Zion Park to get information about hikes to do around. We decided to do the Observation Point walk (5h, 13km, 655m elevation change). We did it in 3.5h…we are well trained after doing the Grand Canyon! Great views. The highlight of the walk was getting through a very narrow canyon. The colors were amazing! Water had carved fantasy lines in the rocks. We also did Weeping Rock on the way back, a cute view point under a little natural waterfall.
We are now heading to Panguitch (about 22 miles North West Bryce Canyon). Our campground was in a lake 18 miles from there. The landscape has changed completely again, it is very green with little hills (a bit like Jura in France or the Lake District in the UK). The campground was OK, as usual, meaning neither showers nor electricity. We had an amazing full moon, bright as a touch. We had a nice tomato soup with pasta for dinner, and made a little fire. Then, when we were going to the restroom, I had a little accident: I bumped into (and felt over) a big rock (about 50 cm high). The thing is that in these campgrounds there is hardly any light! It was nothing too serious, just some scratches. But I was shocked by the fact that NOONE in the campsite asked me if I was OK, because it happened right in front of a big group of people, and it was very obvious. After that, Fabien had another little accident with the metallic stuff of the strings in the tent, and cut himself in the big toe. What was wrong that day?? The full moon maybe had something to do with it, making as a bit dumb?
Even if we cleaned and disinfected the wound well, it was hurting a bit overnight. Maybe that’s why we didn’t sleep very well. That and the fact that we had to get up at 4:40am to go to the Sunrise Point at Bryce Canyon. To make things worse, we had just changed out time from Pacific to Mountain Standard Time the day before, so it was like getting up at 3:30am!!
August 13, Saturday
We got up at 4:40am to go to the Sunrise Point at Bryce Canyon. We had to drive about 40 miles to get there. At the view point, there were already plenty of people. It was freezing cold, so I took my flashy-green sleeping bag with me. As we say in Spain “ande yo caliente, ríase la gente”. The change of colors with the sun was spectacular. Just as if somebody had turned the lights on, the pinnacles (hoodoos) got tinted in a broad range of colors: orange, pink, yellow, purple and white. All due to the different oxidation stages of the iron in the rocks. Then we did a beautiful hike into the landscape (Indian Gardens). We had breakfast over the pavement in the parking lot. Shameless! After that, we did the tour of the view points. In one of them, we met a big group of Spanish bikers riding Harley Davidson and doing the Route 66.
Then, we did a bit of the scenic route 12, in the Cannonville area. We stopped at Creek Falls to do a walk along the river, in the canyon. There were Indian pictograms on the walls. At the end of the walk, there was a beautiful waterfall. We saw the sunset back at Bryce Canyon, overlooking the hoodoos. Then we went back to Zion Park, where we were staying. We had to pitch the tent in the darkness again, had some jerky and beer, and went to bed.
More pics at Bryce Canyon and Route 12 :)
August 14, Sunday
Zion Park again. The Narrows.
August 15, Monday
Valley of Fire
August 16, Tuesday
More pics at Las Vegas :)
August 17, Wednesday
More pics at Route 66 :)
August 18, Thursday
More pics at Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach
August 19, Friday
Los Angeles y pa casa
August 21, Sunday
Back home at Barcelona, local fiestas!