For more details go to profile page
Posts by Kev:
Wine & Steak Argentine Style
April 12th, 2009 by Kev · No Comments
Arrival in Mendoza only holds very deep and sad memories for us, if you have read the previous posts you will know why. With “the incident” aside Mendoza is a very laid back city with plenty of small parks plaza’s and retail therapy outlets. All these public spaces were immaculately kept and provided much relief over the time we were here, chilling out in the afternoon heat.
The real reason why we were here is that Mendoza is set in the heart of the Argentinean Wine Region producing some of the world greatest wines. So before we headed off to the wineries we thought we would do some tasting sessions of our own, Backpacker Style. So with our connoisseur hats on we visited the finest of wine locations, the supermarket. In true budget style no wine was to be more that 5 pesos. Here was our haul.
I will be the first to admit that these we not the greatest, but you can’t complain when you spend that little really. A short aside from wine is the perfect counterpart to such a drink, steak. While here we ate Prime Argentinean Steak everyday and “half a cow on a plate” pretty much sums up the quantity of meat were talking about here! See exhibit a. They were amazing and a great relief from the ¼ chicken, chips, rice and salad (carb overload) we were used to eating up until this point.
Returning once more to wine the main winery region is just outside Mendoza in a small area called Maipu and this is where we headed to for a day of fermented grape goodness. What’s the best way to live the Argentinean wine valley lifestyle? That’s right, on a bike! After hiring Bicycles from Bike and Wines we set off to the furthest stop on our self guided winery tour. This took about an hour to conquer but the hard work had been done.
During the day we managed to visit a total of XX wineries in each one we sampled some of their favourite wines. The wineries each had their own little charm, whether it was an astrological theme, vintage cellar or wine museum. Of course visits to wineries would not be complete without the best bit… the tastings. We found the region to be especially good for the cabernet Sauvignon & Malbec grapes, which were very good and also very much out of our price range.
As the day progressed the cycling became more erratic as the alcohol took its grip but no harm was done. In fact the riding was extremely quaint and peaceful wit the hot sun peaking through trees onto the small lanes which lined the vineyard boundaries. A feeling of being in the south of France was dominant throughout the day.
The tour wasn’t all bout wine however. We also popped into a olive oil producer and a chocolate liqueur maker. The latter was superb with creamy chocolate heaven in a glass with alcoholic infusion. The range of flavours was huge, peppermint, toffee, caramel, hazelnut you name it they had it!
Mendoza for us could be summed up in 3 words Wine, Steak and Relaxation.
Tags: Argentina · South America
At the copa…
April 8th, 2009 by Kev · No Comments
After flying over lake Titicaca after the unforeseen issues with blockading Peruvian farmers, we headed out a short way from La Paz to grab a glimpse of what we missed. The journey itself was cool and having to depart the bus and get on a tiny fishing boats to get across a large body of water was, well, interesting! The bus arrived from its huge wooden transit across the water to shore where we continued onwards to Copacabana, a town on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca.
Copa is definitely not as heady and euphoric as its Brazilian counterpart, with 2 streets of action and no bars open post 10pm, party party party hey! Still it retained a sleepy vibe and a nice place to kick back, even if the hostel room was a dive!
After a day or so of relaxing and climbing the local mountain lookout we hopped aboard a boat and set sail for Isla de la Sol. The Island of the Sun is a extremely picturesque island in the middle of lake Titicaca and is steeped in Inca traditions and sacred sites. After milling around the dock we managed to arrange a tour with a local guide which was pretty cool. Problem being is that our Spanish isn’t that great! But 2 handily places Spanish girls helped to translate, phew. Just strolling around the bays and foothills was incredibly scenic and pleasant.
Not leaving enough time to hike across to the south of the island, or get back to port for the last boat, we were a tad stuck. If it wasn’t for a school group who had chartered a boat we might still be there! Grateful for the lift we posed for a few photos with them, a strange fascination, and returned slightly sun dazed and very relaxed.
Tags: Bolivia · South America
Stuck in Cuzco
March 21st, 2009 by Kev · No Comments
Tired and exhausted after the amazing Inca trail we found ourselves back where the adventure started in the ancient Inca city of Cuzco. It was on the return bus journey from Ollantaytambo when we heard from the bus driver that that we were all going to face some travel difficulties getting to Bolivia. The farmers in Peru were not happy! Apparently their governments decided to build a hydro-electric power plant…to provide electricity for foreign lands.
So they decided to mount a protest. Now I haven’t been studying my protest handbook for a while, but I’m pretty sure that barricading a road, throwing rocks at tourist buses, bribing drivers to continue safe passage are not commonplace in Europe. Yet this is what the future held for the Goonies. Sadly all buses out of Cuzco were suspended indefinitely for fear of rock damage!
We had to think fast and we teamed up with other Inca trailer’s Ravi and Kirsty and almost booked ourselves on a expensive private charter minibus, which “apparently” took the back roads to avoid the unfolding chaos. We decided to leave the decision a while and booked ourselves into our hostel. Upon consulting the owner he old us the harsh truths of the situation.
Protest started 2 days ago, no sign of ending, there is only one road out towards Bolivia (the lying bus operator) plus cowboy buses will make you bribe your way through each blockade as well as making you prime targets for kidnappings! Luckily we didn’t fall for the bus operators tricks and we decided to sit it out in Cuzco for a few days before making a contingency plan.
It was the next day after a meal out with our Inca trail compatriots we decided to take the plunge and do as 4 others already had, book ourselves onto one of the only planes which left Cuzco for Bolivia. Of course this did mean we sacrificed a visit to Puno and the floating islands upon Lake Titikaka, but we could not afford to stay here forever either.
These days of decision were putting it bluntly, very boring. The town is Cuzco is pretty but also rammed with hoards of tourists heading to Machu Picchu. We did do a few things however… we went shopping for handicrafts and alpaca wool accessories, had more than a few beers while checking out some local Peruvian bands (the second of which were pretty good and sounded like the Killers if they were born in the Andes).
The most fun we had was to come after we had enjoyed our first Curry for 3 months (it was great too!). As we were returning to our hostel we stopped in the main square, the Plaza D’Armas, where firework shenanigans were in full swing. This was so refreshing to see, there was no men in high vis clothing keeping you behind barriers…being honest it was a true free for all. The display consisted of about twenty or so 15 ft structures fashioned out of Bamboo, to which hundreds of Catherine wheels (again made out of bamboo) were attached and set off in a progressive sequences.
Giving the Peruvians credit, the dispay was very impressive given the materials used and the fun everyone was having in the square dancing along to bands and running headlong through the firework sparks was brilliant to be a part of. Although you did have to mind your heads every so often when the “Catherine wheels” flew from their structure into the gathered crowd. Also some of the bigger fireworks lacked some power and were exploding less that 20 metres from the ground sending greens and reds flying around the plaza to the Peruvians approval.
It was after this night we headed to the airport only to be greeted by nearly every other departing backpacker in Cuzco who like us were out of travel options. As we flew we admired the great lake of Titikaka wondering…what if? what if?
Tags: Peru · South America
The Lost City of the Inca’s: Machu Picchu
March 20th, 2009 by Kev · 4 Comments
The Lost city of the Incas beckoned, through the thick morning cloud! As we descended from the sun (cloud) gate we caught glimpses of the ruins with the weather ever clearing. It wasn’t until we had returned from getting our Machu Picchu passport stamps s handing over our trusty walking poles that we finally got to see the full scale of the vast Inca treasure trove which lay carved into the wilderness of the Peruvian Andes.
The first sight is awe inspiring. The scale and beauty of the site is hard to describe with the ancient ruins lying in front of the mountain of Wayna Picchu looming high up behind. Here we had a very thorough tour by our amazing guide Aly before being given free roam of the ruins. This was the culmination of days of hiking and it truly was spectacular to behold, something everyone should do!
The bus down was windy and a relief from the walking as we headed to a small pizza place in the (conveniently located) town of Aguas Caliente at the base of Machu Picchu. From here we headed back to Cuzco on the train knowing that we had a fantastic time and had seen some of the best that Pachamama has to offer.
The whole experience was amazing and the group of people who we trekked with were equally great which made for an excellent 4 days of fun, hiking, laughs and natural wonders! Last but not least our local guide Aly whose passion for the history and culture of the Peruvian people plus the nature of his native lands was unrivalled by any other guide on the trail! we were very lucky to have him as our guide and I thank GAP adventures for a great tour!
Btw: Aly is starting a new company which offers trails in and around Cuzco…they are called Mother Earth tours… Book now!! you wont be disappointed!
Tags: Peru · South America
The Inca Trail
March 12th, 2009 by Kev · 1 Comment
After a short drive from Ollantaytambo the Goonies arrived at the Kilometer 82 post… the offical starting point of the Inca Trail at Piskakucho where we got a cool passport stamp before crossing the opening rope bridge to start the historic trail.
Our guide, the ever reliable Aly, was very much in touch with nature as frequent stops were made to point out specific flowers (mainly orchids) and fauna of the valley. The valley we were hiking through was spectacular in terms of size and aesthetics. It really gave you a sense of wandering through a scene of one of the Lord of the Rings movies, as you trundle along with your head in the clouds and jaws on the floor. We hiked for about 2/3 hours following the river before turning away from its course towards our first lunch spot.
As the ‘Possies’ arrived we were greeted by our faithful hidden companions on the trail…our Porters. These guys carry all of the equipment for us on the trail leaving us to shoulder a small day pack. Porters are legally allowed to carry a maximum of 30 Kgs on their backs as they race ahead on the trail faster than you can imagine, just so they can have the tent village set up with next meal prepared ready for you. It really is astonishing how fast these guys plough up the trail given how much is on their backs, puts us Gringos to shame! So sitting pretty on our lunch tent we sat down to an amazing peruvian meal of fresh trout given the limitations of being in the middle of nowhere!
Setting off again we had a slightly more strenous second half of the day, with an uphill trek through a small valley to our campground for the night after a swift stop at the worlds smallest Shopping centre…hehe!
Upon arrival we were once again greeted by the trusty troupe of porters clapping us home. I’m not entirely sure if this was driven out of sarcasm or not, not being British I dont think they understood the irony of them (with their huge bags and advanced years) appluading the arrival of the hardly weighed down young gringos nearly 2 hours later! Ironic indeed!
It was here at the first nights camping ground where we were introduced to each porter. Most of them were local farmers who needed the extra cash for their families and the others were young guys making a good living. This was a nice gesture as we got to know a little about each of the 19 porters, putting a story behind the faces of who we would be tipping come the final day.
Dinner was spectacular and before we plodded off to sleep Ally took us spider hunting where we caught glimpes of some small and colourful tarantula’s nesting in the banks behind our tents! The knowledge they were there didn’t make for an easy sleep let me tell you! But sleep we did ready for day 2.
An early rise was needed today for this was the most strenous of the 3 day trail. We had a long and steep climb to overcome as we walked up towards dead womans pass at 3600m, a 1200m elevation change. The path up was pretty steep in parts but the regular stops and snack breaks helped to make this a pleasent climb. Once the Dead Womans pass was conquorerd we sat down for lunch over looking the stunning valley we had just mounted.
As the saying goes, whatever goes up must come down was never more true then today. The other side of the pass was a straight decline which took about an hour to descend. Me not being a big fan of going downhill make slow progress while the rest of the gang flew down at a rapid pace. Arriving at our next campsite early we sat down for tea and biscuits (yipee) before playing a quick game of how many people can play cards in a 2 man tent. The answer was 9! After some Cheat! action we had dinner and settled down for another well earned rest. My rest wasn’t so good however with a roll mat the thickness of a doormat, an Andean Pillow (aka a huge rock under my head) and an uneven camber, (which meant i woke up at the bottom of the tent each time) meant I strangely did not manage to get such a great kip.
Day 3 brought with it some more challenging weathers than the glorious sunshine of the previous 2. Waking in the drizzle and with fog rolling in fast we headed up to see some small inca ruins and temples as we made our way to the top of the first hill of the day. The ruins themselves were weathered and rustic but their locations perched over valleys were stunning. After the first incline of the day we had a stroll through a very different environment, a cloud forest. This place was pretty damp and murky place, but the wonderfully coloured orchids and the enchanting fauna made up for the lack of visibility.
Wet and weary we settled into our lunch spot high in the clouds. A welcome shelter from the rain and some more hearty peruvian nosh was just the ticket as we had finally arrived at a notorious section of the trail. The Gringo Killer steps! A 3 hours of descent down nearly 3000 steps which has seen many an slip and fall in it’s long legendary history. Thankfully today we did not become a gringo killer steps casualty! I for one am very thankful towards my trusty walking pole (Only 5 Soles) which saved me on more than one occasion on the slippy stone walkways.
I not being greatly trusting of my surroundings, dececended the steps slower than my counterpart Goonies. It was about 2 hours in when a encouraging message written in the mud from our guide was spotted by the trailside. Smiling we continued around the next few corners where we spyed some more scrawlings on the floor. This time the reaction ws part disgust, part disbelief and altogether hilarious! There on the floor was this
“Mike Shat Here”
Apparently he just could not hold it in any longer and used mother nature as his wc, poor guy (Poor mother nature)! Another hour past and we arrived at our final resting place. Here was practically luxury given the last few days of washing in a bowl of hot water and waking up to the porters sticking hot cups of Coca tea through the tent door at 5am. There was a bar with BEER!! and hot showers, food to buy. Things we took for granted before heading into the middle of nowhere. The last Inca ruins which we saw here on the trail itself were the most impressive. a large argricultural stepped area with a small village laying at it’s heart. The views over the valley below and the mountains all around was nothing short of sensational!
Dinner again was awesome and we organised our tips before settled down for our nights rest for we had a very very very early start. For some reason we thought we would be firsst to hit the gate to the ancient city of machu piccu. this however meant we had to rise at 3! OUCH!
Being at the gate first means nothing in hindsight. Because people Will run/barge past in an attempt to be the first to the cloud/sun gate (Intipunku) which infact was another 45 minutes down the trail. As soon as the gates opened at 5.30am, dozens of trekkers took flight including mike john and chris at top speed. I took the restrained option and walked for a while before taking off after the dust clouds of the rest of the Goonies.
They had opened quite a substantial lead … however toward the end of the trail i walked (very quickly) passed each of them as they tired. Apparently they got caught up in the competitive moment and started running! Arriving at the sun gate we were thorougly disappointed by the view we had of the lost city of the incas… CLOUD! Oh well, after regaining our breaths and the remainder of the group (Possies were first group up no less) we headeed down to the spectacle of Machu Picchu.
Tags: Peru · South America
February 14th, 2009 by Kev · No Comments
After the trauma and altitudes of the Cotopaxi cimb it was a great relief (especially to me) that we decended to lower heights as we headed into Ecuadors very own extreme sports capital, Banos.
After arriving and setting up in our hostel room (which has 2 floors…ooooh!), we headed straight out into the town to book ourselves some high octane activities for the coming days. We did not disappoint! The remainder of the day was spent chilling (Or rather sweltering) in the natural thermal spa’s opposite the virgin waterfalls.
The next day we were up, rejuvinated and ready for some action adventures. They duly arrived as we each jumped onto a Quad bike and raced up the nearby active volcano which over looks the town. All the bikes were pretty slow apart from mine which zipped up the hill in double quick speed. But it was all to end in tears for Mike, who after 20 minutes of riding conspired to snap his accelerator cable! Not a great idea! So he and John retired to the Bike shop. Apart from this, the ride was a whole load of fun especially when myself and Chris decided to do a bit of Off Road Quadding and getting absolutely covered in mud in the process. The views from the road were pretty cool as they flashed by as well.
The new day brought more activities and today was going to be the busiest of the lot! Our day started bright and early dispite the pouring rain as we each saddled up onto our mountain bikes ready for a morning of wet riding downhill through the Avenue of the Cascades. The numerous waterfalls and stunning gorge views were very pretty, if only slightly obscured behind the copious amounts of falling water from the sky! On the ride we took a neat little cable car (very rustically operated with a lorry engine, a cable and a metal basket) over the ravine and got some great views of the river below. Finally coming to an end we hopped into our escort which happened to be filled with 24 travelers on an Intrepid organised tour for the second part of the days fun.
The fun I’m referring to is of course White Water Rafting. These rapids are usually level 3 rated, today due to rain conditions the river was running as a level 4 with some 5 sections thrown in for good measure… those are the shit your pants type ones! The Goonies took up the helm of their raft any powered down the river. That was untill a huge rapid sent all boat crew scattering across the river. The first capsize plunge into the water displayed just how cold the water was and emphasized the fact that we really didnt wish to go in again! Well that was all of us except Mike whole aired the desire to go in again to get the full experiance (words he later regretted uttering!).
Unfortunately some people had already had enough and left for the safety of the vans. By the halfway stage at least half of the group were safe(ish) in the 4 wheeled transport leaving numbers seriously dwindling. This posed a problem as now the boat containing myself Chris and Mike was seriously under manned. Only 4 in a 6 man raft! I have never been quite so tired…arms were aching and legs killing from huge rapid after huge rapid which never ceased to calm. Doing fantastically well we paddled through the trickiest sections of the river only to be scuppered at the final hurdle.
It was about with 5 mins of river left, a very quiet command arrived from our rafting guide to “paddle faster” … within 3 seconds, before we even had a chance to react, I was flung into the air, Chris and Mike were both sent skyrocketing downstream Superman style over the front of the boat! Regathering ourselves this time was tricky. I had a choice, keep the paddle or keep the boat…being a man of common sense I opted for the boat, so I scrambled back into the raft and set about rescuing the scattered crew.
First our ozzy crewmate then Chris who was about 10/20 metres away. Looking up hardly able to see Mike through the raging river about another 50 metres away, we raced headlong after him. Upon approach i could see from the boat was mikes head bobbing up and down and an outstreched arm, so in true hollywood fashion, i grabbed him and brought his safely aboard! Soo tired from this fiasco (and a paddle down, which the kind safety kayaker rescued when he should have been helping mike, hehe) we overshot the finishing post by 200m. Having to carry this huge boat back over slippy rocks was the final (leg punishing) act of this pulse racing day of great fun! The Rafting was ace and the people we met were also v cool. After dinner we finally set about home singing aloud some cheesy power ballad’s as the sun set on this awesome day!
There was no rest on the final day in Banos either. Instead of relaxing from the stressful day just gone we were up early again and headed out for some Canyoning. With a funky name like canyoning i exepected a tad more than just rapelling down some waterfalls. But that is what we did, 6 falls with heights topping at 35m. The only issue was the waiting around getting freezing cold for the whole group to descend. This was a cool thing to do, but was a bit too cold for comfort.
After an exhilerating few days we packed the bags and headed further south totally shattered looking for a well earned rest.
Tags: Ecuador · South America
National Parkathon: Part 3
October 8th, 2008 by Kev · 1 Comment
Back on the road again…
Sad that we had to leave behind the glory of Zion canyon, we plotted a California bound course and the whole un-red rockyness (woo!) of Yosemite National park. Our faithful drivers, John and Chris thought they would test their metal again the roads and undertake an epic 15 hour overnight journey via the Extra Terrestrial Highway. The first 2 hours of which we ended up getting stupidly lost winding up in the middle of nowhere, with a sat nav no less!!! Yup we really are that good, haha!! Abandoning the ET highway plan we burned the midnight rubber and flew back past the incredibly bright lights of Vegas, rounded bakersfield and eventually coming to a halt at 7am in the car park of Camp 4.
After not booking ahead we were rather lucky to get a pitch on the main Yosemite valley floor and in one of great historical significance to American Rock Climbing. This place is absolutely crawling with climbers which made for a great atmosphere at the foot of a giagantic granite cliff (the less than basic facilities were rather annoying… $5 a shower too…ouch!).
Not being climbers we headed to refill some spent gas and popped into Yosemites largest grove of Sequioa’s. Sequioa trees are a testament to natures ability to grow and outlast anything in its way… these virtually naturally indestuctable trees stand hundreds of feet in the air and are truly gargantuans of the forest. Their sheer size puts all other forests i’ve seen to a humble red faced shame.
Hiking through the lower and upper groves we gazed upon a number of large and iconic trees such as the Grizzly Giant, Washspin tree, the Faithful Couple, California Tunnel tree’s and the Fallen Monarch.
After not keeping an eye on the time we sped back to Glacier Point for a great (if not darkening) sunset view of the entire Yosemite valley. The moon was bright and glowed behind the parks trickiest day hike finishing location, Half Dome, which looked menacing standing at over 8000 ft. We were to attempt the trail to its summit the following day, we knew we were in for a rough ride, but more on the trails soon.
Sadly our times in americas natural wonderlands has come to an end. After nearly 3 weeks of non-stop hiking, driving, sleeping on the cold hard ground, cooking (mainly noodles) on our stove and being witness to some truly amazing sights and landscapes we drove off in search of civilisation once more.
The journey (still) continues however….
National Parkathon: Part 2
October 7th, 2008 by Kev · No Comments
Back on the road again…
Bright and early we rise with the sun(ish), then head out into the Arches National park which is another expansive park littered with (need any clues?) natural sandstone Arches.
The only way to see these naturally sculpted beauties is to drive the scenic drive that winds its way through the park. Overlooks of the major landmarks and trailheads such as the Fiery Furnace, Balancing Rock, North/South Windows, Delicate Arch and Park Avenue were easily accessible along the way.
So after a busy day driving and trail walking, we decided to make up some time and drive immediatly to our next location which is another predominantly red rock-esque attraction, Bryce Canyon.
Bryce Canyon feels like the little brother of the grand canyon who was blessed with the good looks rather than physical stature. The red rock weathering here in the colder climate (they get lots of snow here) has shaped these cliffs and stacks into odd shaped Hoodoos. The mix of the vibrant red and yellow stones are instantly striking amongst the valley.
The abundance of life and the addition of tall pines adds the finishing touches to each amphitheatres (spherical canyon) beauty. Staring down into each amphitheatre from one of the many impressive lookouts is very cool. These sites of observation include Inspiration, Sunset, Sunrise points.
The next day we dediced to hit the Fairyland trail early and once we had completed our trek we headed straight to our next and final location (after a cheeky shower stop at Ruby´s Inn & a big buffet lunch obviously) in the state of Utah, Zion National park.
Zion is quite unique amongst the parks we have visited thus far, Its red rock canyon is awe inspiringly huge, staring towards the sky while sitting at its base is an amazing sight all of its self. The abundence of wildlife is fueled by the free flowing Virgin river running throughout the length of the canyon adding another dimension to this spectacular park.
There is so much to do here as well. In our short time here while camping at the Watchman Campground we managed to complete uphill treks, conquer both watery, rocky & mountainous trails, pop out the park for slap up dinner at Pizza & Noodle (which didnt agree much with jingkei’s stomach much…oops) and sample some of the “apparently” famous Bumbleberry pie.
The great thing about this park in my eyes is the amount of wildlife we ran into and the feelings that even though you are one of the millions who visit each year, you are a true explorer (none more so than on the Angels Landing and Narrows trails..details soon). Each hiking trail is unique and sets new challenges, who’d have thought rock climbing skills and nerves of steel would come in handy on US national park service maintained trail.
National Parkathon: Part 1
October 5th, 2008 by Kev · No Comments
Our time finishing on US 66 harked the beginning of the National Park-athon. First stop on our long park passage was probably the grandest of them all, The Grand Canyon.
Peeking over the south rim of the Grand Canyon is a truly collosal sight. The huge chasm and expanse of nothingness is extreme, the jaw dropping awe of the view is very humbling to mother nature and her creations.
We camped on the Mather campground during our 3 night stay here, jumping aboard the free buses to get to and from the canyons rim. Seeing as we had 3 days we decided to undertake some of the parks hiking trails such as Ooh Ahh Point, the Rim trail & ending with the epic Bright Angel trail. More in “depth” details of our trail trekking are to follow shortly as a seperate posting (We did quite a few).
Throughout the duration of the road trip, we generally ate pretty well given a very tight budget and basic camping facilities. But one night here in the grand canyon, in aid of cooking what we had accumilated from various grocery shops. We had the horror and terribly unforgettable dinner. This consisted of tinned spaghetti and meatballs on a bed of boiled noodles. Granted I wasnt expecting a great meal for the grand price of less than $1 per person, but this was unedible. Proof below…Urrrrghhh!!
After conquering the grandest canyon we jumped back into the car and set a course for Moab, a town on the edge of Arches National Park in Utah. But there was one very important stop to be completed before reaching our destination.
On the border between Arizona and Utah lies the great american landscape of dusty red plains wedged in between giant stone monoliths, cliffs and stunning sandstone formations. I am of course speaking of the ancient Navajo lands of Monument Valley.
We arrived late in the day and didnt hve much time to explore, so we adapted an “Extreme Sightseeing” (have i invented the next big thing in extreme sports here?) mentality and most definitely made the most of our time with a (speedy) drive through the off-road valley floor trail. All the while the spectacular setting sun shone an amazing array of colour and spectacle over the plains colossal red rocks. These few hours glaring in awe at this most incredible of landscapes, is most definitely one of the highlights of the trip thus far.
So we finally reached our Moab target and was shocked at the price of accommodation! Being the only civilization within miles of the Arches and Canyonlands national park means beds are very much at a premium. After great delay and plenty of unsuccessful motel crawling we settled in the last free pitch at an Rv/Campground, phew!
The journey continues…
October 5th, 2008 by Kev · No Comments
After spending the night in Baker we drove straight into the nearby Mojave desert in search of the great mother road, Highway 66 at its southern border.
The Mojave itself has very little of anything to be worthy of a sentence here, there were 2 very long trains …that is all.
Seeing as Route 66 is rarely marked on modern road signs let alone sat nav we thought we’d have more trouble finding it than we actually did (granted a few u-turns were required along the route).
The roads were open, long and surrounded by vast flats, rolling hills and craggy mountains as it ducks and dives over the desert peaks. Diverting off Route 66 was done rarely but for this attraction we just could not resist.
Apparently the original London Bridge stands not over the Thames, but across lake havascu after it was sold and transported brick by brick and rebuilt. And here is the proof…(no photoshopping, i promise!!)
Our next major sight was the following day when we took an extremely scenic, cliff hugging mountain road to a wild west town called Oatman. This small tourist haunt felt more authentic than it probably was, but the midday staged gunfights were cool and the wild burros (or donkeys to me and you) added to the fun experience.
Grand Canyon Caverns was next up. This deep underground universe was very small but facinating as well as being quite pretty. Worth the price of admission though? probably not!
Final stop on the 66 route was Meteor Crator which is very cool as big holes go. Perfectly rounded in the middle of nowhere stands like a sore thumb in the landscape. The guided tour we took was interesting and worth the mile round trip even if was just for the photo opportunity.
This was the end of our adventure on route 66
But yet… the journey continues…