Anthony's Wild West 2007 travel blog

My pitch, with strangely small British tent

Approaching the Yosemite Valley

El Capitan, 3,000 foot plus of very serious rock climbing

View from the Valley

So a sad goodbye to the warmth and hospitality of Vlad and Marina. And several hours later I am now in Yosemite. I wish it was a TARDIS or other device, but in fact I drove. I am in what is meant to be one of the worst campgrounds, miles from the main valley proper where the most stunning scenery is, though I have to say it is better than any British campsite I have ever seen. I have two camping spaces, my own fire pit and BBQ device, my own table and seats, a steel bear-proof storage locker and a car parking space, all amongst enormous pine trees.

It took a while to get here, but I did have time for a quick look around Yosemite valley proper, and what can I say! I am fairly certain I have never seen anything like this in all my life. Its like the background for a Lord of the Rings sequel, and better. Just blows my mind. The scale is enormous, vertical white/grey walls rising 3-4,000 feet off the valley floor. Apparently Google Earth gives a good sense of it. You should come here yourself for a look, it is so well worth it. Interestingly, Yosemite is 'twinned' with Huang Shan in China and Torres Del Paine in Argentina, both of which I have been to and can testify to their considerable beauty, but I don't think either are as awesome as Yosemite.

It is quite busy with people in the valley proper, but easy to get away from them and sit back and goggle amazed at the views. And for tea my first American all you can eat buffet (about seven pounds) and then back to lie in my tent looking up at the stars between the trees. Cool!

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