Grand Canyon - Monument Valley
Trip Start Jul 03, 2008
17Trip End Jul 19, 2008
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30°C/86°F partly clouded
We almost wake up around the same time every day, this morning at 06.30. At 07.00 we enjoy breakfast in our hotel. The quantity is approximately 1/3 of the breakfast of yesterday, quality is approximately ½. But the omelets aren't bad. We get our stuff packed together and then off to Grand Canyon Airport!
This is one of the things we were looking forward to for months. First we hang around in the shop, watch the instruction video and then finally we walk outside to the helicopters of Papillon. The 1st heli which stood ready for us, appeared not to be so ready after all, it has a defect, so we have to wait a little longer for a new helicopter. We are just glad that they found the defect while the heli still was on the ground, in the air it would have been less pleasant! The diet which I did before this vacation has unexpected side effects besides losing weight. I am the lightest of all the passengers and because of this I can sit in the front next to Steve, our pilot. This spot is really, really good! I can look outside on all sides; left, right, above and even at my feet is a window.
We drive approximately one hour within the official park entrances and make a couple of stops along the route, but the view from the helicopter remains ofcourse the most beautiful. Except for one stop just outside the official park. Of course this still is Grand Canyon but this stop is just some miles outside the paid area. It is more quietly here. At the small parking lot are a number of tables where Indians sell their goods, mainly jewels. After a small walk we suddenly found ourselves at an edge, 1000 feet above the canyon! No protective fens! My fear of altitude is knee-weakening but what an impressive view.
When we walked back to the car, Frans spots a snake. She is beautiful and warns us nicely to back off by sizzling with her tong. We let her win this fight (of course we let her; she looks like an Arizona rattlesnake!) and leave her alone.
Around a quarter to three we find ourselves in a teeny-weeny village, Cameron. Here we have lunch just before we follow highway 160 to Kayenta. It seems as if I write everywhere the same, but we experience this route again as beautiful! In the distance it rains and it thunders above the mountains. The colors in the air are strange. Around four we arrive at our hotel Hampton Inn but it proves to be that we crossed a time border somewhere today and here it is already five o'clock. It is no use to drive to Monument Valley now, the sky is cloudy and grey so we decide to make that visit tomorrow.
Freshened up at half past six we enter the small hotel's restaurant. The steaks in the hotel are okay but the cheesecake which we take as dessert is very delicious! For us new and unusual, is that this hotel is on Navajo ground and therefore no alcohol is served. They will have a reason for that so refreshing water joins the dinner. Somewhere after half past eight we take along a cup of coffee from the lobby up to our room. A nice shower, watching our photographs and video of the day and recovering quietly from a exciting day!
Much less than we have driven yesterday: 161 miles today
Where I stayed