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We arrived in Page, where, amid controversy, a huge dam on the Colorado River was built in 1963.  The next day we went to one of the most amazing places on this planet - The Wave.

They don't write about it in guidebooks.  Reason - too many people want to see it as it is.  The Wave is a very fragile rock formation and only 20 people a day are allowed to enter.  From the parking lot it takes about 3 hours across desert landscape characterized by canyons and red rock mountains.  And there it is, The Wave itself.  It looks as if flowing lava formed those startling stripes of colorful rock, from yellow and orange to pink and red.  Walking around it, I felt like visiting a different planet.  Never mind the long walk and the heat, nowhere else on Earth so much  beauty is packed into such a small area.

The following day we went to see the Antelope Canyon a few miles from Page.  It's right next to the Navajo Power Plant, responsible for poor visibility in the Grand Canyon area when wind takes pollution it that direction.  Antelope is a slot canyon.  It's about 30 meters high and in some places less than a couple of meters wide.  It narrows towards the top, and that's why around midday beams of sunlight appear inside the canyon.  It happens in the summer only and they never last more than a few minutes.  A guide is obligatory, but it's possible to stay behind when the group leaves, and come back with another group later.  We had a terrible guide.  I think the woman was allowed to work as a guide only because her grandmother was the person who discovered this canyon.  She used laser to point at rock formations and name them, but we had to listen to another group's guide to find out something interesting about the canyon.  Like the fact that it shrinks when it's cold at night, and expands in midday heat.

On the way to the Grand Canyon, we stopped at a place called the Horseshoe Bend.  A short walk leads to an outstanding viewpoint, where Colorado River turns 180° inside it's canyon, hundreds of meters deep.  Because in 2006 Chris and I went to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, this time we decided to see the south side of it.  It was quite hazy and maybe that's why I thought the North Rim was better.  There are notices everywhere warning against walking all the way down to the bottom and back in one day.  Because it was still May and not as hot as in the summer, we where sure we could do it.  We started at 7am.  The path steadily descended through different layers of rock and changing vegetation, until we reached the bridge.  We crossed to the north side, walked downstream 0.5h to the next bridge and joined the same path above the first bridge, making a loop.  Walking back up was quite hard, mainly because of the heat.  It's a 1400m ascent, and it took us 8 hours to go down and back.  The scenery at the bottom, although beautiful, is not as "grand" as the whole canyon seen from the rim.  It's worth walking down for the challenge, though.   photos