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USA 2008


There is a little-known place called Havasupai near the Grand Canyon.  It's only 30 miles from the Canyon Village in straight line, but 160 miles by road to the parking lot where visitors have 3 options: walk, horse ride, or fly by helicopter to the Indian village of Havasupai.  From there, it's another 2 miles to the campground and 3 absolutely stunning waterfalls.  I desperately wanted to see it, but it was more complicated than just turning up.  Apparently, a reservation system has been introduced to limit the number of visitors to 250 a day.  There is a $35 entry fee as well.  We had 3 choices.  First, give up.  Second, walk 6 miles to the village and hope they will sell us permits without prior reservations.  Third, walk through the village at night.  After a long discussion, we chose the last option.

We started at 2am and arrived at the village at 5am, accompanied by 2 friendly dogs from the start.  In Havasupai dogs were not so friendly, and made a lot of noise.  It was very stressful, but soon we were near the first waterfall.  We spent the whole day in the canyon, marveling at crystal-clear and amazingly blue water, limestone formations, jungle-like vegetation, surrounded by vertical, colorful canyon walls.  Obviously, we were quite tired in the end, especially after walking back up to the car in the evening.

From Havasupai, we headed west across the border into California.  There was nothing of interest for a long time, until we entered the Joshua Tree National Park.  This is where two great deserts meet - Mojave and Colorado.  As a result, weird-shaped Joshua trees appear out of the blue.  Actually, they are not even trees but type of yucca.  There is little shade and the best time to walk around was early or late in the day.  We got out of there before midday and spent the rest of that day driving west.  As soon as we crossed the mountains, where thousands of windmills were taking advantage of strong winds, the sun disappeared.  We reached Los Angeles in the evening, but it was not what we imagined.  Cold and grey, even palm trees couldn't stop us from leaving LA as soon as we could.    photos