Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yosimite National Park

When I was a kid, we never had holidays until I reached the grand old age of 7. My dad didnt drive a car until then, only a bike and sidecar (that often broke down or ran out of petrol while we were out). Then my dad bullied the driving instructor into passing him, and bought a Bedford dormobile van.

From then on holidays were spent on my aunts farm in Norfolk (which in those days with no M25 to slow you up and the M2 newly built, was a good 4-5 hour journey away, or touring. How I hated touring. Stuck in the back of that caravan fighting with my brother and borred half to death. Plus my dad was never too keen on comfort stops, eating out, or just stopping the bloody thing for longer than it took to fill up the tank with petrol again. Or at least thats how it seemed to me as a child, I dont suppose it was like that at all, but I admit, I still dont like touring holidays.

All of which is why I would have been quite happy to stop now and spend a few days doing nothing. However, after our complimentary breakfast and a quick email to Laura, we were back on the road and heading for Yosimite. We decided to cut across country instead of taking the main international highways. I have to say, it was by far the most interesting part of our journey, with ever changing scenery, starting off in the misty and cloudy mountains, then through the pass, followed by burnt brown grass and rolling hills bathed in sun.

These very quickly gave way to very flat farming land and finally villages would appear out of the miles and miles of cherry orchards lining the road.

A dead straight road that seemed to go on and on into the distance.

The we reached Yosemite, where the road was flanked by mountain cliffs on one side (complete with the 'beware falling stones' signs, this photo shows where the road had been completely wiped out and we had to cross the river to use the temp road while they built another new bit),

and the boiling bubbling river on the other side.

20 miles of this took us nearly an hour to cover as the speed limit was very low and the road literally hugged the river so took several twists and turns. It was all very beautiful and we were lucky to visit when the rivers were so full, while the ice caps on the mountain tops melted.

We stopped at a huge restaurant and motel called Cedar Lodge for lunch, there were only customers in this warehouse sized cafe,

and the barman was so friendly and funny. He recommended the home made crisps which Martin had, I stuck to traditional chips I am afraid, but they were wonderful, even better than Martin's home made chips and that is really saying something.

Each table had one of these!!

Scrapdolly had told me that she had stayed at Yosiimite View Lodge, and had really rated it, but when I looked on-line before we left, it had been fully booked for the whole of June. I still pointed it out to Martin as we passed though. On a whim he turned the car round and went back to see if they had any rooms. Yes they did, and at a not too bad price either. With three pools and who knows how many spa's, a shop, and from our balcony a view of the mountains, river and one of the swimming pool what more could we ask.

Martin promptly fell asleep.

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