Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How the Grand Canyon looks at the very bottom...

I was really looking forward to see the Grand Canyon - it is about a four hour drive from Las Vegas - so quite a long time until you get to see the spectacle. Fortunately the landscape changes drastically when you drive to Grand Canyon from the South, so it isn't boring at all. In Vegas you are in the middle of the desert but the whole environment will get green once you approach Grand Canyon. The green of the north-western part of Arizona contrasts perfectly with the blue sky, the black road with the yellow stripes on it and some yellow plants.

The mean thing about Grand Canyon is that you don't get the smallest glimpse of its beauty until you are at the rim. The Grand Canyon ist the mother of all canyons, it is massive! It is so huge that you can't grasp it at first and it feels like you are looking at a picture hanging in front of you. The colors are simply amazing and they change over time as the sun is moving! I arrived at sunset and got to see the canyon in a very special light. In order to grasp the size of the canyon I decided to hike down to the bottom the next day.

At 4:30 am it was time to get up and get ready for the hiking day; I wanted to be there at sunrise. At the shuttle bus stop there were a handful of other people - but it seemed not that many of the visitors get to see the bottom of the canyon. I met three German guys at the bus stop that had the same intentions as I had. Taking South Kaibab Trail down in the morning and going up again on Bright Angel Trail. That's a total of almost 30 kilometers and a difference in altiutude of 1'500 meters one way! And then there is the sun it get's 40+° Celsius on the trail. So everything was set for a challenging hike! It was a lot of fun to hike with the Germans, actually it would have been quite crazy to hike all the trail alone so I am really happy I ran into them.

Have a look at the Grand Canyon pictures.

The way I travel
I want to say a few words about the way I travel; I have a car, I have music, I have lonely planet guides and I do NOT have a schedule of my trip. Most of the time I know where I will spend the next two nights but not much more; the activities throughout the day are always really spontaneous and flexible. If I want to sleep in, I will sleep in. If I meet people, I simply hang out with them. If I want to have a fantastic dinner, I simply get it... It's quite amazing what you get to experience if you do not depend on anything. Trust me, I am loving it!

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