posted on Monday, April 12, 2004

Yosemite Village

Here I am in the jewel valley of Yosemite. Yesterday after a breakfast of left over Pizza and coffee I left at 06.30. The traffic was not as bad as anyone said, the problem was rather the long ascent; it tested my strengh a bit. I climbed with few breather breaks for about 70 Km! In Fish Camp I had a breakfast at the Tenaya Lodge a posh hotel near the Mariposa Grove, the first highlight of Yosemite. This is an extra 3 km uphill going to a grove of giant sequoias, an amazing spot to view huge trees over 2000 years old. At the start of the road is also the entrance to the National park. I payed 10 dollars fee as a cyclist. Cars pay 20. I then went downhill and felt excited about the prospect of getting soon to the Valley. The ranger at the gate to my surprise said the road was mostly downhill. Well sort of.... after the downhill to Wawona I climbed for about 1h 30 more to 6000ft!
On the other direction I met Tomohiro a Japanese guy who was touring on his bike around the US for 3 months. His english was not very good but we somehow managed to comunicate; I took a picture of him and felt sorry for all the weight he was carrying! I hope he will at least use all the things he had with him. A long downhill and an exciting descent in the long Wawona tunnel brough me to Inspiration Point the most spectacular view I am likely to ever be able to see in my life! A wide expanse of pines and redwood forest enclosed by towering granite mountains rising 3000ft and lots of beautiful waterfalls plunging down the rock faces in a mist of spray. El Capitan was stunning with its polished flat surface that draws climbers from all over the world. I headed towards the Village stopping at the foot of Bridalveil Fall and getting soaked trying to take a picture!
After the most beautiful ride along redwoods and constantly stopping to admire the views all around I found camp 4, pitched my tent and had a beautiful evening drinking and eating in the company of Hannah, Lilly two girls from Sacramento and Santiago a guy from Uruguay. I put all the food and deodorants in a bear box to avoid a bear visit in my tent and fell asleep to the sound of crushing waters of the nearby Yosemite fall and animal noises whose origins I did not really want to find out!