Yosemite had to be my favourite part of the whole trip, the views were absolutely spectacular, which made it extremely hard trying to narrow down photos to include! We woke up early to make the most of our first full day and stopped at the supermarket to pick up some breakfast - a tastey bagel and some fruit, before driving to Yosemite National Park. We drove for about a half hour till reaching the park entrance, and another hour before reaching Yosemite Village.
Now, we were happily trotting around the park until we made the fatal decision to climb to the top of Upper Yosemite Falls - I say fatal, but what I really mean is best decision ever. I was feeling pretty confident at the start of the hike, thinking 'Hey I managed Bronze DofE, I'm more than prepared for this,' but oh how very wrong I was. The hike was about a 7 hour round trip - 4 hours to climb up (I have been told that it's the equilivant of climbing just over two Empire State buildings - pretty impressive huh.)
|We climbed to the top of this waterfall!|
I didn't take many photos on the way up as I was soley focused on making it to the top without keeling over. One of the things keeping me going were the hikers we kept on seeing on the way up, which I felt like we had some kind of unspoken solidarity with, although some sadly dropped off along the way. It did get harder towards the top, with stone steps that were almost vertically steep which made me feel like I was either on some kind of pilgrimage or climbing the stairs that would lead me to heaven/hell. The other thing keeping me going was the promise of a restaurant at the top, I imagined glugging down not only a tall glass of water, but a chocolate milk shake accompanied by a side of fries - only to realise when reaching the top that it had all been a ruse by the friendly park ranger who encouraged us to do the hike *cry*.
|The top edge of the falls.|
I felt not only physically challenged, but mentally, which made reaching the top such a great achievement. Upon reaching the top we were able to bathe our feet in the water at the top of the falls and fill up our water bottles from the stream. We had run out of water and when I saw a hardcore hiker drinking from the stream I followed suit, which I then felt extremely paranoid about for the next two days. (We ordered pizza when we finally made it back that evening - never has pizza tasted so good).
|Looking like a hardcore hiker on the way down.|
|Water refilled from the dreaded stream.|
The next day, despite feeling fatigued, we decided to take a light hike up Vernal Falls, and later a walk to Mirror Lake. The views from Vernal Falls were far more spectacular than those from Upper Yosemite Falls, although I preferred the Yosemite Falls because of the struggle. We stopped at a foot bridge on our hike to Vernal Falls for lunch, before heading along the mist trail where we were sprayed with water from the falls.
|Look at the size of the man compared to the falls!|
|The top: Somehow in a typically clumsy move I managed to drop my water bottle over the edge.|
A slow walk to Mirror Lake was the perfect way to end the second day in Yosemite, we were able to wade through the lake and sit on the sandy bank on the other side for a while to admire the scenery.