Travels, USA

Day 2: Trek America – Monterey to Yosemite National Park

Really cloudy and overcast this morning and was spotting with rain as we packed up camp. Consequently we packed up really quickly, certainly a lot quicker than when we put it up; but I am sure with the 63 days we have left we will become experts in all weather conditions! I had an alright sleep except apparently I snore really badly which I was actually really embarrassed by, especially as I don’t know everyone that well yet. After going on the beach last night I was so blocked up and think I am getting used to the outdoor air. I felt so bad for Amanda who I was sharing with and Rich and Lucy who were nearby. Hopefully it will clear up soon or maybe I just snore and never realised it!

After we packed up we headed to Monterey for breakfast. It was pretty run down and deserted when we got there and I’m not sure if the weather made it seem more depressing but it had a very sad feel to it. We headed down Canary Row (named after the John Steinbeck book) and found a small cafe to have breakfast in. Lucy, Alex and myself went to the Smugglers Cove shop to get some pirate stuff for Jake as he mentioned he would like a flag for the bus.We ended up getting a hat and some flags. The hat looked amazing and wished we had bought more. Now we have all decided that we need to get different hats for the trip and wear them in the bus! Mo was not feeling too good today and felt really bad for him as it was a long drive day, and nothing worse than feeling crap when travelling.

Leaving Monterey behind we were back on the road to Merced to do the food shop, we ended up playing name as many countries with a certain letter game. There were so many that we didn’t know and we had some hysterical answers from Ro and Morgan. As this was our first food shop we were all spilt into 3 groups. Group A was Ro, Morgan, Yo-man and Go-Man, they were in charge of getting dinner. Group B was myself, Amanda and Lucy and were in charge of Breakfast. Group C was Rich, Alex and Mo who were in charge of lunch and cleaning van. The groups will rotate over the course of the trip. We are all getting on so well and not sure what I was worried about before I left. Haven’t laughed so much in ages. Lucy and Amanda were trying all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle masks on in the kids section of Walmart which were hilarious and had me in stitches!

Back on the road we had a really long journey to the camp site at Yosemite. The landscape was stunning and so different the closer we got to our destination. From hot arid plains to lush forest and mountains. I am so amazed about the ever changing scenery we see as we whizz by in the van. It really is the way to see America.

The camp site was called Yosemite Indian flats and was a lot more basic than the one we stayed in the previous night and very busy. We had lunch which we had bought at Walmart of bread, cheese, ham and salads. One thing I can say and what I am really pleased about is that so far we try and eat really healthy and I’m feeling amazing for it. I was worried when I came it would be all burger,fries and fatty foods. Although I wasn’t feeling well when we reached Yosemite and didn’t each much. The heat being a factor as it is so much hotter than when we were near the coast with the sea breeze.

We headed out to Yosemite National Park and up to Tunnel View where we got an epic picture of El Captain (see picture). The view was spectacular and I can’t really describe how breathtaking the view was. Once the obligatory tourist pictures were taken we went down to the Yosemite village visitor centre to get maps for our hikes tomorrow. We have a free day in the park so we can do what we want. In the visitor centre we tried on loads of hats (yep I could get in a kids one), speaking of kids there was such an annoying child in the centre who just kept crying for the whole time we were there and was hard to concentrate on anything but her, I felt so sorry for her parents I have been there with my little sis and I know how awful it is.

As the light was beginning to fade we walked to an open area where there was river. A few of us went swimming. Jake had had to check where the water was at the visitors centre, as there had been 20% less expected snowfall this year in upper and lower Yosemite so a lot of the spots had dried up. Jake, Yo-man, Go- Man, Rich, Alex, Lucy and myself went swimming. It was so lovely in there (if a little cold at first) but really relaxing after being cooped up in the van all day. We all posed for a picture by forming a human pyramid and I really didn’t want to get out as it was so lush.

Finally got back and pitched tents in dark for the second night in the row, we are becoming quite the experts, the difference here was that the ground was really hard and dry and it was a mission getting the pegs in. We had to spilt up as we had 2 different camp sites, so 3 tents on each. I was lucky enough to be in a circle of three tents with Rich, Lucy and Amanda.

Group A cooked and I had burger and salad for dinner and then went to grab a shower. The camp site is rammed full of French people and some other Trek America tours, so the queues before dinner were really long, I was glad I waited as went straight in. It really was the oddest shower I have had, as essentially you are in an open aired cubicle and if you look up all you can see are the stars which is amazing.

Looking forward to tomorrow and exploring the park.

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