Thursday, 11 August 2016

Death Valley & Inyo National Forest

From passionately singing along to Moulin Rouge and French rap while cruising through the most beautiful scenery, to being woken up to Paul yelling the opening of the Circle of Life from the Lion King at 6am, asking these six French guys if I could join their trip has been the greatest time ever. Right now I’m so thankful for everything in my life.

From Vegas we drove to Death Valley, the relentless heat pounding upon the van melted us inside. While the van does has A/C it doesn’t work very well, and we were worried about the van overheating so couldn’t use it too much. Death Valley was beautiful, but the heat meant it was hard to enjoy. Also, please note, the photos don’t at all do it justice! It just looks like a mound of dirt right?!

At one point we were walking to the salt flats and in 10 minutes of 47 degree heat, with not an inch of shade, I thought I was going to collapse. I felt physically sick and dizzy, and so dehydrated. I went to the toilet and had to quickly rush out and lie down in the car because I was scared of fainting it was that unbearable.

We went to many of the sites, including the Devil’s golf course, Dante's View, Zabriskie's Point etc. We also continually stopped by the tourist information office as they have unlimited access to water, even when the place is closed – so we kept re-filling the gallon bottles the boys had collected. We also had lunch there, the boys had bought a whole variety of vegetables/ sandwich fillers.

Eventually we decided to call it a day and seek out a campsite. We ended up finding one for $22 that gave us access to a swimming pool too. There was only one other couple stupid enough to camp in such intense heat. It was around 34 degrees all night. I had that kids tent I got from Walmart for $12, and it was a nightmare. Well, it caused me to have nightmares I should say.

After a quick dip we cooked some food and I tried to get to sleep. But, because the tent was so small, any movement outside, wind or animal, felt like it was brushing right up against me. I swear I felt something touch me, I had shout for the boys haha, I was petrified because I googled what wild animals were out here and turns out there are mountain lions, so I was convinced it was a huge animal about to eat me! It was also so unbearably hot it was difficult to sleep at all.

The next day we explored some more and eventually headed out of the park with the intention of heading to Sequoia national park. Honestly, I wasn’t really that keen on going because of time restraints, but if the boys were going obviously I’d have to tag along. ‘Thankfully’ for me, the entrance to the national park was on the other side, so it made more sense to wait till they were driving to LA.

We were planning on driving as close to Yosemite as possible, and then entering the park the next day. We stopped in Bishop, a small little town, to stock up on food for the next few days and to work out what campsite we should head to. We tried so so so many different sites but all of them were fully booked! It was right in Inyo National Forest next to Lake Mammoth and all of the spots were gorgeous, it was understandable why they were full but still really irritating. We ended up having to drive miles away to a free campsite in the middle of nowhere - Try this website if you're stuck

It was a really great evening though, Roman & Henry cooked us all burgers – mine accidentally got dropped into the bark, oops, brush that off… We had a few drinks and just chilled out, got to know one another more and relaxed.

I decided to sleep in the car figuring it’d be more comfortable than my shit tent… I was misled. It was the worst night sleep of my life, impossibly worse than the night before because instead of being too hot, I thought my toes were going to fall off it was so freezing! It was about 1 degree Celsius. Talk about swinging to extremes.

The morning was so crisp and fresh that wildlife decided to pop out of the forest, and there was a super cute deer just running around without a care in the world. It was one fearless deer… Anyway, packing everything up, we headed to Yosemite!

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