Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Canyons - Day 4 - 18 June 2008

Today we took a tour of the Navajo Indian nation and the Monument Valley. This is a restricted area and also extremely rugged. So buses are not allowed in here; we had to get off the bus at the Gouldings Lodge and hop onto a jeep. The drivers of these jeeps are locals who also double up as guides. Bruce, our Caravan guide, took a backseat for a change!

Monument Valley is the site of many a famous John Wayne western movies like 'The Searchers', 'Stagecoach', etc. I am not a John Wayne fan and i can't even recognise him. So I just ignored this part of the history - the movies - and instead feasted my eyes on the magnificent rock formations of the area. Monument Valley turned out out to be a very very unique area with its superb rock formations donning the landscape. It is amazing how these rock formations can take place naturally. Later, we had a traditional lunch at the Goudings Lodge and took a short tour of Hollywood museum dedicated to the films made in Monument Valley.

Later that evening, I took a tour of the Antelope Canyon, alongwith my very friends from the tour - the Yangs and Huangs. Lee Yang recommended we take this tour. Antelope Canyon is one of those hidden and under-explored canyons, yet quite spectacular and breathtaking. You reach the Canyon in a special jeep as the road is so rugged - infact you can't even call a road, its more a path - that regular vehicles would get stuck in the sand. From a distance, you can't even make out that you're approaching the antelope canyon. The entrance is from the base of a tall mountain, through a crevice-like entrance. You walk through the canyon, the sunlight falling from above creating waves-like scenery on the canyon walls. It's one of the most beautiful and amazing canyons to visit and a treat for photographers. The trick to clicking great pictures inside the Antelope canyon is to switch off your Flash and take a tripod with you.

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