Sunday, July 12, 2009

Yosemite National Park Day 1

5.30am : Raise and shine!

Yes, we woke up at 5.30am!
The Amtrak bus taking us to Emeryville Train Station was scheduled at 6.50am, at the Shopping Centre. It was a 10-minute walk from our hotel to the bus stop. Our bags were packed the night before, and all we needed to do was to throw in miscellaneous stuff, like toiletries. The kids were cooperative, as they were excited about taking the train! We were at the bus stop by 6.30am, and the sky was bright and it felt like 730am. The air was chilly and we had to keep moving to fight the cold while waiting for the bus to arrive. The bus arrived early, and we were very happy to board the bus! It was a 20-minute ride to the train station. We didn't have to wait long for the train either.

Since the ride from Emeryville to Merced Train Station required three hours, we had breakfast on the train. Banana muffins from Walgreens. The train was very clean, and we could sit wherever we want. It was not too crowded as we boarded the train at its first stop. The kids were excited as we all sat at a table, facing each other while having our breakfast.

The elder boy loved looking at the scenery outside as the train moved along the coastal area, while the little boy was engaged in his favourite activity ... Sleep.

When we reached Merced, it was almost 10.45am. We still had to take a bus, scheduled at 11am, to get to Yosemite National Park, Curry Village. The bus ride would take about three hours. What did we do on the bus? We slept, except the little darling. Lunch was bananas and muesli bars on board the bus. It was almost 3 o'clock when we received our keys to the tent cabin at Curry Village.

The tent cabin was just pieces of wood put together, with a sheet of canvas over it. Two small windows and a door. Four metal-framed beds with filmsy bedsheets that refused to be tucked in, and flat pillows with a smell. It turned quite cold at night, so it was a good thing that thick blankets were provided. I brought blankets for the kids as I was worried they might get rashes from these dirty dusty blankets.

We read about blacks bears breaking doors of cars to get food stored in cars at the village, and we watched videos on YouTube, of black bears walking out of tent cabins, and rampaging the dustbins outside for food. Signs were displayed everything, informing us to keep our food in the special metal locker placed outside the tents. Things to keep in the locker? Not just food, but also water, toiletries (because of the perfumed scented) and wet tissues. The kids were worried about bumping into bears when we brought them to shower in the evening. Yes, no bathroom attached to the tent. The shared bathroom was a short distance away from our tent.

With such a huge park, how did we move around without a car?
The Valley Shuttle! See the map?

So we took the bus to Yosemite Village, and went to the Visitor Information Centre. Although the sky darkened at 830pm, we didn't want to spend too much time walking, as the kids were quite hungry, and tired from half a day of travelling on train and buses. We decided to do a short hike ... hike to Lower Yosemite Falls.

We had a fun time walking to the waterfalls.

The lower Falls was filled with people when we reached. People slashing in water, people sitting on rocks, people standing on rocks, people with cameras, and people posing for the cameras. We had to wait before we could find a spot to sit/stand to pose for a picture!

It didn't look like there were a lot of people from the photographs, right? That's the power of zoom lens! And think out of the box ... squad below a rock, bend if you need ... all for the sack of taking a nice photograph =)

The boys were hungry and were happy to sit down at the waterfall to have a bite. Now that they had their break and snacks, we were able to walk through the woods again at a leisurely pace. The boys actually stopped to read the information boards, played with squirrels, and looked at the funny hollow trunks lying around.

We took the bus back to the Visitor Centre, and had our dinner there ... Pizza and Caesar Salad. I guessed not having eaten vegetables for a few days, the body yearned for vegetables. The boys were no fan of vegetables, but they polished off the plate of salad.

After dinner, we headed back to Camp Curry. Had an early night, and all ready for our adventure the following day!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails