We stayed just outside Yosemite National Park in Oakhurst but it gave us a taster just how cold the park was going to be! It was hard to believe we had gone from scorching desert to alpine mountains so quickly!!
We headed into the park with our car full of snacks from good old Dollar Tree (everything is $1 - better than Pound Land...we are still on a budget you know!) Our planned first stop to see the Giant Sequoias was really busy and the car park was already full, so we headed on to Yosemite Valley itself. After 30 minutes of driving we entered then exited out of a tunnel to see a postcard like view of the valley, including El Capitain (large cliff), Half Dome and Bridalveil falls. We drove round the valley and stopped right by Bridalveil Falls. It looked good when the wind blew but we got wet as a consequence! As we continued it started to snow which slightly worried us as we had no snowchains! It didn't last long though and we made our way to Yosemite Falls, America's tallest waterfall. It was in 3 sections and although you couldn't see the 2nd section from the ground, it was very impressive. We found a nice view of the falls. It was pretty cold there and even had snow on the ground but meant we had a more picturesque photo with the sun, snow, forest and waterfall.
We left Yosemite valley and went back to see the Giant Sequoias in Mariposa Grove. It's similar to the trees we saw in Sequoia National Park a few days before. There was an uprooted tree which was huge and won't degrade due to its strong bark. Woof woof(!)
The high Glacier road was shut due to the snow and we had seen everything that was accessible in the park. All other hiking trails were closed, not that we would have fancied hiking in the snow even if they'd let us! Yosemite National Park had been another great stop, and again completely different to the other places we've seen. You only have to look at the photos to see how impressive it is!
Disappointed that the Mexican restaurant we'd hoped to go to was closed we went to a Chinese restaurant at which we were each presented with a huge portion of food, enough to feed a family of ten! We washed that down with a nice Tsingtao.
The next day, after asking what else there is to do around Yosemite, we headed to Mariposa. We walked round the town, which was still styled like the back drop of an old western movie - no old swinging saloon doors though I'm afraid!
We stopped in a 'museum' which had history of Mariposa and the area around. It was quite a key town during the Californian gold rush.
The lady working in the museum asked Emma's mum 'how old is he' we weren't sure who she meant, but then she said 'children get in free, if he's under 18 he won't have to pay'. We then realised she was talking about Kris and she thought he was a child!!! She did then apologise saying the light was bad and she couldn't quite see him. Is being mistaken for a child a complement or insult?!
As we got talking to the lady she told us how the people in Mariposa think that the things in the museum are so historic and antique, but to anyone from Europe (she was from Italy herself) this is all very recent. Being from Verona she said that 'the Romans built my town, now that's old'. Emma's parents could even remember some of the items from their childhood, and joked that they better not stand still for too long as they might add them to the exhibit! The museums oldest item was about 80 years old.
We had a picnic in the trunk of the jeep before heading back to Oakhurst. And then that night went to the Mexican we had been recommended the night before, but we were all very disappointed! The bright red sauce over our enchiladas looked tasty but was literally tasteless! So it was back to the room for cards, beers and G&T.
Next it's time to head to the city!