Friday, November 14, 2008

Been There Done That... Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon, AZ (Aug 30 – Sep2, 2008)

The Place: One of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders.

The Path Travelled: A 3 hour flight to Phoenix. Then a 3 hour drive along winding roads in the hills to Williams. Then a nostalgic train ride in 100 year old coaches to the Grand Canyon.

The Lodging: The Maswik Lodge. Walking distance from the rim of the canyon. As close as one can hope to get to nature.

The Sights to See: The Canyon rules over everything you see there. It is nature in one of its angriest forms. And not in a destructive way. It is nature’s way of humbling us and making us feel really tiny. Be it the immense magnitude of the canyon stretching all around you or the thought that a river made it all happen. And at night the canyon is black. Blacker than any black you would find in a city. You just hear the wind and feel the emptiness dropping hundreds of feet below. And as a consequence you see the stars in all their splendour. The number of stars you see in a sky bereft of light pollution is just sensational.

The Experience: Surreal! The views from various points are fantastic. The sunset is breathtaking if you can find a deserted spot away from the cacophony of the human race. Hiking down into the canyon is one of the best forms of exercise one can get. And if you catch the sun rising into the canyon, it’s a truly spiritual experience. Go off the beaten path and you might catch a glimpse of some wildlife. We did! And yes, the drive to and from Phoenix is awesome too. You can actually see the landscape change as you climb to higher altitudes.

The Damp Squibs: One has to stay longer and hike down to the river and camp! We did not.

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