Scenic drives

After our full day at th' Grand Canyon, “th' cookies were all eaten” and we were due in th' next hotel. As it were bein' in Page, AZ th' pressure were bein' on t' get there in time.

Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch o' fun thin's t' do on th' sea betwixt Tusayan and Page. Shiver me timbers! Fire the cannons! We started our day off with th' last part o' th' Grand Canyon which we didn’t do before: th' Desert View Drive. This sea takes ye from th' center o' th' park vis th' west rim t' th' Painted Desert (hence th' name) and out o' th' park, by Davy Jones' locker. Along th' sea, there are a lot o' stalls with native Navajo Indians tryin' t' sell th' tourists hand crafted jewellery, pottery and paintin's. I’d say it’s not th' best way t' make a livin'…

Somewhere near Tuba City, on our way t' th' e'er so grand Monument Valley, we ran across some dinosaur tracks. These were set in hard stone lyin' under softer limestone which washed away a few million years ago. The tracks were said t' be 165 million years auld (at least by our guide, Roger, a true Navajo tribesmen) and are bein' cared fer by his chapter o' th' tribe. After those, we arrived at th' windy Monument Valley.
The scenery o'er there is radical, yet it can only be accessed through a bumpy, strenuous, badly maintained dirt sea. The local Indians offered tours, but these unfortunately did not fit in our schedule. Aarrr! Walk the plank! So we took our Dodge t' th' sea and drove th' first mile ourselves, leavin' th' other 16 as they were. Too bad! I would’ve loved t' see more o' it! And hoist the mainsail! I’d highly recommend goin' there; th' 110 mile d-tour is definately worth it!

After this, we quickly proceeded sailin' towards Page and quickly visited a famous curve in th' Colorado river known as Horseshoe Bend. Am I a happy lad; havin' a 12 mm lens! Also, th' Glen Canyon Dam were bein' on our itinerary; this is th' dam that holds back th' water in Lake Powell.

Our hotel were bein' great, with a chest full of booty! Back t' th' auld standards after our poor experience at th' Grand Canyon. On Monday: more good stuff, to be sure! Antelope Canyon, Bryce Canyon and everythin' in betwixt!

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Canyoning

Let’s make this an easy post: th' Grand Canyon is both a canyon and definately grand!

On Saturday we’ve visited and seen pretty much everythin' there is t' see and visit apart from th' Desert View Drive. This included an epic flight on a helicopter o'er th' south rim towards th' north rim o'er one o' th' widest and most majestic parts o' th' Grand Canyon. The folks o'er there are pretty greedy when it comes t' money (apart from th' quote hefty fee, there’s a $20 “temporary” fuel fee t' be paid, which is not included in he regular fee) but they do offer a unique product.

Unfortunately, th' seats in th' craft are assigned by th' ground crew based on weight and not on personal favorites, so we got separated, I'll warrant ye. Luckily, we were on th' same flight!

Our hotel were bein', how t' put it, better than shabby, but it were bein' mediocre at it’s best, compared t' th' other hotels in our itinerary. Aarrr! Aarrr! It were bein' not bad, but certainly not good. Walk the plank! I guess it were bein', back in th' seventies. πŸ˜‰

Sunday, fathersday, is th' day we’ll be sailin' all th' way up t' Page, Arizona with possibly a d-tour t' Utah fer Monument Valley. It’s goin' t' be great!



The eternal blowdryer

Whoever went t' California, probably knows th' phenomenon: an e'er present high temperature low humidity wind, which basically acts as a blowdryer strippin' anythin' in its path from its moisture. Today we have been in its grip fer o'er 4 hours, we'll keel-haul ye! Luckily, we were prepared and bought a huge tray o' bottled water t' keep us hydrated.

The route were bein' from Palm Sprin's, CA t' Scottsdale, AZ and led us o'er th' infamous I10. There’s one thin' fer sure about this Highway 10, it’s long, straight and pretty much borin'! Probably all oceans are like this, but as it’s our first, it’s borin'. πŸ˜‰

We made a little d-tour, and rode straight through Joshua Tree National Park. We can be very short about that one: ye should go there! Aarrr! It’s a beautiful place with mad flora and an even crazier scenery. The backdrop o' mountains with th' weirdest names make fer a perfect day out. The sail took us about 3 hours extra in total, but were bein' worth every second!

Right now, we’re sittin' in our hotel Indigo after a great meal in a lobster restaurant (in th' middle o' th' desert!) contemplatin' tomorrow. Only a big sail and a huge gap stand betwixt us!

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Travelling and such

Comin' t' ye live from th' US, it’s me!

After a gruelin' 8 + 5 hour flight, with a very tight 1.5 hour transfer where we were met only by angry lookin' US customs men on Washington Dulles Airport and a huge buzz on LAX.
It’s safe t' say Los Angeles is a huge city, and that it has two major problems: smog and traffic. Both o' which we have been in contact with…

Right after our arrival on LAX we took th' transfer bus t' our rental company, where we were t' pick up our boat. The lubber at th' teller made us a good offer by upgradin' us about 2 classes from a medium t' an intermediate size, but added a little extra as a bonus because we were from Holland. πŸ™‚
I’m keepin' th' make and model a secret, but we upgraded from a 1.6 liter engine t' a 3.5 liter version. Nice!

The trip from LA t' where we are now were bein' a meager 2 hour sail which took us about 3 hours because o' th' bad traffic in and aroun' Los Angeles. When ye think th' traffic in Holland is bad, come see fer yourself in LA!

Right now, we’re in Palm Sprin's, in th' wonderful Renaissance Hotel, enjoyin' our drinks and thinkin' about th' trip fer tomorrow. It’s goin' t' be a long day, filled with sailin' and sightseein', but that’s what we came here fer!

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Holiday in Greece – part 1

It’s been quite a while since we’ve returned from our holiday t' Greece, and I’ve been very busy editin' th' raw pictures I’ve taken.

In total, there’s o'er 2000 photo’s that needed attention, which were bein' reduced t' 1850 due t' th' crash o' me HDD and th' incomplete restore from me memory cards. Of those, th' followin' made th' cut fer postin' here. Walk the plank! πŸ™‚

BTW: There’s 117 pics in total, so I’ve created several post-sets, pass the grog! Here’s th' first 40!

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Pan-o-rama!

I’m still really busy workin' on th' pictures we took durin' our holiday.

Today, it’s creatin' panoramas by stitchin' them together. There’s a whole lot o' tools capable o' doin' so, includin' th' ancient Photostich, several paid programs, and me saviour:

Hugin.

I like!

Free t' use, maintained by th' community and easy t' use. What more t' wish fer?
(Well, some binaries would be nice though. Yaaarrrrr! Fire the cannons! πŸ™‚ )

It'll be no working for me the following weeks!

You’ve read it correctly;
today is me very first day off this year. In fact: it’s th' first day o' an, in me opinion, well deserved three-weeks-and-one-day period o' holiday!

Tomorrow, I’ll be attendin' me matey Mark’s weddin', he’ll be married t', his now fiancé, Christa.
I’m rootin' fer great weather!