Off we go again. So much to do and so little time. After our slow evening jog at Bryce Canyon, we had to catch up on some sleep, before tackling the road to Horseshoe bend, Lower Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley.
It’s a bit of a stretch to the first stop and we had to be at Antelope Canyon at 10:30. This changing of time as we cross borders, had our minds working over time. From Las Vegas to Bryce & Zion Canyon was +1 hour, Zion to Antelope was -1, Antelope to Monument Valley +1 and then the Grand Canyon -1.
The scenery kept changing again along the way. We saw a few red Indian tents, where you can stay over night. We’ll keep that in mind for next time.
We crossed the Colorado river at the Glen Canyon Dam and then Horsehoe Bend was just around the corner. We were pressed for time and were not sure if we would make it for Antelope Canyon. We booked with Ken’s Tours and if you are not on time, then you have to wait untill a spot opens up with a next tour.
We suffer a bit from FOMO, so we jumped out of the car and ran all the way. In the parking lot, we thought it would just be a quick 200m to the top, but spoiler alert, it wasn’t. Now we were too close to miss out, so we ran down the sandy slope (600m) to take 3 pics. Been there, done that, touched it, took a selfie, and then we realized we had to run all the way back again.
Lower Antelope Canyon is only 12km away, but it feels further when you’re late. So we rushed to check-in at the counter, but there was a queue. We were late! When it was finally our turn, the lady told us that she liked it when people came early… we never set our clock back… What a relief
Note that this is a Navajo Tribal Park, so our America the beautiful card were not accepted here.
With all the excitement and running around, I needed a loo before our next adventure. I didn’t realize that my next adventure would be the loo… Lower Antelope Canyon is in the middle of nowhere, so I should’ve known that there wouldn’t be any water. I’m trying to think when last I saw or used a long drop. I think it was around 1993 near Baberton, South Africa. There was no toilet paper, no water to wash your hands, you could not hear your business fall, but you could smell what the previous, daring did. But we are from the bush, so we are always prepared for the bush.
We sat outside and shared an apple, banana and a bottle of water. No bags are allowed on the tour, so we left everything in the car, except the camera, phone and a bottle of water each. We met up with our guide, who seemed very strict on their rules. Something must’ve happened previously. You are not allowed to take any photos while you are on the stairs, going into the Canyon.
OMGosh!!! What a beautiful, unusual, masterpiece! We truly serve an amazing God! It is just too beautiful! I took about 100 photos just on my phone.
Apparently the most expensive photo ever sold,was taken in Lower Antelope Canyon, by Peter Lik (Phantom photo sold for $6.5 million)
Our guide, also took a few nice photos for us. He clearly knew where to stand and how to make the rest of the crowd disappear. It was packed! Every tour guide had about 20 people in their group and I think there were about 4 groups that we could see as we moved through the Canyon.
All I can say is that it was BEAUTIFUL! The colours kept changing as the sunlight started to come in.
The tour took about 2 hours, before we were on the road again to Monument Valley.
After each Canyon, I thought that now I’ve seen it all…
We stopped for lunch in Kayenta. It’s a small, dry little town. I had to have TacoBell (no tacos in RSA) and hubby opted for a burger at Sonic. This was a different setup. Each car parks in their own spot, orders, pays and then someone brings your order to your spot.
And off we went again, straight past Monument Valley for a quick pic at Forrest Gumps’ famous turn point. We cant be so close and miss it.
In the back you can see Monument Valley, just like in the movies.
Monument Valley is also a Navajo Tribal park, so you have to pay cash on arrival ($20 per car). There is an option for a guided tour, but we opted to drive ourselves. The map is clear and easy to follow. It also pointed out each Butte.
Buttes: an isolated hill with steep sides and a flat top (according to the dictionary)
With a bit of imagination, you can pretend to be in the real wild wild west. O no wait, there is even a red Indian on a horse…
You have to pay $5 (if I remember correctly) to take a photo on the horse. This guy was quite rude and even bumped people with his horse out of his way. This was really a let down. I understand that we are in their territory, but we paid for the experience, so I feel that they should be a bit more accommodating. He was way to arrogant and cocky to get money from us. Instead I rode my own horse, gangnam style at the John Ford’s lookout:
We spent about 2 to 3 hours driving around. It is a bumpy, sandy, gravel road, so I wouldn’t recommend a small or low vehicle.
There were 11 points to look out for and they were clearly indicated on the map. Look out for The Mittens and Merricks Butte at the entrance, Elephant Butte (you cannot miss it), Three sisters, John Fords Point (horse riding and a few crafts), Camel Butte and The Hub.
Left you can see the Totem Pole, aswell as Yei Bei Chei. Then look out for Sands Spring.
At Artist’s Point, we didn’t see a red Indian, but rather an orange eagle. And then the last two points are North Window and the Thumb.
At the curio shop and visitors centre, you can buy these freaky, little, handmade Katsina dolls. We found a cosy spot amongst all the fancy photographers with their tripods and waited for the sun to set…
It was a long, exciting, hot day and we were happy that we saw everything that we planned to see. We were thirsty, hungry and tired but happy and content. We drove back to Kayenta for Burger King and something sweet to end the day with.