I took a bus to Merced from San Francisco – $36, 3 3/4 hours.  Merced is the closest that Greyhound goes – you have to catch a local bus to Yosemite itself.  I arrived after lunch and was greeted by a very enthusiastic woman at the Welcome Centre.  After signing the guest book I saw that I had been the only visitor that day.  She let me leave my bag there so I could have a look around.

There is not much to see.  If you want extremely cheap groceries there is a good shopping centre not far away – it’s quite ridiculously cheap.

A well-rounded meal.

I bought about 1 kg of deli-sliced turkey and chicken for $6.  The rest of the town was almost deserted, mid-day, mid-week.

Beer at the pharmacy?!

It was a grey as it looks.

The YARTS bus ($7) arrived at 5.45 and it took almost an hour to reach the Yosemite Bug hostel.  When you alight there are no lights to guide you to the hostel.  Look for a big bin, and don’t cross the bridge to the right.  If you cross a large metal bridge you are going the right way.   The hostel was nice, and had a large amount of free food when I was there.You can stay in the National Park itself, but must book a LONG way ahead.

The next morning I took the 8.20am bus to Yosemite ($12 return including park entry).  Make sure you check the timetable as the next bus doesn’t go until 12pm!  It’s a 1.5hr trip.  They have a very good visitor centre, complete with fancy theatre.  There is also a proper post office.

In the fake Indian village

A sweat lodge

In the small museum

And on to the view!

There are a few day walks.  I chose to go up beside Yosemite Falls.  It was so lovely – the temperature was just right, and I sat on a rock eating turkey sandwiches.

The falls, and one of several school groups


The lower falls

The track up. It has 66 zig-zags and is quite well graded (no DOC knee-high stairs!)

Artsy shot of tree bark

Out of the bush

This was after 45min of climbing

The upper falls

The track goes on to the very top, but I didn’t want to wait for the late bus, and instead headed off the track to the patch of snow.

Look at the view!

Under the falls


Path back to the track - it's about half way up the shot

The track

The park was FULL of deer and squirrels

Look at that.

The Yosemite forest is very friendly – hardly any undergrowth, no mud, and tracks cut 100 years ago are still quite visible in the rocks.  I took an afternoon bus back to the hostel.

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