Yosemite!

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

Pretty!

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

Snow!

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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