Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Back from Tunisia and Andorra

Yep, I am back in Europe and as soon as I got here, I went to Tunisia and Andorra. It has been one week in total, not too long... but enough to satisfy my craving for an arab country and snow! ;) It was quite a contrast to go from the moderately warm Tunisia to ice cold Andorra, to change medinas for stone houses, the sea and the desert for snow and mountains.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The top of the World

I have recently got married and Nepal has been our honey moon destination!

It has been a quite impressive destination: great nature, the best mountains and an amazing amount of temples! The nicest experience: to be face to face with the highest mountain in the World, Mt Everest!

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Running log

I have recently found a nice tool in the Internet to measure the distance I run. In addition, I get a nice map and if I input the time, I get my average pace (mpk) and elevation profile of my run. It is quite nice. This is my run today: 14km in 1h14min (around 5.10 mpk), going up the strongest slope in Pasadena (Shenandoah St) and going up and down all the time.

Monday, November 9, 2009

LA Fly Away Technology

I was impressed by the solution the airport bus driver found to get a compartment for her stuff. What better and easier than to write it with a pen??

She could've tried to keep some balance for the letters/words... XD

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mammoth Lakes

After visiting Mono Lake and before heading for Manzanar NHS, I wanted to go to Devil's Postpile National Monument, near the Mammoth Lakes ski resort. When I got there, big surprise... Devil's Postpile was already closed for the Winter and I could not visit it! Anyway, I was there, so... brief stop at the Visitor's Center and visit to some of the lakes there.

This is one of the lakes in Twin Lakes.

And the following are photos at Lake Mary.

It was a short but nice visit.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Manzanar NHS

Manzanar National Historical Site is in the middle of nowhere in California. It represents one of the darkest moments of US history in the 20th century. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and World War II started in the Pacific, the US President decided to put all Japanese American in concentration camps in very isolated areas. Japanese Americans were deprived of their liberty for as long as the war continued. They had to leave all their lives behind and when the war was over, they were forbidden to come back to the 3 Pacific coast states. They had to start from scratch.

Manzanar NHS is one of the only places which were kind of preserved.

These are the police posts at the entrance:

And the lunch hall:

These are the remaining of a Japanese garden the "inmates" created.

And the following are photos of the cemetery:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mono Lake Tufa Reservation

We left Yosemite using Tioga Pass and drove back to Los Angeles along US-395. That road is sandwiched between two ranges of mountains, in the middle of nowhere, and it is designated a scenic route. Just at the beginning of the road, not far from Yosemite's entrance (Tioga Pass), there is a beautiful lake: Mono Lake.

This place is so remote that housed a secret US military facility during the Cold War. Nothing remains of that facility now. The lake is interesting because it is a tufa reservation. Tufa are strange calcium based structures which grow from the bottom of the lake to its surface. This lake has been used by LA for water supplies and the level decreased dramatically in a few decades. Now, that is not allowed and the lake is protected. Anyway, these excesses made the tufa get exposed out of the water. Their shapes are quite interesting and many times surprising! Enjoy all these photos I took!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Yosemite NP Revisited

Yes, last weekend, I went camping to Yosemite NP, one of the National Parks I have liked the most. I came here last Spring and wanted to see now how Autumn affects the landscape. Not many trees change leaves in Yosemite, but still some do and it is really spectacular. I spent two days there and therefore, had time to visit places I did not visit last time: Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, Tioga Pass Road, some longer hikes...

And above all, it was great time for photography. Have a look a the following photos! :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Badlands NP

Badlands NP was my last stop during my trip to the Dakotas. This park was a very nice surprise. Much more interesting than I expected. This is one of those NP you either hate it or love it. I loved it!

Badlands NP protects "the Wall", a range of badland mountains which separates the lower plains from the upper plains. It is a step in the middle of the plains. An the step is spectacular! You can see it clearly in the following photo. Click on it for better resolution.

And when you get to hike in them, it just looks like being in the Moon! It can't be so different up there ;)

Even hikes are pretty nice. Can you see the ladder going up on the left? This setting looks like "Tomb Raider"...

It was pretty cloudy and cold, and that made the Sun look quite ghostly!

When the Sun starting setting, it went below the clouds and lit the badlands with warm colors.

Some peaks were so rough!

I saw nice landscape wherever I looked!

Some more photos of mountains in the Badlands, as I drove along the scenic drive that goes across the National Park:

These mountains were an incredible yellow color...

Finally, the sunset was impressive. Really dramatic.

The trip to South and North Dakota ended up being much more interesting than expected. The huge prairies, the badlands, the Black Mountains, caves, and all the animals I saw... highly rewarding!!