Vernal and Nevada Falls Walk, Yosemite

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This hike up the Mist Trail is a gorgeous forested and mossy zigzag to a height of 300 meres above sea level, where you will find one of Yosemite’s biggest and most famous waterfalls.  At the top of the trail, after some rather precarious but thrilling steps, the Merced River spills over the booming 100 metre tall Vernal Falls.  Be careful on the rock steps, which are slippery, and whatever you do, don’t think it’s a good idea to take a dip as it is very dangerous to swim there.   While the Mist Trail is a busy track, it’s not too crowded and there is a good sense of camaraderie as people walk up together.  From Vernal Falls, you can go higher to the much less crowded Nevada Falls.  It’s a 10 kilometre hike all up, but at least the return is downhill.

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Travel Planning: North America

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Traveling solo in another country can be a bit intimidating if you don’t drive.  When I started planning my trip to North America, I knew that there were some places I really wanted to visit, but without a car I would need to navigate several different modes of public transport.

It can get complicated when you are consulting different bus company’s routes and timetables, train routes, and the offerings of local bus companies.  I found the easiest way to keep track of it all was actually pretty low tech: I photocopied a page from an atlas at my local public library and marked all the train and bus routes.  This allowed me to identify transport hubs that connected trains and buses, and also let me work out what was going to be easy versus nigh on impossible. The Canadian Rockies, New England and Colorado were three places where I knew I wanted to go to some rather obscure places, and I did have to spend some time doing a bit of due diligence to make sure I was being realistic in my plans.

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