Arizona is a hidden treasure which is worth a visit!!!
After watching all famous western movies I always thought that such landscapes were part of a movie set and very far from reality, but now I can tell that everything I saw when I traveled to the Navajo lands blew my mind. It goes without saying that is a trip that you have to do by car.
I started my road trip in the Historic Route 66 through the towns of Kingman, Seligman, Flagstaff and Williams. As you can imagine, this route is full of bikers with huge adapted motorbikes that most of the time travel in groups, shout and wave at you. Very good vibes! The towns along the route look as the time had stopped in the past century and they are full of restaurants and shops where you can buy very cool cowboy boots and hats for reasonable prices, as I did.
The food in Arizona is very old west and greasy, but the environment in the restaurants is just amazing; usually with live country music and tons of people clapping with every new chord.
Monument Valley was my next stop, which is a Navajo reservation in the border between Arizona and Utah. I spent the night in the Goulding´s Lodge, just in the middle of the reservation, and woke up to admire the sunrise.
It is the most amazing sunrise I have seen so far; from my room terrace and with all the landscape magnificence in front of my eyes.
The coolest spot ever! I went to the park with my car early in the morning and did the round trip of about 30 kms, of course stopping all the time because I couldn´t believe how big and beautiful those rocks where!!. Did some yoga in the way too. By noon I did the only hike that it´s allowed in the reservation, where you get straight down to the huge rocks in the valley and you cross the Navajo settlements and little villages. You have to be a “bit fit” to do the hike because there is no shade, and the way back is strenuous uphill in the sand. I got to know some Navajo people and ate their food. Navajos are absolutely in peace with nature and themselves, very welcoming and smiley.
My next stop was Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell. Lake Powell it´s a pretty big lake in the middle of nowhere, with very blue and clean water and lots of nooks. I tried the water which was freezing cold, but the view from the lake shores it´s worth a try. Surrounded by red rocks and pinnacles, and just wild nature; incredible!.
There is a Marina in one of the corners of the lake with a restaurant just above the water where you can have some pretty good drinks and food. I went of the booze and felt in love with the mojitos!
After that I headed to Antelope Canyon, again in Navajo lands. I went to the upper and lower canyons and what I say there is something I cannot explain with words.
Warped walls carved out of the rocks with orange, red, pink and yellow colors and rays of light coming from the top. Sometimes very narrow, but if you squeeze you can get through with no problem.
A Navajo guide took us in a group of 12 down there. I was lucky I didn´t have any flashflood warning (very typical in Arizona) when I went or my excursion, otherwise it would have been cancelled.
VaiPa by Paula Barros for Pplaza