Grand Canyon, USA

Journey through the Abysmal North America

hot shadows
Diffuse silhouettes of the Grand Canyon created by sunset to the west.
Canyon of the pot of gold
Clouds charged over the Grand Canyon generate a blazing rainbow.
an outsized view
Silhouette of a visitor who admires the vast expanse of the Grand Canyon.
A tribute to the Hopi
Grand Canyon visitors on different floors of the Desert View watchtower, erected in 1932 to promote Indian culture but arousing considerable controversy.
old fashioned
Muleiro takes a visitor on a guided mule tour to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
binocular view
Asian teenager observes the depths of the Grand Canyon with binoculars.
"All aboard"
Driver prepares to board the locomotive of one of the Grand Canyon Railway trains
grand canyon on fire
Twilight "fires" the sky above the Grand Canyon.
an unlikely affection
Mule and mule in a moment of fun before descending again into the depths of the Grand Canyon.
keeping an eye on humans
Opportunistic Crow watches the movement of visitors who admire the Grand Canyon.
Hot Shadows II
Silhouettes of visitors watching the sunset from an elevated edge of Desert View Point.
the great colorado
The Colorado River flows at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, with a huge volume of water and at great speed.
grand drinks
Guest chooses a drink from Desert View Point vending machines illuminated with images of the Grand Canyon.
The Colorado River and tributaries began flowing into the plateau of the same name 17 million years ago and exposed half of Earth's geological past. They also carved one of its most stunning entrails.

We are disarmed by the exorbitant room prices in the vicinity of Grand Canyon National Park.

We ended up choosing, as the base of successive road shuttles, one of the historic pieces of old Route 66, lost in vast Arizona.

Located almost 100 km away, Williams proved to be a small town in Main Street America style, bisected by the emblematic road and in which, only in appearance, little had changed over time. And yet, on the full fringe of Hualapai Indian territory, almost only Indians managed the dozens of row motels on both sides of the road.

The twilight took over the village and made dozens of neon signs blaze when, stunned from a journey that was already coming from the far Californian coast of the Pacific Ocean, we entered one of those practical shelters without a trace of our soul.

We slept much longer than we needed. We wake up to a new day of blue skies and radiant sunshine.

Even though a substantial proportion of Williams' guests were boarding the Grand Canyon Railway steam train to the Grand Canyon by that time, we remain faithful to our old but reliable Buick Le Saber.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, Grand Canyon Railway

Driver prepares to board the locomotive of one of the Grand Canyon Railway trains

We head north along the endless straights of Highways 64 and 180, in the latter, through a Kaibab forest covered with Ponderosa pine trees that foreshadowed the forced end of the route.

An hour later, we cross the south portal. We enter Grand Canyon Village.

The Abysmal View of the Grand Canyon

Eager to reward the senses, we headed straight for the abyss. When we confronted it, we finally realized why so many travelers regard it as America's supreme scene.

Onward stretched an exquisitely carved domain to the depths, hacked into layers and multicolored columns of rock from the most diverse eras.

Above, stray clouds, seduced by the sumptuousness and geological complexity, played shadow games.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, trio

Trio admires the Grand Canyon's hewn vastness from a massive slab.

For a moment, our jaws dropped open. We took advantage of the dazzle to regain our breath that was cut off halfway by the panorama and the rarefaction of those 2200 meters of altitude we were at, but which the depths (almost 1900 meters) and the incredible dimension of the precipice (446 km by 29 km) barely allowed us to notice.

We admire it from Yavapai Point, a viewpoint that honors one of the various indigenous peoples in the area, rivals of the great Navajo nation from the north just off Mather Point.

And as we hopped along Desert View Drive along the elevated edge of the South Rim, from other vantage points with natural verandas set over dizzying indentations.

From west to east, we perceive the view of the distant and elusive bed of the Colorado River to be favored by the configuration of the relief.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, Greater Colorado

The Colorado River flows at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, with a huge volume of water and at great speed.

Around Lipan Point, the great fluvial responsible for that mutilation of the earth's surface, undergoes tight meanders.

To soon flow, almost unhindered, through the much more regular lands to the east of Tanner Canyon.

A Geological and Erosive Work of the Old Colorado River

An intense debate prevails among scientists, but recent studies have argued that the Colorado River set its course and began carving its lush basin in the Colorado Plateau 17 million years ago.

The enormous depth – not even the greatest in the world which is located in the Nepalese canyon of Kai Gandaki – and the superlative altitude of its slopes, most formed below sea level, is due to a massive survey (between 1500 and 3000 meters) of the Colorado Plateau over 60 million years ago.

This survey increased the flow gradient of the Colorado River and its tributaries, which dramatically increased the speed at which they flow and their rock wear capacity.

Climatic conditions during the ice ages also increased the amount of water drained into the basin, which again reinforced the erosion process.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, Binocular View

Asian teenager observes the depths of the Grand Canyon with binoculars.

Desert View Watch Tower: An Old Kiva-inspired Watchtower

We reach the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon, we find the tallest building on the South Rim. At first glance, the cylindrical tower looks like an old Native American ruin.

Inside, divided into four floors, we found that it was one of several buildings from the early 30s for a company named Fred Harvey that still promotes Native American culture and art.

It was built inspired by a kiva, a structure used in the spiritual practices of various Pueblos peoples and based on a solid metal structure that supported the current coating with a trustworthy indigenous look, because it was achieved with carefully selected stones.

For the opening, the company's mentor chose a traditional blessing ritual of the Hopi ethnic group, with songs, dances and speeches. Afterwards, the guests enjoyed a typical meal freshly cooked by indigenous women.

Even so, the watchtower proved consensual.

Part of the park's staff supported it, but those in charge of nature interpretation were angry with the novelty. "It stands out from the landscape like a wounded thumb, and calling it an Indian watchtower is, to say the least, misleading." Vents Edwin McKee, the leader of the naturalists.

The monument withstood controversy and frequent bad weather.

We took the opportunity to climb its cornucopia ramp to the top floor where we knew the view would reward us.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, Desert View Tower

Grand Canyon visitors on different floors of the Desert View watchtower, erected in 1932 to promote Indian culture but arousing considerable controversy.

The Meanings of the Colorado River, the Painted Desert and Arizona on Fire

We saw even more of Colorado, both from the river – which later spawned a Little Colorado – and from the homonymous plateau that, beyond its bed, traversed the landscape that the 10,000 Maniacs New Yorkers extol in “The Painted Desert”, one of his most famous themes.

"The Painted Desert can wait 'till Summer. We've played this game of just imagine long enough...” sings Natalie Merchant, disillusioned with a love affair with someone she ardently desires to join and who tells her about her adventures in the Grand Canyon and its surroundings, but who postpones the union time and time again.

The evening did not fail. It brought a freezing cold that caught us on a longer-than-expected hike down a steep path. Back at the top, we both huddled inside the car, drinking hot chocolate to avoid freezing

Grand Canyon Arizona Travel North America Abysmal vending

Guest chooses a drink from Desert View Point vending machines illuminated with images of the Grand Canyon.

Simultaneously, the sun was setting to the west of the gigantic river gorge.

It was breaking down in such a way over the countless silhouettes of its cliffs and in the sky above that it seemed to have set Arizona on fire.

Recovered from the impending hypothermia, we gave in to the seduction of the incandescent scenery and returned to the edge of the canyon.

From there, in the company of some other Neros obscured by the dim light, we were ecstatic to watch as the celestial fire was extinguished.

How it made the sky of a yellowish-orange fainter.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, Grand Canyon on fire

Twilight “fires” the sky above the Grand Canyon.

We pick up at the faraway Williams motel.

"So, did you like the Canyon?" asks us the Indian receptionist who had met us the day before, a forty-year-old Hindu from Gujarat. “I've been here for two years.

I only looked at him once.

You know, those who come from poor India and find an opportunity in the States, prioritize work.

I'll still be back there and explore more of the West!”

Grand Canyon, Arizona's Insurmountable Depression

New dawn, new trip to the abyss, accomplished even faster than the day before. On these sides, taking into account the quality of North American roads, only the Grand Canyon raises insurmountable barriers to travel.

Its North Rim is less than 20 km from the South Rim. As might be expected, neither federal nor state authorities have ever dared to propose building a bridge over the crown jewel of US national parks.

If we wanted to get there, we would have to face 350 km by road.

The saga of the Grand Canyon's obvious impassability goes back a long time. The Hopi Indians already inhabited it and roamed it for centuries when the first Europeans arrived.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, Cliffs

Successive multicolored cliffs carved by the prehistoric flow of the Colorado River and its tributaries.

In 1540, Spanish captain Garcia Lopez de Cardenas and a small group of soldiers were looking for the then-popular Seven Cities of Cibola when they reached its shore, aided by native guides.

Three of the men went down a third of the slope but had to return to the top because they didn't have enough water. “Some of the rocks down there are bigger than the tower in Seville,” they reported.

Grand Canyon Arizona Travel North America Abysmal Silhouettes

Silhouettes of visitors watching the sunset from an elevated edge of Desert View Point.

Several historians argue that the Indians avoided revealing the trails for the Colorado River to them and that no Europeans ever visited the canyon again for the next two hundred years.

Only towards the end of the XNUMXth century did Hispanic priests searching for a route between Santa Fe and California found a path known as the “Passage of the Priests”.

Today, this trail is underwater in the gigantic Powell artificial lake that we would visit later.

The Shuttle Mules Carry Visitors to the Depths of the Colorado River

We tried to join one of the mule caravans organized by the park and replicate its historic crossings.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, mules

Muleiro takes a visitor on a guided mule tour to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

We would only have a vacancy in a few good days. The muleteer on duty is sympathetic to our frustration. To compensate, he lets us pet two of his mules, to whom he spoke as if they were daughters.

"In a little while we're going down again, Lulu." You didn't feel like anything anymore, did you? But it will have to be!”

Lulu recognizes the name and affection.

It rubs its muzzle on its picturesque owner and inaugurates an exhibition of affection that we didn't expect from such creatures.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, Mule and mule

Mule and mule in a moment of fun before descending again into the depths of the Grand Canyon.

The wind rises before our eyes. It brings a storm that has covered the leaden cloud zone.

In three times, localized showers fall.

A huge rainbow protrudes from the bottom of the cliffs into the overcast sky.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, Rainbow

Clouds charged over the Grand Canyon generate a blazing rainbow.

The storm passes. And the wind drops enough for some of the helicopters flying over the canyon to get back into business.

We boarded one of them.

We open up the grand scene from the air, in the company of a group of Japanese women who, panicked by the turmoil, cannot hide their agony, much less appreciate the grandiose bottom into which they feared to crash.

We land safe and sound. We continue to the western limit of Hermits Rest. There we rest to contemplate the surreal view.

Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, Hot Shadows

Diffuse silhouettes of the Grand Canyon created by sunset to the west.

Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
Fish River Canyon, Namíbia

The Namibian Guts of Africa

When nothing makes you foreseeable, a vast river ravine burrows the southern end of the Namíbia. At 160km long, 27km wide and, at intervals, 550 meters deep, the Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon of Africa. And one of the biggest canyons on the face of the Earth.
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Navajo nation, USA

The Navajo Nation Lands

From Kayenta to Page, passing through Marble Canyon, we explore the southern Colorado Plateau. Dramatic and desert, the scenery of this indigenous domain, cut out in Arizona, reveals itself to be splendid.
Death Valley, USA

The Hottest Place Resurrection

Since 1921, Al Aziziyah, in Libya, was considered the hottest place on the planet. But the controversy surrounding the 58th measured there meant that, 99 years later, the title was returned to Death Valley.
Albuquerque, USA

When the Drums Sound, the Indians Resist

With more than 500 tribes present, the pow wow "Gathering of the Nations" celebrates the sacred remnants of Native American cultures. But it also reveals the damage inflicted by colonizing civilization.
Taos, USA

North America Ancestor of Taos

Traveling through New Mexico, we were dazzled by the two versions of Taos, that of the indigenous adobe hamlet of Taos Pueblo, one of the towns of the USA inhabited for longer and continuously. And that of Taos city that the Spanish conquerors bequeathed to the Mexico: Mexico gave in to United States and that a creative community of native descendants and migrated artists enhance and continue to praise.
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Mount Lamjung Kailas Himal, Nepal, altitude sickness, mountain prevent treat, travel
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 2th - Chame a Upper BananaNepal

(I) Eminent Annapurnas

We woke up in Chame, still below 3000m. There we saw, for the first time, the snowy and highest peaks of the Himalayas. From there, we set off for another walk along the Annapurna Circuit through the foothills and slopes of the great mountain range. towards Upper Banana.
Luderitz, Namibia
Architecture & Design
Lüderitz, Namibia

Wilkommen in Africa

Chancellor Bismarck has always disdained overseas possessions. Against his will and all odds, in the middle of the Race for Africa, merchant Adolf Lüderitz forced Germany to take over an inhospitable corner of the continent. The homonymous city prospered and preserves one of the most eccentric heritages of the Germanic empire.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Burning prayers, Ohitaki Festival, fushimi temple, kyoto, japan
Ceremonies and Festivities
Kyoto, Japan

A Combustible Faith

During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
city ​​hall, capital, oslo, norway
Oslo, Norway

A Overcapitalized Capital

One of Norway's problems has been deciding how to invest the billions of euros from its record-breaking sovereign wealth fund. But even immoderate resources don't save Oslo from its social inconsistencies.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Back to Danny Boyle's The Beach

It's been 15 years since the debut of the backpacker classic based on the novel by Alex Garland. The film popularized the places where it was shot. Shortly thereafter, the XNUMX tsunami literally washed some away off the map. Today, their controversial fame remains intact.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Seljalandsfoss Escape

The Island of Fire, Ice and Waterfalls

Europe's supreme cascade rushes into Iceland. But it's not the only one. On this boreal island, with constant rain or snow and in the midst of battle between volcanoes and glaciers, endless torrents crash.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Santiago, island, Cape Verde, São Jorge dos Órgãos
Santiago, Cape Verde

Santiago from bottom to top

Landed in the Cape Verdean capital of Praia, we explore its pioneer predecessor city. From Cidade Velha, we follow the stunning mountainous ridge of Santiago to the unobstructed top of Tarrafal.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Meares glacier
Prince William Sound, Alaska

Journey through a Glacial Alaska

Nestled against the Chugach Mountains, Prince William Sound is home to some of Alaska's stunning scenery. Neither powerful earthquakes nor a devastating oil spill affected its natural splendor.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Argentinean flag on the Perito Moreno-Argentina lake-glacier
Natural Parks
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

The Resisting Glacier

Warming is supposedly global, but not everywhere. In Patagonia, some rivers of ice resist. From time to time, the advance of the Perito Moreno causes landslides that bring Argentina to a halt.
Matukituki River, New Zealand
UNESCO World Heritage
Wanaka, New Zealand

The Antipodes Great Outdoors

If New Zealand is known for its tranquility and intimacy with Nature, Wanaka exceeds any imagination. Located in an idyllic setting between the homonymous lake and the mystic Mount Aspiring, it became a place of worship. Many kiwis aspire to change their lives there.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Tarrafal, Santiago, Cape Verde, Tarrafal Bay
Tarrafal, Santiago, Cape Verde

The Tarrafal of Freedom and Slow Life

The village of Tarrafal delimits a privileged corner of the island of Santiago, with its few white sand beaches. Those who are enchanted there find it even more difficult to understand the colonial atrocity of the neighboring prison camp.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Train Fianarantsoa to Manakara, Malagasy TGV, locomotive
On Rails
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
emperor akihito waves, emperor without empire, tokyo, japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Emperor Without Empire

After the capitulation in World War II, Japan underwent a constitution that ended one of the longest empires in history. The Japanese emperor is, today, the only monarch to reign without empire.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.