Day 67 – Tulare to Yosemite Valley & Mariposa

Like with all the big National Parks, accommodation is extremely expensive in or very near the park, which is how we ended up in Tulare (also, I liked the name!). We were going to spend the day in Yosemite and that involves a lot of driving so we were off around 10am. We used our $80 annual card to enter the park at Fish Camp and turned off for Glacier Point after a little while. It is only about 16 miles from the turnoff to Glacier Point but once we got there it was very chilly (10 degrees C) and drizzling slightly – a very different scenario from Tulare where it was pushing 30 when we left! There’s some amazing views from Glacier Point of the Half Dome, Yosemite Valley and Yosemite Falls. We spent a bit of time taking pictures along with loads and loads of other people – all through the day I couldn’t believe how busy it was and it was a struggle to get parking anywhere. Yosemite is also very dry at the moment and though there are a lot of waterfalls they are a lot drier than they would normally be at this time of year – in fact it was even on the news!
From Glacier Point we drove to Yosemite Valley and explored the sights there, but on the whole I would have to say that our first day in Yosemite wasn’t as interesting as we’d hoped and we got back to the hotel earlier than expected. We booked in the Mother Lode Lodge in Mariposa, which was ok, but another one of those places that could be a LOT nicer with not that much effort. We went out to one of the few places to eat in Mariposa, Bett’s Gold Coin where we sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the warm evening air. I had nachos with pulled pork and Brian had a burger. Both meals were quite good and we had a couple of beers before going back to the motel and having a rest!
Of course I took a gazillion pictures but I’ve only added a small selection here as it really just looks like some mountains with mist over them if you weren’t there – it is MUCH better in real life!

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