I Like Big Buttes & I Cannot Lie

Day 10; Monument Valley; 12th July


This morning we had a visitor near the camp;
a massive elk
Just chillin walking round like nobody's business! 

Packed up camp and headed over the the desert view tower to get our final photo opportunities of the Grand Canyon. 
I am so happy that I finally got the chance to come to this beautiful place! I will 100% be returning and try out the different hiking trails. 

The desert view tower

Lunch stop at Cameron and it was hot, hot, hot! 
They had a pretty great souvenir shop, which I again took full advantage of! We weren't too far from Monument Valley where we had an amazing optional activity lined up. 
For those who wanted to we had a jeep tour lined up, a traditional navajo dinner, songs & dancing and to either sleep in a Navajo hogan or under the stars and wake to watch the sunrise over the Totem Poles. 
Obviously this appealed to me and the majority of the group so we happily handed over the dollar.
First was a visit to the gift shop - boom. 

& then it was time for the jeep tour. Ahhh
Our guide was #ronnie
All 'strapped' in (mine was very loose, and being on the end this later proved to be a little dangerous)
and we were off on the bumpy tracks through the valley. 
The views of the all the buttes was insane! 
Buttes are the actual sandstone monuments btw.
We had loads of great group photo stops along the way! 

Jeep tour in Monument Valley!

The Mittens



Photo Credit: Maho Hayashi
Ronnie got a bit cray whilst driving the jeep and decided to zoom up a hill and fly over a dune onto the other side. I flew out of the side of the jeep because my belt wasn't very tight and Emily grabbed onto me to drag me back in! In the process I landed on Emily's belt and undid hers, totally by accident ;) So now Emily was flying around too. 
It was hilarious! 
But after that I didn't want to risk it happening again after the next stop I ran back onto the jeep before Emily so she had to sit on the end. 
#topfriend
One of our stops was in the 'big hogan' and the Navajo guides had us all lie down on the sloping rock and look up at the ceiling whilst they played up traditional Navajo songs. 
It was amazing.
I literally felt like I was on a different planet. 




Now my favourite, and I think a lot of the group will agree, stop was the next one.
A big sand dune was in front of us, our task; walk up and then run down.
Sarah was at the bottom taking pictures and filming on her camera so I asked Ronnie to film on my phone too ... but a slow motion video.
Best idea i've ever had.
All lined up at the top, a few of us treated the run down as a race down.
GO!
Sand spraying in all directions, a mass of bodies rushing down, boobs everywhere (where was my sports bra when I needed it!!) and a panic to get down first.
Joe sprinted ahead, closely followed by Alan.
It would have been a close finish for those two, had it not been for that incident.
Oh Alan.
Matt, Marcel, Jana & Me were neck and neck behind and probably got the best view of what happened next.
All I can say is I am so happy I got a slow-motion video of it. 
Its pure gold!


Never laughed so much in my life! Sorry Alan.
He actually hurt his shoulder pretty badly, which I feel bad for, but he totally took one for the team with the entertainment factor. 
It was time for dinner and we were treated to a traditional Navajo meal which was a soft taco with different veg and a steak. It was real good. 
Once everyone had finished eating it was time for this evenings entertainment.
One by one, different Navajo guides (including Ronnie) would sing songs or perform their own music  and dance for us all. The sun had set at this point and soon it was time for the rain to pour down.
Everyone ran under the shelter, but the guides just carried on outside; singing and dancing and calling out to the thunder (which I did not appreciate).
Lightening is cool ... from a distance. But when you can hear the thunder so loud, and echo off the rocks around you its kinda scary. 
But the show continued. 
Once the rain had stopped it was time for the wedding ceremonies.
Yaaaaaay, finally a group wedding!
Ladies were called out; basically all the girls from our group went up & were paired off with which eligible bachelor was brave enough to get up.
Didn't actually find out the name of my husband. Oops
We all had to prance around in the sand, around the fire basically having a dance-off with the other couples. 
It was great fun! 

Traditional Navajo Dinner
Eventually it was time to call it a night. Ronnie drove us back through the valley to a hogan we would be staying in. 
He was very sneaky on the drive back though.
Decided to drive without his lights on, in pitch black!
All we had to go on was the faint lights of the jeep ahead!
Ronnie be cray
It then got worse, he kindly pointed out that the noises we could hear in the bushes along the drive were all the rattlesnakes.
Fantastic
Back at the hogan we had an amazing view of the sky lighting up in the distance with the lightening, seeee not so bad from far away! 
& now was the life or death decision to either sleep inside the hogan or sleep outside.
All the boys had chosen death & to sleep outside. I just wasn't sure if I wanted to be eaten by rattlesnakes in my sleep.
A lot of peer pressure later I chose outside.
Which now I am super happy I did. 



Everyone was getting ready for bed and taking a trip to the not-so-close toilet when we heard loads of laughing. 
Turns out Michaela made a friend in the toilet - a big toad! 
Marcel was laughing about it for days! 

The majority of the group ended up sleeping outside, and formed a big line. I had Emily on one side, Maho on the other & Kayla was sleeping across the bottom by my feet. I was safe and hopefully not the first pick for the snakes. 

I should mention Matt & Alan's vlogs. Im not sure how many they'd done at this point, but the Monument Valley one was by far the funniest! 
We were all lying in our sleeping bags & they just start vlogging. 
I can't for the life of me remember what they said but it was hilarious. 
Im hoping they post them all up soon because it was genius! 

Now trying to sleep proved a task, apparently a lot of people in the group snore & I was convinced a snake was behind me. Turns out it was just the door of the hogan creaking the whole night.
Emily told me I shuffled onto her mat in the night, probably to shield myself from the snake/door. 

The sky wasn't that clear so we didn't get a great view of the stars but the flashing lights of the lightening was good enough :) 

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