Plitvice Lakes National Park - Croatia 2015

Stay
Depending on how much time you have, a minimum stay of 2 nights is enough.
We stayed at Guest House Rustico (13 km from park) and were highly impressed by the service. There are guest houses EVERYWHERE! It's possible to find where to stay without prior reservations (the downside being, you won't get the best places).

Tickets
You'll find ticket booths at designated parking spots, and also, at the bus station inside the park.

Trekking
A minimum 6 hours is enough to see all lakes. It took us 9 hours, mostly because we trekked ALL ROUND most lakes (viewing them from all sides).  Forest trails are present too if interested.

Trekking with kids
Don't bother with a stroller...grab a carrier if possible.

Meals
There's a restaurant in the park, thought prices are not pocket friendly. If watching your budget, carry sandwiches and fruits.



Death Valley National Park

We drove from Yosemite, which was quite cold in September and into the hot, wide basin that is Death Valley. Endless, 'dead looking' ground...which wasn't quite dead as a few grasses and joshua trees hang on, albeit, weakly. The heat was overwhelming.

Camping
It was too hot to even contemplate camping here. There is a hotel in furnace creek though.

Trekking
Unless you have a death wish, don't attempt! We got out of our car several times to have closer looks and take pictures, the longest about 15 minutes. The view merge of the Sand dunes into coloured rock was breath taking. Artist Drive was our favourite spot....and onto Vegas baby!



Mono Lake

Mono Lake lay on our way from Yosemite to Grand Canyon. It was possible to drive up to the lake and walk a few 100 meters to the lake. An hour or less is enough.

Yosemite National Park - USA

Camping
Our first camp was descent, with Lavatories and running water. The second one, not so much.  It was essentially paid semi-wilderness camping ground; stony cleared patches of ground, a non flushing toilet and no running water.

We were turned away at two decent-looking camps. Make reservations well in advance. Camps are also big distances apart. Don't leave it too late to sort out your sleeping arrangements.

Trekking
We did minimal trekking,  ignored some of the tourist beat routes and made some wonderful discoveries.

Drive by tourist
It's possible to enjoy your visit and view most famous sites without trekking.



Sequoia National Park (USA) - Land of Giant trees

Trekking

There are several 'short' trails that'll take you into the surreal world of gigantic trees. I've never felt so small...so...insignificant - in a wonderful, fairy tale kind of way. 

Camping

Pictures at the end of this page...That is as good as it going to be. That said, this was one of the few decent camps we spent a night at, on our USA National Parks trip - it had running water, a place to wash your dishes and a flushing toilet (bliss!). Our neighbours had a blow-up mattress that took them the better part of an hour to fit into their tent - That was great entertainment...and we seriously considered buying one too!

Bears

DO NOT run after ANY bear you see :).



Los Angeles

That glamour on movie premiere night? Sparkling streets...red carpets? Smiling glamorous people that probably don't fart? That Hollywood? Well, forget that. Here's what you'll see....and of course, countless drug addicts and you have to keep your wallet REALLY close. 

Entering LA