Tokyo is a city that is best experienced in real as I have found it is hard to capture the spirit of the place.

We stayed in Shinjuku and then in Shibuya, two of Tokyo’s main hot spots. Great walks, great food, great time. We loved it.
















Little Basin


The previously HP-owned Little Basin Campground is now part of the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Pretty good because it is most likely the best campground of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Thank you Lionel and Vicky for inviting us.

Yosemite National Park


After last year’s trip to Sequoia National Park and our two previous trips to the Redwoods State Parks, it is natural to complete what I consider California’s golden triptych by visiting Yosemite. The one reader that follows this blog might comment that we came to Yosemite last year when we backpacked to Rancheria Falls. The truth is that Hetch Hetchy does not offer the same feel than the Yosemite valley.

Yosemite Falls from the Valley floor

We joined some friends that managed to get one of the extremely sought after spot at the Lower Pines campground. Conveniently located on the East side of the Yosemite Valley right along the Merced river, this campground offers great large and flat campsite though not  much privacy. Similarly to LodgePole in Sequoia, there is a convenience store, restaurants and other niceties close by making it a viable option for a longer stay.

The Merry Campers (-3)

Thanks to a late Winter and abundant rainfalls, all the main water falls of the park are still active. Quite a treat for late August.

Lower Yosemite Falls

On Saturday, Alicia and I hiked around the Valley floor. We first checked out the lower Yosemite falls, then went for a long stroll along the river including a dip in the ice cold water, and at the end of the day, we joined another group for a short hike to the bottom of Vernal falls.

Not cold!

On Sunday, we drove all the way up to Glacier point to take a full vista of the famous Half Dome, Nevada fall and Vernal fall on one side.

Half-Dome, Nevada Fall, and Vernal Fall

And Yosemite falls and the valley on the other side.

Yosemite Valley and Fall

On the way up, we got into a Bear-jam as the fellow bellow had been spotted not far from the road. (Original picture taken by Aurelie. Most of the other beautiful pictures on this page as well).

A Black Bear

I have been in the Yosemite valley several times before hiking to the top of Half Dome two times, to upper Yosemite falls from the Valley another time, and to El Capitan on yet another occasion. Thing is I had never really taken the time to explore the Valley and some of the vista points. That was definitely enjoyable and we are looking forward coming back again soon.