Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Underground secrets

Antelope Canyon, UT

I had been looking forward to this site ever since I found out it existed. We got into Page and had lunch on the lush green lawns of the visitor centre of the Glen Canyon Dam which sits on Lake Powell.

Lake Powell, there are a lot of houseboats on the water
I then needed to find a tour company to do Antelope Canyon as it is on Navajo land as you can’t go in there by yourself. There are two parts to the canyon, upper and lower. I decided to do the most popular, the upper one. I also decided to do the photographic tour which is two and a half hours (the other is 1.5 hours). I had read a couple of reviews on a few companies and couldn’t really decide, so we went to the visitor centre. Two doors down was Antelope Canyon Tours and we went in there and booked. We were lucky that Lindsay had decided not to do it as there had been a cancellation that day for tomorrow, with the next available spot more than three weeks away! That night we found a commercial campground in the Glen Canyon NP. $24 with set out campsites, beautiful new and clean rest rooms in the Adobe architectural style with views from our site of the house boats on Lake Powell. For $2 we could share a 15 minute shower in a private family bathroom! Perfect.

Antelope Canyon, Upper Canyon
We got our times mixed up again and I thought we were running late for my tour, so we had to pack up really quickly. On the way back to Page I worked out that the time was an hour out, so we had time to get me some lunch and organize myself. I had to make sure I had an extra CF card, my remote button, tripod, water, food and of course, camera. We had to meet at the shop front and they drive you in, and I got to sit in the front seat while everyone else was in the back of the semi open 4WD. The track in was a little like boggy creek near Alice Springs, with deep soft sand. I had read a review of one company whose car had got bogged and the replacement car took a long time to come, they asked for a partial refund and were refused. Our guide Al was fantastic. There were a lot of times he would tell me where to stand and where to shoot. I was having trouble with my tripod, it just doesn’t allow you to take a portrait shot pointing upwards. I need a new one with a ball head. Luckily my new lens is very fast which allowed me to take photographs in the low light without blurring them too much. I won’t really know how sharp they are until I see them on my iMac at home though. The colours the camera takes are very different to what you actually see, it’s amazing. I wasn’t disappointed at all. The upper canyon is best at midday, so the 11.30am tour was perfect. Next time I will take the lower canyon tour which is best at either end of the day. I will try for the 4pm tour.

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