After we left the oasis of Indian Garden, Bob and I wasted no time making headway towards Plateau Point at Grand Canyon National Park. The heat was building, the wind was constant, and the sun was torturous. Still, we forced ourselves to remain vigilant since other hikers had spotted rattlesnakes on the trail. It was when we drew near the water refilling station about 3/4 of the way between the two points that we saw a Northern Whiptail Lizard taking advantage of the puddles of spilled water in the shade of the water reservoir. Read more
At the end of a very rewarding afternoon that had Bob and I enthralled with the cave dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, we had to return to our base lodgings at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. The drive took us right past Monument Valley on the border of Utah and Arizona, so we couldn’t pass up seeing the famous landmarks located there. That is where we came upon this female Desert Spiny Lizard. Read more
As Bob and I neared Indian Garden along Bright Angel Trail at Grand Canyon National Park, we kept a keen eye for birds and animals along the way. I was conscientiously watching for snakes and so tended to scrutinize the trail in front of me to avoid stepping on one, in particular any Grand Canyon Rattlesnakes that might be sunning themselves. It was Bob who spied this Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard where it originally sat hunched on the small branch of a Catclaw Acacia. Read more
Our destination heading south from Nazca on the Pan American Highway in Peru was the city of Arequipa. At 556 kilometers from Nazca, we figured the drive should take us about 6 hours and put us in Arequipa well before dark. The day’s drive, however, sure proved that calculation to be wrong.
After Bob made some hasty notes from a map on display at the main pavilion where neither staff or a handout was available, we then drove off into the dust of Paracas National Reserve located on the Paracas Peninsula in Peru. As we soon learned on our excursion, this reserve is a world of sandy wastelands, isolated beaches, and high ocean cliffs.
With our rental car topped up with gas, Bob and I headed south from Lima into the desert along the Pan American Highway towards our next stop at the village of Paracas located 15 kilometres south of the town of Pisco, in Peru. The Pan American Highway runs along the Pacific Ocean coastline and is bordered on the left by sweeping desert landscape. Huge hills, dare I say mountains, of sand, bisected by valleys and gullies, dominate the countryside. Read more