After two days ticking the Grand Canyon off of our bucket lists, it was time to say hello to Navajo nation!
On the way there we stopped off at a Navajo gift shop where I bought my girls back home a little handmade dream catcher, before visiting a small Native American museum which was really insightful. For those Forrest Gump fans out there, we also paid a little pit stop to that famous scene before finally arriving at Monument Valley!
that famous ‘run Forrest’ run’ scene
As we would be spending the night in the valley with no showers, we packed an overnight bag (which consisted of a hoodie, shorts, flip flops, sleeping bag, pillow and clean underwear aha) and placed it in the 4 X 4 jeep for our tour!
The jeep tour was so good! We had a slightly crazy ,but happy guide called Jamie who kept doing Woody the Woodpecker impressions and told us all about Navajo life. Our first stop on the tour was a female hogan where a Native American lady showed us how they made their beautiful blankets and even demonstrated a typical Native American hairstyle on one of the girls from the other tour groups.
monument valley views, ‘welcome’ hogan sign
Jamie then took us to a large natural hogan where we laid down, closed our eyes and listened to him playing the flute. It was so peaceful, and it really made you think just how lucky you are to be in such an amazing place.
All was calm until, you guessed it – a thunderstorm was approaching (typical trek!) But like the troopers we are (we handled Cedar Point, so we can pretty much handle anything), we embraced the weather and made it to our next stop – a rock formation up a massive hill of red sand. We all had a little race to the top and back down before it started pelting it down. Talk about perfect timing!
rock formation, thunderstorm during sunsetJamie was so nice at this point and traded in our roofless jeep for a van, whereas the rest of the tour groups made their way back in the rain! Go us! As the rain calmed down, we met with the other groups and had a Navajo dinner – Indian fried bread with onions, lettuce, beans and a buffalo steak. It was so delicious and was a refreshing change to pizza.
Entertainment then followed with a Navajo showing us their traditional dances such as ‘the sneak up’ and ‘duck and dive’ in their Rennailla (it’s disrespectful to call what they were wearing a costume). I felt very privileged to experience a different culture and learn things from their perspective. What’s more, they even got us to join in and have a dance off!
traditional food, Navajo entertainment
When the entertainment ended, it was time to head to our special hogan for the night. Me, Polly, Bobbi, Dave and Matty decided to sleep out under the stars, whilst the others decided to spend the night in the hogan. After the thunderstorm, the weather had calmed down and it was such a beautiful night, so we thought we’d take advantage of it! The sky was so clear and the stars were twinkling – it was such a surreal moment and we even saw shooting stars!
About an hour until we had to wake up, it started spitting (what’s new there aha?) so luckily, we ran into the hogan and joined everyone before the rain hit us again. It was nice staying in the hogan and outside it, and to say we were all smelly, dirty and tired, it’s a moment that I’m sure we’d do again in a heartbeat!
showing our love for monument valley, sunrise
After an hour’s sleep in the hogan, we packed up our stuff and went to watch the sun rise, which was quite possibly the best sunrise I have ever seen in my life! The silhouettes of the rocks and the colours in the sky were so beautiful!
After an amazing day and night, it’s time to say goodbye to Navajo nation and head to New Mexico! Did someone say tequila?
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