After a more comfortable night (we bought a sleeping mat) we were up very early for our hike into and out of the Grand Canyon. We started the Bright Angel trail at about 6:30am. The whole trail takes you down to the Colorado River, but it is not recommended to do the entire hike in one day. There are rest stops along the way, at 1.5 miles, 3 miles and 4.5 miles an area called Indian Gardens. So all in all we planned a nine mile hike.
The hike down did not seem too hard, we stopped often and admired then view of the Canyon from many different angles. We did notice how quickly we seemed to descend. It took about two hours to get to Indian Gardens. We stopped with some other hikers who were continuing on and planning to camp at the Colorado River. The local squirrels know where to find a feed, and were sniffing around while we ate our snacks. One even gave Nadia a little bight on the finger, but thankfully there was not even a scratch!
After our snack we started back up. Now a nine mile hike might not sound like much, but when we add into the equation an elevation change of roughly 3000 feet (roughly 900 meters), you start to understand why experts say it will take twice as long to get out of the Canyon than it did to get down.
And so it did. We started out OK, and were feeling good for the first section of the return journey, but it got much harder. The last 1.5 miles was torture; it was hot, it was steep, and it was very hard work. But after about 6 hours in total we made it. It hurt but it was a very rewarding feeling to have completed such a hike.
We rewarded ourselves with lunch and a well earned shower, and then spent the afternoon napping in our tent.
We had left overs for dinner and a very early night. Happily Nadia is sleeping better in the tent each night, with no more howling animals to disturb her!