Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tolosarraknyn in The West. Part IX: San Francisco.

Even though we had very few time to visit the city of San Francisco, it was special. I have been meeting Jeff since october 2012, some weeks twice and some three times. I was looking for a conversation partner because I felt that the English courses I was taken there weren't enough in order to improve my conversation skills. I went to craiglist, a wonderful website where you can find almost everything, and I saw an ad. Jeff was looking for someone to talk spanish to. After 9 months we have become very good friends. We have spoken about politics, books, movies, sports, interesting places and things to do in the city and I don't know how many more subjects. It has been amazing and I think that both of us we have improved a lot. I know that you would be thinking how could be this story related to San Francisco. The point is that Jeff is from San Francisco.We went to visit his mother and, we spent one night at her home. It was good to meet Jeff's mother and to see where he spent his childhood.
And, what about San Francisco? As I told you we had only a few hours to visit it, but it was enough time to see how interesting is it. We visited Chinatown, different hills, Fisherman wharf, the cable cars or trolleys. We saw Alcatraz, the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge almost hidden behind the clouds...
And, thats it. After 13 days we took a plain from San Francisco to New York City and we finished a tiring but unforgettable trip.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Tolosarraknyn in The West. Part VIII: From Carmel and Monterey to San Francisco.

Fray Junípero Serra was a Franciscan born in Mallorca who founded the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California, from San Diego to San Francisco. We visited "Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo" in the village of Carmel (Peninsula of Monterey). It is a interesting place to know a little bit more about the history of California.
The Peninsula of Monterey has an amazing coast and beautiful beaches, but the weather and the water were so cold that we couldn't fully enjoy them.
We drove our car through the beautiful "17 miles drive". As we read in a website "The 17 miles drive is widely recognized as one of the most scenic drives in the world". It might be too much to say "one of the most...", but, it is worth to visit it. We enjoyed unbelievable views and we saw some sea lions just very close to where we were.
The coast from Monterey to San Francisco is still beautiful, but we had to enjoy it from the RV.
The first time we saw "The Golden Gate Bridge", we were so excited! We had seen it so many times in many movies and magazines... It was impressive to cross it. The views of the bay and the city from the northern side of the bridge are wonderful.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tolosarraknyn in The West. Part VII: To the Pacific Coast.

After a nice but hot hike, we left the Snow Canyon toward the Pacific coast. There are many interesting places in between but we decided to spent our last days along the coast.
We past through Las Vegas and I have to tell you the truth, Ixa and me we got horrified but our children liked it... I didn't even take pictures so I took two from a picture bank to put them in the video.
We spent one night in a campground close to the Mojave Desert. I put some picture taken while we were crossing the desert. We just left the RV and took the pictures.
We got to the coast from "Morro Bay" and we took north toward San Francisco. There are many interesting places there, but the most impressive  are in my opinion "Big Sur" State Park and the beach of the elephant seals. You can almost touch them.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tolosarraknyn in The West. Part VI: Snow Canyon State Park, Utah.

After visiting the Grand Canyon we still had more than 100 miles to drive. It was a long day, we left Zion early in the morning, we drove until the North rim of the Grand Canyon and we drove back again in our way to the Pacific coast.
We didn't know anything about the Snow Canyon State Park, but we needed a place where sleep. Surfing in Google we found this place and we thought that could be a nice option.
What a wonderful surprise! We found an unbelievable landscape.  Snow Canyon has a campground surrounded by ancient lava flows and red Navajo sandstone.
We got there around 8:00 pm and, even we were tired we decided to climb a hill just above the campground. It was magical: the landscape, the colors, the loneliness... Despite the temperature (105 Fahrenheit/40 Celsius) we really enjoyed this late hike.
The next day we did a longer hike through the park. As you'll see in the video, the environment is incredible.
Libe, Ander and Xabi, got again the "Ranger Junior" title! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tolosarraknyn in The West. Part V: Grand Canyon, North Rim.

We left Zion early in the morning and, after three hours of driving we got to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The first two hours we went  through a very dry landscape. I thought that the scenery would be the same until the edge of the canyon, but around 30 miles before it, we went into a forest, the "Kaibab Plateau".   We saw an alpine view, green meadows surrounded by conifers and some aspen. We were surprised, we didn't expect that. I thought that everything would be dry and reddish.
If you decide to go down into the Canyon you have to be in a good shape and ready for a hot and strenuous hike.
You can get the best views of the North Rim from"Bright Angel Point". An easy half mile hike head you to this balcony. From here we felt the grandiosity of the Canyon. The contrasting colors and the immensity are incomparable. After visited this unbelievable point, we took the "Transept Trail", a hike that follows the canyon rim.
As you can see in the video our youngest children became "Junior Ranger" after doing some work and to swear to preserve the National parks and The Planet Earth.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tolosarrak in The West. Part IV: Zion, The Narrows

As I told you in the previous post we decided to do two activities in one day, so, after climb to the Angel's Landing, we had lunch  ant took some rest for a while and we went to the Zion Narrows.
This is the description of the hike I found in the Park website:

The Virgin River has carved a spectacular gorge in the upper reaches of Zion Canyon: 16 miles long, up to 2,000-feet deep, and at times only 20 to 30-feet wide. The Narrows, with its soaring walls, sandstone grottos, natural springs, and hanging gardens can be an unforgettable wilderness experience. Hiking The Narrows means hiking in the Virgin River. At least 60 percent of the hike is spent wading, walking, and sometimes swimming in the river. There is no maintained trail because the route is the river. 

We went from the bottom until the point where Orderville Canyon joins the main canyon. There is an around 5 miles round trip and going beyond this point is prohibited unless you have a permit.

As you will see in the video the hike is incredible and considering that outside the temperature raised until 115 degrees (45 Celsius) we spent most of the time in the water.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tolosarraknyn in The West. Part III: Zion. Angel's landing.

Zion Canyon National Park is located in southwestern Utah. We got there after driving our RV  trough the empty roads of Nevada. Zion Canyon has been carved by the Virgin River for thousands of years. The park has many narrow and deep sandstone canyons and Zion is the main canyon of the park. There are many activities to do in the park but the lack of time forced us to choose. We had basically one day so we decided to go for a walk in the morning and to hike the Zion Narrows which means to go up along the canyon.

First we climb to the Angel's landing. I took this description from a website (

The Angels Landing Trail is one of the most famous and thrilling hikes in the national park system. Zion's pride and joy runs along a narrow rock fin with dizzying drop-offs on both sides. The trail culminates at a lofty perch, boasting magnificent views in every direction. Rarely is such an intimidating path so frequented by hikers. One would think that this narrow ridge with deep chasms on each of its flanks would allure only the most intrepid of hikers. Climbers scale its big wall; hikers pull themselves up by chains and sightseers stand in awe at its stunning nobility. The towering monolith is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the Southwest.

It's a very steep  up hike with amazing views. It is not difficult but you should pay attention in the last part of the hike.

This is the website of the park:

The images you'll see in the video are from the hike to Angel's landing:

(I had a problem with the original music I chose, "knocking on heaven's door" by  Bob Dylan, and I had to use one given by Youtube...)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tolosarraknyn in The West. Part II: In the middle of nowhere.

The last day in Yosemite  we visited the northern part of the park. In our way to Zion we crossed the park from west to east along the Tioga Road. Once we left the park, we saw Mono Lake. Mono Lake is a huge lake that has no outlet to the ocean and it's water has a big level of salt. We didn't have enough time to visit it... 

There are 450 miles (725 km.) from Mono Lake to Zion National Park. We spent a night in between. As Ander said "in the middle of nowhere", in Tonopah, a kind of "ghost" city. There is no other city in 100 miles around. It was a little bit scary but at least the sunset was amazing.  As you can see in the video I made, we made miles and miles along a wonderful deserted landscape. It was funny because in the middle of the road (nothing around) we saw several signs announcing a ranch which was 35 miles from there! Can you imagine? Those people live 35 miles from a road which is, at the same time, in the middle of nowhere!

After a tiring journey we got to Zion and we enjoyed the magnificent views and went swimming in the river.

Monday, July 15, 2013

In The West. Part1: Yosemite

After a very touching last day of school and the farewell to many friends we left Roosevelt Island with tears in our faces. We flew to san Francisco which is almost like flying back home (around 6 hours) and directly we went to pick up our RV and headed ourselves to Yosemite. We got there late and tired after 15 hours of traveling (subway, shuttle, plane, shuttle again and 3 hours more driving the RV).
Yosemite is amazing. For me it was very special because Yosemite has been part of my dreams since I was 15 and I started climbing. We didn't have too much time (two days and a half) to spend, so we did more than one activity per day. We visited Vernall Falls,  Mirror Lake, Yosemite Falls, we went swimming just under the great "El Capitan" (Cathedral Beach),  Mariposa Grove, Bridalveil Fall, Lukens Lake and Tioga Lake.
If you are planning to visit Yosemite here you have the link to the wonderful web of the park:

Yosemite National Park

And here some interesting videos you can find in this website:

Yosemite photosmultimedia

Watching the first one you can figure out how great Yosemite is.

And if you want to watch how our experience was, here there is a video about it (watch it in HD).

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ikasturte amaiera

Denbora hegan doa eta gauza asko pasa dira azkeneko sarrera idatzi nuenetik. Udaberria joan da eta berarekin batera beisboleko denboraldi ederra. Bidai zoragarri batetik iritsi berriak gara, baino hori kontatu aurretik ikasturte amaierako emozioak kontatu nahi dizkizuet, benetan unkigarria izan da eta.
Gure seme-alabak egiten ari diren lanaz arro gaude, gogoz  saiatzen ari dira eta guretzat hori da garrantzitsuena, norberak bere hoberena ematen saiatzea, hortik aurrera, emaitzak direnak izango dira. Egia esan emaitzekin ere oso pozik gaude, denek bere lanaren pareko saria jaso dute eta. Deigarriena akaso, Eunaterena izan da, zikloa bukatzen zuen eta hemen garrantzi handia ematen diote horrelako gauzeei. Iaz Marenekin bizi izan genuen bere graduazioa eta aurten Eunateri tokatu zaio eta zinez polita da horrelako seriotasun eta protokoloarekin etapa bati amaiera ematea. Gizarte honetan badakite ondo egindako lana baloratzen. Han hori egiteari beldurra diogula dirudi, denok berdin eta kitto. Hemen ikasle hoberenak hitzaldi txiki bat eman behar dute eta ondoren ikasgaiz-ikasgai bi hoberenei errekonozimendu publikoa azaltzen zaie ere. Nire ustez, ikasleak ikasten jarraitzeko behar den  motibazioa lortzeko balio dute horrelakoak. Egun horretan ikasleak oso inportante sentitu ziren.
Eunatek gauzak oso ondo egin ditu eta denon aurrean hitz egitea tokatu zitzaion. Pentsa dezakezuen bezala malkoei ezin eutsi egon ginan Ixa eta biok. Hau da Eunatek idatzi eta irakurri zuen testu ederra:

Even though middle school had its down sides like everything, we all worked extremely hard to be up here on the stage getting our diplomas and getting ready for high school. For me, middle school was just another 3 years of school, but what made it different was the way those 3 years were spent. In this case, middle school has been amazing and this school has actually made it possible to use the words “fun” and “school” in the same sentence.  Another reason why attending this school has been a great experience was because I have met a variety of different people.  Also, I acknowledged that there is always something to learn from each and every person.

When I first stepped in PS/IS 217 I was terrified because I didn't really understand English and I wasn't sure if people would either like me or just ignore me. School was hard in the beginning, but after putting all my effort in and with the help of my parents, friends and teachers I was able to get to the point I am at right now. The first time I went home with homework I did not know what I was doing but then my mother came and helped me every day until I was able to work by myself. Not only that, but I would also come early to school a lot of times to ask for help from teachers. In my opinion, a small help from a person might mean a lot to another and I am extremely thankful that people around me put in that extra effort to help me.

I remember when we all went to Philadelphia in 7th grade. It was a really meaningful time for me because that was the first time I started getting to know people in my class. Keiko was the first person that I really had a conversation with and I noticed that it did not matter where we came from, we still had many things in common. In addition, none of my classmates will ever forget winning guard the pin, we were all so excited! The whole class united and worked together to win the tournament even though the boys always took the lead.We will also all miss the great times we had in class laughing and bothering each other. As you can see, all of us will miss all the great times we spent with each other and I don’t think that anyone in here is going to regret attending this school.

There are many people in this room at this moment that I would like to thank and two of the most important people are my parents for bringing me to this extraordinary school and supporting me until the end. Also, my teachers are to thank for taking me in the mornings and after school every time I needed help and for never giving up on me. Finally, all of my friends that I made are all different but what we all have in common is that we will never forget how much time we spent in PS/IS 217 with each other and how important it is to care for each other.

Johnny Depp was once quoted saying, “If there’s any message to my work, it is ultimately that it’s OK to be different, that it’s good to be different, that we should question ourselves before we pass judgment on someone who looks different, behaves different, talks different, is a different color.” That quote from Johnny Depp really expresses what this school has taught us. We all learned numerous things from each other and the school. As I mentioned before, every person has something to show or teach others.

Every student that attended this school will always have their respect for each person no matter what or where they go. In addition to that, our future will absolutely be influenced by this school because they told us how important it is to work hard and never give up on anything. Everyone on this stage with me knows that high school is another step further for success but we still have to work hard to achieve all of our goals.


Zorionak eta mila esker!