Written by Maya Bewley, after the Geography/Biology trip to California and Nevada

San Francisco

Jet lag and breakfast, Californian bagel and cream cheese.

New smells, sights and sounds to experience.

A snaked road surrounded by golden flowers.

Twin Peaks viewpoint!

Fizzing excitement that makes your cheeks warm and your stomach turn.

Roads and pastel houses spread out across the bay.

Golden Gate Bridge proud against the deep blue Pacific.

 The Coast

In the distance, a tail peaks then collapses into the horizon:

Grey Whale!

Flowers are blooming across Monterey Bay and seals spread out across the golden sand, bathing in the sun.

Life seems to burst forth from everywhere.


A series of winding roads, a jigsaw of rock faces where cliffs dip into waterfalls and pour into lakes that spill out onto the valley floor, weaving between  luscious carpets of green sequoias and thick oaks.

A sepia glow cloaks the valley as we tread our way through mid-afternoon sun, snapping the silence of the still forest, confronted by mule deer and bighorn sheep.


Dipped in a sort of vintage filter; flashing neon signs advertise wealth and indulgence; preaching posters echo a time when religious devotion was ubiquitous.

Large black guns for sale at the gas stations and catcalls from men in rusty pickup trucks.

 Death Valley

Scorched basin of Death Valley, a boiling, barren desert, teeming with life.

A palette of strong earthy tones filters the valley.

Mountains striped with rusty minerals and beige sands stretch above the dusky turf.

‘The desert is a natural supermarket’

Californian buckwheat and Joshua Trees, a 1000 species of plant.

The vast wrinkled bed of Badwater Basin, lowest point in the whole of North America.

Valley of Fire

Countless boulders of giant, mars like, glowing rock, engraved with alien carvings, Petroglyphs, and scattered with crater like holes.

Trainers become space boots that sink into sand the colour of fire.

Someone has taken the bright rock into his hands and broken it in half.

We travel through the crack in the Earth.

Huge rocks stretch out into the distance until they fuse into mountains; a panorama of the Mojave Desert.