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Monument Valley, Arizona

Monument Valley, another place high on my list of must visit places, has changed enormously over recent years. Not the valley itself, or its timeless mesas and rock formations, but the visitor centre.

When I was here just a few years ago it was a wooden hut and a girl standing giving out entry tickets. Now its huge visitor centre, a massive hotel and a toll booth type entrance from the main road.

Unfortunately commercialism does not sit well with the tourist experience and rip off prices along with zero customer service means that I did not use most of the services for which I would have been prepared to pay a reasonable price.

We had hired a big 4x4 truck so we drove the approved paths easily enough and saw probably what most tourists would want to see. In fact, if you have a regular hire car, you should still be able to drive the accessible roads with caution.

Unfortunately many of the old roads are now only available to franchised truck drivers at quite steep prices, so the very best is only viewable as you drive by in the time table keeping busses. You can pay a premium on top of that premium, on top of your entry fee, to go on a special photographers trip, if you wish. Bring your wallet!!

None the less, this is still a must go place and clearly from the very busy car park, prices have not put everyone off.

Time of day makes a very big difference, as always evening or morning light being far better for photographers and viewers alike.

Very, very dusty; take a cloth or something to cover your face if you take one of the open sided sightseeing busses.

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All images Copyright Avery Little