A Letter Home

Árd Scoil na nDéise

A Letter Home

Ballinagaul

Ring

Co. Waterford

Ireland

Los Angeles

California

America

21st of April

Dear Mam and Dad,

It’s Maria. I’m here telling you about my slightly awry trip to Death Valley in California. Don’t worry, I’m safe now. I promise it wasn’t my fault! I just got lost for a while. I probably should explain what happened now…   About 3 days ago, My hotel in Los Angeles, had become tedious so I decided it was time for a change of scenery. I had heard many people talking of Death Valley on the outskirts of the city. I decided to look for an agency that organised day trips there.   At around 11 p.m. that day, my reservation was made and I was walking to the bus stop where the bus would pick us up. Excitement overtook my body. This whole experience was new to me.   After a tiresome 3-hour bus ride, we finally arrived. The scenery was breathtaking. The copper coloured dust was blowing everywhere by the wind. Rocky, irregular mountains littered the landscape. The air was incredibly dry and suffocating. The ground was split open thanks to the lack of rain.   The tour guide took us to a small clearing where there was a small shed full of quads and a campsite. Each of us got on one and we soon followed the instructor.   When we got back, the tour guide gave us time to explore in groups and take pictures. Me, being myself, had to stay away from the group. By accident, I promise! Soon, nobody was in sight. Panic rose up in me like a tsunami. Where was everyone? All I could see was the vast expanse of the desert.   “Hello? Is anyone here?” I asked. My brain was flooded with worst case scenarios. What if I run out of water? What if no one comes and I can’t find them? I stopped myself and took in my surroundings. It was starting to get slightly dark. A rusty red was blending into the regular baby blue overtook the skyline.   I sat down on a rock and tried to formulate a plan on how to find my group. I figured it would be best to wait until it was dark and use my flashlight to alert someone.   Time passed by agonisingly slow. Soon it was nearly dark there was a tinge of red on the horizon and a cobalt blue covered the sky. The whole galaxy was visible from here. No light pollution to cover it. Nothing. I took out my torch and shone it around in the sky.   Finally! I heard the revving of an engine. Someone had found me! Thank God it was the tour guide. We both went back to the camp and continued on with the trip. It was one of the best trips ever. I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t one bit scared; I was. But thankfully I’m safe now!

I’ll be back soon (hopefully in one piece),

Maria