Travelling to Las Vegas on the dusty highway
We are 7. Our group make up is two Sweedish girls, an Irish couple and Andrew, Deb and I from Australia. Dave the driver drops us to a hotel where we meet a tour company's shuttle which takes us out to their main office. Here we check in, are issued with a breakfast box and board the coach that will take us to the Grand Canyon.A video is shown on the construction of Hoover Dam as we travel. On arrival we are stopped at a security checkpoint and a marshall boards and looks into the overhead lockers, the luggage compartment underneath and sizes up the passengers before sending us through. The mighty Colorado River fuels this dam and we learn that by the time the river reaches it's end it has been fully utilised amd nothing flows into the ocean.
Onward to the Grand Canyon and a couple more videos are show on this amazing work of nature and it's formation over hundreds of millions of years.
Grand Canyon.. chilly..snow in patches
At around midday we reach trhe perimeter of the National Park whre we stop at a Holiday Inn for a buffet lunch which is extremely good. A change of drivers and we get a local to take us through the park on the south rim side. At this time of the year the north rim is closed due to snow etc. Our first stop is at the Bright Angel Lodge and the vista is nothing short of spectacular. We just stand in awed silence trying to absorb what we are seeing. There is a small bit of snow around. We eventually see small dots which are hikers way, way down in the canyon. No transport goes into the canyon but there are mules that can be hired to trek you into the canyon and pull you out again. This must be the best time of the year to do this as the temperature is about 20 degrees warmer inside the canyon to that on the rim. Next stop is Mather Point and it is more Whoooooooo views.Back to Las Vegas
and we dont even feel the need for more food.
Next day we return to LA and find a great Mexican cafe for dinner. I have purchased a prepaid USA SIM card,so I feel more able to use the phone to make bookings etc.
the mighty Grand Canyon
At 5.30am the seven sleepy travellers are in the lobby. Dave
takes us to a large Casino where a shuttle bus is waiting to take us on
to the office of the tour group Vision. From here we are handed a
breakfast box as we board the large coach. Travelling to Hoover
Dam we are shown a video of the construction and history of the
Dam. As we arrive we have to stop at a checkpoint where a
marshall boards and checks out the overhead lockers, luggage
compartment and the passengers. We all appear to pass inspection
and allowed to continue over the dam, Security no longer allows
stops on the dam but there is a photo opportunity nearby.
We head to the Grand Canyon National Park and arrive at it's border
just on midday having watched two videos on the formation of the canyon
over millions of years.
Hollywood in the hills. Us in the smog
Lunch is a buffett service at a Quality
Inn which is superb. Into the Park with a new driver and our
first stop is Bright Angel Lodge. No video or picture can prepare
you for the amazing panorama. The layer upon layer of rock that
goes down from the rim to the floor nearly a mile down was multi
coloured and awesome. A little snow lay on the ground from a snow
storm a week ago and the crisp air gave us a great view. Our
second stop on the South Rim was at Mather Point. The North Rim
access is not open during the winter months.
It was a quiet
group of tourists that returned to Las Vegas
thinking of what they had
seen. We were too tired to do anymore sight seeing and we had
already put a dollar in the poker machine the day before so we retired
to our room to put our feet up. Next day Dave allowed a sleep in
and we departed for Los Angeles at 10.30am.