Friday, 25 July 2014

USA Day 2. Grand Canyon

Where to even begin. I was obviously a bit deliriously being picked up since I had basically no sleep, but in comparison to how amazing the day was it’s not even worth mentioning the fact I stabbed my eye with my toothbrush I was so tired…
This summarises my day - I was exhausted (and I look it) but it was AMAZING!
Firstly, I am very very happy with the tour company I picked. They have a 13seat van but they cap it at 9 people per tour so they keep it small and personal, and having seen the great big coaches at the National Park where tons of people pile off, look around and then head back onto the coach, I certainly made the right choice. Alex, the guide, was great and had a wealth of knowledge about the history of Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. So on the drive out from Vegas I found out all about the city’s early year (which I didn’t think would be interesting but actually was) before we stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast – which was included in the price of the tour.

I didn’t realise until after but the first thing I ate in the USA was McDonald’s – I think that’s weirdly appropriate!

 From there we stopped at Hoover Dam. Photo’s don’t really show why it’s such a big deal but basically it’s some impressive engineering. However when we got off the bus (aside from skin tingling heat as soon as we got out of air conditioning) my camera stopped working. Cue 20 minutes of panicking and fiddling around. This would definitely have been possibly the worst time ever for my camera to fail on me. I did eventually get it to work, with enough time to quickly get a snap of the dam too! I think all the being thrown around with the travelling just upset the sensor on the right side of my camera.

 The drive along Route 66
 From here we headed along Route 66! Stopped off at a kitch-50s style tourist trap town to get some fresh air and potter about. The weather was so so so hot! I feel like I’m talking about the heat a lot, but it was 120F – that’s 50 DEGREES celsius! How ridiculous is that!
 I thought this shop was pretty cool with all the different notes!

 There was also this room which I think was some historic 'iconic' thing, but I dozed off and missed what the tour guide said about it in the car!

 Loved the colour of this minibus everyone had scribbled all over

 There were also the cars that gave inspiration to the movie 'Cars' 
 And then it was off to the Grand Canyon! There was a little queue to get into the National Park but we were in a tour queue so it all moved pretty quickly. The weird bit was that you couldn't tell there was a canyon metres away as there's no gradual decline - you park to the end of the car park and are simply greeted to this amazing drop!

 Our guide was very adventurous and was constantly sitting on the edge of massive drops and I'm blaming him for the number of photos of me perched precariously over 300+ meter drops
 I’m not going to say too much about the Grand Canyon itself, as a picture really does speak a thousand words. Although none of these photos do the place any real justice – it’s completely enormous and truly awesome to see.

 I will mention that we did a 3 mile walk, which was so much harder with the heat, sleep deprivation and being 7,000ft up made the air really thin. I still can’t get over how the air made everything seem so much harder!

 This is a juniper bush, which is what you can make gin out of apparently!

 Another photo of me admiring the view!
 Hopi point. This was the end of our 3 mile walk and it was so worth being out of breath! It was basically a panoramic view 
 You can also see the Colorado River from up here! We ended up talking about 'Into the Wild' which is an amazing film, and the permit process to get onto the river - it's 6-8 years!
 Probably my favourite picture of the day - although there are so many amazing pictures it's pretty impossible to choose just one!
 As I love this one of me peering down at the massive drop beneath my feet! One slip and I'd have been a goner!
A book of Deaths at the Grand Canyon - its crazy how many people die and are injured here

(the view on the drive back to Las Vegas)
And I got back to the hotel at around 10pm – just enough time to pack, buy internet to skype and check emails and then try and get an early night! As I’m flying out early tomorrow morning!

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