Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Las Vegas Part Five - Grand Canyon To Leaving

... Wednesday 30th January - I met Angela, Simon, Ann, Kevin, Trish and Kate in the hotel lobby at just before 7am and then headed outside to meet our tour guide for the day "Cowboy Dave". He was full of stories on our way to the Grand Canyon. He was also into falconry and loved telling us all about his Goshawk, Suzanna and about the snakes, turtles and other strange animals he has.

We then arrived at the Hoover Dam to see it. It's an amazing feat of engineering. It also stands on the state line of Nevada and Arizona where the time difference is ne hour. Oddly, if you keep going South West to California, the time changes back. Anyway, then we continued down a rough road to The Joshua Tree National Park, named so as it's full of Joshua Trees.

Cowboy Dave then entertained us with his story of how his girlfriend thought they should spend more time together. He went to see blind opera singer Andrea Bocelli with her and then he took her deer hunting. He told her she had to be camouflage and quiet. She turned up in a bright yellow jump suit and kept piping up "Cowboy Dave, when are we going to see a dear?" "We won't if you keep making noise" he replied. They then saw one and she said "Awww isn't it cute? What do we do now?" "Erm shoot it!" he replied. "You can't shoot it!" she said loudly frightening the deer making it run. No deer were caught that day! Maybe there's some things couples shouldn't do together!

We were then told how the Indians, whose land the Grand Canyon is on charge more and more for tourists to enter their land. They've also built a Skywalk which looks over the Canyon. However it's not the Grand Canyon - it's the one next to it therefore being a major marketing con. We soon arrived at a cowboy ranch and waited around a bit.

After an hour or so we went via horse and carriage to a helicopter. It was very cold and windy. Kate and I got the front seat with the pilot which meant we had a good view. We flew into the Canyon, down, up, and out again. The flight lasted about 20 minutes and was another first for me. There seem to be a lot of those recently! It was an amazing experience which i'd recommend to anyone and definitely something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime.

After the short carriage ride back, we were treated to a gunfight and then at lunch, serenaded by Casey Adams a country singer who makes up random lyrics! It was then time to head back to Vegas.

Cowboy Dave then told us his theory of how to stop the war in Iraq. He feels that the people there will be more scared of pigs than bombs as they hate anything to do with pigs. Therefore if USA threaten to drop pigs on them instead of bombs, then they would stop all their bombing and everything would be sorted. Could a hillbilly make a late run to be the next President?!

We then stopped off at Dolan Springs chocolate factory. A far cry from Cadbury's, this was a static caravan almost in the middle of the desert. We had a free complimentary chocolate rattlesnake egg*. Near the end of our trip, we saw the sign. Awesome! We thanked Cowboy Dave for an entertaining day and got back to the hotel in early evening.

For our final Vegas meal Kate and I decided to go to Dick's Last Resort which was a seriously crazy eatery in Excalibur. It's a fun place. The waiters put hats on people's heads with writing on such as "I'm like a turtle. Everytime i'm on my back, I scream" or for me, simply "Mr Bean" (you may have seen the picture. If not and you'd like to, then I may send it you). Napkins are thrown all over the floor too just for the sake of it! It was a fun if weird experience but once again fitted in well with the Vegas experience. I also had my 3rd and final yard of strawberry margherita here.

We then headed back to the bar but I decided to play some poker. I came 2nd out of 6 and finally made some profit. Woohoo! Soon after I went to bed, quite exhausted.

Thursday 31st January - We met everyone in the bar at about 10:30 to say goodbyes. It was quite sad seeing the group go from 28 to 2 but the week in Vegas was over and it was time for Kate and I to go on our week long American adventure which started with us taking a taxi to the Greyhound (like National Express) Bus Station and getting our 3:00 bus to Los Angeles...

* Rattlesnakes don't actually lay eggs - they were chocolate covered grapes!


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