Vegas Baby!

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Monday, February 5, 2007

Although just crashing on a sofa overnight it was still a pain to get up from at 5am with Gary starting something called work at 6:30am. I was departing LA today for the bright lights of Las Vegas the early start meaning I had some time to kill around the bus station.

Leaving my bag at the station I took a wander towards the city centre, the sun still not having crept over the surrounding hills. About 15mins later I found myself wandering through the skid-row area of downtown LA dodging shopping trolleys and makeshift cardboard castles along the way thinking this was probably not the best place to go for a stroll alone when dark. Still keeping my cool as best as I could fake it I continued on towards the skyscrapers ahead marking the city centre although almost bolting on one large dude emerging from a doorway asking wazup. He made Mr T look like one of the Smurfs.

It did prepare me somewhat though for my first Greyhound journey with it being the main bus network in the US, a country where nearly everyone owns a car, apart from the poor, travelers and nutjobs which pretty much makes up the passenger list on a typical Greyhound bus. Seemed a world away from the last major bus journeys I took in safe little New Zealand having to have your bag searched and metal detectored before boarding.

We had soon left the metropolis of LA behind though powering out into the Mojave Desert towards Nevada stopping at fast food places along the way to refill on McD's $1 double cheeseburgers.

For little more than a hostel you can shack up in a hotel suite in Vegas which was the route I took getting a large twin double bed room en suite with cable TV and great views over the craziness outside.

Katie had said on describing Vegas that best thing to do was just to experience it, walk down the strip and try and take it all in. Vegas is an assault on the senses, with those senses being any that sense tackiness, over-the-topness or a billion bright lights with everything from the towering casinos and dancing fountains to the Eiffel Tower and the Pyramids shining brighter than the sun. So kinda like Blackpool, but without the donkeys.

The biscuit for outlandishness though would have to go to the Venetian Casino Hotel based around a Venice theme the place tries successfully to recreate a Venetian feel with gondola rides down an artificial indoor canal complete with fake sky which anywhere else would mess with your senses on exiting at night but the strip is probably brighter then than during the day anyway.

Yet I still couldn't help but like it, a sort of guilty pleasure which really is Vegas in a nutshell.
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