Grand Canyon Day Trip and Las Vegas shows

Trip Start Oct 10, 2006
Trip End Mar 08, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hi All.
We had a very early start on Monday. We were picked up (late) at 7.15 by bus and taken to the airstrip 6 miles north of Vegas to get our flight. We waited to board for over an hour (which was most annoying having got up at 6am!), and then when we did board they found a problem with the plane, so we had to get off while they fixed it! We finally took off at around 9ish. We were on a small 20 seater plane, and the views were spectacular. We could see the whole of Vegas spread out beneath us as we flew east. We flew over Lake Mead which was created by the building of the Hoover Dam in the 1930s. We also went over the dam which is huge - over 730 feet high. It looked amazing even from the air!
We then started to get our first views of the Grand Canyon. It is over 270 miles long, and we flew across it diagonally from North West to South East. In places it is over 1 mile deep, and from the air it didn't look real - it looked like a way out model of some geological fantasy. We took lots of photos during the bumpy flight before we landed at the Grand Canyon airstrip and boarded the bus that would take us to the rim. It was very cold, and then there was still some snow on the ground (that'll teach me for wearing cropped trousers - what a dafty!)
When we got to the south rim we walked the 400 yards to the edge and the view took our breath away. I know I have often said in the blog that things were awesome or spectacular, but this truly was the dictionary definition of both those words. I can't even begin to describe the views as they were so vast. It really made us both stop and stare. We could see around 10 miles or so to the other side of the canyon and down into the lowest depths where you could just see a flash of blue that was the Colorado river. The colours of the rock striations (my old geography teacher would be so proud! That's layers to the rest of you) were beautiful, pinks and reds and yellows, they didn't look real. You could see huge ridges winding their way down into the canyon and immense rock formations jutting up high above the canyon floor. Q kept getting twinges of vertigo, but he overcame them to take some amazing pictures. We moved along the rim path to several different viewing platforms all of which were out on outcrops with metal barriers to prevent you from dropping down the sheer gorge face. We liked the sign warning you not to go outside of the barrier as "Most of the deaths are caused by people going outside the barriers" (Most??! - what caused the other deaths!).
We spent an hour at that site before moving on in the bus to another viewing place 5 miles along the south rim. Again the view from there was quite spectacular. I will post the photos but you have to see it for yourself to truly do it justice. It was very cold when you were out of the sun (again there were the last patches of snow on the ground here) so I bitterly regretted not wearing more clothes! We spent another 40 minutes there then we had to take our last looks at the spectacle beneath our feet before boarding the bus for our lunch. It was a slightly disappointing buffet at a "Quality" Inn - not the slap up Texas Buffet we had been led to believe! Then we had the hour's flight back to Vegas.
Once we got back to Vegas we booked some last minute cheap tickets to see the Cirque De Soleil show "La Mystere" at Treasure Island ($60 each instead of the usual $90 each) and also got a deal on a more upmarket buffet at the Rio Hotel (which the lady at the ticket shop told us was just across the strip from TI). When we made our way to the Rio we discovered it was actually 2 miles from the stip, which involved us getting on a bus (which added to the price) and eating way earlier than we had planned to as she had booked us in for 6.15 instead of 7.30! Never mind! We found the buffet was even bigger than the Circus Circus one, with different sections for different world cuisines. There was a Chinese and oriental section, a sections with Tex Mex, a large seafood section (with crab and lobster) etc. Again we ate way too much despite trying to be sensible! And the one benefit of eating that early was that the bar had a happy hour on cocktails so we had large margaritas and Long Island Ice Teas for $3 each (around 1 quid 50).
Once we left the Rio (very full indeed!).
We got the bus back to the strip and walked to TI to watch the show. We were a bit early but we know from experience you should never be late to a Cirque De Soleil show as the clowns will make a spectacle of you. This show was no exception and several couples had an uncomfortable time of it as the clowns led them all over the auditorium and across the stage before depositing them at their seats. We were pleased to find our seats were in the second row right next to the stage, and although we were right round to the left side of the circular stage we had a great view of everything. The show as great, the costumes were amazing and the acts were a lot more physical, with strong men balancing each other in incredibly complex (and slightly homo-erotic) poses (I thoroughly enjoyed this performance (their muscles were amazing!!). There were 2 guys and 4 girls high up in the roof on bungy swings, twisting and turning over our heads. In fact directly over Q's head was a black guy with a g stringed costume which meant that his finely toned coffee coloured buttocks were bouncing to only 10 foot above us (I enjoyed that too but not sure that Q did !). There was so much to see and the acts were incredible. There were plenty of pretty girls in skin tight costumes too so Q was happy, and we both agreed that it was the best Circ de Sol show we had seen (and we really enjoyed both the shows we had seen before in London).
We wound our way back to Circus Circus tired out.
It's been quite a day of it!!
Lots of love
Becky & Q
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