Can I get one each of fear and loathing, please?

Trip Start Jun 06, 2011
Trip End May 22, 2012

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saw a blue bear

Flag of United States  , Colorado
Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday 16 July/Sunday 17 July

LK: Denver was a cool place to hang out for a couple of days – big blue bears, clear air at altitude, friendly neighbourhood bars, the generous hospitality again of Neil, Tessa and Jason who had just returned from Alaska. But the final stages of the US trip were beckoning, and our Greyhound journey to Las Vegas awaited.

KK: Greyhound threatens you with a 'first come first served' policy to menace you into buying a priority boarding ticket. In effect this forces people to turn up an hour and a half early to plonk their luggage near the doors to the loading area. LK will not be outdone on preparation and we were sitting patiently in the waiting area in good time to see a fight break out. Then our fellow passengers started turning up. A motley crew to say the least.

LK:  A twitchy guy pacing up and down, relaying his phone conversation to the world; preacher bloke in a pith helmet who lost me when he included "Seventh Day Adventist" in his conversation; large ladies who look no strangers to hand-on-hips finger wagging; back-bent persecuted-looking Mexicans; and the trampiest, smelliest French tourist I’ve ever had the displeasure to sit one seat in front of. I think you ought to be forced to do community service for smelling that bad, that level of acrid stench which burns inside your nostrils. Thirty minutes into the journey, Pepe le Pew’s unshod foot made an appearance at the side of my headrest as he stretched out in his own stinky bliss.

KK:  “Stab it!” I hissed, fumbling for the Swiss Army knife in my pocket. Ever the diplomat, LK contained herself and I had to be content with poking Pepe awake and asking him to move his foot. He sat reeking at us until a goofy girl (wearing pyjamas) who had been flitting and squeaking about since the bus station simply plonked herself in his seat after we all had to get off in Grand Junction.  Pepe shrugged (probably) and went to sit elsewhere. We were then allowed up to two hours sleep before the next toilet and cigarette break, for a further ten hours. No beer breaks, oh no – discrimination is what it was. In fairness two hours was about as long as we could endure before our backsides went numb and the lack of drink kept us a safe distance from the bus toilet which in our mind’s eye was located near the seventh circle of hell.

LK: Greyhound bus drivers are a combination of security guard, teacher, animal tamer, and world-weary wits. Alan, the driver until Grand Junction, was much more entertaining than Steve, who delivered us to that peculiar little town in the Nevada desert, Las Vegas. The two legged zoo experience of a Greyhound ride was suitable preparation for turning up at this well-lit freak show. Now, Las Vegas has never lied to me, it’s completely transparent about what sort of town it is. But arriving here with sleep deprivation and having to kill a couple of hours before check-in while crowds of people wandered bovine-like in various directions; with a 100F+ sun beating down; could your stupid gambling machines make any more damn noise to clash with the musak background; Barry Manilow and Celine Dion are living here and are probably stalking the streets with predatory eyes; ooh look, bottles of Miller for $1 each.

KK:  We sat at the bar and watched the Women’s World Cup final while I kept a half eye on the nearest roulette wheel. My brilliant system for beating the house was somewhat undermined by the table having a $5 minimum bet and my allowance for gambling being $20. Over the two hours it took for the USA to lose to Japan (the better team lost – that, America, is football) and our room to be prepared, various groups of whooping folk arrived and left from the craps tables. The whooping never seemed to last long and the line to cash in won chips for dollars never had more than two people in it. Work that one out. “The Miller is only $1 a bottle,” said a girl to her fella. “OK but I’m down $400,” he replied. Ouch. I took to ignoring the tables. $1 a bottle? Yes we will have another.
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