On top of the World

Trip Start Nov 29, 2011
Trip End Mar 01, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Well the alarm went off at 05.15am ready for our 6am pick up to go out to the Grand Canyon.  Going down into the casino area at around 05.50am there were still people playing the machines.....not quite sure when they sleep, or am I just getting old!

Only 18 of us on the bus, so there was plenty of room to spread out.  Our first stop was a cooked breakfast at Boulder City.  We sat with another 2 couples – one from Texas and one from Toronto – and we all spent the rest of the day together on and off.  Great people!

We then headed out to the Canyon.  Up until breakfast I was pretty set on not doing the Skywalk at the Canyon, but all of the others were doing it and it was one of those situations where I knew I would regret it if I didn't do it.  Steve said he would do it if I did, so once we arrived I bit the bullet and we got our tickets.  The decision was made easier as on the coach there was a video about how they have recently replaced the walkway and the unique toughened glass that they used – gave me a lot more confidence.  

 The driver made us feel nice and comfortable on the way as
the travelled through the Joshua trees he told us about the rattle snakes that
live out here along with the Mojave green snake which if it bites you have 30
minutes to live. Oh and then the Lizards, tarantulas and scorpions, just great.
He hadn’t finished there, his safety briefing warned that this is a natural
wonder of the earth and as such there are no fences or barriers of any kind so
don’t get too close to the edge, most of it is a sheer drop. Apparently about 250
people fall off each year but only 11 fatalities. Now we were all set and
really looking forward to it!

All of a sudden after a 9 mile very bumpy dirt track, the Canyon appeared in all its splendour – it is truly spectacular.  The guide pointed out an area known as Eagles point.  Look carefully at the pictures and you can see why it is called this – amazing.  It was soooooo cold out there though and I had to invest in a new fleece and scarf from the shop. 

The coach parked up and then we were transported by staff at the Canyon on another coach out to the Skywalk centre.  No camera’s or phones etc were allowed out on the walk, so everything had to be put in a locker.  We were told that there are official photographers out there ready to take pictures if you want them - $30 a piece.  Donning some paper shoes we ventured out – I didn’t let go of Steve’s hand for a while and then the barrier became my best friend!  But you know what, I did it and I am quite chuffed with myself! The view was amazing when looking down through the glass floor – however I did draw the line at lying down on there with Steve for pictures......think my breakfast may have made a guest appearance. 

After this, time was our own to explore.  There were buses to Guano Point or out to a ranch – we chose Guano Point as the guide said the views were amazing from here.  He was not wrong.  The place is spectacular even on an overcast day.  Guano is the name for "bat pooh" can you believe and it is called this as apparently the caves were literally full of guano from a vast bat colony that was there for years.  It was mined out and used for many things including organic fertilisers and cosmetics i.e. mascara and lipstick.  There was a pun about women literally putting crap on their faces..... ho ho ho! 

After a scramble around the rocks here (got to admit Steve did more of this than me – it was a HUGE drop with no barriers) we had lunch here.  Very nice it was too and all included with the trip.  We then headed back to where the coach was parked and hit the road back to Vegas.  On the way we stopped off at the new observation point near the Hoover Dam.  Again great view and again VERY high!  I have been one brave soldier today – girls your Mum did you proud!

The tour guide (Robert from Comedy on Deck – highly recommended if you are out in this area and want to go out to the Canyon) gave us some free show tickets for a matinee magic show and an evening comedian show, which hopefully we may use tomorrow.  He also told us about Fremont Street, which is the original “Strip” and told us it is well worth a visit – also planned for tomorrow now.

After swopping contact details with our new found friends we were dropped off back at the hotel.  Starbucks in hand we made our way up to our room and decided it would be a veg night apart from a quick nip down to try our luck at the blackjack table (Well Steve anyway). On getting down there Steve decided he wasn't quite ready for a $5 minimum bet that was being played fast and furious.

He found some machines that you could play Blackjack on for 25 cents a go. Didn't realise that you have to play 7 hands each time so the minimum was $1.75. After the attendant explained it he felt happier and we both had a little dabble. Well we got a fair few goes for our money but of course it didn't last and we went off in search of other options. After a look around Steve decided that he would stick to the machines, our $50 limit would last only a few minutes at the live tables. it didn't last that much longer at the machine really but at least we can say we've played the slots at Vegas.
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Louise on

Hi Steve and Claire
Been here for an hour looking through your blog -sounds like you are having a fab time - soooo jealous!!

beryl on

fantastic what more can i say

Guy & Kath on

What a great experience.

steve-claire on

Ah Louise, great to see you have read about all our travels and how all your hard work is panning out! Fabulous time and the Grand Canyon is truly spectacular.

Jayne George on

Looks like you had a fantastic day, it is a magnificent place xx

Hayley on

Very proud clairey xxx

Steve on

Your Mum was very brave Hayley, I thought she would be crawling round!!

bex on

wow, that looks amazing, and well done for doing the walk, bet your well chuffed with yourself now though. xx

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