Back on the party bus....LA, Vegas (again!!!) & the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Village, Arizona
The start of the Contiki tour from LA to NYC for 26 days……..LA,Vegas and the Gand Canyon.
So having spent the morning in search of pharmacy for more cold and flu stuff, yes I'm feeling ropey again, I left the hellhole that was our dorm room, how six girls can make so much mess in so little time I have know idea, bras and knickers everywhere!! Having lugged all my stuff to the bus stop I jump on board the rapid number 10 bus to union station where I then begin the walk to the hotel in Little Tokyo. The hotel is lovely and the last hotel room to myself until I come home and it had a bath, having dragged all my stuff through LA I was shattered, luckily I had enough time for a nice long soak in the bath, oh my god it was amazing, my back is so sore at the moment from this stupid rucksack, and I think this is the first bath I've had since I've been away, its just been showers all the way…. So feeling slightly better it was time to head to meet the rest of the Contiki group. Firstly a bit of info on Contiki, Contitki is the tour group for 18-35 olds, so two things, 1) Im back on the party bus for 26 days, and 2) I'll probably be the oldest person on the bus…..again.
The nerve racking bit, you'd think id be over this by now, but meeting the people you will be spending the next 26 days with can always go one of two ways, look at what happened in South East Asia, when I had to share with little miss 'errr the wifi doesn't work, the air con's too cold and the fridge is too noisy' yes, I really hoping not to be paired up with another certain type of person. Doubt she will see this as I'm not her Facebook friend surprisingly :) But just in case this particular german will remain anonymous. James, Katie and Janine will know exactly who I mean. This probably all sounds a bit overly dramatic, but the people on your bus can make or break the trip.
The good news is the group is great, 85% Aussie, a few english, a welsh girl, a kiwi and a South African and our tour guide Craig, who we are all now calling Creg, because the way the americans say Craig it sounds like a combination of Greg and Craig. We get through all the paperwork then its off to ChopSuey for drinks and food. So after having introduced ourselves to the 50 other travelling bods and having absolutely no idea what peoples names are then (or now to be completely honest - I've never been the best with names - thank god for Facebook) a few drinks later its time for bed as we leave at 7.30am…… Well we were due to leave at 7:30am but someone massively overslept and couldn't be woken up, so eventually we left 45mins late which was a bit irritating, 45mins later the coach cuts out!
Luckily for us the coach started up again after 10mins, then the journey to Vegas had begun, with a bus load of very very excited 18-34 yr olds getting warmed up and in the mood for the madness that was going to be the next two nights. We arrive at Harrahs, we can't check in straight away so its time for a wander around the shops. I won't go into the description bit of vegas again, for the 3rd time it might be a bit boring. We head back to the hotel to get our rooms, and this is where I had a massive result, there are an odd number of girls, so for the first 11 nights I have my own room, something that is a real treat having soent so much time in dorms.
Our first night in Sin City starts off in an Italian restaurant, then we have a little tour of vegas and a little 15min shot stop in fremont street in old vegas. Then Creg has to get our club tickets, or thats what we thought he was doing, he then came back to tell us there had been a delay and that we needed to be witnesses at the wedding chapel for some random couple. All 50 of us got off the bus and went into this tiny chapel to be met by Elvis, Elvis then proceeded to marry two of the group - the surprised look on their faces was classic - they knew nothing about it. Next stop was Encore, for XS night club. Funnily enough this is the same club I went to with the girls and got home at 7am! Now tonight they had a very famous DJ - I'll be honest I hadn't heard of him, but hey when in Vegas…… We arrived at Encore, there were 3 Contiki buses in vegas that night and all going to the same club, cue loads of screaming, dresses that covered very very little (not our bus i hasten to add) and the other lads in the queue, well, I think they all thought chirstmas had come early. I was also very excited about back, but no longer have my vegas wardrobe or enough voice at the moment to scream.
Anyway, a bloody fantastic night, absolutely loved it, mr famous DJ was awesome, I was leaving at 1am (we had been there since 10pm), but then he came on so I stayed till 3am I think, having rocked the dance floor (i hope) and been caught in a crush on the dance floor I was a bit wobbly and done. Taxi!!!
The next day I just about made it to breakfast before the cut off point, next destination was the pool. Having not made it to the Bellagio Pool previously I cunningly kept hold of my key card so I could return at a later point, mum and dad had only had to show their keys when they went, so piece of cake……i thought. I arrive at the entrance, and then this happens: Security - madam can I scan your key (oh crap), me - errrr yeah, security - it seems to not be working, me - err i can go and get my other one (and then run), security, no madam, I'm sure its just demagnetised against your cell phone in your bag, me - yes of course. Result - so with that I head off to locate myself a sun bed, the pool was loovvvveeeellllllyyyyyy, I spent most of the day there just chilling and resting.
Tonight we had our limo ride, we started this at Aria and got in what looked to be a stretched hummer with monster truck wheels, this took us to ghost bar at the top of Palms. The views of Vegas at night was pretty spectacular. This was only supposed to be a little night as we had the bus in the morning at 9am. But no, 2am we cabbed it back. Another really great night, and the bar was a great place to get chatting to the group. Again a really great night, this is going to be a fun 26 days, but my god am I going to need a few days to recover before the Gadventures tour starts on the 24th Oct.
Oh and a tiny bit of a drama, my main debit card stopped working in all cash points, then the bank blocked it!!!! So a few moments of panic and a very expensive call to the bank it got unblocked - hassle I did not need!
Las Vegas I salute you (again), you are bloody awesome, love it love it! Now all I need to do is find some poor unsuspecting bloke purely so I can go to Vegas for a hen do! Haha. Its funny, I knew I'd enjoy vegas, but i was a bit surprised at how much especially as Im usually a pub girl, but I have absolutely loved loved it each time!! I will definitely definitely be back.
We all board the bus very very hungover, except two people who missed the bus, they had to fly to the Grand Canyon instead. We made the 5 hr journey into Grand Canyon park, and headed straight to the main visitor centre and lookout point, wow wow wow!!! It just awesome, and looked different from when I saw it in the helicopter, it's great to have the opportunity to view the Canyon on foot this time. We have two nights here and are staying in little lodges which were pretty cool. The whole group is knackered from Vegas, I was asleep before 10pm.
Today is Canyon hiking day, so in preparation of this we had a big breakfast and then loaded up with water, sunscreen and hats. We made our way to Angel Bright trail (having got a bit lost in the village). I hadn't realised that you could actually walk into the Canyon, so I had been very excited about this, although it was going to be pretty tough. The trip down into the Canyon was pretty easy, it was great being able to walk into it, you then realise just how massive it is, having had quite a few photo stops along the way we had walked a mile and a half into the Canyon, it was then time to start the hard slog back up to the top. Thank god we were in the shade for most of it as it was a really tough walk back up, we were knackered and very very hot. In total we had been hiking for about 3hrs. Having reached the top we then jumped on the bus to Yaki point as we wanted a different view point. This was the best call ever, the views from this part were just spectacular. There were also loads of Hawks circling at one point, I ve never seen so many in one spot before, very cool. Having done the obligatory jumping picture fairly close to the edge we started your walk back along the rim of the Canyon. I don't think any of us have said wow so many times in one day! Having walked and got the bus the rest of the way back we had a bit of a rest at the lodge. We were still determined though to see the colorado river at the bottom of the canyon. So we set off early before the sunset drinks to Mohave point, we then discovered the bus didn't go back to Kobi point where we were meeting the rest of the group. So we had to walk back, but we did see the river so we didn't mind. We then watched the sunset with the group with a glass of bubbly, this was very cool, unfortunately the photos don't do it justice. It was then another early night for me, I'm still feeling ropey, Vegas helped immensely in me getting better……I don't think! We are only 4 days in and Im exhausted!! Well worth it though.
The next day was a long travel day, it started off with sunrise at the Grand Canyon, unfortunately we weren't in the best place, but it was still pretty cool to see the canyon slowly being lit up by the sun. We set off in the bus at 8am for the start of our day on the coach. On our way out from the Grand Canyon we had a great last few views of the Grand Canyon on the way out. The drive to Durango took us through desert type landscapes with huge rock formations, basically the opposite of the Canyon, we hit 3 states today; Arizona, Utah and Colorado. We arrived in Arizona, then drove into Utah and then immediately back into Arizona to have a look at monument valley. Monument Valley is quite something - I'll let the pictures do the talking here, you'll see what I mean. Having watched Forest Gump on the way, we all reenacted the running scene in the middle of the road…….1 person in wig and beard and 50 horribly hungover people running behind. Very funny.
A few hours later we hit Durango, a lovely mountain town…..with a lively bar, more in this on the next update. We are all still recovering and I need to get some sleep now. Photos to follow over the next day or so ........ hopefully.
Lou Iam totally exhausted already wood xxx