Day 232 and after an exhausting day at the Grand Canyon yesterday I didn't get out of bed till about 11am. When I did get up it was cause some fat American builders were laying cement round the face that surround the pool. The weather was killer hot again and so Helen, Burns and I went and caught some rays by the pool. We had to checkout at 12 and leave our bags behind reception. Helen wanted some postcards and Laura wanted some Bellagio playing cards so we made one last visit to the strip before we would be catching a 14 hour bus to San Francisco later on. After getting these final things I decided I wanted to make 1 last set of bets on the roulette before I left Vegas. We went into the Planet Hollywood casino and I ended up winning $20 on my final bet. Our final visit was to the MGM Grand to see the Lions. There were loads of Lions in a massive glass enclosure and they were just lying there sleeping but people were crowded around them taking photos. I just stood and watched. After MGM, we needed some food, so guess what we had. That's right, another big fat burger from Jack In The Box. This was about the 5th or 6th burger I had had since in the USA. The amount of fast food on offer is mental, and I still haven't seen a supermarket so we have been unable to buy and cook our own food. After scoffing the food we waited for the same taxi man who brought us to the Strip to take us back to the Greyhound Stop. It was really hot and he was complaining about the heat before Luke informed him that he was wearing Jeans and a long sleeved top so it was no wonder he was hot. We queued up to check in before realising that the Greyhound system in America doesn't guarantee you a seat on the bus, even if you have bought a ticket. Its a first come first served basis which is stupid as they sell more tickets than they have seats and you just have to hope you arrive before the bus is full. It is the worst system ever. Thankfully, we all boarded the bus at 5pm. Helen, who has been hating the long bus rides with a passion, fell asleep almost instantly and I read my book for ages. We got to LA at 11 and left for San Fran at mid-night.
Day 233 and we arrived in San Fran at 7am and got our bags before getting a cab to our hostel, The Amsterdam. We asked the driver if there was an IHOP in town (International House Of Pancakes) as Helen has been going on about it since Day 1 and she was keen to have one before we left America. The driver had no idea what she was going on about so we still had doubts it even existed. Once at the hostel we couldn't check in till 2ish so we went to the TV lounge where the girls used the net then fell asleep. I watched Alien vs Predator at 10 in the morning which I thought was a bit early for a film that violent. There was a Chinese guy who was eating about 4-5 pancakes and was eating with his mouth open and making that sloppy noise like when a horse eats. It was doing my head in but I didn't do anything about it. At about 12 we all got up and went for a wander around town for some food and to explore. 4 of us got foot long subways for only $5. Well we thought they were $5 until we remembered the Americans add tax to all their prices so they were actually $5.46. I bought a new USB pen before we went back to hostel having lost it in my wallet. At 2 we checked in and us lads well went to sleep. The girls didn't want to sleep so wandered the shop but came back soon after. I woke up and found Laura having unpacked her entire bag and making a mess. She was trying to reorganise it as it is close to breaking point. Helen meanwhile was doing her journal. At 530 Burns and I watched some basketball on TV and after we all went out for dinner. We didn't take to long to find somewhere to eat, a cheapish Indian buffet. We seemed to be drawn to buffets, mainly because everywhere in America offers all you can eat! The place only had 1 toilet which we thought was a bad idea given that it was a curry house, and people were scoffing there faces. After dinner we went back to the hostel and had an early night.
Day 234 and after an interupted nights sleep due to Luke and a Dutch guy in our dorm snoring all night we got up at 8 and were in a taxi by 9 heading to Pier 33 where we were going on an Alcatraz tour. It was pretty damn cold in San Fran but that didn't stop Burns Luke and I wearing three-quarter shorts and flip flops. Some of the locals were given us some odd looks. Some Americans in the queue next to us were amazed but when they we told them we were from England they understood. The ferry to the island took about 15 minutes and once we were on the island we got shouted at by a man on a microphone. Burns pointed out how his voice was exactly like Death's on Family Guy and he was spot on. After watching a short movie on the history of the island we did a walking tour detailing escape attempts. Our guide, who's name was 'Benny Bantom' told us about how several attempts to escape have been made, one of which had an inmate spend 10 years stealing parts of a uniform to disguise himself as a soldier and get on a boat off 'The Rock'. Once he had perfected the uniform and boarded the boat, he ended up going to another military base and being arrested as he got off the boat. He was pretty unluckly as not many boats would make that trip but his one did. We all walked round the cell house doing the audio tour which was very good at detailing the history of the place. After we had done the tour we headed for the ferry with Luke asking some pretty horrible 'Would you rathers' involving throwing a monkey into the sea or a kitten into a fireplace. Obviously we were only joking but one woman did give me rather a dodgy look when I said "It would have to be the Monkey in the sea". Back on the mainland we had some Fish and Chips for lunch (Luke and Laura had Chowder) and we then got a taxi to the otherside of town to meet 2 friends we knew from Fiji. We got lost somehow as we weren't sure where to meet them and we ended up going the wrong way. We eventually met Ella and Grace and they walked us to some carnival that no one else seemed to know about. It was a Latin style carnival so it wasn't really our thing and after walking for 10 minutes we left. The next hour or so we sat in a coffee shop and recalled stories of Robinson Crusoe. We left Ella and Grace and headed back to the hostel. On the walk back to the hostel Luke found a games store that had Guitar Hero to play for free. His eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas. He was in and played for about 30 seconds before stopping as the sound barely worked. Burns meanwhile was more interested in the Hells Kitchen video game which he found. We all wondered how you actually play a cooking video game. Burns and I watched some more basketball in a local bar an after the game we went to bed.