continued from last blog...
Paul said she had while before we got to the hotel. He handed us the newsletters from the National Park that they give you to tell you about what's happening and they give you maps etc. He then started laughing as we started driving off and I settled down to continue writing my journal. I looked at him and he was like ah Martin's noticed and I was like what? and turned to look out the window and they was the Grand Canyon!! I was like Oh My God! Paul said that he always does that he gives out the papers and everyone starts reading them and doesn't look out the window. He likes to see how long it takes for people to notice! He's mean! We did still have about 40 mins drive before we got to the hotel where we got picked up for our helicopter trip. It was just me , Sabina, Martin and Dimitri doing the 45 min trip and Joohwha was doing the 30 min trip. We were taken to the airport and were weighed which was bad(!) and then we waited for our helicopter pilot! We got on with another three people who were all family. We wad to sit in weight order so the centre of gravity is maintained. This meant that I got to sit by the window which I would have been upset about if I hadn't sat there. I was really scared when we took off! Being in the helicopter gives you such a rush of adreneline because it's so strange. You can feel the vibrations of the propellers going round and the movements are so unlike an aeroplane's. We flew over the snowy forest to begin with and then the ground just opened up below up to reveal the red, orange and brown canyons and the river at the bottom. We flew in to the canyon and around from the South Rim up to the North which had a lot more snow that the South. It was breathtaking. When the trip finished we were all buzzing. The others who didn't go on the helicopter went to see the imax movie instead but I somehow don't think that can possibly compare! It was so cool!!
That night we went to Wendy's for dinner and then Paul, Choi, Dimitri, Sabina and I went bowling at the hotel and then we played pool at the bar. It was a lot of fun but would have been good if more people would have come and joined in.
The next morning we ventured out in to the Park and Sabina and I went to the visitor centre and had a look round the shop and then we got the bus out to the one of the lodges where we started walking along the rim trail. At points it was a little too close to the edge for comfort! And a bit to snowy and icy. Some of the path was a bit steep and slippery. At one point at sat on my bum, lifted my legs up and slid down the hill!
The views were amazing though. We walked for a while and then decided we'd go to the other lodge and get some food. I had a grilled cheese sandwich, a banana and a hot chocolate. We then filled our cups up before we left and headed back out into the cold to go to the main village where Paul was picking us up to go and play in the snow. We drove to a clearing in the forest where we got out to have a snowball fight but the snow didn't really stick together and made rubbish snowballs. Sabina and I made a few snow angels though. We then drove along the road a bit to go sledging. Paul had been there earlier and smoothed out a slope and made a ramp at the bottom! I never quite managed to do a jump off the ramp and the last time I tried I banged my coxis so hard on the hard packed snow/ice and it really hurt! I actually cried! Some people manged to do some great jumps perhaps they are lighter than me?! We were now all wet and cold and we got back in the van to pick up some other people who'd wanted to stay around the canyon. We then all headed back to the van and then only 8 of us wanted to get some dinner. Choi and 2 of the Korean girls I never got their names went to McDonalds and Paul, Dimitri, Martin, Sabina and I went to this pizza and pasta place. I had pizza which was great. We had a really good time that night. Paul was telling us about some of his past trips and the wierdos he's had. We were b****ing about the rest of the group who by this stage had really started to get on our nerves. they didn't seem to know what they were getting themselves into with the trip. The kept complaining, eating all our food kitty and not joining in with stuff. After dinner we went in the hotel's hot tub and then in the sauna which was very good after being cold all day. We went to bed watching a movie.
In the morning we had to go down towards Pheonix to go to the cowboy camp. We arrived through a landscape of cacti and rolling hills and rocky outcrops to a camp which was like a scrap yard! There were portaloos, makeshift houses and old pickup trucks and where we camped there were old wagons, etc. The old couple who own the horses and the camp are called Rusty and Betty. We went horseriding -Western style ie one handed with no helmets through the amazing countryside past cacti and past trees and up hills and down through dry stream beds. It was great! My horse was called Blue Boy, he was well behaved but very slow. We were only walking round anyway with the odd trot to get up a hill or to close the gap in the line but I wish we could have gone faster! After a while my left knee really started hurting and the when I got off I looked like John Wayne all bow legged! And we were all staggering around that night through sore knees and thighs. We had a great dinner cooked for us by Betty, jacket potatos, steak, salads. It was great but a bit hard to cut the steak on a paper plate! I gave up after a while and Martin finished mine off. (Do you see a pattern emerging?!) That night we had some more drinks around the campfire but this time me and Sabina only drank half a bottle of vodka rather than a whole one! Some of the Koreans were trying to teach us some Korean words and we were sharing tongue twisters from our languages. I'm not sure which language is harder - Korean or Swiss German! Which btw is quite different from normal German it's a bit softer sounding but has more hacking and gagging sounds! I can't do it! We had great chocolate cake and Sabina taught me to says this chocolate cake is great in German then Martin had a go at teaching me the Swiss German, I can't remember either of them! We slept quite well that night after all that fresh air and in the morning we had a great cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs, biscuit and gravy! Yummy! It's not like it sounds! Biscuits here are like light dumplings almost, I'm not sure what they're made of and the gravy wasn't Bisto it was creamy and white!