Here is the second instalment of my Trek America trip. Need to bring yourself up to speed? Days 1- 4 here. Enjoy!
Day 5: Hiking in the Grand Canyon
Today has been the BEST day so far on this trip! I have been looking forward to hiking for a while and while there are many routes available in the Grand Canyon, today 4 of us (Becky, Kay, Mr Chow and me) chose to do the South Kaibab trial (which was Lana’s recommendation) with a view of making it down to the 3rd base – Skeletal Point- and we did! Going down the Grand Canyon was quick, and dare we say we were all feeling rather cocky with ourselves, but coming up was quite tough because while it was steep, it was only really made difficult by the intense heat as I’m fairly fit but I did struggle in places. The views were stunning though! On return I realised I had some pretty funky sun burn, notably the back of my legs between where my trousers stopped and my socks started (yes really, everyone found this highly amusing), and of course my back/shoulders, lol!
Coming back from the Grand Canyon, I was feeling so good about myself and having achieved the hike, I stopped off at the local store with Becky to grab some cider, before walking back to camp. Tonight I cooked dinner -spaghetti bolognaise- which everyone loved, and then I stayed out until after midnight socialising round the campfire and hiding from the phantom park rangers which did me the world of good; I loved every minute, ha!
Day 6 & 7: Las Vegas!!
Today we left the Grand Canyon and made our way to Las Vegas (whoopie!), which was a fairly long drive but it was very exciting to see the city appear on the horizon as we approached; I couldn’t wait to get there and check into the hotel.
We rocked up to the Golden Nugget hotel which is situated on Freemont Street, located at the very south of the strip (a long way from the main strip fyi), around mid-late afternoon and while we could have gone for an early explore or down to the pool, we spent the 2 or so hours before we had to meet for the planned pizza party at 7pm, just enjoying being in a hotel room, having a proper hot shower and chilling. It was bliss!
At 7pm we all met in Lana’s room for pizza and some pre-drinks before heading out into Freemont street for the 8pm light show, and then getting onto a party bus at 8:30. We joined another trek group for the bus which was nice but we didn’t choose to actually mingle with them for our own reasons. The party bus cost us $15 each and lasted about an hour and a half and took us up the strip, stopping at a little white chapel and the Las Vegas sign for photos. If I am honest, while it was fun, it really wasn’t my thing and if it had cost more, I wouldn’t have been impressed.
We got dropped off at he Belagio hotel to watch the famous fountains before we could go onto a club. By this point I was so anxious to just get out onto the strip and start absorbing Las Vegas I decided I wasn’t going to go (to the club), fortunately others (Kay, Tom, Verity & Hannah) felt the same so we decided to just walk along the strip, visiting a couple of bars before making our way back to the hotel. The original plan was to get a taxi back the rest of the way but Kay and I were set on walking… We finally arrived back at the Golden Nugget at 2:30am, lol! As I mentioned, the hotel is situated at the very south of the strip and what you don’t realise, is that is about 2-3 miles away so on foot, it’s far!!
While I wanted to enjoy a lie-in, I was eager to get up and out so I went for an early walk about the hotel before having a Starbucks to wait for Verity, Hannah, Kay and Tom to come down. Let it be known, 1 day in Las Vegas is not enough and I am so thankful I have been before (here). We first of all got tickets to Penn and Teller, got lost in the Caeser Hotel trying to get out to the Rio (another hotel) before giving up and splitting -the others went back to the Golden Nuggett to sit by the pool, and I hit Sephora & Walgreens (here)!
That evening, we had agreed to meet Tom by the fountains at 6:15 but the bus took so long to travel up to the strip that we ended up bailing and running up it on foot and didn’t meet poor Tom until 6:45! May I also just point out at this moment that The Rio is the most ridiculous hotel to get to, it’s just impossible so we ended up bundling in a taxi. We had an hour to kill before Penn & Teller so we went to look for food in the hotel; first we queued for the world buffet but the queue was huge so we bailed and went to an American Grill which was fantastic! I ordered two sides -Mac & Cheese and a portion of fries which combined was the size of a main meal;, it was delicious! The rest of the group really enjoyed their food too!
Unfortunately, Penn & Teller wasn’t as good as we were hoping, I particularly was expecting something a bit more spectacular and wow (being in Las Vegas…) but it wasn’t which was a shame. It also took us 2 hours to get back to the hotel because the shuttle bus to the strip took forever. But never mind.
Tomorrow we’re leaving at 7:30am for a very very long day of driving through Death Valley.