MGWeb Travel Blog

Las Vegas and The Grand Canyon, USA - 27 May - 29 May 2012

August 29, 2012United States

Flying from New Orleans to Vegas connecting via Los Angeles, I arrived in the famous town. Walking past a score of pokies in the airport, I went to the shuttle desk to try organise a shuttle bus to the Sin City Hostel where I intended to stay. “Ah’ve never heard of thayt place, sorry hun,” was the reply. I jumped on the free wifi and had a look what the nearest hotel was, and said “Oh sorry, can I take a shuttle to the end of the strip then.” I was soon on my way, with a bit of a walk once I arrived at the end of The Strip which is basically a strip of casinos. To my amusement I noticed that the hostel was next to one of the famous wedding chapels.



Dozens of people get married there every day, having all sort of themed weddings like Elvis Presley weddings, or Star Trek weddings, you name it they can probably put it on for you. Anyway, the hostel itself was decent, the people I found there were what I had expected to find in Las Vegas – backpackers who wanted a taste of the chaos that Vegas could probably bring. Just like myself.


The hostel organised a bunch of us to leave for The Strip at about 11pm via limousine, and we arrived at Luxor Casino, which is like a giant pyramid with clubs and pubs in it. I hit up the clubs, had a good time, then later on in the night my partner in crime – a bloke from Sydney – and I decided that we wanted to see the rest of the strip so we head off to see what we could find. Mostly we just found extravagant casinos and such, like this random place that looks like some kind of Disney land place.



And a casino called New York New York.



The Belagio and Caesar’s Palace.



The rest of the night was a mixture of visiting a couple of the casinos, not winning anything, and talking to random people (girls mostly) on the street. I did notice that even at 5am I didn’t really feel tired, and later found out that they pump extra oxygen into the casinos so people stay longer.


I then remembered that the previous day I had booked to be picked up at 6am from the hostel for a Grand Canyon day trip! So I quickly jumped into the nearest cab, went back to the hostel, had a shower, and then went outside to wait for the bus to pick me up which it did shortly. By now as you may imagine, the hangover was already kicking in. The other people doing the day trip with me were mostly middle-aged americans from out of state, or Europeans looking like they’d had a good night’s sleep. What they must have thought of me I don’t know. Luckily it was a three hour ride to our first destination – Hoover Dam – and so I managed to have a nap. We arrived there and I stumbled out to take a picture or two of the dam.



The bus driver was a real cowboy American, he loved to tell his stories and history of the area, and he certainly did know plenty. I did find his drawl quite amusing, it all added to the feel of being out in the wild wild west. We drove for a little while on Route 66, passing through a couple towns that were trying to use Route 66’s fame to bring in tourists.



The guy even put on Cars – the animated movie – because it mentions how people don’t go to the towns on Route 66 anymore since the new Interstate highway was built. By the time the film was done, we were arriving at the Grand Canyon National Park. I had three hours to myself to explore what I could. I didn’t realise how big the canyon is, pictures really don’t do it any justice.



It’s something like 16km wide and 2km deep, and quite breathtaking.



This guy was certainly dicing with fate.



There’s a village next to the canyon and a few native americans were doing a dance, pretty interesting to watch.



With my time up, I jumped back on the bus for the 5 hour ride back. My second night I didn’t get up to too much, being pretty tired from the night before and also having to wake up at an early hour the next day. So that was my brief time in Vegas. I had my taste, and know that it is a place perfect for bringing the boys down for a buck’s party or such.



Written by Mark G