Day 15 Las Vegas! Grand Canyon! 19 April 2016

We were to meet the bus at 6.30am outside Excalibur.  They were a bit late then dropped us at the central depot to be sorted onto our tours.  7.24am and we were finally in our way to the Grand Canyon with Julio! 2 hours after getting up. 559 miles to go…

First landmark was Boulder City which was built to house workers on the Hoover Dam around 1930s. Depression work. They didn’t want it to be like Las Vegas, so no drinking or gambling. There is still no gambling.Boulder City

Next landmark was Lake Mead which was built to store excess water from the Hoover Dam which is fed by the Calorado River.
Lake Mead

Castle Rock was our first pit stop.  Not a lot there.  A cafe and the restrooms looked a bit mobile… Interesting skull in the shop.  Very western…
Kingman

Desperately looking for something of interest, we noted the Flintstone trailer park at Valle, Arizona…Flintstone trailer park

After that we veered onto Route 66 for a brief period. around Williams, Arizona.  Very exciting.  We all idolise the icon.
Route 66 mapRoute 66 Route 66 vintage car

Desert, desert, desert and then the village of Tusuyan and the Grand Canyon!  Grand is a an inadequate description.  It is gob smackingly AWESOME!  It’s best features are its size and colours and it is so hard to capture that in one photo.  We went to two sites – first the South Rim in Williams then Bright Angel.  Our biggest surprise was the elevation (7200 feet) and that it was quite alpine territory and snowed here (only 2 weeks ago)!  Bright Angel in particular is like an alpine village.Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Grand CanyonGrand CanyonGrand Canyon

Ohio River that feeds the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon and Ohio River Grand Canyon   Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Grand Canyon  Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Grand Canyon

This cute little fella was begging the tourists for food…
Grand Canyon Squirrel

On our way out of Tusayan we saw mules and this sign. Mule Crossing

We also passed the San Francisco inactive volcano again.  How can snow be so close to the desert??

San Francisco VolcanoIt was a very long day.  The bus driver broke it down as best he could.  We saw a movie on the Grand Canyon and Vegas Vacation on the way there.  Then a baseball movie on the way back.  There was only one stop on the way back.  The longest stretch without a break was 3hrs 45 mins…  We got back into Vegas around 8.30pm and jumped off at the first stop which was New York New York.  We had to tip the driver on top of what we had already paid for the tour.  $12.50 per person was the suggested amount.  We snapped a few last Vegas night photos of New York New York on the way back to Excalibur.

Vegas Empire and ChryslerVegas casinosVegas Statue of Liberty

We had to do a bit of shopping, dropped that at home and then headed out to see the casinos that we had not yet seen and which were just across the road from us!  There was even a free light rail to shuffle us in between.

First up was Luxor.  The Egyptian casino. The sculptures are amazing and the pyramid shop is incredible.  It is a cavity inside with all rooms anchored to the external shell of the pyramid.  They are accessed by balconies running around the inside!
Luxor Luxor Sphinx Luxor Sphinx

We then moved onto Mandalay Bay which was full of beautiful Art Deco lights.
Mandalay Bay light

Still managed 17 000 steps!