A Travellerspoint blog

Durango

Cortez to Durango to Albuquerque

Another mainly driving day but stopped off in Durango for some snowmobiling which was pretty cool. Two guys in their dodgy vans came and picked us up from the bus and took us up into the mountains where our snow mobiles were lined up ready to go. With little to no briefing on how these things work and without signing any waiver we set off up the mountain track with a snow embankment on one side and a drop off into the valley below on the other. Once I worked out the how the thing worked it was time to open the throttle and see if I could break some kinda of speed limit. Unfortunately to get any kind of speed up I had to stop and let the person in front get away and then open it up for a short burst of speed, but the best part is the cornering where I could speed into the corner and get the backend out out, one point I did manage to get one of the front skis off the ground which was cool. There was one person who drove their snowmobile into the snow bank which I didn’t actually see but saw the photo afterwards…..good work that, the guide wasn’t to impressed, although he was a bit of a wanker as he got up anybody who stalled their machine, which considering he gave no instructions was a bit rich.IMG_0333.jpgIMG_0339.jpg

After the hour or so long trip we headed back to Durango for lunch and for the continuation of the trip. Had a slight delay with leaving since one of the girls went to hospital with the flu as she apparently collapsed during the snowmobile trip, which I didn’t see, but shes back on the bus after $600 plus in medical bills just for the flu..crazy.

Dinner tonight at some joint then off to Texas tomorrow……to the Big Texas Steak Challenge (as seen on Man vs Food)

Posted by Tony's Travels 21:53 Archived in USA Tagged durango Comments (0)

Monument Valley

Rocks

Today we left the Grand Canyon to drive to Cortez and on the way we stopped in at Monument Valley, which is basically a place with lots of rock formations that you would have seen on many Westerns.large_IMG_0628.jpg

We had a 50% Navajo Guy give us a tour of the valley since it is on a reservation, it was a short tour where he told us the names of all the rock formations like ET and The Thumb. At the end of the tour he treated us to some of his music which h sand through the mike, which was your standard Indian chanting you would have heard on movies, and after he told us his CD was for sale in the gift shop…I passed on this.
So wanted to buy a peace pipe and tomahawk, but those pesky customs people would have stopped me in the future. I ended up buying a stone arrowhead and an Indian book of knowledge to impart their wisdomon the middle east:)IMG_0655.jpg

Back on the bus again and stopped at a point just up the road where they filmed a scene from Forrest Gump. It is from the scene where he is running across the states and then suddenly decided to stop and go home, that’s the bit in the picture.
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Posted by Tony's Travels 21:52 Archived in USA Tagged monument valley Comments (0)

Grand Canyon

Arizona

I had my first Walmart experience today, and just as I always suspected it is the US version of Big W….so I liked it, after my Walmart expereince I headed over to In and Out burger which was surprisingly good, I had never heard of the place but lots of other on the tour said its highly recommended. It had 3 options on the menu which were all burger and they all came out nicely glisening of oil….yum.
Back on the bus and down to part of the old Route 66 where we stopped in this small town for souveniers and it is also the town that the Cars movie was based on. Not much going on here at all, so back on the bus.
Finally arriving at the Grand Canyon at sunset and it was freezing cold and snowing a little, didn’t get to see much of it as it was now nighttime so we checked into the hotel and got some desperately needed sleep.
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Grand Canyon Day 2 – Woke up early as today was the day for my first ever Helicopter ride, I don’t know why it has taken my so long to ever take a trip in one but today that ends. Short drive to the airport where we checked in and got weighed since you have to evenly distribute the weight throughout the chopper otherwise it will just go around in circles  Watching the little safety videos, got our boarding passes and waiting for our ride. I got to go in Bell chopper, which was a bit on the older side but still cool, luckily we all got window seats and off we went for a 40min ride of the North and South areas of the canyon. I did have to stick the camera out the window to get some good shots but I did have a firm grip on it I can tell you. To be honest I must say I loved being in the chopper more than the view (not that the view was bad in the slightest). I definitely want to learn to fly choppers now, I want one.Flying.jpg

After the ”high” from the chopper ride we went back to the hotel on the Southern Rim of the Canyon for a free day. I went up to do part of the Scenic Rim walk (approx 5km), saw some old Indian paintings which were very faded and useless to see and 5 km later ended up at Visitor Centre to watch a movie on the canyon formation where I bumped into a couple of the girls from the trip. So I decided to hook up with them and as they wanted something fun to do (there is only so much canyon you can look at in a day) we went off and did the “Junior Ranger Program”. After some intense questions and so Leonardo style artwork we all completed the program and I can now say I have been sworn in as a Junior Ranger at the Grand Canyon – I have a badge and certificate to prove it :PIMG_0602.jpg

Super Bowl was on tonight so we went to the pub to watch it, wasn’t really my thing so after watching the halftime show and the adds we went and got dinner, which was crap but lacking in other options had some of it. NY Giants won the Bowl by the way, our Bus driver Ray was going for the New England Patriots so I hope he is a bit happier tomorrow when he has to drive us around, he was apparently a bit pissed they lost.
So thats about my day and experience of the Canyon, I wouldn’t mind coming back one day to Raft the entire length of the Canyon, that would be cool, just put that on the list.

I must say writing these things is hard as I am so tired to be writing anything let along something coherent, time for bed.
Next stop…..I forget - I will keep it a surprise

Posted by Tony's Travels 21:50 Archived in USA Tagged canyon arizona grand Comments (0)

Vegas Baby (Part 2)

Day 2

IMG_0055.jpgManaged to sleep in more or less until 12 today, good to get rid of some of the jetlag, not to mention sleeping off last night…and what a night. Firstly went to dinner at some Italian joint which was pretty average but then we headed of Freemont Street and then to the Palms to hit the clubs.
Tours guys staged a fake breakdown of the bus in the dodgy part of Vegas which was conveniently next to a wedding chapel, so they told us to go inside to be safe rather then be on the bus. Once inside we were greeted by an Elvis impersonator who sang a few songs and married a couple of the people in the group. Hamish and Andy also went here on there tour of US if you saw that on tv years ago.IMG_0217.jpg

The chapel is also right across the road from the Pawn shop on the TV series, cant remember the name though Pawn Stars I think it is.
The Freemont Street Experience was pretty cool. It has a tv screen covering the entire street, under which you can find every character known to man, I didn’t get any photos of these characters as they all want money and I didn’t think any of them were worth a $1.IMG_0239.jpg

After a short stay in Freemont st we headed to the Palms and Dropped into the Playboy club which was basically a nightclub with gaming tables, but then we went upstairs to the Moon nightclub, which I have to say is the Best club I have ever been to. This place was on the top of the building about 20plus floors up, had an outside terrace area with awesome views over Vegas, and in addition to this the roof of the club also opens. Music was good and the additional acts they had on were pretty cool, including a trumpet playing along to the music which was cool. Only downside was the drink prices ($10 per beer) which is funny when you think I started out the night with $2 Coronas and end paying $10. Ended up back at the hotel around 3.30am or so and straight to bed I went.
Posted by Tony's Travels 21:48 Archived in USA Tagged vegas Comments (0)

Vegas Baby

Las Vegas- Day 1

16 °C

Well met some of the tour group last night at the Hotel bar and all those I’ve been FB’ing for a while so was good to put an actual face to the name. Met our tour manager, Ryan, and the bus driver Ray as well, so we are all set to go, not much else happened that night as by that time I had gone 44hrs without sleep so I was keen to catch some Z’s.

Up early this morning to leave at 7.30, jumped on the bus and of we headed for Vegas, the bus is nothing like the luxury buses you get in Europe, it more like your stock standard Greyhound bus, but luckily the bus isn’t full so there was room to stretch out if need be. Got the run down of all the rules and activities from Ryan, apparently the Imax Movie at the Grand Canyon is crap so no one signed up for that, but bonus for that is we get to sleep in 2 more hours that morning, I kinda wonder if that wasn’t the ulterior motive so he could sleep in, not that I mind, still need to catch up on some sleep.
So arrived in Vegas around lunchtime, too early to check in so they dumped us and told us to come back later, so most of us went shopping as apparently the dress code here is a bit strict, so a few of us headed up to the discount cloths place to buy some shoes. I kinda wish they told us these requirements before we left as I could have packed some, but anyhow will have to find something to ditch if the suitcase gets too full.

So now I’ve checked in and by some luck I’ve managed to score a room on my own, don’t know how long this will last but will enjoy it as long as it does. And guess what….not friggin Wi-FI again, I have detected a number of Wi-Fi connections but with names like “Hot Sexy Girls 202” I think I will avoid these, but on the plus side my computer did an auto update thing and now I have spell check on WordPad so now I should get no comments.

Wait I have found a modem hidden in the drawer of the room and after plugging it in its only $12 a day for a connection, bargain *cough cough* You gotta pay for everything at this place, I cant even watch tv in the room as its all pay per view and even the “chiller box” has pressure activated things under the mini bar items so if I just pick up the mini alcohol bottle it gets charged straight to the room even if I put it back, and if I want a fridge its an extra $50, Im starting to wonder if its pay per flush on the toilet as well, will have to read the fine print.
Well of to get ready for a free dinner and night out tonight, so will see how that ends up.

Posted by Tony's Travels 19:51 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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