Vegas – day 2 – Grand Canyon, Criss Angel

I prebooked a trip to the Grand Canyon for day 2 – with a brutal 6.35am pick up from the hotel.  Friends of mine were in Vegas at the same time as me, and one of them wanted to do the Grand Canyon trip so she booked on at the last minute.  The coach trip started with breakfast pastries and a cup of tea before starting the journey.  The coach driver provided a running commentary giving lots and lots of information along the way about Vegas and the strip.  We stopped at Hoover Dam which was originally called Boulder City.   Just before getting there, we had to stop and have the coach searched.  The “Dam Police” boarded the coach and looked in the overhead lockers and on board toilet etc and then sent us on our way.

The journey was mostly through bare desert terrain with big cacti to look at and occasional ramshackle looking buildings.  Now and then there would be a small community which seemed deserted.  Some of these had beauty salons, post offices and usually a trading post.  I loved the isolation of the ramshackle houses, I think they would have suited me well.  We had a second stop where we were all given lunch boxes with sandwiches, crisps and a cookie before reaching the canyon approximately 5 hours after departure.

I had booked the helicopter and boat trip add on.  I ummed and ahhed a lot about whether to do this as it was pricey making the entire trip around £250.  It was worth every penny.  Everyone had to be weighed and given wristbands for the helicopter and then 6 passengers boarded with the pilot.  I have never been in a helicopter before, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect.  I was next to the door and the whole side where I was sat was glass.   The helicopter flying over the ground to the canyon didn’t seem too high, until we reached the edge of the canyon and flew out.  Suddenly we were super high above the canyon, and when we titled to the side, it was exciting and a little bit scary.  Amazing.  The views were incredible and we hadn’t reached my favourite bit yet.  At the bottom of the canyon, we landed and headed for a boat.  We were all given life jackets and the boat took us out along the river.  It was quite fast and it was a great feeling just flying across the water at the bottom of the canyon with the wind blowing in my hand.  It was the same feeling off freedom as galloping across the moors, not that I have done this for some time, but it made me want to.   The boat stopped at a couple of points just floating so we could take it all in and take photos.  I loved the view from the top, but my favourite view of the whole day was the view from the riverboat.  Incredible.  We flew back up to the top and then got a shuttle to the tourist zone at the top.

The first stop on the shuttle was called The Ranch.  There were lots of Wild West style buildings, ice cream, a saloon, horse riding, a gun show and a little a magic show.  The Magic show was good fun with a guy on his own doing card and coin tricks.  First, the magician told us he had a prediction behind the curtain he pointed to.  He had six coins from different countries and asked a man to split it in to two sets of three coins.  He then asked me to choose one coin – I chose Nepal.  Then he opened the curtain and there was a map with a piece of paper saying Nepal pinned on Nepal.  There was horse riding which I quite fancied, but when I asked they said it was very ploddy.

The second shuttle stop is Eagle Point.  It is called Eagle Point because of the ways the rocks have formed to show the shape of an eagle.  The ranger pointed out there is also a sleeping dog.  It looked like the dog off The Never-ending Story to me.  It is amazing how close you can get to the edge with no fences.  There were a couple of signs that said you couldn’t go closer than 5ft, and rangers acting as border control when I sat too close.  Apparently no one has fallen over there which amazes me with the uneven surface and levels of stupidity in the world.   Eagle Point also had the Skywalk which is a glass walkway out over the canyon.  I decided not to do this as it didn’t protrude very far and the photos and views were identical to if you just stand next to it! This was a relatively quick stop as our coach drive/ tour guide said that the best views are at Point number three.  

The third and final shuttle stop is Guano Point.  This began similarly to Eagle Point in terms of high canyon edge, no fences etc, but then you could walk up onto a big rock formation with amazing views from the top.  The sun was crazy hot at 30 degrees, so after a walk around, it was nice to get back on the air conditioned coach!  Obviously, I was moaning I was too cold and had my cardi on ten minutes in to the journey back.  We went back through the Hoover Dam and had one quick stop for refuelled on the way.  Other than this, after pointing out some celebrity houses – Clint Eastwood, Goldie Hawn and many others, our driver put on a film…. one of my favourites…..  National Lampoons Vegas Vacation.  I love all things Grizzwold.

The coach driver said we could get off at any stop, so we got off at the Luxor a Hotel at around 645pm where I knew one of the shows I wanted to see was playing.  Twenty minutes later, I was in my seat for the Criss Angel, Believe show, just in time for the show to start.  This is one I hadn’t heard of, but the reviews were fantastic and when I mentioned him, people said I should definitely go.  The show was exciting, it was filled with all the bits that Copperfield missed – pyrotechnics, live music, mini skits in between, slutty dancers and breakdancing ghouls.  It was big, loud, glitzy and I was on the edge of my seat.  He tuned hankies in to doves, so many doves, flying around!  He sawed a woman in half (no idea how this happened as he had audience members come and check both ends of her were real before he saws and then pulled the pieces apart), switched places with assistants, disappeared, swallowed razor blades and string and then when he pulled the string back out, it had tied all the blades together.  There was a big screen with creepy images and rock music from the guitar players.  He levitated.  Now, i have no idea how this happened.  I have read online the secret of some of the basic levitation tricks, but he levitated, then went in to a box and floated around in there with the lid closed and then floated back out and around the stage.  My only criticism of this show is that towards the end, he did a whole segment on childhood cancer and had faces and dates of children he had met and who had died.  He said his own son had cancer.  I completely get the wordiness of the cause, but it did kind of dampen my excitement taking a very serious and sad turn.  The show ended by saying about donation boxes, which was a great idea, but the bit in the middle did take some of my buzz.

I was exhausted by the this point.  I got an Uber back to the hotel and had a burger and a quick drink in the bar before crashing in bed.


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