Trek Diary: Day Twenty One (17th July)
Why wake up in a green and sweaty tent, when you can wake up to views like this? Although, it would be a lot more scenic without the car park. Waking up in canyons, deserts and swamps was definitely the best thing about sleeping outside. It was about 7am, some of the boys had opted to hike up the toughest trail in Zion, Angels Landing, and had already left by the time we got up. I opted out of this, knowing i would have to be as refreshed/alive as possible for our next stop. But fair play to them, they did bring back some awesome photos.
With the morning to spare, we decided to arrange a less energetic activity – river tubing! Our campsite was right next to an adventure company where you could hire rubber tubes and go on a self guided tour downstream. We had two instructions – get off at the right stop and to not lose our tubes…and nearly failed both of these. We all got stuck on rocks, sent into spiky bushes on the riverbank and very nearly flipped out into the rapids. I also foolishly chose the ring with the hole and spent the entire time trying to avoid grazing my bum on the rocks. I could have spend the entire day floating down that river, rescuing my Trek mates from rocks and watching Ingrid chase after her runaway tube. But after an hour or so, we reached our stop where a bus came and collected us.
After returning to camp and rejoining with our tired boys, we packed up our things and set off for our next stop – Vegas! After stealing the front rows of the van for the majority of the journey, us girls reluctantly sat at the back. We made a brief stop in St George, Utah for Subways and ice cream before shortly crossing the state line into Nevada, where we made a very important and necessary booze run. Our stocks were running low and where better to replenish these than an alcohol superstore! I have never seen so many types of Smirnoff vodka before and was very tempted to try the Dragonfruit flavour. Natalie even found her beloved cider which was the first state-side sighting!
Once the alcohol was bought it was straight on to Vegas and the back row crew were getting a little over excited. The boys on the other hand, were either asleep/tired/still hungover and were being very boring and told us off for being too noisy. These were ignored with shouts of, “VEGAS BABY! YEAAAAAAH!” and a variety of quotes from “The Hangover”.
“Not at the table, Carlos!”
“We’re the three best friends that anyone could have!”
“…PAGING DOCTOR FAGGOT…”
I am told it is best to see Vegas for the first time from the highway. After driving hours through desert, it appears out of nowhere and then the onslaught of billboards, light shows and extravagance begins.
Our hotel was Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon situated right on the Strip and opposite Caesers Palace. Not the fanciest of hotels but it served its purpose as base camp very well. Besides, who wants to stay in their room when they go to Vegas?! After checking in and doing the “Grand Entrance” (the leap onto the bed, which should be done in each hotel room – without fail!) we set off in search of an In and Out Burger – a West Coast specialty.
One of the activities which is included with the Southern Sun trek is a limo ride around Vegas. The one we had was massive and fitted all 26 of us in it. It even had a pole. So after a frantic girly session of hair straightening, we grabbed our booze and red cups and met the other group at the Flamingo. The first stop was Fremont Street, the second most famous street in Vegas. It is used in virtually every single program and documentary to do with the city. There are shows, a neon cowboy, plenty of bars and casinos and an LED roof which has its own light and sound show. Back on the bus and a few more drinks later, i was showing off my skills on the pole. Not the greatest idea in a tiny dress and in a moving vehicle, but it had to be done! The second stop was at the famous “Welcome to Vegas” sign, where a lot of photos were taken, many of which seem to have made it onto the front of our Facebook profiles. The third and final stop was the Bellagio to see the famous water show. By this point everyone was a little worse for wear and we must have stood there, taking photos and half-watching the display for about an hour.
Eventually the group split up and begun to stumble off down the strip in search of cigars, slot machines, cocaine and hookers (…I can only assume…) For this evening i assumed the role of “drunk carer” and had to steer one particular member of our party back to our hotel and to bed. Amazingly, i managed to re-group with our little party outside The Flamingo, before deciding to head over to Caesars Palace and to the famous roof top bar. I am very surprised we were allowed in, especially after Lisa managed to throw the entire contents of her purse at the bouncer. Entry was only $10 and i was falsely led to believe that the drinks would also be relatively reasonable. WRONG! It is always a bad sign when you approach a bar with no drinks list, filled with incredibly hot individuals who are sipping fancy looking cocktails. I ordered a shot of Jager in an attempt to gauge how pricey this bar was going to be. “That’ll be $10” I severely regretted not pre-drinking more.
The combination of the Vegas sobriety, extortionate prices and…i will admit, the fact that everyone looked like they had stumbled out of 90210, made for a stroppy Amy. It also didn’t help that the trip was coming to an end and i kept thinking about how i would have to leave my new best friends in a few days. So…in a very girly fashion, with a few tears, i was escorted back to the hotel thanks to one of my fellow Trekkies.
I totally failed Vegas.