This 14-hour day tour to the Grand Canyon was probably one of the most eventful episodes throughout our recent adventure in the United States. After much research on the internet, we found the best deal on Grand Canyon Tour and Travel via Ceetiz (fantastic website if you are looking for things to do). You wouldn’t believe it if I told you that our tour came with free-flow lunch and priced at US$69.98 (RM271.73) per person inclusive of tax. We took the tour to the South Rim, which is also known as the “heart of the Grand Canyon” or “true Grand Canyon”.
With that decision, we had to sacrifice our only chance of going to the famous Glass Skywalk, which is at the West Rim (didn’t have time to explore both rims). The West Rim was of course cheaper and nearer than the South Rim, from where we started – Las Vegas. The North Rim on the other hand was closed during winter (blanketed with snow).
We had to drag ourselves out of the comfortable bed at 5:30am and walk to Bellagio (hotel next door – read previous post) to wait for the bus that was supposed to send us to the tour office. We were the first passengers and along the way it made a few more stops to pick up guests at other hotels. When we finally arrived at the tour office which was somewhere near the McCarran International Airport and not too far away from The Cosmopolitan, it was already close to 7am.
Ours wasn’t the only bus that brought in guests as there were 3 other buses that were loaded with guests. We had to register at the counter and we were all divided into 4 groups, each in a different bus. About 8am, all 4 buses departed for the Grand Canyon one after another, traversing the Mojave desert.
After about 40 minutes on the Great Basin Highway, we passed by Boulder City – built for the Hoover dam workers in the 1930’s. Coming up shortly after that was the gigantic Hoover dam, which was built over the Colorado River (the border of Nevada and Arizona).
Our tour didn’t include a stop at the Hoover dam (unlike most West Rim tours), otherwise that would consume another 1-2 hours and delay our arrival at the South Rim. Nonetheless, it still afforded us a glimpse of Lake Mead and the Hoover dam. Up next would be a 15-minute toilet break at the Grand Canyon Tourist Centre, where we managed to snap a couple of picturesque photos.
It was almost noon when we passed by Kingman, a small town in the middle of a desert. About half an hour away from Kingman, tragedy struck us. Our bus was on the verge of breaking down and the driver had to radio the headquarters to send a replacement bus all the way from Vegas. That of course would waste another 1.5 hours. So, the driver took us on a slow drive back to Kingman for lunch at Carl’s Jr. The only consolation was we could order as much as we wanted. After a long wait, our replacement bus finally arrived. The other 3 buses had by then almost arrived at the Grand Canyon.
Continue to follow my adventure in the next post…
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