Grand Canyon – the wonder amid the desert

Once in Las Vegas, no one should miss out on a day trip to the Grand Canyon – one of the most magnificent, breathtaking natural wonders in the whole world.

There are a lot of tours to Grand Canyon you can book while in Las Vegas. I however, booked everything way in advance, and that’s what you should do. Another girl in my hostel (the German teacher who confirmed my belief that German people are the best in the world) booked a tour right before her departure day for as much as mine and it seemed like her tour was not nearly as exciting as mine was.

They picked me up at 5 am, and basically just slowly drove down the Vegas strip to pick up other people. Having stayed up until 2 am and had only 3 hours of sleep, I dozed off like a dead log in the bus until the driver swept everyone on board into a gathering point for breakfast and coffee. There, my bus was joined with 3 others and then the tour agency divided people in all 4 vehicles into 2 groups – West Rim tour and South Rim tour. The West Rim tour was shorter, and it included the thrilling visit to the skywalk bridge, but of course it was more expensive.

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The Hoover Dam was obviously one of the stops along the tour. We actually didn’t stop there, just passing by slowly enough for pictures. As I admired the huge dam and bridge straddling the Colorado river, I couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed by the power of human will, the effort, time and money put into this project.

As we continued on, I started to feel nauseated due to lack of oxygen, and probably because of the lack of sleep. So a good advice should be get enough rest the night before.

The Grand Canyon part of the tour stopped at 3 points:

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Eagle point

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Guano point

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Hualapai ranch

Pictures and words cannot begin to describe how spectacular the views are. Imagine million-year-old mountain ranges split in half by water, wind and air, and bundles of clouds slowly wandering around the mountain top under the bright sunlight.

Eagle point was the place where you got to walk the skywalk – a glass bridge hovering over the 30,000-foot canyon – for about 30 dollars. I was not a thrill seeker, never have been, and honestly I was shaking all the time I was on the bridge, but I was glad I challenged myself with that. As the tour guide said, I had walked the sky.

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One note about visiting the skywalk, and I don’t think I should be proud of providing this note, is that you can actually sneak in a cell phone with you. Before stepping on the bridge, they ask you to remove all the cameras, cell phones, other electronic devices but they are not gonna check your pocket. I went during winter so I could easily leave my phone in my coat pocket. There are no guards, just one camera guy who is usually too busy chatting so no one is there to catch your illegal action. And honestly, paying 30 dollars for a picture is worth smuggling a phone with you and secretly take a photo by yourself. Other visitors might judge, but hey, free country.

After the skywalk was time for lunch, which was included in the tour price. I am a picky eater, and couldn’t consume anything at all. Feeling nauseated also contributed to my lack of appetite. So another advice is to bring your own food.

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Guano point was my favorite because that was the only place you could take a picture of the Colorado river. The water level was really low at that time and I almost missed the river unless a random girl screamed as if she just found Atlantis.

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The attraction of the third point was a ranch with cowboy hats, horses and a real native american, but the only thing that caught my eyes was this colorful range of mountain partly hidden in the cloud.

I usually admire man-made wonders more than natural ones, but the surreal Grand Canyon changed my mind and that meant something.

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