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Old 1 Apr 04, 07:43 PM  
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kjtinlin
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Las Vegas, Anaheim, etc. - Day 6 – Thu 18th Sep – Colorado River Raft, the lazy way

Today was another tour day – this time it was a ‘Lazy River Raft’ down the Colorado River from the foot of the Hoover Dam. We caught the tour pick-up bus easily, then after another few hotels, were taken to the Showtime Tours offices, where we paid for the tour (had reserved it to pay on the day) and got onto the coach for the trip. We were then taken to a hotel/casino near the Hoover Dam (can’t remember the name, though I should as it’s quite famous, or the name is anyway) where the Black Canyon River Adventures tour booth was. We had quite a long wait here until the tour was ready to depart, but this was where we picked up our complimentary lunches, consisting of a filled croissant, a huge cookie, packet of chips, etc. Once again, Kat being a veggie caused problems, as the rafting company insisted it hadn’t been pre-ordered, which it had, but I assume Showtime didn’t pass that info on (the ATV tour had provided the veggie meal with no problems). However, the little vendor next door to the booth quickly made up a veggie croissant, so all was well.

We eventually boarded another coach, along with numerous loud, brash Americans and prayed that none of them would be on our raft. There were three coach loads transferred to the river, down a ‘staff only’ road to the base of the Hoover Dam – this road has a hairpin bend and the coach had to take two attempts, which was kind of worrying since we were so high up and very close the smashing through the barrier. Anyway, we reached the river safely and were told to go to the rafts that corresponded with the coloured tickets we’d been given – yes, you guessed it, we had the loud, brash Americans with us, two of whom were HUGE. This wouldn’t have been a problem, but they insisted on sitting on the same bench, meaning the raft was off-balance slightly, or at least it felt that way. Kat and I managed to snag the two remaining pontoon seats, i.e. the ones on the flotation tubes at the side of the raft, where you can sit with one leg over the water and we soon set off as the last of the four rafts.

One of the huge Americans made a comment soon into the trip about how red my legs were and told me I should be wearing sunscreen – I told him the burns were from a few days before and I knew how to look after myself, but his wife was shooting daggers at him for looking at my legs. The loudest, brashest American kept going on and on about his new Fuji digital camera which, while cool, was not really the point of the trip. Anyway, the raft left the dock and we got as close to the base of the Hoover Dam as we were allowed. I’d been to the Dam before, but had never seen it from ‘ground level’ before, other than at the point on the tour when you can walk outside it at the lower levels, so it was a new experience for me and I shot about a half roll of film there alone.

Our raft guide was really good and told us loads of useful bits of info along the way. We spotted a few herds of mountain sheep and I managed to get a few photos of them, though it was often hard to tell them apart from the rocks they were so well camouflaged. The really good thing about our guide was that he was the only one of the four raft guides to take his group into ‘Emerald Cove’ about ¾ of the way down the river heading towards Willow Beach in Arizona. This cove is so named because the water inside it is a beautiful shade of green and looks amazing – a true natural beauty and I got some good photos of the green water.

We parked up for lunch on a quiet beach, away from the other groups on different beaches and some people, including Kat, were mad enough to brave the water – it was freezing! It was mostly the Brits who attempted it, though the loud American did as well, but he lasted about two seconds. I sat on the beach and happily ate my lunch in the warmth, not being stupid enough to ‘test the water’. Some of the Americans watched Kat and I with envy as we ate lunch – many of them had actually eaten theirs back at the casino as soon as they received them – fools, did they think that was just a mid-morning snack?!

The rest of the journey was very calm and peaceful down to Willow Beach, where we re-boarded the coach to take us back to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, huge American number one was on our coach and he fell asleep – his snoring could wake the dead! We gratefully got off the coach at the Aladdin and went back to the room to shower and change.

This was our last night in Vegas (until we returned at the end of the holiday), so we took the opportunity to go to the Fremont Street Experience which, as you probably know, is an overhead light show in a covered street in Downtown Las Vegas. We caught the local bus to this from right outside the hotel, think it was $2 each way per person and it was only about a 15min journey to Downtown. Getting off the bus, we had no idea where to go (couldn’t see any signs for Fremont Street), but we took a guess and got it right, so were soon there. Timing couldn’t have been better – enough time to pop into a casino to use the facilities and then back out in time for the next ‘show’. The music for that particular performance was 60’s music, most of it British, so we watched the lights change into Mick Jagger’s lips for the Rolling Stones montage, then guitars for The Who, etc. The performance after that was going to be Hawaiian music (since the University of Hawaii seemed to be having some sort of re-union there that night), so we were glad we saw the show we did, since we both like that kind of music.

A short walk back to the bus stop, amazingly figuring out the right part of the one-way system to go to, and we were joining the queue for the bus. It was very, very busy, but another bus pulled up that was an ‘express’, so we jumped on that, knowing it would only be ‘express’ until it hit the Strip and would then stop as normal (well, I didn’t so much know as make a lucky guess!). A little while later, we got off the bus not far from the Bellagio, just in time for the fountain show, so we watched it from the street for once, rather than from our room. Although it was getting fairly late (nearly midnight I would think), it was still very hot, so we didn’t linger too long especially as we had a long drive the next day.

Still to come… Picking up the car and going to Disney!
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Old 3 Apr 04, 10:13 AM  
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Claire_L
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The raft trip sounds good. Lol about the AMeicans though eatting their lunch early.
Claire
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Old 3 Apr 04, 10:13 AM  
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