Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Viva Las Vegas

So after a long bus ride to Vegas - which unfortunately went through Los Angeles (and therefore wasn't as direct as it could be) I got there about 4am. After a bit of wandering around, I got escorted to the hostel by one of the conveniently located security guys. So it was about 6am before I got there - the map wasn't particularly to scale - it missed out Avenues 1-12...

So I had some more sleep, until about 9:30, and then got up and organised my stay in Vegas - I was semi-considering changing hostels, but decided against it as the others were probably not much closer to the action, and I would have to find them, which would waste more time. So I got the hostel to book me a tour to the Hoover Dam, I wanted to go to the Grand Canyon, but they weren't doing tours there because of the apparent bad weather there. They also helped solve my problem of getting to San Francisco - I wasn't keen to take another Greyhound bus, especially as it sounded like you had to go via Los Angeles again..., anyhow they recommended flying, and after looking at a few sites, found a flight for $55USD on Southwestern Airlines. So I ended up booking another 2 nights there.

Later that day I went into town with 2 Aussie guys in my room. We went and had lunch at a buffet restaurant for only $8. Turns out things are relatively cheap in Vegas as it draws the people in so they come and gamble. Naturally not everyone who goes there has heaps of cash, so they have to get them there some how. Where the hostel was was in the poorer casino area, ie where you would go if weren't as affluent.

That night we went out drinking, including a ride in the pimp bus (pictured)

The next day I got up, and caught the tour bus to the Hoover dam. As I hopped on the bus I was greeted by a girl who said to "sit here where the fun people are" so I did. Her name was Renee, and she was there with her friends for her birthday. Turns out they were all Engineers, so every time the driver called concrete cement, they would correct him. Without them, it may have been a fairly boring trip.

So we did the Hoover Dam, including crossing it - which means you are then in Arizona, and also a different time zone, which was kind of cool, bringing my American state count to 3 (California, Nevada, and Arizona).

When we returned to Vegas, I got the driver to drop me off at the other end of the "Strip" so I could check out the various buildings. It was all very interesting, and if I ever go back I would go and check them out more thoroughly. I ended up walking the whole interesting part of the 'strip (ie where all the big casinos are, to the part where it is just normal shops and buildings (except for the wedding chapels) - the best part of 4 miles apparently. I did stop however at IHOP- International House of Pancakes - where it was all you can eat for $4USD. By the time I made it back to the hostel I was stuffed, and just had a spa and went to bed.

The next day I got the shuttle to the airport, and flew to San Francisco.

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