An Englishman in California, Day 13: The Grand Canyon

Early start today as we’re off to see the Grand Canyon.We were picked up at 6.30 AM by our tour operator who took us to their airport for a flight to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  We didn’t get the chance to eat breakfast before leaving the hotel (just getting the children up at 5AM was pretty Herculean) but there was a decent cafe at the airport.p1060714

The flight to the Grand Canyon was interesting;  the plane was very small so everyone got a window-seat and a chance to catch the view.  The pilots did their best to point out what we were seeing but due to the nature of the area it was often;

 

 

“We’re crossing the Colorado river.”

“If you look out the left of the airplane, you’ll see we’re passing over the Colorado river again.”

“We’re about to fly over the Colorado river for the last time.”

“We’re landing.”

🙂

Though we did see the Hoover dam from the air, too.p1060699

When we landed we had time for a quick comfort break and then up in the air again;  this time in a helicopter!  I’ve always loved helicopters (my wife got me a flying lesson in one once which was brilliant) and it meant we could go down into the Canyon.  The pilot seemed pretty knowledgeable and the view while hovering was great.  An amazing way to see it.

After the ‘copter ride we had a chance to be driven and see the Canyon on foot.  Even though the flight had been jaw-dropping the ability to just stand on the Canyon edge and look out across it was brilliant too.  It wasn’t too crowded so it was perfectly possible to wander off a bit and watch it on your own.  We saw a condor fly close by overhead too.img_0515

We were warned the squirrels might be a little ‘aggressive’ about getting food and that warning didn’t quite go far enough;  I was half-expecting to be mugged at knife-point a few times during the ground tour.  They got into the habit of following my youngest about as they’d previously made the connection that small humans have a habit of spraying food-stuffs randomly over a wide area.  She wasn’t carried off and raised as a feral squirrel though so it all worked out on balance.

We flew back and were driven back to the hotel but it seemed all the driving, heat, long days and jet-lag all caught up with me and I got a bad headache and felt pretty grim.  So ended up trying to keep perfectly still in a darkened hotel room and went to sleep by 7.30.

Vegas, baby!p1060797 img_0516 img_0503 p1060771 p1060810

 

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