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USA Holiday 2002

Kodachrome State Park, Utah


Holiday Route 2002

The Route above starts at Las Vegas, then onto Hoover Dam, Kingman, Route 66, Oatman, Lake Havasu City. Back to Kingman, Route 66, Grand Canyon Caverns, Prescott, Sedona.

Onto Grand Canyon South Rim, then to Monument Valley. Next Mesa Verde NP, then Durango, San Juan Highway and Telluride. To Grand Junction, then Moab, with Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.

Moving on to Blanding, then Natural Bridges NP and Capitol Reef NP. Next is Bryce Canyon NP and Page, followed by Grand Canyon North Rim.

Up to Zion National Park and back to Las Vegas. Altogether some 2,840 miles over 18 days.


In May 2002, Penny and John went on holiday on an eighteen day trip to the American South West. We planned the trip ourselves, from knowledge of our previous visit and help from our computer National Geographical Trip Planner and visits to the Internet. We flew by Virgin Airways and booked some accommodation and car hire from them, with further hotels from Best Western Group and direct from the Internet.

Our daily diary is shown below, together with some photos of the trip. The photos were taken with our Canon Digital Ixus V camera. There are several pictures for most days, so CLICK ON THE DAY to see them.

THURSDAY 2 May Pictures from todayGATWICK TO LAS VEGAS

We drove to Gatwick the night before and stayed at the Copthorne Manor Hotel, near to the Airport. The overnight accommodation, plus parking for the next couple of weeks and including courtesy coach trips to and from the airport came to around £115, which we thought was extremely good value.
The ten hour flight was comfortable and we arrived at Vegas around 3.30 pm and picked up our hire car from Dollar. We had chosen a Chrysler Voyager, which we consider excellent for our needs, being spacious, comfortable and easy to drive. At the Dollar pick up point we were happily surprised to be told to take any car we wanted, from ten or so parked against a wall. We chose a green LX model with only 2,750 miles on the clock.
Driving to our Hotel, the Monte Carlo, on the Strip, was fairly straightforward and we parked up with no problems, other than the carrying of Penny's suit case, the size of which was the talking point of the trip by all the hotel porters who encountered it!
We had a brief trip out, visiting the Belagio Hotel, with its magnificent gardens, and walked some of the Strip, before eating at McDonalds, then returning to our Hotel for a well needed sleep, as our body clocks told us it was the early hours of Friday morning.

FRIDAY 3 May Pictures from todayLAS VEGAS TO LAKE HAVASU

Following a restless night we were up early and after breakfast at the Hotel, we were on the road by 8 am, to the Hoover Dam. We stopped at the Dam for about an hour and walked from Nevada to Arizona and back again. We then drove across the top of the Dam and the road to Kingman was very straight and barren. At Kingman we found our way to Route 66; unfortunately we took the road Eastwards instead of West. However we soon realised our mistake and stopped at an excellent cafe that served cheese and salad rolls. We retraced our route and drove towards Oatman, along a narrow and twisty road with steep inclines across the Black Mountains. At Oatman we stopped to find wild donkeys (burros) walking the street and a Western gunfight taking place, completely blocking the road to all travellers! Some of the gun-fighters seemed reluctant to die, and it was all good fun. We continued along Route 66 and then linked with Highway 1-40, turning off to Lake Havasu City, where we immediately found our hotel, the Ramada Inn. We then made our way to London Bridge. It seemed strange that we had seen this bridge before, but in London. It looks fine and is probably appreciated more by those who visit it in new surroundings.
The township of Lake Havasu City was founded in 1964, by an entrepreneur named Robert McCulloch, who had an idea and saw it through. He purchased the largest ever land deal in Arizona and teamed up with C V Wood, the man who had designed Disneyland, to help him. It took 3 years to dismantle London Bridge and each of the 10,276 blocks was individually numbered. You have to admire the man's vision and determination. Lake Havasu today seems to be the playground for the rich and young, who spend most of their time posing on their boats, parked on the beach.


This morning, bright and early, we left Lake Havasu City and made our way back to Kingman on the direct route, where we again joined Route 66 travelling east bound. The road ran parallel to the Santa Fe railroad and we saw long freight trains, with up to four engines pulling countless trucks. We reached Grand Canyon Caverns and stopped to visit. Our guide, David, who had a lovely sense of humour, took us down an elevator shaft to the bottom of the caverns. We then spent around an hour on a tour of the spectacular underground chambers. When we arrived back at ground level the place was solid with visitors. A Route 66 Fun Day was in progress, with a display of classic cars filling the car park. Our timing had been brilliant, as we left towards the next gas station, some 23 miles on, at the junction with State Highway 1-40. We made our way to Route 89, towards Prescott, along a very pleasant drive which included some really mountainous terrain, and passing the pretty town of Jerome, which sits on a hillside in the clouds.
Approaching Sedona, we took time to stop at Red Rock Crossing, with its famous and spectacular view of the River and the fantastic backdrop of Red Rocks. We then found our hotel, the Best Western Inn of Sedona, and were delighted with the wonderful view of Sedona from our balcony. In the evening we drove along the Airport Road, to view the sun setting over Sedona. The view was great, although the sunset lacked any cloud to be special, but the cameras still clicked and the videos whirred!

SUNDAY 5 May Pictures from todaySEDONA TO GRAND CANYON

Sunday continued the weather we had enjoyed so far - hot, sunny and without cloud. We again rose early and set off towards Grand Canyon. From Sedona to Flagstaff we drove along Oak Creek Canyon, a scenic and winding route with spectacular canyon walls and a view at the end looking back and down on the road we had travelled. At the viewpoint Indian stalls offered jewelry, pots and other mementos
We stopped at Williams to visit Twisters, a 60's cafe and enjoyed a milk shake, then on to Grand Canyon to arrive by 11.30 am. We made our way to the village, parked and took a free bus ride to the Rim. We then got another shuttle bus for a tour along Hermits Road, West Rim. This service is excellent. Buses make the Rim Tour about every 10 minutes, stopping at various Scenic Views, allowing you to get off and take in the splendid view, then catch the following bus to the next Scenic View. We walked along the Rim Path between two of the pick up points and savoured the atmosphere.
Although this was our second visit to Grand Canyon, the beauty remained outstanding - one cannot get accustomed to the sheer size of the vistas. A visiting Canadian chidingly asked, "Do you have anything like this in England?" and I replied, "Yes, we call them ditches!"
But the Canyon is unique. It is so quiet, if you get away from your fellow travellers - so wild - so "Grand". We spent over 3 hours on the Western Rim Tour and when we got back to the Village and Bright Angel Trail, the mules and their riders were returning from their 7 hour trip, deep into the Canyon.
We got a bus back to the car park and drove to the Grand Hotel at Tusayan, a few miles away, visiting Yavapai and Mather Points on our journey.
We had an early meal and were entertained by a singing cowboy and Indian dancing. We then went to the nearby Imax Theatre to see (again) their film on the Grand Canyon. This film is awe inspiring, with a huge screen that has you ducking and swerving to miss the canyon walls, as you speed along the Colorado River.


Yet another early rise saw us eating a breakfast of bananas and hot cocoa, at a scenic pull-in on the East Rim Drive of the Grand Canyon. We travelled the Rim Road, stopping at all the available view points en route. After a stop at Desert View, at the end of the Canyon, we sped off towards Monument Valley. Our journey was delayed an hour at Kayenta by road-works, so we stopped for a burger lunch. Another hour was lost by Utah time being an hour ahead of Arizona time. However, we found plenty of time to visit Monument Valley and drive the 17 mile unpaved Scenic Route through the Park. The enormity of the bluffs and buttes were splendid and we enjoyed our visit to the full, before moving on to Mexican Hat and the San Juan Hotel.
That evening we drove up to Goosenecks State Park and saw the extraordinary way that the meandering river had carved its way through the rock to create the goose-necks, making the distance 3 times further than a straight line. From there we drove up to the Valley of the Gods Road and drove a couple of miles, amongst scenery similar to Monument Valley, before turning and going back to the Hotel.


Tuesday morning and after a hearty hotel breakfast it was off again eastwards to Mesa Verde National Park. We are so impressed with road travel in the USA. The roads are wide, smooth, and best of all, empty. We travelled through Bluff and Montezuma Creek and onwards, seeing Shiprock in the distance. Then northwards and to Cortez, where we visited the public library and sent e-mails home. We arrived at Mesa Verde Visitor Centre at 11 am, and pre-booked guided tours for Cliff Palace at 2 pm and Balcony House at 3.30 pm. We were told we needed to be fit for these tours, particularly the second one. We visited the Museum, very interesting and full of information and artifacts and then the nearby Spruce Tree House. This is the most original (about 90%) and intact of the cliff dwellings within the Park.
The Cliff Palace and Balcony House trips were amazing - we climbed 32 feet ladders and crawled through narrow tunnels and although we are a couple of old "fogies" we kept up with the rest of the group. The guide at Balcony House was a real character and informed us that the tour was very strenuous. A couple of weeks previous, a member of his tour had died of a heart attack and he implied that if one of us was to repeat this misfortune he would have no hesitation in pushing us over the cliff-face, as he did not want further association with such events! We left the Park at 5.15 pm and drove to the Enchanted Mesa Hotel at Mancos, where we were told my room booking had been cancelled! This was not a problem as they still had several rooms available.
Mancos is a very nice town, but lacking in restaurants. We dined at the only place open - a pizza bar attached to the local store.


Our usual early start enabled us to drive the 28 miles to Durango and arrive around 8.00 am. We parked near the Station and found a cafe for breakfast. We got back to the railroad in time to see the engine arrive and back up to the carriages and I got "told off" for crossing the tracks to get a better picture! We moved on, along the San Juan Highway to the town of Silverton, at over 9,300 feet above sea level. The views were great, but not as much snow as we had expected. We were told that this year the snowfall was only about 30% of usual, which will affect the water in the rivers and lakes, and later in the holiday we saw evidence of the impending drought. As we reached the higher mountains between Silverton and Ouray, snowflakes fell on the car windscreen, but by the time we reached Ouray the sun had re-appeared. The waterfalls at Ouray provided an exhausting walk, as a long climb at that altitude left us breathless.
We drove on to Telluride, via Ridgeway, admiring the snow-capped mountains en route. This town is around 9,600 feet above sea level. At the Bear Creek Bed and Breakfast, in the main High Street, we enjoyed a sumptuous room, with splendid views. We went out and drove towards the Bridal Veil Falls, and stopped short along the unpaved road to see waterfalls down a frozen cliff-face.


The journey from Telluride to Grand Junction took us along the Tabeguache Scenic Byway. The changes in scenery were diverse and dramatic, from mountains to the high green plateau, to deep valleys following the San Miguel River, with the lush green foliage of the river valley contrasting with the rust red rocks of the towering cliffs. We stopped several times to take in the spectacular scenery. At one scenic point we saw where water troughs had been bolted to the canyon walls to bring fresh water to the mines. As we looked down the steep ravine-like cliffs we saw two large animals swimming and diving in the water below. We could not make out what they were, but guessed they must be beaver - they seemed larger than man-size.
As we reached Grand Junction, we took a diversion to the Colorado National Monument - a winding road with dramatic views of canyons, cliffs and rocks, reaching high into the sky. We drove the road through the National Park both ways, before driving on to our hotel, the Best Western Sandman at Grand Junction.

FRIDAY 10 May Pictures from todayGRAND JUNCTION TO MOAB

We drove West from Grand Junction, along State Highway 70, under cloudy skies and dull scenery. Our exit from the highway was Number 202 and after over a week in the US we realised that this was because the exit was at Mile 202 of the Highway!! We joined Scenic Byway 128 and quickly found ourselves on a road with wonderful views every mile, some reminiscent of Monument Valley. The mighty Colorado River swept alongside the highway. However, the low snow falls and lack of rain had put the river at its lowest level in living memory. Already, in May, areas of the river bed normally flooded are bare, with cracked earth. We took longer to travel than expected, due to the need to stop so often to admire a scenic viewpoint.
We reached Moab, crossed the Colorado River and made our way northwards to Canyonlands National Park. Incidentally, we had purchased a National Parks Pass via the Internet, before we left the UK, for a mere $50.00, and it paid for itself at least twofold, giving us free admission to all of the National Parks areas we visited. (Get one from nationalparks.org)
As we arrived at Canyonlands the skies cleared and the sun came out, although there was a strong wind gusting, causing visible dust storms. Canyonlands was well worth the visit, with enormous vistas. As we viewed the Island in the Sky area we saw the Upheaval Dome, which we were told was caused either by a meteorite or by evaporating salt deposits - surely someone should know which! We drove to Grand View Overlook and agreed that the name befits its description as we looked across the panorama which included the Needles area to the South.
We turned back towards Moab, calling at Dead Horse State Park on the way. Myth has it that it was so named because skeletons of horses found there were caused by their owners turning them loose and forgetting they were there, so they were not watered. However, this is an unlikely explanation, as horses were so valuable, no-one would forget or abandon them. The viewpoint at Dead Horse Point Overlook is memorable, with the gooseneck on the Colorado River.
We returned to Moab and registered at the Aarchway Inn, then drove back across the bridge to arrive at the "Canyonlands by Night" headquarters for 6.30 pm. We then enjoyed a splendid barbecue of assorted meats, salads, vegetables and sauces, followed by pudding. The food was exceptional and the company of fellow diners interesting and pleasant. Our guide for the evening, a gentleman named Preston, was witty and convivial and ushered us into a large jet boat as dusk drew near. We glided upstream, to an informed commentary from Preston about the various canyon formations and local history. As the last of the sun's rays disappeared and darkness set in, we stopped on the river and a recorded commentary with music was played. Suddenly the canyon erupted with light, as the accompanying light truck lit the scene from the shore road. We drifted back with the river, with the lights from the shore illuminating the cliffs on both sides, while the stars shone from above. A memorable and rewarding evening and highly recommended to all. (canyonlandsbynight.com)

SATURDAY 11 May Pictures from todayMOAB TO BLANDING

We slept in longer than usual, probably due to the previous "late" night. We phoned home to check all was well there and apart from our dog developing a limp, (probably from over exercise!), things were fine.
We drove a few miles northwards to Arches National Park. The arches were plentiful and impressive, although we limited the amount of walking, due to time, which restricted the number of arches we saw. We soon realised our schedule for the day was too full, so abandoned our intentions to visit the Needles area of Canyonlands later in the day.
When first entering Arches NP you come across a canyon of massive rocks, named Park Avenue due to the resemblance of the massive rocks and cliffs to sky-scrapers. We thought Landscape Arch was impressive, and enjoyed our visit to The Windows area. Our visit lasted over four hours, but we could easily have stayed another two, to see many more interesting sites.
We drove back into Moab, stopped for a burger lunch and found the Moab Skyway Scenic Chair Lift, which took us soaring into the sky, from 4,000 feet to 5,000 feet above sea level, in a few minutes. The ride was exhilarating and the views from the top took the remainder of our breath away. Although I understand that the Skyway closed on 9 June 2002, due to lack of funds, it was then bought at auction and re-opened in August.
We then drove south on Route 191, to Blanding, stopping to view Wilson Arch from the highway. At Blanding we stayed at the Best Western Gateway Inn.


There had been rain overnight, but we set off with blue skies chasing away the clouds. We took Route 95 to Natural Bridges Monument National Park, which comprises of a seven mile Scenic Loop, with views of the three arch bridges. These were easy to view from short walks from car parks, although involved strenuous trecks if you were to get close up. I walked down a steep walk to view the third and largest bridge, Owachomo, where it was possible to see the sky from beneath the archway. We also stopped to view ancient Indian Ruins, built inside the cliff face and similar to Mesa Verde.
We continued along Scenic Route 95, lined with huge cliffs and stacks. We crossed the Colorado River and viewed Hite Marina on Lake Powell below. The lake was also low on water, due to the drought, but the panorama below was still spectacular. At Hanksville we saw the Henry Mountains and took Route 24 to Capitol Reef National Park. Capitol Reef has huge domes and rock faces alongside the Freemont River. We saw the huge Capitol Dome from several viewpoints, but in the heat of the day the walk to Hickman Bridge proved too much to handle.
We drove the Scenic View from the Visitor Centre, past the Mormon community of Fruita, with more views of the Park. We then returned along the same road, where the views seemed better than the other way. We found our Hotel for the night at Torrey, the Best Western Capitol Reef Resort.

MONDAY 13 May Pictures from todayCAPITOL REEF TO BRYCE

Another busy and interesting day. From Torrey we drove south along Scenic Byway Route 12, initially through Dixie National Forest, with mile after mile of aspen trees, that were mainly a week or two from providing a sea of green. The views behind us, of Capitol Reef, contrasted with those ahead of the Grand Escalante Staircase. We stopped at the Escalante Petrified Forest National Park for a picnic lunch and then onwards with spectacular views on all sides. The lack of water was apparent, with river beds run dry, at times the Escalante River being a mere trickle. We continued on Route 12 and made a turn into Kodachrome State Park - at a charge of $10, as we did not have a $5 bill for the self registration fee! The Park had been well recommended by the guide books, but we found it a little disappointing, as it had limited access roads and strenuous walks to viewpoints. Perhaps we had been spoilt by all the wonderful scenery we had already seen on our holiday.
Continuing towards Bryce Canyon, we saw a fire raging to our right, off Route 22. We checked into Ruby's Inn and still had time to visit Sunrise and Inspiration Points to admire the amphitheaters below of golden hoodoos and spires. We called in to the Visitor Centre, where we watched a well presented film on Bryce Canyon National Park and visited the interesting Museum.

TUESDAY 14 May Pictures from todayBRYCE TO PAGE

We spent the morning exploring Bryce Canyon. We drove to the end and then stopped at all of the Viewpoints on the way back along the Canyon.
We left Bryce and journeyed towards Page, via Red Canyon and Kanab. We had considered travelling along Cottonwood Canyon Road, which runs from Kodachrome State Park to almost Page. However, we would have needed a 4WD to safely make the journey and I didn't feel very confident to drive the 40 miles of unpaved track in our Chrysler Voyager.
We stopped at Kanab at the Best Friends Animal Rescue Centre based at Angel Canyon and watched a video there, while getting our fix of pampering any dog we could get our hands on! (bestfriends.org)
We drove to Page, and visited the Carl Hayden Visitor Centre and marvelled at the Glen Canyon Dam and the incredible road bridge that spans the canyon. We visited Page town centre and did some shopping, before arriving at the Wahweap Lode and Marina Hotel for dinner and bed.

WEDNESDAY 15 May Pictures from todayPAGE TO NORTH RIM

An early start saw us boarding the boat trip at Wahweap Marina to cruise Lake Powell and visit Rainbow Bridge. The five hour trip comprises of two hours journey each way, with an hour to spend at the Bridge. It was a sunny day and ideal for our trip. When we arrived to dock at our destination, we had to walk on pontoons and then a pathway to the Bridge, being around half a mile. I was surprised by this, as photos I had seen previously showed water right up to the Bridge, with its reflection in the water. However, due to the lack of snow and rain over the past year, the water level of Lake Powell is well below normal. A National Park Ranger appeared out of nowhere at the Bridge and gave us a conducted tour of the site. It was a very pleasant morning and we arrived back at Wahweap around 1.00 pm.
The previous evening at the Hotel we had been admiring some photos in the foyer, to be told by a fellow guest that the subject of the pictures was Antelope Canyon, just a few miles down the road from Page. On our way to Grand Canyon we did a detour and sought out Antelope Canyon for a visit. The site is owned and run by Navaro Indians and we paid our $17.50 each and explored the Lower Canyon. Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon, being a narrow crack or gully deep into the rock, with spectacular rock formations along a steep, narrow and challenging pathway. It involves steep inclines, some with ladders, over rocks and very narrow access, particularly difficult to walk. The walkable Canyon goes about a quarter of a mile and is around 130 feet deep. The colours and patterns of the rock face and their appearance to the overhead sunlight is an experience to remember. We walked the length and then climbed a series of steps and ladders to exit. If we had more time available we would have turned and journeyed the Canyon the other way.
Then onwards and upwards towards Grand Canyon North Rim, taking us back to Highway 89, then 89A and 67, passing the Marble Canyon, Vermilion Cliffs and Navajo Bridge.
As we neared the North Rim we were amazed by the vast forests and lush and wide meadows, running some 30 miles on the approach road. We saw herds of deer and some wild turkeys, before arriving at the Grand Canyon Lodge, where we watched the sunset.

THURSDAY 16 May Pictures from todayNORTH RIM, GRAND CANYON

We spent the full day at the North Rim, Grand Canyon, where we made the short drive to Point Imperial and Cape Royale. A stop at Vista Encarte gave us a close encounter with a mule deer on the Rim, who posed patiently while I captured her on video and took several digital photos, resulting in what I consider is the best photo I have ever taken. All I had to do was press the button! CLICK HERE, to see the photo. The North Rim has some fantastic views and is a lot quieter than the South Rim, with far fewer tourists. We enjoyed our stay and were glad we visited, but if we had to choose, we both preferred the views from the South Rim.
Overall we had our first lazy day, although we did our fair share of walking. We had a late meal at the Lodge, due to the poor booking system they have for meals, and at 9.30 pm we were almost too tired to want our food. Anyone staying at the North Rim should decide if they want to eat at Grand Lodge well in advance. They take bookings for months in advance and if you wait for the day you take your chances, with a probable late dining time.

FRIDAY 17 May Pictures from todayNORTH RIM TO VEGAS

An early start set us on the road towards Zion, with some 300 miles of driving planned for the day. As we were leaving Arizona for Utah and then Nevada, we also had an extra hour today, as our watches had to be put back one hour to adjust for the Time Zone difference. We again enjoyed the first 30 miles from the North Rim, through the meadows and forests. We made our way to Kanab and were on familiar territory again. We approached Zion from the East and drove along the Zion - Mount Carmel Highway through the two tunnels, the second being about a mile long, with "windows" in the tunnel giving spectacular views of Zion Canyon (to the passenger, but not the driver!)
Zion Canyon National Park was as massive and overpowering as it had been when we first visited in 1999. This time we had to park up at the Visitor Centre, as no private cars are allowed in the Canyon. However, an excellent bus shuttle service is in operation, similar to the one at South Rim, Grand Canyon. We took a ride to the end of the Canyon and then walked alongside the river, until the track ended, a couple of miles along. We spent 4 hours at the Canyon, before moving on towards Las Vegas. Most of the journey to Vegas was on Interstate Highway 15 and we easily lapped up the miles. We passed through the magnificent Virgin Canyon, with the Virgin River and the Canyon alongside the highway - a tremendous and scenic route. We arrived at Vegas and booked into the Luxor Hotel. In the evening we went to the Imax Theatre at the Hotel and saw a 3D film about the American Space Programme. It was good, but the film we had seen at Grand Canyon Imax was better.

SATURDAY 18 May Pictures from todayLAS VEGAS & TOUR

This was the last full day of the holiday and we had made plans to go out on a highlight! At 7.30 am we were collected from the Tours Lobby of the Luxor Hotel and taken to the Airport, where we met our Guide, who ushered us onto our Las Vegas Airlines aircraft. We flew eastwards, over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead and after an hour's flight overflew Grand Canyon, near Pearce Ferry and landed on the nearby Grand Canyon West Airstrip belonging to the Hualapai Indians. We then transferred to a helicopter, that took us searing over the Canyon edge and to the river bank 4,000 feet below. These few minutes of my life will never be forgotten, as our helicopter pilot must have been in a hurry as he raced to the bottom like he was in a "Whirlybirds" film! Having staggered from the helicopter we were then directed onto a boat, which took us about half a mile along the Colorado River and back again. We then got back into a helicopter and ascended to the top of the Canyon and back to the Air Strip. Going up was even more exhilarating than going down, and I blinked as the rotor blades spun uncomfortably close to the rock walls. We landed ok and then got into a coach, which drove along a rim road, to a barbecue area on the edge of the Canyon. We stayed about an hour an a half while we had lunch and savoured the views of the Canyon beneath. The motor coach returned us to the air strip, and we returned by plane to Las Vegas. The air flights were pretty bumpy both ways, due to air turbulence, but overall it was a great way to spend 6 hours. However, if this is to be your only experience of the Grand Canyon, then you may be disappointed. The Canyon is not very wide at the area you visit, probably no more than half a mile, and does not compare with the magnificent viewpoints on the South and North Rims, where the rims are more than 10 miles apart.
After returning to our Hotel, we had a short rest and then took a taxi to Freemont Street, where we hoped to buy presents for all those back home, plus a further suit case to put all our extra stuff in! Although it was something to see, Freemont Street was not the place to shop in, rather just to look at, so we took another taxi back, which cost us another $20 including tip.
In the evening we decided to walk the Strip and so we got back late to our Hotel, absolutely dead on our feet.


We packed our bags in the morning and left them with the Hotel Desk. We had a few hours to spend, so after a late breakfast we got the mono-rail from the Luxor to the Excalibur Hotel and spend some time in the gift shops there, as well as being entertained by a juggler. We then returned to the Luxor and made our way to the Mandeley Bay Hotel, with its fantastic beach set up with breaking waves. At the Mandeley Bay we paid to visit the Aquarium and saw turtles, sharks and all sorts of marine life, before making our way back to the Luxor, collecting our car and luggage and driving to the Airport. We easily found the Dollar car returns and arrived for our flight with time to spare. We were impressed with the speed that we were processed and our baggage taken and cleared. Our Virgin flight left at 6.05 pm and our overnight trip was pleasant with no problems. We arrived at Gatwick around midday on Monday and home about 4.00 pm, with no money, but lots of happy memories!

If you enjoyed seeing our memories of this holiday, why not view our previous time in the USA, in October 1999, which includes Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Vegas, Death Valley, Mono Lake, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, San Francisco, Pacific Route 1, Moro Bay, Solvang, Ventura and lots more.