Grand Canyon (west rim) – USA

To visit the Grand Canyon (West rim), I engaged a tour company – taketours. Apart from this tour to Grand Canyon, I also joined their Niagara Falls tour. Travelling in US is really expensive, and if you are thinking of renting a car, be ready to pay at least $USD120 and up per day, including all the insurance and miscellaneous fees. It is not economical for twin or single travellers. The next bear is accomodations. Its hard to get cheap accomodations that is well linked to public transport. And it is simply not worth it to pay $USD200-300 per night in well connected city centers, only to be outside 90% of the time. Hence for sightseeing trips, joining a tour is more economical. For example, a 4 day tour starting from San Francisco and ending in Las Vegas is about $USD400 per person, including base tour package, admission into attractions (naturally skip those fancy ones like helicopter rides), and basic food. One thing I really like about taketours, is that the tour guides are not pushy. They will not hard-sell you any attractions or optionals. Neither do they bring you to dubious places for ‘shopping’. The only shopping that we went to are at Premium Outlets stores. Though the tour bring you to buffets restaurants (~$USD20 per person), it is up to you to dine there or not. I preferred to dine in nearby restaurants or fast food outlets. Night accommodations are simply accommodations, clean, spacious and comfortable with free wifi. I am not advertising for them, but I give credit where its due.

On to the Grand Canyon (West Rim). This attraction is divided into 3 parts: Eagle Point, Hualapai Ranch & Cabins and Guano Point. To connect these 3 points are hop-on-and-off park shuttle. If you are feeling adventurous and RICH, you can take the Helicopter package, which should gives a really spectacular view of the Canyon, and even brings you down to the Colorado River. But, Jimmy is poor…

At the Eagle Point, is the glass Skywalk, which in my opinion, totally NOT worth it, for the most important reason that no camera/phones are allowed on the skywalk. To have a photo taken ‘professionally’ cost an additional $USD30. Apart from the Skywalk, Eagle Point also have some traditional huts and lodges on display. Spend a maximum of 15 minutes here and move on to Guano Point.

Eagle Point
Glass Skywalk
Caught an eagle in flight 😀 Sadly, it flew off before I can get a closeup
The sun is rising, and the lighting is simply not ideal…
General view of the plateau.

Guano Point is where one should really expect to spend most time at. I had lunch here as well, and its really good, despite having to be constantly on the look out for crows attack. DO NOT FEED THEM! Feeding one, will bring the entire flock down. And these are not those urban tiny crows, these are HUGE! The view at Guano Point is simply spectacular. I think I spend about 2hrs here. Just sitting, lazing, reflecting, stoning at various spots and of course taking numerous selfies and wefies ^_^.

Onwards to Guano Point
First off, these crows are HUGE!!!
… and they are everywhere, especially near the dining area…
Lunch @ Guano Point. Beef is really good, or maybe I am just hungry. Fully recharged.
The canyon and the colorado river.
I think this is the point?
Path towards the point
Sun is slowly reaching its apex… but everywhere is still cast in a foggy mist. Its the beginning of May, the beginning of Spring. Plants have just woken up from their winter slumber…
Over this side, the greenery is better, though they are taking on a lethargic green.
Tentage where lunch is served
more canyon
Weather-worn rocks
Rock formation, carved by thousands of years of battering from the elements of nature. The rocks have seen the beginning of the human race, and will still be around when our civilization ends. It shows how small and insignificant humans are in the face of nature. Climb the corporate ladder, chase the billionaire dream, but in the eyes of time, we are but another speck of dust, like all those before us and after us…

In the end, I do not have time to go to the Ranch, but everyone else said I can skip it.

On the way to Las Vegas, the tour also stopped at the Hoover Dam. Nothing great. Its now over-shadowed by the three gorges dam.

Hoover Damn

Other parts of my USA trip:
Maine – Arcadia National Park
New York
Boston – Freedom Trail
Washington – Cherry Blossom

May 2015

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