Published: August 8th 2008July 28th 2008
vegas starts at the airport
pretty much the first thing you see when you get off the plane
Flying across country was amazing, seeing it change from the lush swampy forests of south Carolina to the woods and plains of Kentucky and then the open endless farmlands of the Midwest before the mountains and deserts of Nevada. Finally the giant light bulb that is Las Vegas loomed up in the windows, with the giant luxor pyramid seemingly just off the runway.
I amble out of the plane straight in to a bank of slot machines all decked out with blue rinsed coffin dodgers feeding them quarters. A airport shuttle ride later and i have seen the full range of hotels from the magnificence of the Bellagio to the faded charm of the Sahara..and right at the end past the drunks and crack whores is the hostel... back in my element again.. The hostel is a old 60s motel with 8 bunks squeezed into each room.. so tho its only charging $22 a bed its making as much as most hotels per room per night. But it has a pool and a hot tub..not that a hot tub is needed cos IT IS EFFING HOT!!! the poolside thermometer reads 113f.. they said its ok cos its a dry heat..
but so is a fricking fire and you don't see me sticking my arse in that.. (sorry a walter rip off there).
1st night and i make it as far as the 7/11, about 100m away... in that time a drug dealer offers me crack and a crack whore offers me her crack... $40 apparently..and I said NO to both offers before you ask...
So what does Vegas offer the humble traveler... well lots of places with air con... and with it hitting 114 - 115f that is almost enough. Its so hot you don't sweat.. i rekon the sweat is evaporating before it even makes it to your skin.
The casinos here are amazing, so over the top some of them are starting from the bottom again. The Belagio drip glamour and money, New York New York is one giant theme park and Paris Paris is, well french, right down to a mini arc de triumph and the Eifal tower. But one thing they all have in common is several acres of slot machines and gaming tables with most the over 65 population of America sitting there pushing buttons. Hell does have a sound and its
Belagio water show...
set to Elvis and Viva Las Vegas
the sound of 4000 machines going ding ding ding ding 24hrs a day.
They are desperate for you to start spending to the point of giving you a loyalty card loaded with upto $200 in free play points to use on the machines.SO you sit there and push buttons for a while before you get bored and then go watch the rich and foolish play roulette before joining them with your 4 $5chips.
After 4 days I had wandered around all the casinos on the strip, won some money, lost some and ended up evens and with all my food paid for. Time to do something a little different...Grand Canyon? nah.. everyone i spoke to said its $120 to sit on a bus for 3 hours, get dumped in the visitor centre and stare at this big hole in the ground for 3 hours before the drive back via some select retail stores...err no thank you. So i went on a cowboy trail ride. Haven't been on a horse for 20 years, and that was a seriously bad experience, so it took some nerve. My opinion has always been the best place for a horse is in a
pan going sizzle. But there i was sitting upon me trusty stead and hoping he knew the way. In just 20 mins i was riding my horse up scree slopes down through boulder strewn river beds and across cacti and brush plains..fantastic. And with my recently purchased bushmans hat i looked the part too yeee hawww!. 2 hours ride to the top of a big hill to watch the sunset over red rock canyon before heading back to the corral, last half hour in the dark, for a steak, corn and bean dinner... paaarrrrpppp!
Time to move on tho... i have found the optimum time in anyone place is 4 days and i was approaching day six in the mad hostel. so booked me another greyhound to LA and went into town one last time to watch the free shows. The Water show at the Belagio is really pretty good. Oh and those wedding chapels.. they really are that seedy.. especially the one next to a sex shop and offering 20% of some toys as a 'honeymoon special' nice...
ANother early start at the greyhound..Elliott has eft the station..thank you very much uhhuh!
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