Once again we had an early start and a three hour journey to the Grand Canyon. Although in true Bethan style, I slept for most of it.
On route we stopped at a massive Walmart in Arizona, which was an experience in itself just people watching as we sat in McDonald's. Imagine if you saw someone head to toe in camouflage wander into Tesco and browse some guns, before grabbing a Big Mac meal! It's crazy how cultures are different. Whilst we were there, we were mysteriously told to each pick up a bandana, as we'd be needing them later on.
Full of McDonald's and intrigued as to what the bandana's were needed for, we jumped back into the van for the last few hours to the Grand Canyon and Red Feather Lodge.
We had a bit of downtime when we arrived at the hotel, so we dumped our stuff in the rooms, quickly changed and had a dip in the pool. After watching the guys messing about and a quick relax in the hot tub, we were told to get in the van and put on our bandana. Getting some funny looks from other tourists around us, Fran led us to the corner of the canyon, ready for the big reveal.
After watching the sun set, we were back in the van and taking the short ride back to the hotel, with a brief intermission for mini bus rave. We fended for ourselves for food that night, grabbing a few snacks from the Texaco and were lucky enough to see some huge deer, just casually using the zebra crossing.
The next morning our alarms went off at 4.30am and by 5 we were in the van on the way to watch the sun rise. I'm as far from a morning person as you can get, but even I felt watching the sun rise was 100% worth the early start.
Once the sun was fully risen, the group split up to take part in their various activities. Some of the group had booked to do the helicopter ride, so they made their way to the heliport, whilst the rest of us began our hikes.
By 7am I was wide awake and hiking my way around the canyon, with a brief picture stop at the amazingly named 'Ooh Ahh Point'. It's not very often you can say you've watched the sun rise and hiked the Grand Canyon by 8.30am.
We all reassembled at the van, comparing notes of our Grand Canyon experiences, all very jealous of those who had got to see it from above. All caught up with what we had missed out on, we were ready to leave the Grand Canyon and make our way to the penultimate stop on our tour, Laughlin.
To break up the 3 hour journey, we had a quick stop at Seligman on Route 66. I was particularly excited by this stop as it incorporated two of my biggest loves in life, milkshakes and Disney, as Seligman and the owners of the Snow Cap Diner were an inspiration for the Pixar film Cars.
Be prepared for fun and games when ordering at the Snow Cap and don't forget to add your piece of history to the wall.
After stretching our legs, we departed for the last stretch of the journey to Laughlin.
My photos from this day come to an abrupt end here. That evening we simply sunbathed on the hotel's beach, had a dip in the Colorado river and had a drink together as a group, each recalling our favourite part of the trip. Exhausted, we fell asleep mid conversation in our hotel room, whilst a few stronger trekkers ended the night on more drinks and a trip to the hotel casino.