Contiki Tour Day 6 – The Grand Canyon

Hey again!

We are slowly getting there with these posts. Better late then never I guess! Anyway this is going to sound pretty similar to my last post, but again the 28th of July was one of the days that I looked forward to the most. What can I say…. I was going to helicopter over the Grand Canyon! You don’t do that every day do you.

Lets get into it….

We were up again nice and early as we were going on the morning flight over the canyon. It was about a 20 minute drive to the company (Papillion) where the flights took off from. Upon arriving we were all weighed so that they could figure out who would go in what helicopter. That way the helicopters were correctly balanced. Following this we all had to watch a safety video, not that I actually paid attention. Each helicopter had 5 passengers and the pilot. I was with one other girl from the tour and 3 Koreans and was really lucky and managed to get the front seat next to the pilot. It was my first time in a helicopter and I had previously heard mixed opinions on helicopters so I didn’t know how to feel before taking off. It was so strange being able to see so much and then not having to go down a runway.

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We flew out and over the national park (I have no idea its name) for about 5 minutes and then the Grand Canyon just appeared. I expected it to be incredible but I just can’t put into words what it was actually like. Its size and beauty is just astounding. We flew around the canyon for probably 15 minutes, listening to facts and its story through our headsets. Initially we were just flying above the canyon but we then flew inside the canyon which was surreal. I would love to head back one day, whether thats later this year or sometime in the future and raft in the canyon. We then flew back to base and waited for everyone else to get back. Although it was expensive I would do it again at the drop of a hat.

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We then caught the coach back to the lodge and a group of us caught the free shuttle to the general store. The store also had wifi so we made the most of it. After some lunch we headed back to the our rooms and grabbed what we needed as we were going to go on a hike into the canyon. We ended going on the Bright Angel Trail. This is a trail that goes for about 20 miles down into the canyon and apparently it takes about a day to get down and once at the bottom you can camp down there. It was awesome heading down but I don’t even think we made it down one mile. There were plenty of squirrels and we even got to see a mountain goat but that thing was evil. I swear it was just staring at us waiting to charge. Ok maybe thats an exaggeration but still…. The whole way down you were on the edge of the canyon and it was incredible to see the whole thing from another view. I would love to do it again but go further down. On the way down a rescue team went past us so we figured someone was hurt. We had a few close calls slipping but fortunately we were fine. As we got further down we had to wait while the rescue team helped the injured person. I think they must have slipped and broken their leg. I felt so sorry for the poor rescue team that had to carry the guy back up as it was so steep and rocky.

 

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Just after we passed the rescue team a guide went past us and asked where we were going. Of course we just said we were going down. No shit! It had started raining a little and there was a bit of thunder but it wasn’t bad. He told us that we should turn around because if it started lightning it was not somewhere we should be. Apparently quite a few people get struck by lightning at the canyon. We kept going for about 5 minutes, came across the mountain goat and a couple of good looking american guys and then decided to turn it back around. It wasn’t too bad going back up however, the weather did get a little worse with the track turning very dusty and windy. We made it up in one piece and took a little break at the top looking over the canyon. We then went for a little walk and headed bak to our rooms to shower as we were quite dirty and had to organise our bags once again. Around 5 we went to the main lodge and grabbed a pizza and garlic bread to share and then headed onto the shuttle bus to go to Hopi Point for sunset.

We sat and ate dinner watching the sunset even though it wasn’t great due to the weather and then went on a search for ice-cream but we were unsuccessful. It ended up being  an early night but we had covered a lot of ground and it was certainly an unforgettable day.

 

Xx.

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