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The Strip

sunny 42 °C

If you read yesterday's entry, you'll remember that today I planned to visit the Grand Canyon. Well I was all packed for the day, presented myself at the rental desk only to be told that I was ineligible because I was not 25. This was news to me; it had never been a problem before and this could have been mentioned when I made the reservation. This left me stumped. I really want to see the Grand Canyon and I don't really want the extra day in Vegas if I can help it. I went to the rental desk next door; they'd rent to me, but had no cars. I went to the one next to that and got some success. The only problem was that they had nothing for today. Hmm this would mean a plan change. So I've made a reservation for tomorrow and will switch my plans and spend today down at The Strip. Before I would go down there I caught a few free table game lessons and was set for the day.

I jumped on the bus to The Strip. It was about a twenty minute bus journey on busy roads. I got off at the Belagio, if not famous already made more so my the strip of Ocean's movies set here. After a look around I headed over to Caesar's Palace, also made famous by cinema, most recently The Hangover. I didn't find Caesar, but I sent some postcards. I had heard that the casinos were disorientating places, but I didn't think I would be fooled by them. How wrong I was. There are no exit signs posted anyway and time is easily thrown away pursuing a particular route out. I'd have been far better had I left a trail of bread crums. From Caesar's Palace I went to the Venetian, where the outdoors comes indoors in the form of a sized down Grand Canal and finally to the Palazzo. I was absolutely exhausted. It is incredibly hot outside and there are few connecting tunnels or walkways between the hotels.

I grabbed a bite to eat back Downtown near the Nugget. Now was the time to hit the tables. I found myself a $5 minimum Texas Hold'em table and got gambling. Shortly after I sat down the free drinks came in; gin and tonics, South Comfort and leomanades. By the time I had finished I had doubled my money and made up for my previous losses at the slots, with a little bit of money left over. I had therefore conquered the big Vegas dilema - when to stop. Knowing when to stop is crucial in this city and I think I pitched it just right. I cashed my winnings and again jumped on a bus, this time to explore The Strip at night. I wish I could say it was a different place at night, but it isn't. The place is as noisy at midnight and as heeming with people as it is at midday. I walked around the Excalibur and the pryamid shaped Luxor (which is actually a very disappointing hotel inside). My highlight of that evening was standing opposite the Belagio at about 11:00pm. On the hour the PA system struck up with Elvis' Viva Las Vegas and as it did so the Belagio fountains erupted to the music. The fountains towered scores of feet in the air and the noise of the water being fired in the air resembled fireworks. Now, whenever I hear that song, I can't help but think of that moment outside the Belagio.

My last day proper in Vegas was pretty much up. Tomorrow I visit the Grand Canyon. It will be a long day. The drive is five hours each way, so I won't get back until the early hours. Time to rest and recover.

Posted by MattOGrady 22:55 Archived in USA

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