A Travellerspoint blog

May 2008

Sin City

Vegas baby!!!!

sunny 27 °C

Before you go jumping to any conclusions I must point out that I was pretty sick in Vegas. And I don`t mean that I acted like a baby and was fed milk by a woman dressed as an evil goth. I mean I had a cold and was very congested. As such the raw and rotting underbelly of Las Vegas was unfortunately past my bedtime and as such you will have to do your own research on the subject. From what I saw before midnight though it looked promising if debauchery is your weekend plaything.

I originally thought it was the cold symptoms but finally realised that it was actually Las Vegas that was making me feel slightly nauseous and dizzy. It is an outstandingly weird place. Met a bloke from Poole and he does all sorts in Vegas but his main business is:

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Which is not really a job anywhere else on the planet but here it works out fine. And with that sort of attitude to spelling and punctuation who can blame him - although I appreciate that I am not in much of a position to criticise. All ended well though as his mate was a Scummer and since Pompey won the Cup Final I had no end of fun taunting him. Blue Army etc. So what did I see? The strip is always a good place to start:

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Which is completely insane. That is until your definition of insanity is forever redesigned by walking inside the casino's. Here is the lazy texans best bet of seeing St Mark's Square.

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15 minute walk past the canals to get to it. Should it ever rain in Vegas (about twice a year) there is no need to interrupt the shopping. As Martin pointed out, when the end of the world comes then the rich will all live underground in places like that. The rest of us will of course perish on the desolate tundra of the surface.... which you can also see jut a short ride from the main strip:

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Well a short ride in a helicopter. Buses are so developing world.

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Grand Canyon is quite impressive if you like canyons. Hoover dam heralded as a "spectacular financial success" has actually destroyed 80% of the wildlife downstream but who cares about such trivia. No-one around here. Anyway all thoughts of the environment are ludicrous when the backdrop is a glittering city of excess in the middle of the desert. Vegas makes no sense at all but is astonishing in every way. It's a bit like the Elvis sandwich. Peanut butter, honey and banana deep fried in a sandwich containing 4,000 calories. It will kill you if you become a repeat abuser but once just leaves you feeling sick but strangely elated.

Went to a show too, Celine Dion was sold out so got some tickets for O at the Bellagio. Quite amazing and beyond explanation. Which keeps the blog shorter.

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On the road once more. Heading to Yankie doodle dandy's northern neighbours. Always found them most hospitable previously. Alaska looking increasingly unlikely due to time constraints and lack of organisation but there may well be another opportunity a few spins from now.

Take care. Be well.

Lid

Wow, leaving the states and I almost forgot to put this picture on. Must be losing my marbles. A wave ciao in the general direction of freedom.

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Posted by lidster 16:43 Archived in USA Comments (0)

LA and San Fran

altogether a defining moment in any trip to Cali.

semi-overcast 20 °C

So finished with the developing world and moved back to the land where freedom is delivered to your doorstep by homeland security using a helicopter. You will have some even if you don't like it. Not sure how free somewhere is if you can't drink a beer on the streets but who asked me...

Firstly the good news. This fella is in charge.

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No girlyboy running this state thankyou very much.

Once again to introductions to kick off. Joining at this point are Christine and Martin.

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Both Swiss passport holders and as such responsible for steadying the ship amid potential choppy waters ahead.

Firstly LA. All in all worth skipping. Following photos taken between sitting in a car for hours upon hours. One rule of thumb. If you live here, live close to work. Otherwise you will spend an awful lot of time looking at the back of the car in front. I don't like it so photos is all you get. Big trucks not a big deal here but the one below scared the shit out of me as I was trying to sleep in the passenger seat. Anyway, what chance do you have of saying anything worthwhile about a town where this is common practise.

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So, onto happier climes. San fran. Very cool town. First impressions would be that a legion of crackheads have taken over the streets and that first impression, as scary as it may be, is completely correct. Hundreds of them, all over the place. The reason I was told is that San Fran is one of the most libeal places for them to hang out, they also receive food stamps and support and there are a large number of shelters. Combine that with the fact that the weather is tolerable for camping all year round and due to the fact that the city is more European than any other in California (i.e. tourists pass you by rather than having to go looking for them) it all adds up to a weird street scene. I have to say that although there are lots of them they must be the most politte set of crackheads I have ever seen. Rarely asking for money, selling drugs of course but not aggressive at all and seemingly just getting mashed up and hanging out. Lifestyle choice I suppose. But in San Fran pretty much anything goes. People are truly not bothered about how you dress, what you do (within some loose limits) or what people think of them while they are dancing like a lunatic dressed like a neurosurgeon. Cool place. Jeremiah re-joining the trip, earlier spotted on the blog driving the rental car through a swamp in Costa Rica, and very welcome he is too. Touristic stuff observed below:

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So bridge, golden gate park, old houses (hoorah), another park all taken care of we ventured out into the night to see what trouble could be found.

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I would agree that Jazz is not normally classified as `dangerous` per se but it was easier to put it all together and I am under a bit of time pressure as I am at an airport with a flight taking off in about 45 minutes. Whatever. More photos. Of trees, very large trees.

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Which was a forest just outside of San Fran - sounded pretty poor but actually was quite cool. Memorial day Monday too so much hushed appreciation by all. Also went to Carnaval - no clue why it is in May but trust a Yank to pick the month that is most convenient rather than actually correct - and it was shit. So avoid that if you can.

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So all in highly recommended. Good luck to Chris with the rest of her studies. A+ chica, la prochaine fois nous pouvons parler en anglais mais si t`as un accent Americaine.....ou si tu dis `frickin` you will be in trouble. As discussed its `f@#k you, you f@#king f*#k` in correct English. Besos. Miah, see you around buddy, glad we could catch up, oh, and skeet skeet. If you get my drift.

Martin and I head East next for tales of the desert and some town stuck in the middle of arid scrubland where fat people gather to throw money into machines in some sort of ritual sacrifice of their hard earned dollars to the Capitalist God `Lard`. Thats what it says in the book anyway. Sneak preview for you:

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Really, do they have no shame.

Will let you know in a few days. Wish me luck. Skeet skeet y`all.
Lid

Posted by lidster 23:44 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Mexico

tacos, amigos and quite a few gringos.

sunny 35 °C

So Cuba was an experience all of its own and I was fortunate to surround it with a squashy and slightly moist layer of the Yucatan. Home to, well, Americans mostly. Cancun you should know from Girls Gone Wild 17 but if you don't imagine drunk brits slapping it up in Spain but with a less expansive vocabulary and at significantly higher volume.

Anyone know where the Gringo thing comes from? I do. If you do not then I recommend you use Wikipedia to find out rather than hanging around hoping someone else will fill in the blanks for you. Honestly.

So Cancun. No idea. Didn't go. Next beach down is Playa Del Carmen. Stayed one night. Loads of dive shops and lots of skimpily clad boys and girls drinking too much.

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I was the one crashed on the beach taking the picture. By now all of you know Al and Pat. Pat actually got arrested in Tulum for micturating on the street (would give you the wikipedia link just in case but looks like someone mis-spelt it... or I did). Photos of that do exist (the arrest not the watering of the sidewalk). In any case we should continue. I remember being a kid and my parents asking me: "would you jump off a bridge just because everyone else did?" well Mexico with Pat, Alex and myself was more a question of "where's the bridge".

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Or "where's the dos equis factory", "where can we find a dude with the trolley", and "what do you mean someone's called the army?", but you get the underlying texture of the experience.

So what else did we do? Well. Some of this:

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Although don't get the wrong idea from that. San Fran coming up in a few days for innuendo's of that nature. We then headed to the beach for some of this sort of thing.

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Rented a car.

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Which may not sound exciting but I destroyed my license by washing it the day before I left and Alex's had expired some time last year. Not a problem in Mexico though. Which was nice.

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Checked out some ruins. Tulum for info.

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If you look closely (and I know which ones of you will) you will be able to see not only some ancient Mayan monuments but also a french girl with her ya-ya's out. Bonus I think you will agree.

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So that kind of wraps it up for Mexico. At least for now. Skip the trashy gringo-fied stuff and head to any place you see with plastic chairs and tacos for less than a dollar. Much nicer. Oh, and check out some of the beaches, not bad.

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Thanks again to Pat and Al. See you both in the next couple of months. Take care of yourselves fellas. Be good.

And Al, when you can send me the photo of the 3 of us naked in the street except for sombrero's I'll post it. The world awaits. Probably quite afraid.....

Take care all. (Potentially) Fake tales of San Francisco to follow soon-ish.
Lid

Posted by lidster 21:02 Archived in Mexico Comments (3)

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