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they serve alcohol and food quickly... what more could you ask for? the food is adequte for a drinking scene, and the only reason i didnt give it a full 5 star rating is because the locals can get a bit out of control at...times.More
Continuing on from my previous review. We arrived in Albuquerque (population 557,000 & the state capital of New Mexico) & before tea we went on a tour of the old part of the town. Interesting but too hot for a couple from New Zealand!! Next...day we decided to go to Santa Fee which is just over an hour's drive from Albuquerque. While in Albuquerque. all the houses were the same colour as the desert sand, in Santa Fee only some of them were. We climbed into a large golf cart (small open sided bus) & were taken on a guided tour of the town. Tour finished I had lunch & went across the road to an Indian market which I found most interesting. I met up with a stall holder who carved all his objects out of wood from the Bultos Tree. This made his carvings very colourful because he then didn't have to varnish them being white to deep brown in the one object. Santa Fee averages 12" of rain per year but for the last few years were only getting half of that. Nothing to write about the trip back to Albuquerque but over tea we heard plenty of thunder which was all over by the time we had finished tea. Next day we stopped at Gallop (a city of 21.678 people!!!!} where we visited one of the more interesting hotels of the whole trip-El Rancho, a stop at the Painted Desert Inn before going the 27 miles to the Petrified Forest. There were trees that had fallen over & changed into stone. Gosh some of the colours in the stone were beautiful. On to Holbrook where we visited the Wigwam Motel (all the units were in the shape of an Indian Wigwam) & then to Winslow where one of the gift shops had many items that were missing from the other gift shops on Route 66. Spent the night at Flagstaff 6.800 feet above sea level) a town that was surrounded by tall trees (they looked like Pinus Radiata). On the bus the next day we stopped at The Cameron Trading Post, which was the largest on the trip. It had a lot of stock made by the Navajo people. On to The Grand Canyon which was spectacular. Very deep & very colourful. We were on the edge of the canyon at 7,200 ft & the canyon is between 1 mile (5280 ft & 1.5 miles (7,920 ft) deep. The Colorado river looked very small. As the sun was directly overhead it spoilt the colours to a certain extent. Up until this time I had been very critical of America charging people to go into National Parks (we don't in New Zealand) but having seen what they offered in the parks (sealed roads, free buses, collecting dead wood & setting fire to it so that lightening doesn't set fire to it etc) I will take it all back. We stayed the night in the park in a very clean & tidy motel. Next day proved to be another interesting one. Before we left the National Park we saw a deer & a chipmunk from the bus. Moving on we went through a few towns that looked to be reasonably prosperous & on to Las Vegas. The bus stopped at a side entrance to the Eiffel Tower Hotel where we all got out & went to our rooms. After tea some of the party hopped on the bus to have a tour of the lights in Las Vegas. Absolutely fantastic with obviously no shortage of electricity. There were places to have weddings everywhere so obviously everything in the wedding industry is booming!!!!! I must explain that the ground floor of every hotel is the casino. You see they want to get your money before you check in & go to bed!!! We visited a mall that was a street converted into a mall. That was interesting-people flying overhead on flying foxes while at ground level I was offered drugs by two different people. Slept very well that night. In the morning we couldn't find the breakfast room. Found it at last but we were running late for the bus so had to gulp down the best variety of breakfast foods on the trip. Next question where is the bus?? Eventually found it with the aid of a staff member only to find everyone was sitting outside as the bags from our rooms hadn't arrived!!! Eventually some younger guys in the party went up & brought the bags down. We were off at 9 am (1 hour later than normal)!!! for Los Angeles. For the only time on the tour I went to sleep after lunch & woke up as we were approaching LA. Went through Hollywood & Beverly Hills before reaching the end of our journey. Chicago if you want to go back is 2,448 miles in the other direction. Two criticisms of Trafalgar Tours & one commendation. The first criticism is that one gets tired of getting up at 6 am for 14 days in a row to get the bags out by 7 am & on the bus by 8 am, in between times you've got to have a shower,get dressed, & have breakfast! They should have a half day somewhere in between & make it a 15 day tour.The second criticism is the party was far too big. A full bus of 50 people is hopeless as you don't get to know a lot of people. Commendation is the quality of the hotels selected for our tour. Spot on except for the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas.More
Date of visit: November 2015
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