3rd September 2008

The day dawned bright and early for some with half the team heading down to the canyon to watch the sunrise whilst perching on precarious ledges. The even more adventurous ones made a foray down into the canyon before the heat of the day got too much. Top effort marks definitely went to John ‘mountain goat’ Pugsley who, defying all ranger advice that it was almost impossible and ill-advised to venture down to the floor of the canyon and up again in one day, proceeded to do the whole thing before most of the rest of us had even found the pool!

Most sunbathed and swam, and then headed straight to a leisurely lunch overlooking the canyon. Despite the waiters leaving a little to be desired, the prickly pear quesadillas washed down with Fat Tire were great. Hinch’s ‘meat chilli’ was another favourite after he quizzed the bemused waiter on whether he could come any closer to the ‘definition of meat’!

The highlight of the afternoon was the ‘globally renowned and world’s leading’ helicopter flight over the canyon which was truly spectacular and provided another chance to clog the cameras with yet more photos of the canyon. Holly’s terrified state got even worse after informing the worryingly young pilot that this was her first helicopter flight and getting the reply ’well this is only my second’! We never did work out if he was joking or not. The experience was absolutely fantastic and certainly a great way to get a different view of the canyon away from the hoards of tourists.

After the flight the group split separate ways, some opting to chill by the pool, some went to the Imax cinema for yet more flying around the canyon and others went back up to watch the sunset from new found vantage points. The mountain goat was nowhere to be seen. His canyon trek clearly not being challenging enough for one day, he was off on another walk!

The previous night after eating in what the hotel described as ‘the best restaurant in town’, we realised that Tusayan was not known for its food and wine so tonight we headed back up to our lunch place in search of prawns that were actually cooked. It didn’t disappoint and with much improved service and huge surf and turfs it was a heavier team that staggered back to the hotel. Hinch however has yet to find an American wine that excites him… the search continues.

The bowling championship was resumed back at the hotel and we’ve heard bad bowling excuses before but sunburnt armpits was certainly innovative!

Day 4 (Wednesday) – The Grand Canyon