Monday, November 24, 2008

Fear and Loathing

Having no idea how to play Blackjack or Poker or anything else, Vegas was still class. Money tastic though. Despite the absolute wealth of Vegas, I saw more cockroaches in 3 days of Vegas than in 2 months of South America. They are ugly little yokes.

The receptionist of our hostel was an absolute asshole, but we tried to ignore that fact, and enjoy Vegas. The rumor that if you sit at slot machines a woman comes along and offers you free drink - it's true. Classic. One thing I didn't expect was the crapness of the slot machines. I thought that it would be a bit fun because we'd win a bit of money then lose a bit more, and so on... But really it was just feeding money into a machine and getting nothing in return.

It was mad watching Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas after being in the place. There are so many areas referred to in the movie that we had been in. Like the Circus Casino. Being in Seattle, Vegas, San Fran and LA was like walking into all those movies and TV shows we had seen in the past. Except it wasn't quite what I had envisioned, every time, in a good way!

There was a lot of Heineken and rum drank on our last 3 days of the year away. Vegas was our last stop.

We had visited many parts of Ontario. Keswick, Toronto, Newmarket, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, Brockville, Algonquin Park, North Bay, Kitchener, Mount Forrest, Owen Sound, Tobermory, Manitoulin Island, Newliskeard. Montreal Quebec.

We had been through NY State, and all through BC (Vancouver, Kamloops, Whistler, Lake Louise, Banff, Jasper). Seattle, Phoenix AZ, El Paso TX, Juarez Mexico.

Santiago Chile, Valparaiso, Mendoza Argentina, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janiero Brazil, back to Buenos Aires, Puerto Iguazu, Salta, La Quiaca Bolivia, Tupiza, Uyuni, La Paz, Copacabana.

Cuzco Peru, Aguas Calientes, Machu Pichu, Lima, Mancora, Puerto Lopez Ecuador, Quito.

Hollywood LA, Reno, Black Rock City, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas.

Dublin. Sligo and Navan.

That was our 51 weeks.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yosemite and Death Valley

After Santa Cruz we drove up to Yosemite National Park. I kept thinking of the little red moustache lad who hates Bugs Bunnys guts. Yosemite Sam. He has two massive handguns. I'd say he HATES foreigners aswell but they can't show that in cartoons... Anymore.

This park would be in my top 5 most beautiful places I've ever visited. It's truly pure and there is an amazing natural feeling that there's life around you everywhere you look. MILLIONS of trees obviously. And bears everywhere. We were very careful when camping with our food. They have special containers you put your food in, for every camping area, because even putting it in your car is not good enough. Bears can pull the door off.

I can't go into what we did in Yosemite. It's too much of a visual place where you have to have physical presence to really understand what its about.

When we drove into Death Valley, we listened to 'Welcome To Sky Valley' by Kyuss. It was pure rifftastic desert rock. There's no better album for such surroundings.

We stopped the car and walked out into the desert. I had my guitar, and had to keep banging it so Elaine would know that rattlesnakes would be scared away. There were small holes in the desert floor. I'm pretty sure they were snakes lairs. But I didn't tell old Elaine that.

Then we took a video of me playing 'A Horse With No Name', by America.

Parts of Death Valley are actually below sea level. Imagine that. Think about that. When you stand in Death Valley, you are below the surface level of the ocean. Damn that place is hot. And you would die there if you were lost. No question.

We were driving for 10 hours. After taking that video we went onward through Vegas, got lost, and got out the other side to the edge of Grand Canyon National Park. We stayed in a motel there because it was too dark to pitch a tent. Besides, every 'campsite' in the area was actually a feckin trailerpark. So no thanks.

When I looked into the Grand Canyon, I'm pretty sure I couldn't take it in. It has an overwhelming depth and vastness. We could see for 53 miles across it.

There were alot more people there than I expected, and it was not how I imagined it. But it was definitely as dangerous as I expected. If you take a wrong step too close, you'll fall for a million years.

We headed back to Vegas, not having died. A long road trip. And the petrol costs were a KILLER!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Santa Cruz

We met wonderful people at the burn who invited us to stay on their boat with them for a weekend. So we did. It was delightful.

We were amazingly locked. I love boats. I will never forget that sound invitation. Their kindness will remind me for years to come that being sound can really be appreciated. I will invite people to do stuff if they are coming to Ireland and don't know what to do. Because we appreciated this so much.

All we did all weekend was sit on the boat and listen to music, drive around on the boat, and eat food. We gave Donny a giant bottle of Southern Comfort as a reward for the soundness displayed. He still has not drank the full bottle, even nearly 2 months later. He says it's the only drink he ever stopped drinking due to it making him so sick one time.

Lightweight, Moo haha.