Rodeo's, Tarantulas, Coyotes and Javelinas. Not forgetting horses and Navajo Hogons
We're hoping that this blog is keeping you both up to date and entertained by the events occuring on our rookie world tour. For those of you who are familiar, there are comment boxes at the bottom of each blog. Please feel free to leave any feedback you choose but please make it in the format of motivational/ developmental- I respond better to this :O)
Since Nawlins we've visited a whole lotta places so will work through them place by place. Don't want you getting confused now do we haha. Since it's been so long since we've had access to a computer (shock horror), I'm using my travel journal (thanks mum) to remind myself of all the places/ things that we've done. Although we won't be putting the really juicy things on here cos after all 'what happens on tour, stays on tour' hahaha. Just kidding you'll have all the photographic evidence anyways when we get back.
First Stop was Sam Houston Jones, at amazing log cabins in the state of Louisiana. We were the only ones around for miles and with that kind of freedom, it would have been rude not to crack on with the beer pong to celebrate Brendan's birthday in style. Not much to report from here other than the Steve Irwin- esque alligator hunt 4 of us went on at roughly 3 am (the only ones standing yet again) and the major hangovers we had after going to bed at 4.30 am and needing to be up at 6. I'm telling ya, my beauty regime has gone to pot with all of these late starts and early finishes- I may never need to use a set of GHD's again (haha as if, that's just crazy talk)
After Sam Housten Jones we headed to San Antonio to stay in some more log cabins and to take in the delight that is Texan Rodeo ( where better to see a rodeo than in it's native home eh) It was the 60th anniversary of this particular rodeo and because of the occasion there was a concert straight after (will come to that later though) We never knew that bulls could move so quickly and although it was one of the weirdest things I've ever experienced, the funniest was watching a group of 5/6 year olds riding sheep in the same way the adults were riding the bulls/ horses haha. I was however treated like a criminal for having a camcorder in my bag (I know I'm a Scouser but it's my camera- honest) and was escorted to a security desk so they could look after it for me. Unfortunately no vids from this evening but plenty of piccies!!! There are also a couple of budding romances on the tour which is pretty sweet- and no! one of them isn't between Heather and I thankyou very much haha. It's going to be hgard saying bye to everybody because we've all bonded pretty well but I guess that's what Facebook is for haha. While we were in San Antonio, we visited the Alamo and have seen Davy Crockett's name in a plaque (swit swoo eh haha)
After San Antonio we visited the Big Bend National Park (feel free to google it) and camped there for 2 days. It was exciting because we were surrounded by coyotes, bears, javelinas (pronounced with a H) and had to lock all of our food away every evening so that the animals didn't come onto our site. The weather actually perked up, I mean it was HOT as we all hiked up Emory Peak (google it, it's impressive) It was 9 miles and the Peak is actually in the middle of the desert and H didn't think she was going to make it. I knew she was being stubborn so applied my army major/ coaching techniques and made it together. We both agreed that the views are incredible and for those of you who like to hike, I definitely recommend it as it was amazing! The hike wasn't easy by any means but it was satisfying! Again, the evenings were spent partying although no beer pong, just general chit chat and exploring. Found an open door theater in the middle of the desert- crazy eh haha. It was pretty good to be fair but only a few of us knew about it- the deserts best kept secret haha. The camping itself has been pretty cold so it has meant cuddling up to each other but bonding is nice eh haha. We visited some hot springs which were basically like an outdoort jacuzzi but we were right on the border of Mexico- it was literally about 5 metres away.
New Mexico- We basically set up camp and had an evening meal/ a few drinks. Nothing too exciting to report from here, other than acquring a game called 'Battle of the Sexes'. I am now a true lady you'll be pleased to know haha. The group are all still getting on quite well, there are a few quiet ones but I guess that's to be expected. H keeps trying to say that she's quiet but we all know how true that is (not very haha) but she's great and is enjoying the banter to be fair.
After New Mexico we went to a place called Tombstone- For those of you not in the know, it's home to the famouse cowboy graveyard, along with the OK Corral and a whole lotta history. The place is fantastic because it looks like something out of a Western film. It was ace! We went to a fudge shop- sorry we couldnt send any home but...well.....we just didn't want to haha. Just kidding it would have been way to expensive so we ate some for you all and it was delicious. We went to a cowboy shoot out- bless the actors, they tried but they really shouldn't be giving up their day jobs because the acting was awful. There were Margheritas for $2 so we thought we'd give them all a go but wish we hadn't bothered. H (who is steadily on the path to alcoholism haha just kidding) was the only one who liked the salt heavy drink and so we all tried to palm them off onto her haha.
Once the cowboy shoot out was over, we went to a snake museum. I thought we'd just have a little look and the guide would tell us about them We were stunned when he started to take them all out and let us touch them. In the course of 2 hours I held- an adorable lizard called Spike, 2 corn snakes, a small breed of Boa Constrictor, another snake (sorry I cant remember the breed but its on film) and....wait for it...... a tarantula- yes ME!! with an unbelievable fear of snakes. I couldn't believe it! Im actually stunned on the vid but actually think it's helped with my fear of friends with 8 legs. H held her fair share too and she has been captured in eternal playback on the camcorder haha. The most impressive one however was the rattlesnake. It didn't come out of its cage but the noise out of it was phenomenal- so so loud. It was the best $2 we've spent so far. Seriously fantastic. We visited the famous cowboy graveyard as well and the views from it were amazing. We have seen so many beautiful places already
Betty and Rusty's cowboy camp was so much fun!!! we slept in a chicken coop- yes a chicken coop and were kept awake most of the night by roaming chickens, guinea fowl and horses. It was in the middle of the desert and another great experience of true cowboy life. Betty cooked us the best steaks we've ever eaten and made chocolate cake in the fire- Thorntons eat your heart out haha. I should mention that Betty is in her 70'S and that Rusty is 92 and as bright as a button. We all sat around the campfire and they sang us cowboy songs. Betty is a sweetheart and Rusty still tries to charm the ladies haha. I went on a 2 hour horse ride on the biggest horse in the world- well not quite but he was pretty big. His name is Colorado and he almost killed me by taking me through a thorn bush. I don't want to scare you all but I thought I was a gonner. Luckily I escaped with slices up my tum and arms and our tour leader even saved my hat. The 1st thing H said when we got back to camp was 'did you fil it' (cheers H) but she didn't realise how serious it could have been until the tour guide told her I did extremely well to hang on. Enough of that though, I'm alive and would cheerfully go again because it was loads of fun!!!
What better way to continue with a trip to a cowboy camp than visiting a traditional Navajo reservation. The Navajo's are a tribe that live in Monument Valley which is famous for its red desert land and stone formations. We were taken on a tour of them in the pope-mobile (yes it looked like the one the Pope is driven around in) and had the names/ meanings explained to us. Monument Valley has been the setting for many John Wayne films as well as Mission Impossible and even Wild Wild West with Will Smith. After the tour we stayed in a traditional Hogwan which is made from logs and clay and has a roaring fire in the middle of it. So so toasty warm but I'm telling you all now, some of our group wouldn't be out of place in a herd of wild boar for the way some of them were snoring last night- seriously, you've heard nothing like it haha. The toilet was a long drop (pleasant) but did have 4 walls surrounding it. We say 4 walls because there was no roof and the door didn't shut properly but looking up we saw the most awe inspiring view we've ever seen in our lives. There were so many stars and they were so so clear- it definitely gives the planetarium a run for its money haha.
This morning we were up at 5.30 to have breakfast and then go to watch the sun rising which was again unbelievable. For every crazy thing we've seen in America, we've seen just as many fantastic ones and we have definitely started to appreciate life after Canada (although this is still our favourite). There is so so much to see and we can't believe that this tour is nearly over, although we have done tons.
Today we have travelled from Monument Valley to The Grand Canyon which is where I am using the FREE internet (sweeeet haha) The snow has followed us yet again so this time I have made a snow angel with one of the other girls Cindy. Heather had the joy of being body slammed into the snow by Will and Brendan but the video makes for very very funny watching. This evening we're going bowling and we are having a snowman building competition at 4.30 (better get my skates on then eh haha)
If you can be bothered, take a look at an American map and track how far we've travelled so far. We are currently 7 hours behind the UK as we have gained 2 hours while we've been travelling through (awesome eh can't wait for the bout of jetlag we're going to have come May haha)
Will probs update again in Vegas bayyyybeh
hope you're all well
H and Deb
x x x