Just after our helicopter flight we hit the road to Las Vegas. We arrived at night, we crossed the desert and a few dozen kilometers before reaching the city we began to see a halo of light in the distance. The car drove over a small hill and there, Las Vegas was discovered before our eyes: a huge spot of light in the middle of nowhere. "The Strip" and its hotels are glowing with a thousand lights! Wow, the first impression is great!
But before discovering the "heart" of the city and staying on the "Strip", we went to the outskirts for 2 nights and we went to see the Super bowl! We absolutely don’t know the rules of American football but since we are here, let’s enjoy it. Sports bets are banned in the US but tolerated in Las Vegas. So we stayed in a sportsbook room. In addition to betting on the winner of the game, each player can also bet on a hundred (or more) of combinations (which will make the first touch down? Who will win the first quarter? Who will do the first mistake? How many meters will move the first team? ....). We watched a few moments before we moved into the auditorium. 3 giant screens were installed. The match started ... and was interrupted every 5 minutes by advertising !!! So already it is not easy to understand the rules, but then when the game is interrupted 10 minutes every 5 minutes even less! We were more fascinated by the mood for the game (and even won a folding chair in the draw) than by the game itself!!!! Nevertheless, the match is composed by 4 quarters of 15 minutes of game but the “show” lasted 4 hour !!! Too long for us, once is okay but not twice ;-) !!
In the evening we went for a walk on the "Strip" in Las Vegas, the famous avenue full of casinos and hotels all more beautiful than each other. There is only one thing to say: all the clichés and misconceptions that we have of the city are true !!! Each hotel is lit with a thousand neon and you can travel from New York to Paris via Venice, Athens and Cairo within a few hundred meters! Casinos are all open to the street and are very similar to each other: dozens of different slot machines, tables with croupiers, carpeted floor and no clock. Welcome to Las Vegas, the city where everything is possible!
To get more from this unique and original place, we then spent 2 nights at the Flamingo Hotel, a hotel in the middle of the Strip and a pioneer. After a change of room (because there was no hot water), we had a superior room with a breath taking view of the Las Vegas High Roller (Big Wheel). We took advantage of our stay to see two shows (one where Romain disguised as a blind monkey won headphones) but especially to go play casino. What is good in Las Vegas is that when you play, waiters bring you "free" drinks (you have to give them a dollar tip for every glass). We played $ 100 (yeah, we're not high rollers and above all we do not have much anymore), but we dealed rather well: we left with $ 65 and 6 cocktails each ! (Well okay we did not win but at least we had fun). But Las Vegas is really the city of consumption and "always more". Some hotels have installed rides in the city, another has a slide that goes into a shark tank, or one offers you a ride in a Venice gondola. You can also get married in a few hours (by paying an amount ranging from 500 to 6,000 dollars) or scarfing M & M Custom's ... In short, this is an amazing city, unique and where you can spend a fortune !! ! We learned to be reasonable and despite all the negative echoes we sometimes hear about this city, we loved it. Now it's time to hit the road.
Crossing the Nevada desert to get to California, we crossed a forest of Joshua trees and cactus. We could not explore the whole park but what one saw really impressed us. In the midst of a volcanic landscape where the rocks seem to be on the ground like toys out of a trunk, large yuccas stand, bringing nutrients and shelter to wildlife discreet but present. We also could see the "Jack Rabbits" these rabbits with huge ears ... but so fast that we failed to make a single pic!
We also stopped at Lake Salton. This lake, which has the distinction of being the lowest point of the United States (with an altitude of 65 meters below sea level) is also a salt lake that formed after a human error. Indeed, in 1901 the region began on irrigation to bring water from the Colorado in the plain. In 1906 a major flood broke the channels that have been poorly designed, the water of the Colorado poured in the existing lake basin and the Colorado deviated its course for over 3 years. It took a lot of work to put Colorado back as it was, the lake was formed. Why the lake is salty? Because the plain, once covered by an ocean kept its salinity and the salt is dissolved in contact with water, making the salt lake.
Today is an important ecosystem that is home to many migratory birds. We strolled on the beach and we had the bad discovery to find hundreds of tilapia (fish) dead and washed up on the coast. Why ? Because strong wind reduces the oxygen in the water and the fish suffocate ... !!! Still, with the stench we did not stay too long !!!
Now let’s go to San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco