Today we sleep more than usual. We had breakfast at the restaurant buffet next to the glass while we watched the flamingos in the pond. We went on our way to the South Outlet to pass the morning doing shopping.
The truth is that I had many expectations with the outlets and I left there quite disappointed. I did not see great offers, or discounts. The prices were excessive, and the clothes that were not much of my style either. So I left with practically empty hands. I could not believe that I would return empty handed from shopping.
I do not know if the time of year we went had something to do. Maybe in summer there are better prices than in September or October. At last I amortized the visit and returned to the hotel with a pair of pants, sweaters and shirts. At least the hours we spent there were not lost.
When we returned from the outlets we went to the Caesar Palace right in front of the Flamingo to see inside and take the opportunity to eat at the buffet. That's when we found out that we had to pay the extra per person. Logically we left without entering. We did not want to pay more when we had already spent on the bonuses.
But since we were there we took the opportunity to see the hotel inside, one of the most luxurious we visited. After lunch we returned to the room to rest for a while and wait for it to start to get dark. Shortly after 5 o'clock we set off again in the direction of the Stratosphere.
Climbing the tower of the Stratosphere, the tallest building in Las Vegas, should be one of the must-sees if you're in the city. There are several entrances. As we are not very brave, we buy the normal ticket. We carried the tripod but they forced us to leave it at the access control.
After enjoying the views of the city we set out for Freemont Street, but before we had something to do. We visit one of the most typical things in Las Vegas, its famous chapels. And it is in this section between the Stratosphere and Freemont Street where most of them are located and some of the most famous. We saw, among others, Chapel of the Flowers, Little White Chapel and Graceland Wedding Chapel.
And soon after we got to Freemont Street, apparently, along with half of the tourists who at that time must be staying in Las Vegas. It was Halloween night and a parade of floats ran through the neighborhood among thousands of people who could barely walk. The truth is that it was practically impossible to be there. We spent a while watching the parade as we could. Seeing the situation, we decided to return soon to the Strip that we still had a lot to see.
We left the car in the parking lot of the Flamingo and what was left at night we dedicated ourselves to walk and see some more hotels. We approach Bellagio to see the fountain show which repeats every 20 minutes. We pass by Caesar Palace again, and we arrive at the Mirage just in time to see the last part of the volcano show that takes place every hour on the dot from 7 in the afternoon.
We would have liked to have time to get to Treasure Island to see the siren show (every hour and a half after 7). We had not yet visited the Venetian. We could not leave Las Vegas without seeing this hotel, one of the most outstanding on the outside and, for us, the most beautiful on the inside.
We sat for a long time to rest on a bench next to one of the canals. Although it was obviously not Venice, we could not help but remember the days we spent in that city on our trip through Italy. As at night we were going to have the Halloween party, we had to take the costumes in the backpacks. To not carry them, we leave them at the entrance.
We sit in the main hall and, as if by magic, they bring the food to our table. The food was very good and plentiful. We could not finish it. The food is unbeatable. The best I've tasted in my life, from the salad, to the starters, the chicken, the pork, the prawns, the dessert. The waiter kept bringing us food. We were going to crawl out of there.
There are many people eating, but as we were near the windows it was a luxury to see the simulation of how the snow was falling. Then we went around the rest of the rooms that are impressive. We are young, we are beautiful, we are (not too) rich, so we naturally went out nightclub every night of our getaway.
It was only on the advice of a young woman vainly trying to trick us into the pool of the hotel that we went there. According to her the disco had recently opened and presented a decor to cut us off. The music on the other hand was hyper-commercial but able to reap all the tourists, which could promise a pretty cool and good-natured atmosphere.
It's after crossing the impressive ground floor of Encore Hotel that we are approaching the goal. There is a queue of a hundred meters spread before our eyes. It is 8:30 pm and yet the crowd is already on the war footing. Suffice to say that we plan to turn back.
But we decide to stand in this abominably long queue and take our trouble in patience.
I take this opportunity to detail the decoration of Encore. It suggests the best for the future with thick red carpet, gilding, luxury shops galore, chandeliers. I go to the washroom. Everything is dressed in marble, mirrors galore, faucets that hurt the eyes as they shine and hygiene absolutely flawless.
Back near my friends, the queue is moving at an impressive speed compared to the number of clubbers who pile up in this corridor. Indeed, the entrance to the disco goes smoothly. It took us 15 minutes to break everything to finally reach the crates. From the first meters after the entrance, we already know that we do not fit in any nightclub. The place is so impressive that we hasten to take our first shots.
It's just supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. The dancefloor is quite large and surrounded by soft beige leather seats, tables and podiums. The play of lights is fantastic with a harmonious blend of fixed soft lights and flashing bright colors.
Directly in front of us is the sumptuous outdoor pool, lit, on which float reclining seats much like sunbeds, but more mellow, larger, more comfortable and waterproof.
After our discovery of the places and especially the rates of consumption, we decided to go to play the slot machines of the hotel, sip glasses free and then come back a little later. On our return, a very bad surprise awaited us. We find a herd of customers, wailing in all the languages after the bouncers. These explain to us that the waiting time to enter is about one hour and that despite our ugly stamps on the wrists we will have to wait.
The management takes advantage of people like us to get priority groups of people who have planned to buy a bottle. Scalded by this scandalous practice, we find another way to enter. By elbowing and avoiding the bouncers as in a James Bond scenario, we crept and snuck to the entrance. We had to explain politely, that we had paid our entry fee so we had access to the bar. We had to be damn convincing since we were let in.
I had never seen this before. I see hair brushes, hair straighteners, deodorants, dozens of perfume bottles, mascaras, single-dose gloss, cotton wipes and wipes, hairdryers and self-service eyebrow combs. It's really a crazy thing! After tasting this luxury, I can certify you that we regret that the majority of discotheques do not install this system. Contrary to what one might think, the clientele is not exclusively composed of well-off people. I am living proof of it.
I see young and old often located up at the VIP tables, beautiful and less beautiful and since we are in Vegas, we find a lot of tourists. But I also noticed that in Vegas and more particularly in the discotheque reigns a high concentration of discolored blondes. There are pretty brunettes, with generous forms, with indecently high heels and shortest min skirts. And often when we talk with these girls, we realize that they are American students and against all odds hyper-puritans.
If spirits had been a night owl, they would certainly have rushed to the XS after the parade as the place is magical!
Today we got back on the road. We went to Death Valley. It was one of the great surprises of the trip. It was a place that initially did not attract me very much. While preparing the route, I thought about removing it from the itinerary since visiting Death Valley forced us to add enough miles to the route before arriving in Sequoia NP.
Before leaving Las Vegas we stopped at a gas station to buy supplies. We completely filled our fridge with drinks, food and ice, and took advantage of breakfast. When we arrived in Pahrump, shortly before the entrance to the park, we stopped again to completely fill the gas tank of the car. Inside the desert we only saw a gas station with gallons at the price of gold.
The first stop we made was Dante's View, a viewpoint from which to contemplate the salt area of Badwater Basin. To get there we have to take a detour from 190 (the main road that crosses the park) by a secondary road. The route is about 21 km but it takes about 40 minutes to arrive.
The next stop we made was Zabriskie Point, located on the same main road that crosses the park. Zabriskie Point is characterized by the different shades of the rock formations of the place.
Shortly after passing Zabriskie Point and a little before arriving at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center we find the detour to the Badwater Road . On this road we find the largest number of points of interest in the park. We stopped first at Devil's Golf Course, an area of salt land where to get there we have to walk a dirt road.
Until arriving at the most known point of the Death Valley, the Badwater Basin. A huge white expanse of salt that is 86 meters below sea level. From there we started our way back along the Badwater Road with the aim of traveling the Artist Drive.
The Artist Drive is a one-way road in which the main point of interest is the Artist Palette, located in the Black Mountains. To cross it we have to do it on the way back from the Badwater Basin. The colors of the rocks are caused by the oxidation of metals.
Along the way, we find some of the few inhabitants of Valley, the coyotes. We took the opportunity to rest a little in the visitors center of Furnace Creek. Here there is a shop for shopping, public restrooms and a hotel. It must be quite an experience to sleep in the middle of the desert.
We could not organize the planning in such a way that allowed us to sleep here one night but we would not have cared. We improvised a picnic outdoors in one of the tables of the Furnace Creek Ranch with some of the sandwiches that we had bought in the morning while several crows came to surround us.
When we finished eating we went to the Borax Museum in Furnace Creek, dedicated to the mining and borax works that years ago took place in this area of the valley.
We still had to visit the dunes of Stovepipe Wells located half an hour away from the visitors center of Furnace Creek. Here we find the typical desert landscape.
When we left Stovepipe Wells, it started to get dark in Death Valley and we still had an hour and a half to get to Lone Pine, where we had booked our hotel that night. During that time we drove completely alone, at night and without mobile coverage on the roads of the park until we left it. It really is not the same to go around the park in the light of day than when it's already dark.
Shortly before 8 o'clock in the afternoon we finally arrived at Lone Pine, another of those typical towns where time seems to have stopped. We had booked a room in the hotel that has two types of rooms, the oldest located in the main building, cheaper and less comfortable. And the new rooms, located in the motel area, with bathroom and heating, and more spacious than the previous ones.
We rested a while in the room and ate some sandwiches, salads and yogurts that we still had in the fridge. At night we went for a walk around the town and ended the day in a typical local place drinking and playing a game of pool. We were in the American West and after days of travel we could almost feel there!