Skip to main content

The Canyons - Day 2 - 16 June 2008

Breakfast at Kokopelli suites, Sadona, was a dissappointment. They were quickly out of bananas, milk was over too and we had to do the refill ourselves, the hotel staff couldn't care less, no tea bags in my room, Rusimama tried calling from Detroit at 7.00 am but couldn't get through - a luxury hotel where phones don't work is nothing short of a disaster in my books - the breakfast area wasn't well - maintained either.

Anyways, we were soon in our bus and driving through the Oak Creek Canyon where rock formations were different from what we saw earlier. Americans take their tourism very seriously and go to great lengths to make us feel comfortable. They can also be very creative when it comes to promoting tourism. For instance, they give names to rock formations in the Canyon area that resemble - albeit coincidentally. So rock formations in Oak Creek Canyon, for instance, resemble tea pot, coffee pot, submarine, snoopy dog (in Sedona), and many more! We were now passing through the magnificent Tundra region and the drive through the Alpine country side is magnificent.

We soon reached the Grand Canyon and the first stop there was a helicopter ride. This was my life's most amazing moment. It was my first time ever in a helicopter. At first it looked like a really tall roller-coaster ride, but I soon settled down. It took us around 15 minutes to reach the Canyon valley, but once there, it looked like heaven. It's whole different experience to view the Canyons from up above and looking straight down at the Canyon's base, as compared to watching it from the Rim. The ride lasted about 45 mins, but i felt it got over fast - mainly because I loved it so much - but also because we 'wasted' around 15 minutes reaching the valley and also on our way back spent some time over the forest area. We were asked to wear headphones where we can hear the pilot speak and we can also ask questions. Headphones are necessary to blank out the propeller's noise. AWESOME experience.

Then, along with my new friends Barbara Lyons and Mary O'brian, I watched an Imax movie on the Grand Canyon and its early explorers. The IMAX screen was much smaller than I had expected and unlike the Bombay's Wadala Imax, it didn't give me the feeling that I am 'out there'. Yet, it was a fitting close to a fantastic helicopter experience. There are few village bus shuttle services that takes us to the various parts of the Canyon village, so we boarded one such shuttle that took us inside the Grand Canyon Village. Fortunately, our hotel Maswik Lodge, was inside the village. If you want to enjoy any of these canyons, always opt for hotels that are inside the canyon village area - that's always where the crux of the action lie. I rounded my day taking a 2-mile walk to the sunset point and spent quality time watching and enjoying the sun-kissed canyon range. The grand canyon at sunset looks at least 10 times more beautiful during sunset than during the day-time. And the best way to explore the Canyons is by foot. Nothing compares to what you see when you go on a hiking trail.


Popular posts from this blog


As the country oldest mutual fund scheme, now US-64 Bonds, are set be redeemed, it’s tough to find an equally alternative investment. There are some that come closeThe oldest mutual fund scheme in India, Unit Trust of India (UTI)’ Unit Scheme – 64 (US-64), will soon be no more. After more than 40 years of existence, curtains will fall on the US-64 bonds that mature on 31 May 2008. UTI has already sent out letters to all bond-holders about the redemption; investors are told to submit their original certificates, take their money back and leave.

For investors like Kolkata-based, Kumaresh Mukherjee, 72 it’s the end of an era. Soon after he retired from Philips India, he invested his provident fund corpus in fixed – return instruments like company fixed deposits. An electrical engineer by profession, in 1995 he also invested Rs 12 lakh or around one-third of his retirement corpus in the erstwhile US-64. After years of above-average returns, then trapped doors and turmoil that shook the Ind…

Pay Credit Card Bills Through ATMs

Tired of being ignored by ICICI Bank credit cards by being left out of their premium services despite being a loyal customer, I got myself a new credit card by HDFC Bank. It's another thing that HDFC Bank promised me a gold card with a higher spending limit, but then threatened to give me a silver card. When I strongly protested to their ways, they issued me a gold card, but with a much-lower-than-promised spending limit. I think the credit card companies ought to be made more accountable through stricter laws that are widely publicised (I recently read an RBI advertisement in the paper that if a credit card company rejects your application for a credit card, it has to give the reasons in writing; I never knew that!!!) and ought to made to pay for promising one thing, but delivering something totally different. SBI Cards too chased me for a month last year and promised to give me a platinum card with a high spending limit. What I finally got was a much-watered down Gold Card with …

My first ever Rajdhani experiance

As a kid, the Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express used to be this legend that I dreamt often. Although train travel was an integral part of my childhood, Rajdhani remained a distant dream. A dream that only zipped past me at 120 km/hr overtime I saw it. A dream that announced it arrival from a great, great distance by the sounds of twin diesel locomotives and its generator cars at either sides of the rake. A sound that was as intimidating to rail enthusiasts like me as a Bullet motorcycle is to a biker. In those days, it used to be hauled by two diesel locomotives so that it wouldn't need to spend much time at Vadodra station changing its locomotives. One of the two diesel locos would detach itself from the train and the other one who simply haul it al the way to Delhi. When I used to go to Valsad during some of my summer holidays at my cousin's house, it was a ritual. Take a picnic basket, leave the house at sharp 6, go to the yard just before the station, position ourselves on…