A Grand day out

Wednesday 26th March

Having checked the forecast we set off for the Canyon the next day, we were not to be disappointed, we watched an Imax film at the visitors centre and this made us eager to see more. (I tried not to feel sick as the camera swooped and glided along the canyon floor, the sound of gushing rapids, thundering in my ears) As we approached, looking for somewhere to park, we suddenly realised that…there it was – we could glimpse it between the trees, it was shivers up the neck stuff! I cannot believe that you can stand on the edge of a 4000’ drop with absolutely no barriers! The signs tell you to stay on the footpath, but hey that’s a whole yard or two away from the dizzying, crumbling edge of the drop that falls unbelievably away before you, as your heartbeat races with both exhilaration and fear! The weather could have been kinder, the skies a little clearer, but nothing could take the immensity of the occasion away. The sheer expanse across the canyon, about 10 miles at this point, the colours, the shapes sculpted over thousands of years, were amazing. Somehow though, it seemed like a film set a bit surreal. The moment when a male group of Japanese tourists began to sing whilst gazing at the  “Buddha Temple” peak, was particularly moving. (Almost made it feel more like a film set) As we stood and stared at the vast chasm below we marvelled at those who chose to travel into the bowels of the canyon by mule, and those who trekked the many trails curling tortuously downwards – we thought of Leo and Nat and how they would enjoy such energetic pursuits. Frequent shuttle busses carried us along the rim enabling us to visit the parts we could not drive too, it was cold but a truly memorable experience. Staying for sunset would have been a perfect end to the day, but we were robbed of that pleasure as the clouds continued to roll in, wrapping the world famous vistas in gloom.The journey back along an almost deserted road, to Bree, was uneventful apart from the stretch where Malc was blinded by the headlights of a following vehicle…their trucks, already larger and higher seem to have lights that beam straight ahead. Irritated by this and the fact that the driver showed no intention of overtaking, Malc slowed down, slowed some more until he was almost at a stand still. Panicked by this I reminded him that the driver may have a gun, so upsetting him was probably not a good idea! However, he never overtook us, but pulled over instead eventually resumed his journey when we were well out of range. Perhaps he thought we had that gun!

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