United States 10: Brooklyn

Simon and Angela, who were the first to arrive at the pit stop at 6pm, departed at 10am the next morning to explore more of the city of New York.  Racing from Brooklyn, the team set off for the first task of this leg of the race.

Taryn had provided another food challenge for this leg of the race.  The team were tasked with eating ice cream from the Brooklyn ice cream factory and then they were to walk off the deliciousness across the Brooklyn Bridge.  Simon was impressed with the quality of the ice cream and would’ve had two if they weren’t racing.

Ice cream factory Bridge and the factory
So very true…

After indulging, the team walked almost back to the centre of Brooklyn to access the secured pedestrian walkway that gave access to the bridge. They crossed the bridge in record time and headed back to Brooklyn via the subway.  Completing this challenge, the team once again relocated to new accommodation, their final for New York.

Brooklyn Bridge panorama
Bridge towards the island Another shot of the bridge
Serious bridge crossing face

For the second task of this leg of the race, the team had to attend the US Open.  After more sightseeing on Manhattan earlier in the day, the team set off on Saturday evening to Flushing to watch the match. The team had earlier purchased tickets to what they thought was going to be the Woman’s finals (Session 25).

Only part of the bull without people on it
F line subway Inside the Empire State
Naked Cowgirl of Cowgirl industries

They arrived in time at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre and were able to watch some of the outside games before going to their seats in the USTA Arthur Ashe Stadium. Due to earlier rain delays, their tickets, whilst allowing access for the session on Saturday, were for not the quarter final session.   Session 25 had been rescheduled to the Sunday night, which meant two entries for the price of one.  Ang was stoked.

Serena in the semi finals Polish girl hits back Serena wins!

The quarter final match was fairly one sided with Serena Williams soundly defeated Caroline Wozniacki, 6–2, 6–4. This meant the Woman’s final would be Serena versus the Australian, Sam Stosur and the team would be there to support!

More sightseeing was completed the next day, before the team once again headed out on the subway to Queens.

Grand Central station More of the station
Streetscape, Manhattan UN building
Outside the Guggenheim Inside the Guggenheim
Central Park lake Central Park field
Central Park castle Central Park wedding (complete with giant flags)

They received yet another pair of promotional caps and took their seats.  The match could be best described as electric with Sam defeating Serena 2-6, 3-6.  As Australians, the team was suitably proud and made many friends amongst the mostly American crowd.

Back at the tennis An outside match
Racers take their seats
Panorama from the stadium of Manhattan
Game on! Sam thumps the ball
Will Ferrell on the big screen Where’s Will?
Serena hits back Sam about to thump the ball again
Sam wins! Queenslander! Celebrating with friends and family
Sharing a moment Flag to win ratio seems wrong
First and second place Winner!
Stadium panorama, after the win

Later that night, on the journey back to Brooklyn, the team visited the 9/11 site.  They walked around to the fire station where 10 years earlier many fire fighters lost their lives trying to save others.  The team was moved.  The 10th anniversary had been sombre, subdued event and this brief walk by of the fire station, for Simon, was the most poignant commemoration they witnessed.

9/11 lights

Having originally planned to leave New York on the Monday, they received a surprise detour from Merryl. Their task now was to make their way as rapidly as possible to Guadaloupe, France where they would receive their next clue.

Flights were rapidly booked, but before they would leave the city, the team raced to the Top of the Rock where they took in a sunset.  They then had a few evening drinks at Lillie’s Victorian Establishment with Andrew, before heading back to Brooklyn one last time to pack for their flight, that was once again only a few short hours away in the early hours of the morning.

On Top of the Rock Pinching the Empire State
Night panorama from the Top of the Rock towards the south

United States 9: Manhattan, New York

Receiving their next clue the next morning, the team set out to explore as much of Manhattan as possible, before they were once again homeless.

Wise words from the sign
Subway art

Commencing with the neighbourhoods nearest to their hotel, the team walked around SoHo and ate in a restaurant in China town.  They took a subway ride to the Meatpacking district where they had some fantastic Thai.

Drying money like gangsters Freshpet in SoHo
View to the Empire State Empire state by night

Later, they walked the entire length of the Highline, a long elevated railway that has been converted to a park.  They walked around the areas of Greenwich, the Financial District and Wall Street.

Highline park benches Watching traffic on the Highline
Highline and watertanks Sad mouse next to the Highline
Highline panorama towards the Hudson
Highline panorama towards Meatpacking
Highline rail tracks
NYSE Federal Reserve
Brooklyn Bridge Mr Gecko wants his boat back
That is a lot of debt

Fashion Night Out was held on the Thursday with many shops staying open until late into the evening.  The team attended the event held at the Rockefellar centre.  Simon’s only regret was not bringing along a Generic Festival Clothing t-shirt wear on the red carpet.

Fashion night out model A sign for 30 Rock below 30 Rock!
Macy’s… epic Post Fashion night carnage

Later, the team made their way back to Greenwich to try some risotto in a gluten free restaurant.  Unfortunately it was closed, but, walking back to the subway, the team discovered perhaps one of the best pizza places in New York, Bleecker Street Pizza.  Famous previous Pizza Pie eaters included Edward Norton.  This place surprisingly served gluten free pizza even though it looked like a late night takeaway.  Rapidly, much wine and pizza was consumed was consumed in order for the team to receive their next clue.

Wine from a paper cup? Gluten free new york style pizza pie

There were two New York challenges provided by Callan for the team to complete.  These were to handstand in Times Square and photograph the Naked Cowboy.  These were completed in record time by the team.

Simon’s handstand Ang’s handstand
Challenge completed: Photo with Naked Cowboy Industries Times square by day

Later, the team checked out the east side and visited the UN building.  They then went to Magnolia Bakery, where they completed the other viewer challenge, provided by Taryn, to consume a Magnolia cupcake in Central Park.

Magnolia Bakery Ang eating a cupcake
Central Park underpass Central Park horse

Extensive searches for suitable accommodation had finally born fruit.  The team left their SoHo hotel and travelled out of Manhattan to Brooklyn.   There they arrived at the first of two places they had booked for the next four days, checking into the pit stop for this leg of the race.

Everyone needs a hardy mum

United States 8: Manhattan, New York

New York building

Previously on the Amazing Exclusive Race, one team of two raced from Montréal via Niagara Falls to New York.  There they met a frequent flyer and embarked on the next leg of the race.

The team along with Taryn (The frequent flyer) and Mark, took a cab to the pier where they boarded a Circleline sightseeing cruise for a tour down the Hudson River.  This voyage covered half the length of Manhattan and took the team as far as Liberty Island.  The tour was the first introduction to New York for the team and served to give them a good orientation to the major neighbourhoods of Manhattan.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Concorde
Mark and Taryn enjoying the view Liberty minics
Standard liberty statue Dudes taking the gunboat for a spin

Both Ang and Mark, who occasionally suffer from motion sickness, survived the journey well.  Taryn and Simon, as usual, had no such issues.

Following the cruise, the team raced to SoHo where they completed a lunchtime roadblock. Successfully finishing this meal, the team bid Taryn and Mark farewell and returned to the main task of this leg of the race – find accommodation or a suitable park bench for the night in Central Park.

Retreating to a nearby Starbucks where they resumed their seemingly fruitless search.  Out of frustration, the team gave up on the internet and set off on foot to the nearest SoHo hotel their internet search had located.

With some friendly banter, the team was able to secure accommodation for three nights at a reasonable price.  This challenge completed, meant that the team was then able to return to collect their bags from the Sheraton, and for the next few days at least, commence regular sightseeing racing in earnest.

Unfortunately we were unable to secure tickets

A short couple of subway rides later and the team checked into the pit stop with their bags for this leg of the race, earning a much needed rest.


United States 7: Seattle

Space Needle – see the future

Margie, a former resident of Seattle, provided the team with a variety of interesting tasks to complete during this leg. First checked off the list was Riding the Ducks.  The team boarded a duck driven by a guy initially wearing a red crazy spider hat.  They, along with a bunch of other rolling party goers, completed a lap of Seattle’s most interesting sites whist singing along to tunes and getting people in the street to join in with dance.

Sleepless in Seattle location by day Floating houses, Union lake
Gasworks Duck 4 Docked at Duck HQ

Having ridden the ducks, the team raced to attend a ball game and try the garlic fries.  Joining a nice Canadian couple, the team watched the Blue Jays destroy the Mariners.  Ang, figuring that with no national allegiance the best team to support would be a fellow Commonwealth member, joined Donna in annoying the surrounding American crowd with their cheering.  For the record, the Blue Jays won the game, 5 to 1.

The thin air at Safeco You need a bigger sign
The more expensive sea level seats
Commonwealth in a sea of Yankies at altitude Garlic fries
Mariners had a Chance, but it was a ruff one.

The team’s next challenge was to visit EMP (the Experience Music Project), and experience both music (almost a shrine to Nirvana) and sci fi (Avatar and Battlestar).  Simon remarked that “eccentric billionaires make the best museums” (eg MoNA) . Moving to the waterfront, the team walked through the Pike Markets.  Later, they proceeded back to the hostel where they joined up with a bunch of backpacker types and went on an art walk.

Big pile of axes Ready to hunt Cylons
Towards Pike Street Art Pike

The art walk had very little to do with art and very much to do with drinking and socialising.  Highlights included the tattoo parlour and Bambino’s (where pizzas redefine the word ‘large’).

Spied during the art walk and played the very next day.

The final task was a quick visit to Kerry Park where they were treated to a spectacular view of Seattle.  Their return trip to the hostel to collect bags was made all that more interesting by a Weird Al look and act alike bus driver.  He verbalised to each person who was dressed in all black their pick up number (4 people during the team’s ride) and that he thought they were going to a convention.  He said to one customer that he was happy to drive his bus to Kansas or Australia, should that be where she wanted to go.

Kerry Park panarama

The team proceeded on foot to the Greyhound bus depot and took a bus ride north to Canada. Four and a half hours later the team were once again the first racers to check into the hostel in Vancouver, winning this leg of the race.


United States 6: San Francisco

Waking after a restful night’s sleep, the team set out to explore metropolitan San Francisco. Challenges included riding a cable car, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge (from a far) and locating the elusive Buba Gump restaurant at Pier 39. Angela was pleased to have finally had the chance to have a beer at the restaurant bar, fulfilling a childhood dream (by being in the restaurant, not drinking the beer). Later, the team was particularly impressed with the showboating and snoting of the harbour seals.

Abandoned dogs! Success!
Fortune cookie manufacturing (all fortunes were excellent)

Returning to Sarah’s cool apartment for an optional 12 hour rest period, the team set off for Golden Gate park. Their main task was to complete the Generic Festival Clothing Outside Lands challenge. To complete this challenge, the team was required to collect tickets from the Will Call and spend the next three days at the Outside Lands festival. As a bonus, the team would also attempt to work out why a band called Phish (who basically just jam for 4 hours straight) were so popular.

Festival art Slack waste removal or more festival art?
The sun is smiling, the weather is fine.

Most of the three days of Outside Lands involved checking out the bands and sampling a variety of foods including what Simon termed “grade A awesome strawberry gelato”. Following the second day, the team were given and completed a surprise detour to China Beach. There they again attempted to see the Golden Gate up close. But it was a bridge to far…

Golden gate by night China beach

The multifaceted event that was Outside Lands also included viewing art and a rather expensive wine tasting. The team correctly identified Seven Deadly Sins as the best Napa wine on offer at the festival.

Demonstrating the hand signal (easy to spot in a crowd) Generic ground shot
Muse turn it up to 11

At the end of the challenge, both team members gave their top three music highlights. For Simon these were OK Go, Muse and Deadmau5. For Angela, hers were Arcade Fire, Muse and ‘some New York band’. Unfortunately, they were unable to complete the bonus challenge as they were no closer to understanding why Phish was so popular. Simon’s best theory was that Phish is some sort of cult.

Another day of festival racing

With the Generic Festival Clothing Outside Lands challenge completed, the team resumed normal sightseeing racing. They continued to walk most of the city, visiting the Mission, Painted Ladies and the most crooked street. They finally managed to see the Golden Gate up close. Simon continued his invented Prius game, much to Ang’s annoyance, and managed to spot 4 Prius in 30 seconds. The team also discovered Sarah’s aversion to brunch.

Golden gate by day Windy but clear
Mission mural alley Lenin appreciates the mural irony
Silly crooked garden street

Soon it was day six of this leg of the race, the last day. Keen to get as much value out of their remaining hours in San Francisco as possible, the team visited some art galleries, Haight street and rode the cable cars couple of more times before they raced back to the T line and back to Sarah’s. Then Sarah kindly drove them to the airport, where they boarded the flight to Seattle.

SF streetscape Near Haight
Please keep your body outside the moving vehicle Better than walking up the hill

The pit stop for this leg of the race was the city hostel in Belltown. The team was the first to check in, winning this stage of the race.


United States 5: Los Angeles to San Francisco

After the optional rest period, the team were the first up and out of the dorm room at the hostel.  They headed to Union Station and boarded the Coast Starlight (also known by some as Coast Starlate) for the 10-hour train trip north to San Francisco.

Free IQ tests! Capital Records
Union Station Inside Union Station

The team was treated to a rolling scene as the train rumbled north through the sprawl of LA onto Santa Barbara and along the Pacific Coast.  The large number of eucalyptus trees and coastline reminded Angela and Simon of parts of southern Victoria.  Simon commented at one point that “it was excellent to see so many gum trees, growing like weeds.  Finally, a little native Australian battler gets revenge”.

Santa Barbara Station Coast Starlight by daylight

The train took the team through Vandenberg air force base after hugging the coast for a bit.  The base was relatively uninteresting as all launch sites (including the shuttle site) were empty.

Surplus shuttle launch pad The view at lunch
Feed us!

Sunset was enjoyed in the scenic observation car with a glass of Californian red. There the team, along with a younger version of Charlie Sheen (before he started ‘winning’), played ‘guess what is growing in that field’ and tried to follow the ranting of a rather opinionated northern Californian girl whose topics of conversation included, among others, Vikings, feminism, Obama and cheese.

Sunset over the fields

Eventually, the train arrived 45 minutes late at Oakland and there the team boarded a bus to the Ferry Building in San Francisco.  This was the pit stop for this leg of the race.

Finally in Oakland

United States 4: Monument Valley to Los Angeles

The lengthy drive to Bryce Canyon took the team north into southern Utah.  Soon after leaving Monument Valley, the team entered a landscape that could best be described as lunar or Mordor (take your pick).  Populated centres were few and far between with highlights including Mexican Hat and Hanksville (seemingly the wakeboarding capital of Utah due to its proximity to Lake Powell).  On board fuel reserves were also limited at this point, so the team made full use of cruise control.

Ang is happy to be there Monument Valley Road
Follow that RV! to Mordor

The stretch of drive through the Glen Canyon Reserve, including the crossing of the Colorado River and views of the upper reaches of Lake Powell was particularly harsh and alien.  So much so that Ang remarked soon after leaving Hanksville “not more spaceland!”, which Simon agreed with, as there is only so much barren waste land you can look at and still be interested.

Luckily, the terrain changed again as the team first entered the Capital Reef National Park and then climbed 9600 feet over the range to Boulder and on to Escalante.  There they spent the night in the Cowboy Country Inn. The highlight of Simon’s stay was the brief moment when “two local hoons blasted through town on what could only be described as a recreation of American Graffiti”.  Ang’s highlight was “the fishing themed room that had a bear on the bed that scared me”.

There is a bear in there… Workin’ on the land
Old School

But this was not a pit stop, so early-ish the next morning, the team set off to Bryce Canyon.  Arriving they commenced a survey of the park’s ‘scenic turn-outs’.  The main features of the park are a multitude of spires and eroded canyon gullies.  Ang said “it looks like Cappadocia
in Turkey”.  Simon thought that it kind of looked like those sand castles you make with wet sand.

There are a few walking tracks within the park, and the team set off to complete a circumnavigation of the area to receive the clue to their next destination. They were able to cover the 4 mile circuit in about half the national parks service allotted time and were soon on their way to Zion National Park.

Rock on at Byrce Crumble rocks at Byrce
ARRch at Bryce

Driving to Zion, the team stopped at the Thunderbird Cafe, Mt Carmel Junction, which was mainly notable for its ‘Ho-Made’ pies (which of course has an apparently innocent explanation).  After lunch Ang tried one of these pies, “delicious”, and the team was soon back on the road.

Getting briefly off track for the first time of this trip, the team entered Zion national park on dusk.  Spectacular is a word perhaps used a little too often, but both Ang and Simon agreed, the drive through the park in the fading light was spectacular. They spent the night near the exit to the park and were rewarded the next morning with views that Simon called “comparable to the Grampions, but much bigger”.

Zion at Dusk Zion, sponsored by Toyota

With the rental car return deadline fast approaching, the team down the Colorado Plateau and back to Vegas.  They then flew back to LA for an afternoon and evening in Hollywood and some much needed rest, completing this leg of the race.

New casino soon to open in Vegas – the Sesame Street Exprience Airport slots while you wait
Everything is better in Hollywood, but the signs are tiny

United States 3: Grand Canyon to Monument Valley

With the Grand Canyon challenges completed, the team set off on the next leg of the race.  Driving east along the Canyon Rim, they stopped in at the varying scenic turn offs along the way.  Then on the long descent from the Canyon Rim to the plains below, they received their first surprise detour.

A surprise detour is a challenge that is sprung on the team at any moment during the race, and usually will significantly alter travel plans.  In this instance, the surprise was to drive a couple of hundred miles further east to Monument Valley where they would receive their next clue.

For the Half Life fans out there

Driving east, they entered what could only be described as a moonscape, a vast barren land devoid of anything living, except Navajo settlements amongst the rock piles and sand aggregate hills.  Simon again wished for a rope as there were stretches of exceedingly straight and long roads through this area.

Until that is, they crested a hill and entered the Monument Valley region.  Their pace of travel slowed considerably as every opportunity was taken to stop and take photographs of the buttes.

The team entered the Navajo Tribal Park, and quickly decided to see if accommodation was available for the night at the Navajo Monument Valley View hotel.  There was one room left so they were in luck yet again.

The view from the team’s room
Valley Panarama

The team enjoyed the spectacular view whilst dining in the hotel restaurant.  They then joined the crowds watching sunset and 2wd car get rescued from the 4wd track before watching ‘Stage Coach’ (starring the Duke, John Wayne).  Their hosts, the Navajo who worked at the hotel seemed to all be young with great senses of humour.

Late afternoon Monuments Sunset Monuments
Monument and Moon

Again alarms were set early and Ang and Simon commenced the main task for this leg of the race.  They watched the sun rise, then headed off to walk the Wild Cat Trail, a 6.5km round circuit that passes up close to the buttes.

Sunrise Monumets by day

Despite some mild concern regarding rattlesnakes and actual wild cats, the team enjoyed the spectacular walk.   They covered the first section easily and were on the return journey when they lost sight of the stone cairns that marked the path.

Slanty Valley

Picking up an alternative path through the desert flood, the team walked along what seem to be a goat track (with a few human footprints thrown in for good measure).  It turned out that it was indeed a goat track as the team happened upon a herd of goats guarded by a lone dog and three to four Navajo on horseback, high up on a ridge.  The team knew they were being observed as they made their way back to the visitor area.  Simon said, “now I know what John Wayne must’ve felt like”.

Then it was north out of Monument valley, stopping only for brief moments to recreate pivotal moments from the Beatles and Forest Gump’s careers, and onwards to Bryce Canyon National Park.

Ang does this all the time Monument Valley Road

United States 2: Las Vegas to Grand Canyon

For the few who don’t know, Americans drive on the other side of the road.  If you have not previously driven on the other side of the road, there is a certain amount of anxiety to be had by first timers.  Said Ang regarding right hand drive, “the last time I drove on the opposite side, I was just back from Norway and it was in Australia.  Lucky no one died”.

With the space of a few minutes, much of the traffic rules had been worked out and the team headed south out of Las Vegas towards Flagstaff.

Hoover Dam

They drove for about five hours and after taking short detours to the Hoover dam and along the largest remaining stretch of route 66, they decided to try the small town of Williams for overnight accommodation.  Their accommodation of choice was a restored former brothel and was located in convenient walking distance to the main after 6pm attraction in Williams, the nightly gunslinger shoot out.

Shop in Williams

Refreshed after their night’s sleep, the team commenced the next task of this leg of the race.  They were to drive themselves to the Grand Canyon, but first they had to complete a detour to Sedona, a small Bangalow-esk arts and crafts town located amongst a bunch of impressive rock formations.  Ang remarked that “she was really glad to have come to Sedona and couldn’t get enough of the views”.  Simon was particularly interested in locating or at least viewing a vortex, as the area is famous for having the highest concentration of vortices in the world.  Unfortunately the local hippy types were either away or still in bed, so exact coordinates could not be given, meaning the team had to skip this task.


Done with Sedona, the team commenced the drive back north through Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.  Simon, who had previously been to the Canyon, said that “he didn’t remember there being such long straight roads on the approach, and that if he had remembered, he would have brought some rope to tie off the steering wheel to make the car (with cruise control), fully automatic.”  Ang just rolled her eyes with a smile.

Arriving nearly 2 hours after setting off from Sedona, the team progressed through the park to the rim lodges.  There they asked for and were granted the last remaining room in the complex.  Booking formalities completed, they approached the rim of the Canyon for the first time.  Ang said “Holy crap”.  Simon had that tingling sensation, which soon past, but was still impressed, “it is just like a painting”.

Grand Canyon

The first task at the Canyon was to find the ideal vantage point for sunset.  Ang was particularly keen to take the perfect photo but with the heat in the canyon it was quite hazy.  After walking about 8 km, they team watched the sun descend over the western rim.   Alarms were set for the second part of the challenge, sunrise.

Ang and Canyon
Simon and Canyon
Plank and Canyon
It is a big hole
Even more Canyon
Possibly Rabid, but cute

Waking before dawn, the team took a shuttle to Yaki point with a bunch of Euro types.  There they took full advantage of the lack of crowds to position themselves to photograph and watch the sun come up over the eastern edge of the canyon.

The race continues…


United States 1: Las Vegas

Receiving their first clue at Brisbane Airport, Ang and Simon boarded a 13 hour flight to Los Angeles. A slight delay at the airport was overcome in the air and the flight arrived on time at 7am. Clearing customs, the team transitioned to the domestic terminal for the wait for the Delta flight to Las Vegas.

Arriving at Vegas a few short hours later, the team checked into their hotel for a well earned rest. Strategically, they did not sleep straight away, instead heading to the strip on sun down to check out the lights and sights and complete the major task of this leg of the race, a grand survey of the major Vegas Casinos.

At the pool – Platinum The view from our room

The walking tour of the strip included reviews of the following (in order of visit):

  1. Bellagio (1st night – $1.6 billion construction cost)
  2. Bally’s (1st night – air con for part of the walk home)
  3. Paris (1st night)
  4. Planet Hollywood (1st night)
  5. Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon
  6. Flamingos
  7. Caesar’s Palace
  8. Bellagio (again cause it is pretty stunning for a hotel – think Ocean’s 11)
  9. Aria
  10. Crystals (not a casino, but a slick expansive mall)
  11. Mandarin Oriental
  12. Monte Carlo
  13. New York – New York
  14. Excalibur
  15. Luxor
  16. THEHotel
  17. Mandalay Bay
  18. MGM Grand
  19. Cosmopolitan
  20. M&Ms world (4 levels of chocolate candy fun – including a hilarious false fire alarm situation – staff had no clue and the alarm was quieter than the music)
  21. Coca cola world (strangely not as fun as M&Ms world)
  22. Planet Hollywood (Erotic dancing dealers = classy)
  23. Fremont Street Experience (not a casino, but an interesting bus ride there)
  24. Wynn & Encore (+$2 Billion per tower buys a lot of class! The team remarked that along with the Bellagio, this was their favourite. Ang said “if it wasn’t 1am by the time we reached the Wynn, we’d so would have taken a dip in their gorgeous pool”)
  25. The Palazzo
  26. The Venetian
Lobby ceiling flowers (Bellagio) Ang and I (Bellagio)
Mashmellow train! (Bellagio) Liberty bell garden (Bellagio)
A bike in the Bellagio Real flower painting (Bellagio)
Caesar’s Palace entry Best review ever (Caesar’s Palace)
New York Vegas style Cheesy streets of New York New York
Luxor on the outside Luxor Lobby
Extreme wine rack (Mandalay Bay)

The tour totalled approximately 6.5 km of straight line foot travel and a lot more when you consider casinos are built to keep you at gaming tables and not make it easy for you to walk about.

Over the course of their walk the team marvelled at the alternatively ornate and silly entries into each of the casinos, engaged in a few gaming related challenges (including a couple of rounds of a hilarious mechanical horse race game) and managed to get within 5cm of a pair of live casino tigers.

But, Vegas being the cruel money hungry mistress that she is, soon had to be left behind.  The next leg would take the team through to the Grand Canyon…