Chloe was already impressed by a gentleman offering to buy Sandy off me at a gas station. I declined his offer, although chloe was rather annoyed that i didn't ask him how much he was prepared to pay. Valid point, but she's not for sale, although it would have been interesting to know.
So first stop on the way is Montezuma's castle. Its an indian settlement built from the side of cliff dating from the 13th century. Sort of like Petra in Jordan without the fancy decoration. It was amazing to see how these people lived and they must have been very afraid of something because they had to climb a step ladder to enter their home.
The most interesting thing about this visit was the fact that it rained. Chloe visited a similar site in Oaxaca in Mexico two years ago and it rained. It never rains in these places but it does when chloe or her mother is there. Clearly, the indian gods recognise some significance they have.
On to Sedona and an unsually plush hotel (for us, anyway) that felt a bit stuffy at first but a kiwi concierge called Ryan more than made up for this. I told him i was welsh so we immediately talked rugby. There was a free wine/beer thing going on at the reception at 7pm. We said we'd see him there.
I arrived there just as they were clearing up the wine. Chloe was still making use of the luxury toiletries. I turned to go back to our cabin/room when Ryan turned up in a golf buggy (hotel residents were ferried around in it). Ryan confirmed i'd missed the drinks, then as he approached further asked me if i drank red or white in a low voice. I said white. He then asked, sauvignon blanc, riesling or chardonnay. I said riesling. "Be over in a sec" he whispered. As i walked back to the cabin, a bit confused, i remembered that chloe liked chardonnay and that she wasn't drinking white due to a stomach complaint. Bugger. I ambled / loitered and Ryan came running after me and gave me a chilled bottle of riesling. Good sport. I realised that every kiwi i've met has been a good sport. A bit like Canadians. Must be something about being a country overshadowed by a more brash and powerful neighbour.
The man also had a deep southern accent and spoke in a steady almost stunted fashion. Is this the local accent? Chloe noticed he was missing some fingers and scars on his temple. He was amiable, said most of his trips were to tow away vehicles whose drivers had been stopped for drink driving or who had crashed off the road because of drink.
Just then two girls came in to the shop. They were wearing cowboy boots and dresses and seemed in high spirits. They bought some cigarettes from the shop and then skipped over to a car parked at the side of the garage. Our driver started chucking to himself. "Those girls just spent a night in jail!" It turned out he had picked up their car the night before following a meeting with the local police. They had been arrested for DUI (Drunk Under the Influence).