We chose the latter and so the day of offroad Nissan testing began.
Really we were lulled into a false sense of security. We calculated the distance as 40 miles of unsurfaced road, however the start of the road appeared surfaced and some 5 miles later we thought this was going to be easy.
All of a sudden though the tarmac disappeared and was replaced with a very bumpy and stoney road surface where our maximum speed was 10 MPH (miles per hour). Any faster and nissy's suspension resonated against the road surface whose striped surface looked like it had been scraped with a piste flattening machine. A quick calculation with the GPS now showed that we still had 40 miles i.e. 4 hours to go.
This looked possible but difficult so we continued only to be faced with a small river crossing. Luckily there was a bypass so we continued. 2 hours later we were getting scared!
All Marcus could think of was wanting it to be over and Agata was not saying anything.
On sandy patches the car completely lost traction but at least it was bumpy. Hopefully the car would make it! And then it happened, a large patch of sand, we accelerated, kept the steering wheel straight and cleared one, two, three bumps then Stuck. Nissy was now nicely stuck on a bed of sand rear wheels spinning. After some attempts at accelerating out which suceeded in lowering the rear of the car further we started to dig out nissy. Note to self: If this happens next time perhaps best to take PDA and valuables out of pockets as they will get filled with sand. Note2: Exhaust is hot and when using hands as spades dont react well to burning hot metal.
30 minutes later we were still digging but a white Jeep showed up. They were worried they would also get stuck and we also realised how flimsy the front and rear of Nissy was. It is just plastic bumpers that deform wildly if you attempt to push them and with all 4 of us pushing still no movement.
We started moving and we were free again!So now all that remained is another 18 miles of slow progress until we got to the end of this road. So almost 2 more hours later we finally emerged
Page sited: A town that was custom created during the Canyon Dam construction phase it was cited as Drab in the Lonely Planet book. Whilst nothing special it serves the local area quite well and apart for the church overpopulation (we counted 8 churches in a single street) it seemed like an OK place.
Accomodation: Marriot Courtyard Page. We booked this expensive hotel on the Internet and it provided a welcome refuge though when we arrived lunch was closing and the restaurant manager seemed very keen to recommend the in town food.
And then as nice tidy people we took Nissy to a car wash where we manually washed the outside and thorougly cleaned the inside. We felt she deserved it!
Glen Canyon Dam: We arrived 2 minutes too late to go on the Dam tour which we had been really excited about taking. Instead we made do by watching an impressive video about the Dam's construction and about how this was the backdrop for the town of Page and surrounding areas development.
With no tour we made the best of things with the Extended Hanging Garden Trek :
Turn off 1 mile east of Glen Canyon Bridge where you see a yellow hiker picture. Continue 200 yards till you see another hicker picture. Park car. Follow numbered metal sticks to hanging gardens. Here is the official guide.
We had optimistically packed swimming costumes as one of the Dam staff siad the Walk could be extened to the Dam's edge. This turned out to be true but we meet the waters edge about a hundred metres up. Swim aborted!