Saturday, 19 June 2010

Markets and transport

MP3 track of the Day: Flower Duet - Lakme

Weather: Cool and spitting rain ... no sun due to clouds

I woke up pretty early due to one of my room mates snoring most of the night; 'Mike TV' is what the other room mates call him. His name is Micheal and he has, in our dorm, the biggest, and oldest, wide-screen TV in Alaska ... god knows how he got it in the room, let alone how he travels with it ... let alone why!

Anyway firstly I headed out into Anchorage for the sole purpose of finding breakfast ... no sightseeing as I had a busy day looking at booking stuff. However as I walked into town I saw a market and I thought I would have a quick wander ... maybe I'll find breakfast here as well.

The market was pretty cool; I found a few good photo stalls (and I took a card from one of them as I loved the images, and they post worldwide) and a stall selling Alaskan Funnel Cake. I had no idea what Funnel Cake was so I asked and I purchased one to try; its basically a waffle that looks like a pile of battered spaghetti with cinnamon, sugar and powered sugar ... it tasted just like a waffle but it was as big as the plate (I didn't take a photo as I left my camera in the hostel as I thought I was only going for breakfast ... however I've found one on the internet ... click here).

After this I headed back to my hostel to do my laundry; I washed everything (I did two loads so I could was the clothes I was wearing) as I'm not sure if I can wash stuff whilst on my camping trip. After this I got the details I needed for my Alaskan tour and I kind of booked a taxi to get to the hotel I need to get to tomorrow. I am a little worried about my tour tomorrow; I'm going to be spending 2 weeks with people I don't know (over the last six weeks I haven't spent two hours with the same person, let alone two weeks) and I hope my 'room mate' doesn't snore or I will complain and try to change tent.

After this I sat down and looked for flights to the north of Alaska and a way of getting down to Vancouver Island.

Okay the flight to the north of Alaska was the easiest to look for; the cheapest return ticket was around $450.00 (£300.00) which was just too expensive just to say I've been to the top of Alaska.

Second job was to work out how on earth I was going to get back to Vancouver Island ... this has been allot harder than I originally thought. After getting confused on the internet I headed into town to find somewhere that could help me. I found a few places but the more I asked people the more it seemed, other than using a plane, it was going to be difficult to head south from Alaska. With a few maps, leaflets and additional information I headed back to my hostel to search the world wide web once more. On my way back Anchorage was having a sort of carnival which seemed to also be a military recruitment push. The main road was closed and there were competitions between the military, and the emergency service teams (for example the army against the police in pushing a hummer down a road). Along the pavement there were loads of 'hot dog' stalls selling 'Reindeer hot dog' ... so I tried one ... it looked like a hot dog but it tasted so much nicer, yum (I've eaten Rudolf!). Anyway below are the options I've researched:

  • A cruise from Alaska to Vancouver Island - There was only one and it was $1800.00 ... way too expensive. Most cruises work on a return trip (i.e. you have to start at Seattle, go up to Alaska and then come back to Seattle ... I only wanted one way)
  • A Ferry to Vancouver Island - there isn't a ferry from Alaska to Vancouver, or Vancouver Island. Also the next Ferry from Anchorage (actually it's not Anchorage, it's whittle which is nearby) is on the 14th July ... ten days after my trip, too much time wasted.
  • A flight to Vancouver Island from Anchorage - This is a possibility and it's not bad value; however it means I miss the inlet waterways along Alaska's coast and it means I have loads and loads of time on Vancouver Island.
  • A flight to Juneau and then a ferry to Prince Rupert before taking a coach to Vancouver - This is the option I've gone for; the only bit I've booked is the flight from Anchorage to Juneau which cost $210.00 (£150.00) on the 4th July.

Once in Juneau I have two days before getting a ferry to Prince Rupert and then another two days before I can catch a coach that will take 1 day and 10 hours to Vancouver (the train takes 3 days ... go figure!). I will then have to stay one night in Vancouver before getting a ferry to Victoria.

So it's all a little complicated and I wonder if I've made the wrong decision (it would be so much easier to go to Victoria from Anchorage straight) but we shall see, I haven't been able to book a hostel in Juneau (as the hostel doesn't have a online booking form ... gurrr) so I'm just going to have to turn up; if the worst comes to the worst, I'll just have to get an immediate flight out of Juneau to Vancouver ... which will cost a bit.

Anyway so I think this is me signing off for a little while; tomorrow I head into the wild which I doubt will have internet access ... so I think I shall be back online on Sunday 4th July from Juneau ... see you then.

Toodle Pip!

So this ends the first, and biggest part, of my tour of North America. I've been from the east coast to the west coast of Canada, south to Seattle and finally north to Anchorage all for £52.37 per day ... so the daily budget had gone down a little, but I think the last part of my trip could cost quite abit ... still, I'll worry about that later.

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