Thursday, 8 July 2010

Trek America – Day thirteen

MP3 track of the day – Master plan – Oasis

Weather – okay, cloudy and a little cold but not raining.

Some of the group went whitewater rafting early in the morning but yet again I decided to stay at camp and have a lye in ($150.00 for whitewater rafting … no thank you). Those of us who stayed behind had to clean all the camping equipment including tents and cooking utensils which I didn't mind … infact as an award we first had a cooked breakfast including bacon (British bacon is better … this is long and streaky) hash browns, eggs (yuk) and toast. I had a bacon sandwich and then eat bacon and hash browns until I was full.

After putting away the tents and the camp stuff for the last time, we then set of to meet the rest of the group who went whitewater rafting. Once at the location I waited around until the others got back; there was a hot tub and so some of the group spent their time in that.

The guys came back from whitewater rafting and before we headed off to Anchorage, Eddie wanted us to fill out a survey of the tour. My analysis of the trip is a pretty simple one which is it's brilliant apart from the cost.

I loved being part of the group and meeting new people; camping was okay for the two weeks and I did get to see allot of Alaska (and it's wildlife) that I couldn't have done on my own. I've had a brilliant time and have gained lots of memories.

The negatives are all economical. Firstly the trip cost around £1,100.00 which didn't include food, sometimes didn't include the facilities at the campsite (sometimes we had to pay for showers etc), didn't include activities and partly didn't include the driver as we all should have tipped him $5 a day (that's $70.00 each for 2 weeks x 14 = $980.00 or £700). So the out lay cost was for the deprecation of the van and camping equipment, part of our tour guide, petrol, some minor activities and the camp ground costs … and that's it, seems allot to me.

Also it seemed like Trek America were forcing you onto the activities; if you didn't do an activity then you were on your own (with no maps or aids to help). All the activities were over $100.00 (bar one) and I was massively surprised, with the volume of people Trek America bring to these activities, that there was no discount for us (though the tour guide got on everything free).

Overall I don't think that Trek America did enough to provide it's customers with the best deal and experience. The best part of the trip was the people I met, so if you had a bad group I could see that the whole experience wouldn't be that good at all. I would only recommend Trek America if you were going somewhere like Alaska, where public transport is non-existent and it would be impossible to move around without being on a guided tour … oh and the van could do with being bigger.

The van was pretty silent on the way back to Anchorage; people were switching contact information and that was about it, until we stopped at our final attraction … a shopping mall. Well to be fair to Eddie it was what was on the second floor of the shopping mall that was interesting; there was a huge stuffed moose and grizzly bear that were very impressive.

I was the first to be dropped off at my hostel; I had arranged to meet most of the group (others were going straight to the airport) in town within 3 hours. I therefore set to and put my bags in my room, did some laundry and had a shower.

I met the guys in the same place (Humpies) for dinner as last week. I had a pizza and we all chatted until around 9pm when we all went our separate ways. I have to be honest but I was gutted, truly gutted, that I was leaving the group … I don't think I've felt so alone before. It was so bad that I could have happily got on a plane and headed for Blightly that day; still I new it would pass and I still had two and a half weeks of North American adventure ahead of me (plus I'm sure that I would meet some new people in Juneau).

Toodle Pip!

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