After Coachella we are flying to Calgary & taking 9 or so days to drive from there to Vancouver. Any suggestions on what do along the way and in Vancouver ?
On the way from Calgary to Vancouver you will be taking the Trans-Canada Highway. First off Calgary can be fun but it's mostly just the drunk kind of fun. After you wake up from haze feel free to make the hourish long drive to Canmore. While there I suggest checking into the Hostel Bear, probably one of the nicest hostels I've stayed in. Within stumbling distance is the Grizzly Paw Brewery. Very nice beers with decent pub food. Canmore locals are also very nice and if you're looking for more fun I'm sure striking up a conversation with anyone would not prove fruitless.
Next on your list in Banff, obviously. As an Australian you are bound, by law, to stop at Banff and flirt with some fun-loving Canadians. Apparently your accent is very appealing. I would suggest staying at the Samesun. Not only does it have the cheapest bar in the city but it's also full of other young backpackers who are looking for a good time. While in the area you can check out some very nice hiking trails. Maps and very friendly Park Guides are available at the Banff Visitor Centre which is right on Banff Ave. Approximately, a four minute walk from the Samesun. Unfortunately for you, the end of April is considered "high season" so if you do want to stay here you had better make a reservation. Also while you're in the area feel free to try out skiing or snowboarding as pretty much all the resorts stay open until May. Sunshine is the best price for the best snow.
When you leave Banff you'll head on to Lake Louise. Lake Louise is a very nice lake with a very nice hotel built basically on it. This area is definitely more expensive and I just suggest spending a couple hours here. Which you should spend hiking to the Lake Agnes Tea House. It's about 3-4km hike there so bring water and a snack (preferably something with protein in it). If you find you want to stay in Lake Louise, get yourself to the HI. HI of course stands for Hosteling International.
After Lake Louise you will take a sharp turn West and suddenly be out of Banff National Park and into Yoho National Park, which is absolutely stunning. If you don't see a moose at this point you have basically failed at touring in Canada.
Golden and Revelstoke are the next major stops on your journey but since I rarely travel to Vancouver I will let someone from BC explain the rest.
Good luck. Have fun. Don't litter.
Last edited by OnlyNonStranger; 03-04-2012 at 05:02 PM.
Depends. Were all the gates full? Or was there no one to meet the gate?
Sometimes a gate is occupied when it shouldn't be because the FAA has a gate-sitting plane on a delay so they are required to sit because of ground traffic. Or it could be that the pilots discovered something in the pre-flight check that is preventing them from leaving. And the arriving plane can't pull into what seems to be an empty gate because a) it's reserved for another arriving flight and/or b) there isn't the right kind of equipment to receive that particular kind of aircraft.
If the plane sat on the tarmac because there was no one available to receive the flight, that's probably scheduling's fault.
Excuses. Not valid. No. Don't schedule your gates so tightly. Plan for contingencies.
told by a Christian Egyptian last night to not travel there this summer for safety concerns from radical Muslims in his homeland. "No police presence, forty thousand convicts escaped prison in Cairo, no government hierarchy, Iran and Saudi Arabia are bidding to control her, Al Qaeda is taking over the red sea territory, Obama is doing nothing for us, etc.". But then he offered to give the contact information for his "safe" cousin's resort. It's either from the heart or the greatest dark light sales job I've ever seen or both.
Greetings from Singapore Coachella friends! So bummed I will be missing Dr. Dre at Coachella.
I sent the following message to my Facebook friends and would like to post it here. I've met
many great people at Coachella and hope to meet future Coachella friends as well. Please keep in touch,
have a great time at the festival this year and if you are swinging around East anytime soon....
As many of you are likely aware at this point, I have begun a backpacking sabbatical journey across Asia and likely some time in Australia and New Zealand. I plan to be a gone a year, give or take a few months, budget allowing. I will write, photograph,work, volunteer, hike, trip over logs and poorly paved roads and eat my way across a large chunk of the world. A few months ago I realized I was crazy enough to leave my good job in the film business in Los Angeles. A few weeks ago I was crazy enough to go ahead with it. And now here I am, sitting in a hostel in Singapore, trying not to be annoyed that the guy sitting next to me is listening to Phil Collins.
I have little in the way of set plans during my journey. After a few more days here in lovely Singapore, I'll be making my journey north through Malaysia and finally onto the island of Koh Tao in Thailand for scuba diving certification. After that will be Vietnam: Part Duex with a good friend and from there I will let fate and new friends guide me to my next destination. Nepal and Indonesia being the only certainties.
A few things:
1. Please provide me with your phone number and physical address. (if I know you personally that is. Or if you are a stranger who would like to maybe receive random crap + drunk dials from a stranger. I don't care) Please send me any Skype info as well. Even if I have your phone number already, it will be very helpfully having it all listed out. I have been known to be quite the gift giver so please tell me where I can send that vile of cobra urine. Or postcards. Whichever you prefer.
2. I am keeping my journey as open ended as possible. If you want to travel with me, by all means get in touch. I'll meet you wherever you want to go. If you have friends, relatives, business partners in Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines,India, China, Japan, Nepal or anywhere else that I could get in touch with over there, be it a contact in case I get in a bind, a coffee or drink meet up or even generously enough a place to stay, please let me know . Your grandma will love me, I promise.
3. I have set up a blog that I'll keep up to date as possible as I bumble across the other side of the world. It's ASINGLESTEP.NET. Please follow, sign up for notifications when I post new items and comment back. Tips and suggestions are well welcome as I work out the website. Video and (hopefully) podcast coming soon! Dealing with the website has already been a bit challenging on my little netbook, but I think I got the gist. Picture uploading is an ungodly pain in the ass but such is life. The site is now live, with my first post being a goodbye to California. First update on the journey itself, nearly a week in wonderful Singapore, coming soon, I promise (mostly revolves around sweating and eating)
4. I am still figuring out the phone situation while I travel. AT&T is not my friend. Facebook and e-mail remain your best bet for getting in touch with me. Through the wonderful glory that is the Iphone and Wifi, many great apps will keep us in touch easier than you think. Check our Voxer, a walkie talkie app for voice recordings, text and picture messages. We'll be sending each other stupid internet photos and drunk dialing each other before ya know it. Also Viber, an amazing service that lets you place phone calls like you normally would, free to use over wifi. My number remains the same over the Viber service. There is always Skype as well.
Much love and hope to see you on the road! Send me your info!
Ah, love SE Asia. Sounds like you have the right idea and taking your time exploring and listening to what others suggest as you go. Some recommendations I'd suggest if you find yourself in the area:
Cambodia - make your way to Otres Beach in Sihanoukville...Mushroom Point Guesthouse is the best dorm room I've ever stayed in. Secluded and not in a seedy area. Might need to book in advance during high season on hostelworld.com. Getting a moto there may seem shady because it is like 15km away from the main beaches but dont let the moto drivers scare you, you are going to a really nice place. Cleaner beaches too.
Laos is a pain in the ass to get around by bus but boats are the best if you have time to wait for one to depart. Amazing country with lots to do and see and probably the least touristic place in SE Asia. Treks in northern Laos are amazing. Great food and Wats in Luang Prabang. Tubing in Vang Vieng [major full moon like backpacker parties if that is what you are looking for but there are also caves to explore]. 4000 islands in southen laos is a place where you lounge in hammocks all day and swim in the mekong river and watch the sun set. Beautiful place.
Vietnam - sounds like youve been before but if you have time you should check out the newly found cave in Phong Nha area. It is now the largest in SE Asia. The only place to stay is Phong Nha Farmstay and is slightly more pricey then other budget hostels in Vietnam. They have all sorts of tours you can do including one where you camp at the mouth of the cave then hike in. You can find out more information [ie get business card and email the guy who will arrange a pick up once you get off the local bus to the Phong Nha area] at the Backpackers hostels in Hue since it sounds like you might be heading north in Vietnam. I thought it was worth it because it is not touristy at all but will be soon. Lonely Planet has discovered it and will put it in its top 10 things to do in Vietnam in its next edition. See it before the masses do. The tours are pricy and run $50 I believe. Run by really knowledgeable people.
Last edited by lt.roast.a.botch; 03-06-2012 at 02:57 AM.
i'm sure this has been discussed before, but looking for some tips on flying into new york. my ultimate destination is a festival at hunter mountain. i may rent a car or get a ride to the fest from NYC. i'm going the first weekend of june.
how difficult would it be to fly into EWR and get to NYC? are there easy train routes or shuttles or something?
Originally Posted by malcolmjamalawesome
It's when we discuss Coachella that we are at our collective dipshittiest.
it's easy, did it for all points west. just hop on a bus and you are in the city in 40 minutes or so, drops off at grand central, port authority bus terminal, etc. round trip ticket is $28, $16 one way. leave every 15 minutes during the day
Anyone know much about using cell phones in Europe? Like, can i activate international calling ony my Verizon plan to use there, or do i need to get a sim card, or get a special throwaway phone?
Going to Spain in May, and I will definitely need a phone.
do you have a global verizon phone? not many of verizon's phone are global. if you do, you can use your phone in europe.
if not, you will have to rent a phone. i went through verizon, who i believe worked with a third-party called "vodafone" while i was in switzerland. it was kinda pricey and i hardly used it. i was traveling alone though and wanted it just in case. pay attention to the prices. you can also get disposable phones once you are overseas.
Originally Posted by malcolmjamalawesome
It's when we discuss Coachella that we are at our collective dipshittiest.
Yeah, any of them are fine, it just depends where you're going.
If you're renting a car and driving to Hunter (which, coincidentally is quite near where I went to college as an undergrad so I know it well), you may also want to look into airfare to Albany (ALB) or Newburgh-Stewart (SWF). They are smaller regional airports so flights will be more expensive and you will have to make a connection, but both would shave at least an hour off your drive time. And you'll probably get a cheaper rental car as well.
Drinkey, if possible find a phone that uses a sim card for super cheap or borrow one. It will save you tons compared to what Verizon is going to charge you for international use. If you get any phone with a sim card you will just have to stop in a cellular store wherever you go and buy a pre loaded sim card. We did this in both barcelona and vienna. The easist and most common is a store called "orange" (A European cell provider) in Barcelona. They had quite a few of them. For about $30 you will get a pre-loaded card that will be far more useful and affordable than a verizon rent a phone. The card will activate your phone on their network plus it will then be able to be used for navigation and all data will work.
$30 pre-paid sim card lasted a good 5 days with pretty heavy use. It made getting around a breeze with walking directions, reviews etc. at our fingertips. You will also be able to make phone calls and text of course.
It's a pretty awesome site for renting people homes/apartments for very affordable rates in just about every place imaginable.
I love airbnb! So far I've used it in NYC, San Fran, and Maui twice. The places we stayed at in Maui and NYC were amazing and such a good deal. The place we stayed at in San Fran was kind of a dive, but the location was good and it was incredibly cheap. www.vrbo.com is another similar site that I've used before.