Trek America! I started my trek america tour and headed to Boston, the home of the America constitution and all that. The group was 13 strong and ranged from people my age up to 36 from england, scotland, south korea, south africa, denmark and germany. They were a cracking bunch of people and we were led by a tour leader who did all the driving and stuff like that.
Boston was pretty a real strange mix of really old buildings with new ones built around them in a similar style, the vity is steeped in history and I learnt loads about the birth of the revolution, boston tea party etc etc. We all went out for dinner that night and stayed in hostel - the only proper bed I slept on the whole week as it was cmping for the rest of the trip!
We only stayed for a few drinks as we had an early start when we met up. The group was pretty quiet at this point which was unusual for me but I think it was just while people got to know each other. We stopped off at Harvad the next day which was quite an experience the place is pretty unbelievable with its huge campus for around 4,000 of the us's top students, who are far too clever for my liking and you almost felt quite intimidated but it was very interesting to hear about some of their pretty silly traditions that they have to do. Our next stop was in pennsylvania at a campsite next to a gorgeous looking lake. It was a bit of a shock to they system having to do the whole camping thing but once we got our tents up and started a fire a we cracked open a few beers and things looked a bit better. One of the Korean girls, Yu-Jin, was sick the first night (not through alcohol though) so we were all pretty concerned but after a decent nights sleep she was right as rain and we made our way on the long drive to Niagra falls. We finally made it to the campsite, our tour leader, emily, was wonderful but navigation is not her strong point bless her and we got a little lost at times. We were all set up in camp and had some food we headed to niagra falls to see them lit up at night. The falls themselves were absolutely spectacular the sheer size and power of them was amazig but thye were strangely relaxing and looked really pretty when they were lit up by different coloured lights.
The next day we had a the whole morning at niagra to do the 'maid of the mist' tour which took us right up to both of the falls and got us a tad wet in the process. The falls were an absolute beauty of nature and was an absolute highlight of the tour. We made sure we went up a viewing tower right next to the american falls and we got absolutely soaked wet through but it was such good fun. After niagra we had all bonded really well and I was really happy with the group of people that went out there we all got on so well and there weren't any idiots (perhaps apart from me of course) on the tour at all. We sadly left niagra to head to back to another campsite in pennsylvania - this one was a lot more primative with no showers and just a hole for a toilet. This would of course be the same night that it decided to chuck it down with rain for the whole night so we never really got dried up which was not nice, again after a few beers tho it didn't seem too bad.
We had a huge drive into washington from the campsite and we all smelt and had not washed which was pretty funny really especially as we had a curry the night before and most people had a few 'gas' problems for most of the bus journey! The campsite at DC was much better with a running shower and proper toilets - we all enjoyed being clean again. Emily was going to drive us round DC for a nightime illumination tour but in true fashion she got a tad lost (in her defence everythign was shut because of the 4th july celebrations that weekend) and we ended up at a back entrance to a CIA buolding getting pulled over by the police wondering what we were doing there that night. The whole drive was a bit of a disaster as everything was shut off and Emily got pretty upset about it, to be honest as a group we weren't really that fussed as we still got to see everything lit up but just couldn't get any decent photos!
We had a free day next in DC in which to see most of the major landmarks, I will; be heading into DC again in a couple of days so I was more interested in visiting some of the free museums. I managed to get round the spy musuem which was childishly a lot of fun and the air and space musuem along with the main sights. That night we met up for our final dinner in an Ethiopian restaurant which was really cool as you eat round a table with your hands trying different types of ethiopian spices. Was abolsutely gorgeous and something pretty different to a steak house or burger place. We headed back to the campsite and stayed up drinking with a big fire burning in the back ground. It was really sad that he trip was over and we wouldn't all hang out together anymore, but we all agreed to head into NYC the next day to all watch the fireworks together for 4th july.
The final trip from washington to NYC was pretty uneventful but we were all really excited about seeing the fireworks and celebrating the 4th july. We managed to get a decent spot on 11th avenue overlooking the hudson river where six barges released a 26 minute firework display, like most things in america it was very big bold and extravagent but there was such a good atmosphere around the city at the time as everyone cheered and clapped as the fireworks were going off. They reckon about 2 million people were positioned along the hudson to watch the fireworks and it certainly showed! We headed down to 9th avenue for a few drinks and to all say goodbye. I'm hoping to meet up with the trek leader in washington as she will be around then and its just a shame that everyone else had to go home.
Today I had a free day in NYC so i tried to get round to all the things i didn;t have time to see before like central park, walk the brooklyn bridge and grand central station. Tomorrow I'm sadly leaving the big apple and heading the Philadelphia to see what it has to offer.....