Well I'm still at the hostel biding my time before I have to leave for my bus. I have realised that I never properly blogged what i did on the Trek America trip so I thought I'd fill you guys in now while I've got the time and internet credit!
First day I had to get up at 5.30am to get to the Hacienda Hotel by LAX for 7am. I met up with the rest of the group and our leader Paul. There were 9 Koreans only some of whom I actually learnt their names after three weeks! Yujeong, Joowah, Lin, Choi, Jong, April and 3 others. There were 2 Swiss guys Dimitri and Martin and one German girl called Sabina. Sabina is who I tent/room shared with throughout the trip.
So first off we took a quick tour through Hollywood and we were dropped off at the Holywood and Highland Mall which is next to the Chinese Theatre. But I'd been there ther day before so I headed to McDonalds for my breakfast! When we met back for the van people were like oh where did you go so I pointed and they were like what the Wax Museum? and I was like no McDonalds! We had a relatively short drive up to Santa Barbara and we stopped on the way at a sports store so I could buy my sleeping bag and so we could make sure we had warm clothes. A couple of the Koreans hadn't even brought coats! I think they were told it was going to be warm! Well they definately got a shock that night.
We got to the campground which was next to the ocean and set up camp. it was New Years Eve so after dinner we headed out to a bar where we welcomed in the New Year with a couple of drinks. Having got to bed about 1am we had to be up 6.30am to break camp and head off for San Francisco. We drove along the ocean for a bit which was beautiful. We arrived in San Fran about 5pm and just settled in to our hotel after being shouted at by a drunken bum! We all went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner and I ordered too much food as I didn't know how huge the portions would be. We then all went to bed knackered. The next day we were up early again and we met in the hotel lobby for our city orientation with Paul. He took us all around the city showing us the Embacadero, Fishermans Wharf, the Marina district, etc. He dropped us off one side of the Golden Gate bridge and we walked across it to the other. It took over an hour! It's actually quite far! After he took us through Golden Gate Park and the Haight-Nashbury district home to the Summer of Love in 69. We were then dropped off in Union Square to spend the rest of the day how we wanted. Me and Sabina got on the cable car down to Fisherman's Wharf and hung out down there most of the day. We explored all the shops at Pier 39 and then followed Paul's walking tour back to the hotel via Lombard Street - it really is crooked! - North Beach and China Town where we bumped in to Martin who joined us for the rest of the evening. We had dinner in a Mexican cantina and then headed back to the hotel and Martin tried to teach us how to play this dice game where you're supposed to try and each score higher points and you have to bluff and stuff. But as most of you know I really don't have a poker face and so I failed miserably at this game. Even telling them that I'd scored 73 which is impossible! If nothing else it was great fun. We finally went to bed around 11pm tired after all our walking. Little did we know what was instore ther est of the trip!
Having watched the weather reports the Thursday morning we were slightly concerned as it said there was a huge storm system coming and there would be terrific storms with torrential rain by the coast and blizzards in the mountains. They were advising people not to travel to the mountains - and where were we going? The mountains of the Sierra Nevada of course! We left San Fran before the rain came and got to Yosemite National Park around 3.30pm. No sign of storms yet. We walked down to see the giant Sequoia trees which are magnificent. As we walked back to the van it got darker and darker and a bit creepy walking through the forest with only trees for company. Out hotel was quite nice. Motel-stylee. We had burgers for dinner but they didn't have burger buns at the diner I was served my cheese burger between two slices of bread. You can begin to imagine the look on my face I'm sure!
That night the rains came and came and came and came. When we got up in the morning it was still raining and when we'd finished trudging through the park that night it was still raining. The most god-awful weather ever. We never got to see Yosemite. Such a disappointment. I'd really been looking forward to it. We got pizza out the food kitty that evening for our tea before heading back to the hotel where we just settled down for the night with a movie.
The next morning it was time to head down to Bakersfield and guess what - not a spot of rain all day. Typical! We arrived at the hotel about 3.30pm and headed straight out to this amusement park where we went go-karting. Great fun and only $4! We probably had about 10 mins. We then went to this country music hall where we were going to have dinner and then watch the show but the food was really expensive and they said that they wouldn't split the bill so we got up and they lost 14 people's custom. We had dinner at the hotel and it was much cheaper and there was lots of choice of food. I had BBQ steak of some kind I think. We then headed back over to the music hall to watch the concert. Two different bands played and it was good fun. The only problem was that it didn't know any of the songs so there was nothing I can sing along to!
Well I need to leave now so I'll continue this later...