Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Around Alaska in 11 Days 2016 - Travel Itinerary (Part 2)

Since the Part 1 entry has reached the maximum number of photos, I need to create another entry for the succeeding days. Read Part 1.
June 18 2016
We ate the sandpiper cafe for a very heavy meal, $40 for 2 big meals. It was really worth it. We left the hotel by 7:30 to get to Mt Roberts Tramway for our Mendellhall Glacier Paddle and Trek. The trek was from 8:30 AM to 3 PM. Its $627.90, this includes all the gears like helmet, life vest, water proof bag, hiking stick, microspikes, water, snacks, and water proof shoes/pants. They provided everything. We went to their office to change bags and wear the waterproof boots and pants. We then proceeded to their kayak place where we paddled through the lake until we reached Mendellhall Glacier. From their we wore our microspikes (really cool) to be able to walk through the ice. Then we drank fresh glacier water and went inside an ice cave. The whole experience went by really fast but we really enjoyed the whole trip. The glacier experience was easier than expected but it was much more beautiful than what we expected. The kayak though was really tiring. I did not eat dinner anymore, R ordered some fried rice takeout from Zen chinese restaurant.  

June 19 2016
We left the hotel by 7:30 to get to Mt Roberts Tramway for our Alaska Shore Tours Dogsled Tour. It basically a helicopter ride to a dog kennel on top of a glacier, then a glacier landing. Since this is really one of the main reasons we went to Alaska, we decided to shell out money and just work harder for it. We spent $1160 for this but this was my favorite part of the whole Alaska trip. We went to the dog kennel and got pulled by 11 alaskan huskies. We were led by Tears and Aspen, controlled by our guide Jimmy. We talked to Jimmy about his life, the dogs; we just love it. The dogs were really friendly and heavy. I loved hugging them and getting squished by them. I learned that the dogs are trained by partnering the old ones with the new ones. As early as 1 years old, the puppies are harnessed and trained. By 12 years old, they retire. The dogs eat as much as 21 big mac calorie equivalents per day per dog. So imagine the cost of maintaining one. The dogs also poop while running which was really interesting,sadly I failed to capture it on video. After an hour of playing with the dogs, we went to another glacier for photos. By 11 AM we were done and was driven back to the city. Upon getting back to the city, we went to a food truck that sells korean fusion food. It was disappointing, paid $32 for this. Tried some Russian Dumplings for $7 and home made ice cream for $6. Afterwards, we got on our 1 PM shuttle to the airport. We have an Alaska Airlines flight to Gustavus 4:35 PM – 5:10 PM, but it was delayed for a few minutes. We paid $189.20 for this flight. It was the shortest flight I have ever tried, only 15 minutes!!! Then I saw the smallest airport ever. We got picked up by the Glacier Bay Lodge shuttle and was checked in when we got to the lodge. We spent $80 for the lodge's dinner, it was filling and good. Slept well. The room was pretty and had a very distinct wooden smell.

June 20 2016
We checked out 6 AM and ate our included breakfast buffet. By 7 AM we were on our way to the dock for our Glacier Bay Tour which was from 7 AM -3:30 PM. We got a promotion, so our accommodation, breakfast, and boat tour cost us $803.3. The boat was bigger than the 2 other boat we took. Since Glacier Bay is a national park, we had a ranger on board which was very cool since he was explaining to us all the wildlife and nature that we see. We had complimentary unlimited drinks, snacks on board. For lunch, we were given chowder and a big sandwich. For afternoon snack, we were given a freshly baked cookie. It was amazing. Great tour! In terms of what we saw, it was foggy and rainy since it was a rainforest afterall. But we still saw mountain goats, whales, otters, sea lions, wolves, and bears. The glacier in glacier bay was not as awe-striking as the others we saw; but it has more history which made it interesting. By 4 PM, we were on the shuttle back to the airport. We had a flight back to JNU via Alaska Airlines 5:57 PM – 6:23 PM for $189.20. By 7 PM we were back in Driftwood, booked another night via expedia and paid $128.8. We ate dinner at Zen, ate Orange chicken and kung pao chicken for $30.25. You cannot go wrong with chinese food. Always a good meal. 

June 21 2016
We took the shuttle back to JNU airport, took our alaska airlines flight to seattle. $250 and no in flight meals, we were surprised. Once we were at Seattle airport, we checked in to our Asiana Airlines flight back to ICN-MNL. We paid P71088 for this, I even went to their makati office just to get this price since my online transaction did not push through. Our flight was delayed for an hour, we decided to grab mexican lunch at the food court area. We ate at Qdoba and spent $37; it was really worth it since it was a lot. By 4 PM we were enroute to seoul, I had a in flight bibimbap which I did not enjoy. I actually did not enjoy the whole trip since I had a very rude passenger at my back seat. She kept on moving that made me had a hard time sleeping. I did not enjoy my long flight, and so did R. We decided that this will be our last Asiana flight. By 11 PM we arrived in Manila and went on hibernation for 2 days. 

Overall, the trip was really special in its own right. We never had a trip like this. We had little to almost no influence of the big cities which made us appreciate nature more. We spent a lot on this trip but we gained a lot of priceless memories. I personally felt more connected to God and I loved my time with God and R. Last comments for those planning on a trip to Alaska, breathe. Take in the air and clear your mind. Alaska is really beautiful and you have to focus on it to experience it. And also, make a budget! Earn as much as you can and use it wisely here. Everything is much more expensive in alaska so be cautious.