At this time we slept in Homer in something more similar to an open field than a campsite but protected by large white-headed eagles as if it were guardian angels.
Pick-up of the motorhome in Anchorage (first mistakes)
5:00 in the morning and eyes as dishes. Sele is still sleeping with her mask but there is already light from 4:00. The motorhome collection center does not open until 9:30 So today we can have a quiet breakfast and start with a long list of missions to accomplish. Missions? Yes, that is what the day when a caravan is being picked up: go to the motorhome rental center, check it, get with it, get internet for the route, buy food with our supermarket list, try to get out of the city ... get find out how to reach Katmai or Lake Clark from HomerDECISIONS ON THE MARCH:
Although we brought several targeted agencies (and as it is not yet high season) Sele has managed to contact from the hotel reception with Scenic Bear Viewing to try bear sighting from Homer tomorrow. After investigating a lot online 2 months ago we managed to talk to them and it seems that we have achieved a place for ¡LAS 6 DE LA MORÑANA !! but Martin, its owner, has told us that we value staying several days in the city because it can be canceled due to bad weather. As we go on the fly we would have no problem in that case
9'00 in the morning, we check-out and ask for a taxi (20 USD) to Cruise America, receptive to America Tours (Island Tours sister) that has allowed us to travel by motorhome through Alaska and here we see that we have already committed the First mistake ... We have not previously called to reserve our departure time and have the motorhome ready! Well, at least they have Wi-Fi to download their APP (very useful by the way) and, from time to time, give a cry to the boy who delivers them (very cool and rolled up, everything must be said). They have about 20 prepared there and some are huge ...
Perhaps because of grief, or rather because we are not in high season yet (it is June 19 and they say it starts on July 1), 20 minutes do not pass when A "megachalet" stands in front of us. My mother! But if they are almost 10 meters long. Automatic transmission, v10 engine, shower, a room that already would like a suite, several extra beds, gas, microwave and kitchen, electric generator,… in addition to chair, personal kit (sheets, pillows, bag and towels) for each and a kitchen kit (pans, plates, cutlery, ...)
He Model is the C30, includes 2000 miles, insurance and fees and we try to look at everything with magnifying glass without seeing any bumps or scratches, including the operation of the generator. It seems that everything is correct.THE GREAT QUESTION: IS THE INTERNATIONAL CARD NECESSARY?
We did it since at the end of the day it is just to make an appointment in traffic, go with a photo and pay a small fee and they give it to you at the moment in Spain but… NOBODY REQUESTED US! Eye, that does not imply that we can generalize our experience but in our trip we would NOT have needed
Come on Sele, I encourage you to take it out! Returns of recognition? "Maloserá" we say in Galicia, right? Error! Works on the road to the nearest supermarket which give you discount bonuses. Here? Better over there? 3 laps to an urbanization after and everything controlled. And what about parking in the supermarket? Easy, with occupying 2 or 3 seats is solved ... My mother!
A recommendation that everyone who travels to Alaska usually makes is that you pour gasoline and buy in Anchorage since prices are infinitely cheaper than elsewhere on the route.
The supermarket list, time to fill the fridge
The gas tank was full but we couldn't say the same about the fridge. Catering would be fun. One or two cars?
Although we managed to leave the motorhome rental center at 10:30, we saw an AT&T (the one with the most coverage in Alaska) where we bought a local sim card and gig bonuses (89 USD) to have internet wherever we could in the route and with 2 weeks ahead of meals to fill the fridge, you have to consider that 3 hours nobody takes them awayGUIDANCE LIST FOR SUPERMARKET (UPDATED ON RETURN): Although initially you want to take it all, with the route we realized two important details. The first is that we wanted to live experiences rather than cooking so the cans became our ally from the 4th or 5th day, in addition to some restaurant food always "complements", and the second is that even McCarthy found no problems to buy more supplies. An indicative list could be
- BREAKFAST: Milk, nesquik, instant coffee, cookies, buns, bread, juice, honey ...
- INSTANT MEALS: Michondas cans (meatloaf, ravioli, spaghetti, soups ...) * The most used by us
- FAST FOODS: Sausages, soup or consomme envelopes, cold cuts ...
- EASY MEALS: Pasta, rice, hamburger tray, entrecots, salmon cuts or tuna for sushi ...
- ACCESSORIES: Tomato, tuna, eggs, grated cheese, olives, sliced cheese, yogurts ...
- FRUIT: Apples, oranges, ...
- DRINK: Soft drinks, beer, water cans and small bottles * important both ...
- ALIÑOS: Salt, oil, lemon, sugar, garlic powder, oregano, soy ...
- PICOTEO: Potatoes, chocolate, ...
- MESSAGE: Plastic cups, cutlery and plates, napkins, matches or lighter, garbage bags, toilet paper, clothespins ... * Buying plastic utensils (which is also cheap) made our life easy without just washing
- OTHERS: Ice
REMEMBER that we already have in the motorhome all the USEFUL TO COOK in both gas and microwave as well as to SLEEP (sacks and pillows), that from Spain we have brought our own TOILET (shaving, shampoo, brushes, ...), as well as OTHER USEFUL THINGS as a 5 usb car charger in 1 to load all the appliances, headlamp, bucket with several plugs and American adapter, ...
It was 13'15 when we finally finished the supplies (EUR 307.54 with the Fred Meyer bonus applied that we almost forgot to give), box of beers included, of course.
One thing I will always ask myself is ... what is the company's emergency phone number for if there is no mobile coverage in half a country? Anyway, I suppose it will be mandatory or in case someone sees you and gives it to you to call in the first town you find.
Some conclusions you have to consider to rent your motorhome in Alaska (although there will be dedicated article):
- Call ahead to book your departure time and have everything ready for you
- Preview the operating video of your motorhome, it will help you a lot in the first moments
- Check blows, transformer and contract of the motorhome conscientiously
- Hire the kitchen and personal kit (sheets, towels, etc ...) and you will save a lot of luggage
- Take a couple of turns to the block to catch the turning distances
- Take one list with the essential purchase of the supermarket, It will help you a lot. Don't forget the beer
- If you want internet, buy a local sim and put it in an old mobile or router That makes you MIFI. If not for € 80 they sell you a cheap mobile there that does the same function to you
- Change some cash. Almost everything you can pay by credit card but some campsites or tips may require some cash. We did it with 200 USD each
Kenai Peninsula, our first week goal
I have to admit that the first sensations with the motorhome are of a certain stress although more psychological than real. Possibly influence the first signal that comes to say something like "if you are creating traffic jam of more than 5 vehicles you are obliged to let them pass"However, Alaska is extraordinarily well prepared for them, with large car parks, slow-moving sidings, wide roads, campsites explicitly designed, ... There is no problem in entering towns generally built in extension and much less with the height gauges or complicated width or maneuvers.ITINERARY AND SUMMARY OF THE DAY:
Good road, multiple points to stop, long motorhome route (6 hours 25 minutes) but easy to do (+ Google Maps with all the detailed stops)
Distance traveled: 226.7 miles (6h 25 minutes)
Hotel recommendation (for car + hotel travelers): Bay Ave Bed and Breakfast Inn
The truth is that that psychological stress lasted exactly 20 miles to the first stop at Beluga Point, a panoramic viewpoint with ample parking on the Seward Highway (as this road is called) where it is said that such whales come to be seen in the distance. The reality is that it is ideal to get a first overview of the area, the tracks of one of the most beautiful routes to do by train from Alaska from Seward to Anchorage and even see our first "Dall sheep" (Dall ram) thanks to a villager with spyglass that had them focused on distance.
The rest of the route leaves many more possible stops such as Bird Creek, Soldotna (from where you can also make excursions to Katmai or Lake Clark) or Russian River, even make that stop to eat a quick pizza (26 USD) even if you are full of food to the brim (of that you stop to "take a piss" and ... you let yourself roll) or to See 1 male elk, 2 females and 2 young that cross you on the road (it is full of signs that you be careful).
The Kenai Peninsula is, for many, one of the most spectacular places on the planet, a unique microcosm of wildlife, flora, glaciers, rivers, lakes, mountains and one of the best locations from where to start looking for bears in Alaska from Homer or to cruise from Seward. Finally, leaving behind the beautiful views of Kachemak Bay from Anchor Point, are the 19'40 when we make an appearance in Homer, a curious town we will talk to you about tomorrow.SLEEP WITH A MOTORCYCLE (UPDATED ON RETURN):
The Free camping is allowed throughout Alaska except in the cities where you will find that in public parking lots there is usually a prohibited sign to spend the night there. However, if you have no problem with it, going a few miles you will always find some section to do it. exist 2 types of camping: something like public which usually have a bathroom and little more and can cost about 20 USD and RV Park which generally have better locations, have electricity and water hooks to older Dump Station to pour gray and black water for about 40-50 USD
UPDATED: Our decision? After Homer we only stepped on a camping or RV Park in Seward and we always slept where the destination took us (near a lake, in the middle of nature, on a lost road) as we realized that we could charge everything with the car plug and our 5-1 usb adapter and some caravan electric generator (very cheap time) and empty / load water in multiple places. When eating cans that you could prepare in the microwave (generator) we barely use the gas to heat the shower water. Come on, that entering every 2 or 3 days as everyone recommends is NOT always necessary.
Mariner Park It is called the public campsite of Homer (20 USD), a large esplanade with a toilet stall and assigned places and a box to enter our data in an envelope with money. Curious system
An impressive white headed eagle watches us supported by a high luminaire. It is as if he wanted to welcome us. What did we have for dinner today Sele? Can of ravioli stuffed with meat. We still didn't know how important they were going to be in this adventure. Can we take off tomorrow towards Katmai or Lake Clark to see bears? The weather was changing. It was soon to know. At 6'00 we would check it from the nearby airfield.
Isaac (with Sele), from Homer (Alaska)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: USD 462.54 (approx. 420.49 EUR)