Paula Tant


Paula Tant

North America » Canada » Yukon » Whitehorse June 19th 2011

We left Beaver Creek on another cold and wet morning and headed off to Whitehorse. It was a full day on the bus but we made a stop at . It was a town of 800 people but they had an amazing amount of facilities there. There was a convention centre and a curling rink so weddings and sport was well catered for. We had some tasty turkey and salad sandwiches in the convention centre hall and then headed off down to check out the visitor’s centre and bakery at the other end of town. Later in the day (around 4:00pm) we arrived at a place called Uncommon Journeys. This is a place where you can learn to manage a sled dog team and go mushing. The owner there gave us a ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » Fairbanks June 18th 2011

In the morning it was off to a working gold mine, the El Dorado for a tour and some more gold panning. Everyone was guaranteed to find gold (if you didn’t find at least 8 flakes they gave you some). Tony found the most in his pay dirt but I only found a small amount. We combined our huge find and took it to the weigh station for valuation. Our combined gold totalled $17.50 - WOW that should help with the retirement funds....hehehe. I gathered the flakes and had them mounted inside a gold locket on sale for $59 – I’m sure they make a lot more money from this than from any gold they find at this mine. There was a gold nugget on display (I forget what it weighed) that was valued at $60,000 ... read more

North America » Canada » Yukon » Beaver Creek City June 17th 2011

Today we crossed over the US/Canada border. We were able to stand in 2 countries at the same time by standing at the centre marker next to customs. All the other guests on our tour were either American or Canadian and they were able to stay on the bus and cross over no problem. We, however, being aussies were required to exit the bus and go into the customs office where they could verify who we were. We arrived at Beaver Creek.....hmmmm, what can I say about Beaver Creek – not much really, home to just 70 residents all of whom, I’m sure, work at the hotel we stayed at. It was pouring rain most of the day but when we arrived at the hotel it really started to bucket down and there was lots of ... read more

This morning we went on a Natural History Tour through Denali National Park. We spotted a female moose with her calf way off in the distance but it was yet another fleeting glimpse. We visited the ranger station at the park and then went on to see an old mining cottage. Our first real close-up view of wildlife was a porcupine crossing the road in front of our bus. Porcupines, it seems, are quite blind so it was not surprising to see it cross right in front of us. Luckily our driver was alert enough not to run over it as it sauntered across and then into the bushes before disappearing up a tree.....managed to get a photo or 2 this time. We met and Athabascan native named Susan who gave us an informative talk about ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » Denali June 14th 2011

Today we boarded the McKinley Explorer train for an all day ride to Denali. We had a large domed carriage which enabled us to experience the spectacular scenery all around us. I spent quite a bit of time on the exterior deck taking lots of photos of course. Early in the trip we passed the Elmendorf Airforce base which had lots of signs saying “no photos’ who’s going to stop all us tourist on the train taking photos as you travel past ? Didn’t see what was so secret there anyway....lots of F22’s and Hercules parked there but that’s about all we could see – secret indeed ! We enjoyed a lovely lunch in the downstairs dining area of our carriage and then took in the rest of the beautiful scenery on the way to Denali. ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage June 13th 2011

Happy Birthday Tony !!! We arrived in the morning at 5:00am so it was much too early to check-in to our hotel. However, we hailed a taxi and went there anyway to drop off our luggage and then went off in search of somewhere to have breakfast. Well, it is early Sunday morning and it is Alaska so no one, I mean no one gets up that early here, not to mentioned having to open shops or restaurants. So we walked around and around and around until eventually we found a little cafe down by the train depot which was actually open. There were 3 police cars parked outside so this could mean one of two things – something shonky was going down or it was the place where the police had their breakfast. Lucky for ... read more

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Honolulu June 12th 2011

How to see a lot of the island of Oahu in a single day....hmmmm ? The answer was a Circle Island Bus Tour. There’s a lot of this type of tour around so we picked one which included an early morning visit to Pearl Harbour. It was an early morning rise with the bus picking us up at 5:50am (we were the first pickup point as we found out as we were still collecting people until 7:00am). First stop was Pearl Harbour so we headed straight for the cafe to grab something to eat seeing as we had to skip breakfast. We had a look around the main area where all the WWII memorials were along with some old military exhibits. We also watched some of the original footage of the real bombing of Pearl Harbour. ... read more

North America » United States » Hawaii » Big Island » Hilo June 12th 2011

Caught early morning flight to Hilo on Hawaii's Big Island for our tour of Volcano National Park. We to a sweet factory and watched workers making biscuits coated in dried squid and dipped in chocolate (the Asians love it apparently), then went to a macadamia nut factory only to have them explain that their macadamia nuts came from Queensland – ho hum. We finally went to see the volcano lava fields and craters - never got to see any magma or lava lake (although it was definitely there) but we did get to walk over a 20 yr old lava flow which was pretty amazing. We visited the main caldera Kīlauea and saw it’s huge 2 mile wide crater and a smaller crater within it which was spewing sulphur from deep within its belly – lucky ... read more

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki June 9th 2011

We arrived in Honolulu at 8:10 and it took us an hour to get through airport security, collect our luggage and out. Off we went in search of a taxi - most people seemed to be taking the shuttle so there wasn't a huge queue at the taxi rank. Our taxi was a black stretch limo so we got to ride to Waikiki in celebrity comfort - same price as normal taxi too. Luckily we we able to check into our hotel early so we got cleaned up and changed and then headed to the shopping centre next door to catch one of the numerous trolley buses that drive around Oahu. We opted for an all day hop on hop off pass and went to see Waikiki CBD and the famous Waikiki Beach. It was just ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Brisbane June 9th 2011

The day has finally arrived and we are sitting in the Qantas Lounge waiting for our flight down to Sydney and then on to Honolulu. It's really cold today in Brisbane so it's been a good opportunity to get aclimatised to the weather we will have in the next few weeks. Our first stop is Hawaii and the temperature there is supposedly like a Brisbane Spring day - not as hot as we thought it was going to be. We will have 3 days there before heading north to Alaska (I seem to remember an old song with that title...hehehehe) for 11 days and, after that, to the Canadian Rockies for a further 10 days. Oh yeah, it feels quite strange to me at the moment cause I'm typing this up on a MAC....hmmmm it's kinda ... read more

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