Green Tortoise Adventure Travel
Adventure Travel
Crawler Chronicle January 2010
In This Issue
Mini Adventures in
the Bay Area
The Green Flash
Alaska Expedition
Travel Tips for Online Bookings
Poetry in Motion
Ask Sunny
Quote of the Month

"The trip was just about perfect. I was impressed by how everyone, as different as we were, could all disconnect from our usual day to day habits and conveniences ... I don't think any of us suffered from the lack of computer access or tv either.  It was great to be unplugged."

Thanks Amanda! 
Upcoming Adventures
"This trip was one of the best I ever made!!! ...better than I expected. The hikes were perfectly chosen (always 2-3 to choose from - according
to your fitness) and the places we visited couldn't have been better!"

"The drivers were both amazing! Both guys represented excellently the good spirit of the Green Tortoise."


"You know the best places to go from experience. This was my second trip, because I enjoyed the first trip so much!"

-Jim, USA
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Green Tortoise Adventure Travel
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San Francisco, CA
94133 USA

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Mini Adventures in the Bay Area!

Adventure Bus tours San Francisco Bay AreaWe are excited to announce an original way for veteran and newbie Tortoise riders to experience our unique travel style.  With a very small commitment of time and money you can take a first look or a refresher course with the Green Tortoise. These appetizer-style adventures will focus on local Bay Area destinations. By combining short hops in our unique lounge coaches with interludes into the local communities and parklands these trips offer a refreshing way to spend a spring day.

The first in our series: Coasting to Santa Cruz on March 13, 2010

Cruise to our neighborhood coastal farming community of Half Moon Bay for coffee and then head for a splash in local tidepools or a stroll on the beach. Be on the lookout for whales, elephant seals and the occasional surfer on the way to Big Basin! Hike creek-side to the lesser known redwood grove or just chill out and watch the waves. We will swing through Santa Cruz before we wrap up the day's adventure with multiple Bay Area public transportation drop offs.

Depart West Oakland Bart 8:00 am
Green Tortoise Hostel 8:45 am
Daly City Or Burlingame Bart: 9:15 am

San Jose Caltrain: 5:00 pm
Daly City Bart: 6:00 pm
Green Tortoise Hostel 6:30 pm
West Oakland Bart: 7:00 pm

Cost: $25 paid in advance. Free with any new Western Roadrunner or any new Spring Baja 2010 adventure. Call our office for details.

Food: BYO or shop at Half Moon Bay for picnic lunch.

The Green Flash - Magical Myth or ???

The Baja Mexico Green FlashIt is said that sunrise and sunset are the only times one can catch a glimpse of this brief mystical moment.  If atmospheric conditions are right and the timing is perfect the very first light of the sun at sunrise (or the last light at sunset) will appear as a brilliant green "flash."

Like many others, you may not believe the claim of those who have seen this  phenomenon and want to see one for yourself!  I was a skeptic too ... until this morning.  On a quest to discover the truth, I positioned myself perfectly to catch the elusive event and the minute the sun peeked over the horizon I was rewarded. If I told you what I saw would you believe me? Anyone that has a clear line of sight during sunrise or sunset can watch for one.  Of course the best viewing happens right here in Baja where the sun rises over the beautiful blue waters of the Sea of Cortez!

Shaunna - GT Mexico
Alaskan Expedition: The Final Frontier

Alaskan Expedition wild natureSpectacular glaciers, majestic Orcas, seemingly infinite forests, and rustic towns rich with native American history -- this is what our Alaskan Expedition is all about! We bring 35 years of guiding experience on one of the most spectacular overland adventures we have to offer.

Alaska and the Canadian Coast are some of the few areas left in the world that hold the splendor and awe of raw nature. The Native Peoples of Alaska have striven to preserve their heritage from before the Russian fur traders started settling in the last frontier.  Our month-long trip takes you to Anchorage, revealing a time and way of life beyond our comprehension along the way.

You'll experience the best of Alaska's nature and culture as we travel both overland and by ferry. The Alaskan Marine Highway is an intricate system cruising along the Canadian and Alaskan Coast utilizing a fleet of 11 vessels. The largest in their fleet holds 600 passengers and over 150 vehicles, including our bus! Relax in the solarium aboard or pitch your tent on one of the upper decks to sleep under the stars as the ferry takes us to various destinations along the way. 

It doesn't happen every year so plan ahead and make this the summer for a real treat. It's an adventure of epic proportions; this opportunity is not to be missed!
Travel Tips on Airfare Deals Online

overland adventure bus tours to national parksIt doesn't take a travel agent or computer whiz to plan an amazing vacation. It's all at the click of a mouse and a little bit of research to set the wheels in motion for you to be hiking a glacier, sitting on a sunny Baja beach or soaking your skin in a hotspring. It seems overwhelming if you've never empowered yourself to take the lead in your planning, but here are some helpful tips for you to go from novice traveler to super globetrotter.

So let's start with your Green Tortoise trip first; you've already spoken to our fantastic office staff, received your e-ticket and realize you have to get yourself to San Francisco and then find a flight back home from Anchorage (Yes, you've picked the grand dame of all trips, the Alaska Expedition!).

Put on your detective hat, warm up your clicking finger and let's get busy! There are three types of travel web sights:

an aggregator where no fees are charged to the user but they rely heavily on the their advertising for a profit (some examples of these are and Traditional booking engines which act as middle men on behalf of airlines and claim a small fee. They can be advantageous when the airline offers an unpublished rate that is exclusive to that website. True bargains can be snagged under their "deals" section. Expedia & priceline fall into this category. Third is the individual airline's website. This will offer you a realistic view of the price range for the trip you desire. Some carriers do not offer their flights any other way, like Southwest, for example. This is a way for the airline to streamline business and funnel passengers onto flights making for an easy booking system which cuts down costs and allows the savings to be passed on to the passenger. It is clear, simple, and in my opinion, a very honest comparison of what they can charge and still make a profit. It also follows the supply and demand sales rule; you can bet that the last seat on an almost full plane is going to be significantly more expensive than the same seat going to the same place on a different day. Almost all carriers offer a "grid view" of flights organized by lowest price. That will tell you the cheapest day to travel. Search within the "deals" section on the website for this feature.

So given that info, here are my tips to keep in mind while your searching:

  • Start monitoring the flights the minute you book your Green Tortoise trip! Inquire about deals with our office staff; they want you to get a good deal too and are tracking deals as well! Let them know where your original departure city is and ask for a recommendation.
  • Find out which airline claims your airport (and the airport that you're going to) as a hub terminal.
  • Allow yourself a couple of days to travel just in case the price is significant from one day to the next.
  • Check with all available area airports...did you know that a flight into Oakland is a BART ride away from the city and takes close to the same travel time getting into the city as SFO?
  • Early spring is the best time to book flights; the airlines are at war with each other and they'll do what it takes for your patronage. Most deals are announced at this time and popular flights dip in price.

Hope that helps, can't wait to see you on the bus...
Go get 'em, you globetrotter you!
Poetry in Motion

Green Tortoise Adventure Travel BookingIt's easy to be inspired by the warm breezes and an extra dose of serenity that Baja brings! One passenger treats us to a poem...

Underneath the Baja sun
We laughed and danced and sang as one.
Had dinners by the fire light
And slept in tents on star lit nights.
There was cooking duty and the dishes
And obsessions with catching fishes.

Amongst the cacti and the critters
We shook off all our city jitters
With silly tandem kayak races
And boat trips out to pristine places.
We dodged the cows amongst the rocks
And hiked the gorge in sandals and socks.

Next to mountain mesas grand
We laid our towels in the sand.
To sleep off sticky breakfast crepes
And soak up sun and vast sea scape.
We bathed in pools filled by tide
And enjoyed a bumpy burro ride.

With our fearless leaders at the wheel
Along through deserts the bus did peel.
Far outside of cell phone range
To see oceans grand and sights so strange.
Then back to the city to say good-bye
I waited till the plane to cry.

Amber, Thanksgiving Baja 2009
Ask Sunny!
Commonly Asked Questions, Travel Tips & Advice

Advice Columinist and  Adventure Tortoise, Sammy!
Dear Sunny,

Do I need a tent?


Hi Chanaye,

We like to recommend tents for most trips, especially if you see the tent icon frequently in your trips' itinerary. But in most cases, it's not mandatory and the option to sleep on the bus is available. Our converted sleeper coaches will remain in "night time mode" during camp nights. Burning Man is the one exception.


Copyright 2009 Green Tortoise Adventure Travel