June, and on the way to Alaska from Israel to pick up a Cruise America Caravan camper in Anchorage to start one of the most exciting adventure of our lives.
No prearranged groups, fixed itineraries or group guides; just Elka and myself deciding where to go, how long to stay and most importantly, opportunities of getting to meet local people and 'caravaner's' like ourselves.
We had experience in caravan travel before in New Zealand and Canada and the freedom to do what we felt and where to go–going with the flow not only appealed to us but seemed the most natural way to maximize our travel experience. We also choose a motor caravan which would be comfortable and fit our needs, especially for our dietary requirements and our determination to live as simply as possible.
We also felt assured that if there was any problems with the van, we could rely on the local rental office to take care of us immediately, even in the middle of 'nowhere'.
Having a motor caravan had so many advantages over renting a car and every evening trying to find a place to sleep.
Sometimes we would simply find a camping site in an area where we wanted to explore in the middle of the day and just pull in.
When we were hungry or in need of a good cup of coffee, we simply stopped in an off road area and relaxed.
There was no pressure to see it all, get somewhere by a certain time or take every picture possible – we just immerged ourselves in the travel, the scenery and the people we met.
Obviously we did some planning about a route to take but it was more a draft plan which we modified as we went along.
As we met local residents and other persons in motor caravans, we obtained "insider information" about special events or nature sites that were worthwhile visiting. Having the caravan, we simply 'rerouted' and deviated from our previous plans – and usually finding wonderful surprises that we had not known about.
I should also mention that the caravan was very comfortable and had plenty of room for all we needed.
The beds were comfortable, the refrigerator large enough to store perishable food for a week, the heating and cooling system efficient and the clever storage facilities for clothes, dry foods and equipment amazingly designed. As we all know, it's always the small things that count and whoever designed the interior of the caravan did an excellent job, even the bathroom and shower were manageable with space for soap and toothbrushes. At no time did we feel oppressed by claustrophobia.
As far as driving, the size of the caravan can best be described as optimum and simply having one of us to guide backing up into camping sites made things easy and being not too wide made highway and local road driving not stressful.
All during our exciting and wonderful time traveling in Alaska, Elka keep a log on our laptop and recorded our impressions every evening. We have cherished this log over the years as it brings back memories of the places we have been, the people who we met and with the associated pictures we took, of the breathtaking scenes we saw and experienced. We could not have done so without having all the advantage of the motor caravan we rented.