Holidaying in Homer
Jul 28, 2011
|Ferry and Homer
Tuesday 26th July 2011
This morning we arrive at Kodiak at 3.15am – that’s right – in the middle of the frigging night! And sadly the narrow passage the ship has to go through to get to Kodiak is in complete darkness – so we miss it – However, Neil does get up to witness the departure – 4.15am – in the rain!
So, then it’s back to bed for a while!
Again the seas are calm as we approach the peninsula south of Homer and as we get closer the number of little boats fishing increases dramatically. Then we are in sight of Homer – so we have lunch – yes, in the bar again – well folks it frees up tables in the small dining room for those non-drinking passengers – See, we are considerate folk!
The main town of Homer has a spit that sticks out some 4 miles into Kachemak Bay and the ferry terminal is at the seaward end of this. Now as we arrive there are plenty of folks around and thee is a “resort” at the very end - Land’s End Resort – Aye right pal!
However, as we – and most of the passengers leave the ship – there is not a taxi in sight! And at the visitor centre there is no pay phone – CRAZY – and so we ask at the desk and a nice guy lets us use the desk phone to call the B & B – Now folks, we told them we were arriving and would like a lift – but no joy! So, we call a cab – but they do not take note of our name – So that when a cab draws up – several folk rush forward to try and grab it – Aye right pal!
We “encourage” the driver to get a shared ride into town and up the hill to our B & B – and all works well – He’s a really nice young chap, who takes us on a free detour to a lookout point just above our B & B – and we discover he’s just become a dad for third time and the baby is 3 days old! So, he gets a generous tip – for the wean!
I don’t understand why the taxi firm – when they know the ferry is coming in – have cabs standing by! It happened to us in Alice Springs when the one train a day came in – nothing – CRAZY.
The B & B is interesting and our room has a quaint décor! But we discover that we are at 900 ft above the main village – so after we are settled we walk down the twisty road to town – NOT recommended! We have to get onto the verge at several corners as there is no pavement (sidewalk to the Americans – they call the road the pavement!). But we get there without incident and walk round the town and eventually to the Liquor Shop – and again we have a separate queue for the booze and have to produce ID – DO I LOOK UNDER 21? – CRAZY!
For dinner we have bought food to cook in our kitchenette - nice to have for the B & B – and so we cook, drink, chat, drink, check the email, drink, watch TV – oh and yes drink until bedtime!
Wednesday 27th July 2011
Breakfast in provided here, and we are told 8.30am – so we dutifully trot upstairs (we have a separate entrance and apartment) – and meet the other guests round a very nice dining table set with linen napkins.
The chat is good as there are two other couples- one from Washington State and the other from Oregon – both of which we have been to and can talk about.
The co-owner of the B & B – Steve – introduces himself and the videos of Alaska he has available – then we have a lovely breakfast produced by his wife Juxia – and the video of the Wrangell – St Elias National Park is pretty good.
We then have to decide how long to stay and how to get from here to the East Coast. So, we settle on getting a hire car here for a couple of days and then trying to get flights from Homer to Anchorage, Seattle and Newark.
So, the hire car is a 2001 Subaru with 165,000 miles on the clock – but it’s OK – and we get to the spit and wander around – visit the Salty Dawg saloon – talk to Tim Hamilton and his pal about Golf in Scotland – then lunch at Captain Patties – Nice but overpriced for what we have!
Then a wee drive East up the bay – nice pics and lots of big houses with vast picture windows for the fabulous view.
Later we try and find a Roadhouse mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide – no joy- so we end up at Alice’s Champagne Palace – yes, it’s a bar but also a night club!
But at 6.30 pm it’s pretty quiet – but the bar staff are lively and we have a good chat!
Back at our ranch (yes, it’s a B & B) we find a spot in the sun – and sip (some would say scoff) a G & T – until it’s too cool to be outside without further layers.
Then more of our pre-prepared Pasta and watch TV until bed time.
Thursday 28th July 2011
It’s supposed to rain a lot here – but yet another sunny day dawns and after another nice breakfast – Steve, again introduces the videos and stuff. He is apparently a school principal and is off next week to Kodiak for the winter! It’s not a big school 42 pupils from primary up to senior and 11 staff – WHAT – No wonder America’s budget is shot!
So, as we have the car we drive up to Anchor Point (allegedly the most Westerly Point of the US Continuous Highway system). And then try to visit a couple of Art Galleries Steve mentioned – one had an open sign but was closed and the other Norman Lowell’s was open and huge – but the art was not to our taste!
Then we drove out to see a Russian Settlement – yes, they get everywhere – but to give them their due – Alaska was Russian until 1867 until America bought it for US$7.2 Million – Thought I’m not sure that Russia could sell it – as the local tribes had lived there for Hundreds if not Thousands of years and surely it was their’s to sell!
Anyhow, the Lonely Planet guide recommends a Russian Café “The Samovar” run by Nina. So, we stop by and plan to get a coffee – WRONG – Nina is gushingly pushy in a nice sort of way. You are supposed to book to eat – but we only wanted a drink anyway – but as we seemed to arrive at the same time as two other couples who had not booked – Nina took over!
We ended up having Borscht, then a mixed plate (dumplings, sauerkraut, and something else) and then sweet Tea – we managed to convince her that we did not want desert! – The cost for 2 including Tax and Nina’s idea what the tip should be was $46.94 – Overpriced, but an interesting experience.
We have already booked to go out tonight, so after the unplanned lunch we walk along the Homer Spit for an hour and then do a bit of shopping and back to our B & B and then a soak in the Hot Tub overlooking the bay – gosh it’s a hard life!
Before we leave for dinner, we ask our hosts if we can have breakfast at 8.00am rather than 8.30am – Oh, difficult they say – if you don’t arrive until 8.00 you will miss the fruit service for the 7.30 breakfast!
Now folks, it’s only breekie – how difficult can it be to lay some stuff out and we can help ourselves? Yes, I know they have their own little ways – but who is paying here?
Our meal out at the restaurant Cups in Homer is OK – piles of food – so much so that it puts you off eating – and as we have said before – No wonder there is an obesity problem!
As we have the car – it’s only one dink each (which strangely seems to be enough) then back home to pack and prepare for our departure to Seattle via Anchorage.
And hey, the B & B hosts inform us that breakfast at 8.00am will be OK after all – result.
More next time.
Copyright Neil Tough@2011