Bus & Bonfire Bonding in Yosemite – Green Tortoise Adventure Travel

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I write as I finish a big plate of pancakes with strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream. And coffee. I spent the night sleeping in a big green bus with 13 other people, most of them under thirty.

I’m on a Green Tortoise Adventure Travel tour of Yosemite National Park. This is day three. My friend, Bonita, has been talking forever about how great the GT trips are, so I decided to do one three-day trip with her. She and I drove to San Francisco from Oregon (where she lives) and met the bus there. There were ten others on the tour, mostly people traveling alone (it’s usually a lot more…we were lucky to have a huge bus for just 12 of us and two drivers!) I love the fact that there were only three from the U.S. The others were from Germany, England, Wales, Italy, Israel, and Australia.

The bus is an interesting set-up. At night, tables and seats are turned into beds with mattresses…the bus moves while we sleep. When we wake up, we eat and then go for the day’s activities. Yosemite is gorgeous…and we had choices of activities: some hiked, some trammed, some climbed. There are lots of choices! And more of the same tomorrow.

When we started out at around 9 at night in San Francisco, there were lots of introductions, plenty of conversations, and some quick bonding. We went to sleep, knowing that when we woke up, we’d be in Yosemite for day one. The trip is well-planned and fun. Everyone helps out…with the cooking, the clean-up, and the transformation of the bus from day mode to sleep mode. Working together makes getting to know everyone really easy.

We had a campfire one night (the bus was parked in a wilderness campground) with lots of stories, jokes, and conversations.  It was a surprise when everyone sang happy birthday to me around the fire, and we all ate birthday cake! The food, by the way, was terrific…burritos, Thai curry with tofu, and other healthy, delicious stuff!!

If you are up for an adventure, appreciate nature, and enjoy sharing, do check them out. Three days, four nights cost $325…with food. They have trips to Mexico, all the national parks, Alaska, and more. And apparently most of their trips are more foreigners than US citizens…a huge advantage from my point of view!

The two driver/guides, Lee and Steve, were terrific. Do check them out!




Image courtesy of GreenTortoise.com.

2 thoughts on “Bus & Bonfire Bonding in Yosemite – Green Tortoise Adventure Travel

  1. Sharlene London

    Leon from Frankfurt who was on the Yosemite trip with you is now my houseguest for 3 nights in Culver City, Ca. He accompanied me to Temple Akiba, a progression reform Jewish congregation in Culver City. We attended Shabbot services. Our rabbi was on vacation. Our cantor with a beautiful soprano voice and intelligent explanations of some of the prayers, delivered a brief sermon/discussion on women’s rights. She discussed the Torah portion for the week: “Pincus” about the 5 daughters of a deceased father. The women initially weren’t to inherit any land that was apportioned only to male family members. They approached the leaders and convinced them to apportion land to the women who had no male descendants in order that their father’s name shouldn’t be forgotten. A convincing argument got them positive results. Leon read the transliterated Hebrew prayers and the English translations. Afterwards he visited with many welcoming congregants including a Holocaust survivor and his wife who had just returned as guests from Munich where there was a 70th year commemoration of the liberation of the prisoners from Dachau. Tomorrow he plans to visit Malibu and the beach area, and if time permits, also Venice Beach.

    • Sharlene London

      Rita, I had hoped to hear from you. Remember the German 19 year old? He stayed with us for 3 days over the weekend last week. I was glad to share our home and lifestyle with him. You can meet us in Culver City, CA. I will be singing at Disney Concert Hall with the Califorina Philharmonic chorus and symphony on Sunday 2 pm August 2, 2015. Hope you can see the concert. Sharlene London

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