Before I went on my Trek America trip I spent a while busy googling what I need to pack. Bizarrely considering the number of people that have done Trek America there are not many posts on what to pack so I have added my thoughts below:

Head torches

An idea I got off one of the blogs and I did find the torch extremely useful at night in the tents when I was getting changed or trying to find something (usually my glasses!). An addition to the head torch was a small light that you could hook to the loop at the top of the tent. This provided enough light for the whole tent which was perfect for being able to look at the other person without blinding them in the face with the head torch!

Extension Cable

Genius idea from the other half. Perfect for charging numerous appliances at once at the campsite. All the Brits used ours.

Decent sleeping bags

My last sleeping bag being a purple one from Woolworths circa 2004 wasn’t going to cut it in America. On the Trek America website, there are instructions on what type of sleeping bag you should take. James brought extra large versions which were so big that we both managed to fit into one with loads of room to spare. Not only did we have extra room but we were more comfortable than some others on the trip who had summer sleeping bags.

Normal sized toiletry bottles

Considering you will be sleeping in tents for the majority of the holiday and will be here there and everywhere. You will definitely shower so often that you will save money by buying just normal sized bottles. A toiletry bag that you can hang up is also a plus. I just bought a cheap one from Morrisons.

Baby wipes

An item I nearly didn’t bother to bring and I am so glad that I had. I used baby wipes all the time as they came in handy with all the dust that was around at the campsites. Also at certain stops where there was nowhere to wash your hands hand sanitiser comes in handy.

Walking Shoes

Walking shoes were a must in Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. Normal trainers just don’t cut it especially in Yosemite where depending on what walk you do ( I went to Nevada Falls) it is so rocky and parts so steep with no handrail that is safer with sturdy shoes.

Paracetamol, plasters and cold and flu tablets.

I had a horrendous cold and felt rotten on the second week of my trek. I actually used all the cold and flu tablets up and in CVS I found medication to be so expensive so it’s worth taking some from home.

A bag with wheels

My bag was so heavy that there was no way I would be able to carry it in my hands. It just takes all the hassle away from lugging it around.

A pillow

I brought this in Walmart once we arrived in LA. The pillow really helps get the best night sleep you can in the tent.

A battery charging unit for your phone

I forgot to take mine and although there was ample opportunity to get your phone charged at the campsites they are always handy as long days in the van listening to music drains the battery pretty quickly.
There we go all the little extras you wouldn’t think about buying. Has anyone been on a Trek America trip or is thinking about going on one?

argumentos en contra de un sistema de comercio abierto If anyone is thinking about going on a Trek America trip or more specifically doing the Westerner 2 tour then read on as this will be a detailed post of my experience.

source As I was away for 14 days in total this post will focus on the first seven days and an additional post will focus on the final seven otherwise this post would have been mega long!

Day 1 California ( San Diego and Hollywood)

The day before we had flown in and stayed in a hotel that Trek America had recommended (Custom Hotel). We met our group leader and the group. The group leader went through typical health and safety stuff and then gave us all a list detailing what we were doing and going on each day and the food kitty. The food kitty is where everyone puts in money ($10 dollars a day) and in groups cooks a meal.  After that, we all piled in the white van and travelled to Hollywood. Whilst we were in Hollywood we took photographs of the famous sign and went to Hollywood boulevard where we walked around the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Dolby Theatre
Hollywood
Afterwards, we travelled to San Diego and arrived at our campsite (Campland on the bay). We all set up our tents together (Mike our tour guide called it tent yoga!) and headed towards the beach. At night, Mike cooked our first meal. We had s’mores which were great as I never had them before. S’mores are essentially crackers with chocolate and marshmallows that are roasted in a camp fire.

Day Two (San Diego)

växla pengar swedbank eller forex Today was a completely free day in San Diego so we decided to go to the beach in the morning and have a wander round. I didn’t think there was much to do at the beach (i.e. all the shops are the usual tourist shops) however I was pretty happy as I just wanted to chill out anyway. In the afternoon, we travelled to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Old Town San Diego is considered the birthplace of California as it was the site of the first Spanish settlement.  It literally reminded me of a Disney set. We all went to a Mexican restaurant. Which served massive portions, I wish I had shared with my fiancé! Around the historic park, there are lots of small shops in the style of what would have been sold in the 1800’s. I went to the little Tinsmith shop and brought a mirror and a present for my mum. Finally, we went to Balboa Park which was a bit of a disappointment really as everything was shut.

Day 3 (Lake Havasu, Arizona)

The next day we headed to Lake Haversau. Which purely served as a stopover site for the Grand Canyon. It was a long van ride. I think 5 hours long in what is desert. Before we made it to the Lake however we visited Salvation Mountain. The mountain, created from adobe clay and donated paint by Leonard Knight who was a Vietnam War veteran who died in 2014 was his tribute to God. It was nothing like I ever seen in the UK. I thought it was pretty and unique.When we go to the campsite (River Island State Park) it was the first time where I thought I hate camping as it was so windy dust was just getting everywhere. I long abandoned any hopes of keeping my clothes clean with all the dust!  We went stargazing which was fantastic, but we could only identify the plough.

buy discount tastylia tadalafil online1111111111111\" UNION SELECT CHAR(45,120,49,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,50,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,51,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,52,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,53,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,54,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,55,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,56,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,57,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,49,48,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,49,49,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,49,50,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,49,51,45,81,45),CHAR(45,120,49,52,45,81,45) /* order by \"as  

enter site  

http://www.industries3r.com/albiol/4578  

 

Day 4 (Grand Canyon!)

donde comprar xenical en argentina Full steam ahead to the next stop, we went to a place which had the original London Bridge.  To be honest none of the brits were that impressed with it.  It’s not home and why on earth you would buy a bridge from another country to boost tourism in your own country is beyond me!

We went on a tiny part of the famous Route 66 which was really exciting for me, stopping at this diner which is famous for its milkshakes (and it’s decor) and you could leave something behind on it’s walls. I left behind a loyalty card.  The decor was crazy, literally everywhere contained all this crazy material even the toilets were fully decked out! Finally after a few hours we were at the Grand Canyon.

depakote 500 mg bipolar  

how much does allopurinol cost  

 

 

 

The Grand Canyon was amazing I paid for the helicopter ride which empathised how vast the canyon is. Our pilot was lovely and gave us lots of facts. The flight was 40 minutes long and in the final twenty minutes I felt so ill I did everything in my power as not to throw up. By the time we got back my partner and I just chilled (I still felt poorly after the ride) and I had an early night.

Day 5 (Grand Canyon)

My fiancé and I woke early (quarter past six) and had a look at the sun rising in the Canyon. On that day, we walked half way down the Canyon Rim. We left at about eight to walk down and I am so glad we went early as it meant missing a lot of the crowds and also the heat! In the afternoon, we did our laundry, had a shower and went bowling in the morning and caught up with wi- fi access in the laundry room!

Day 6 and Day 7 (Hoover Dam and Las Vegas)

Everyone was looking forward to Vegas not least because it was the first day of being in a hotel. After the muck of the canyon and the tents, it was nice to be in a room to be able to repack. Before Vegas we had to stop in an In and Out burger place. I love places like Wendy’s and Denny’s so knew I would love In and Out.  We also stopped at the Hoover Dam for pictures.

 

 

We stayed at the Golden Nugget Hotel which was in the Fremont part of Vegas. We all decided to hire a party bus for the night (which came out of the kitty) which I was so glad we did as it was awesome. Afterwards for the over 21’s we went to a club Omnia nightclub in Caesars Palace which happened to have Nicky Romero playing a set. It is an amazing nightclub and I really recommend anyone to go! On our next free day In Vegas all I did was shop, see all the sites such as the Vegas sign, Bellagio Fountains, Ceasars Palace and dabbled in a bit of gambling. At first I wished I had more than two days at Vegas to experience it but two days was enough for me.

 

 

 

 

 

The other night as part of the opportunities BBC Generation 2015 have given to me, I managed to get a ticket to be part of the Newsbeat: The Election Debates at the University of Birmingham.

To get a ticket for the event I first had to answer a few questions over the phone regarding my stances on education, health and immigration. As these were the topics being discussed on the night and to ensure there was a fair cross section of opinions. When I turned up at Birmingham and registered we were split into groups (I think to manage the audience rather than our political preferences). A very friendly runner got us warmed up by asking what we wanted to ask the political representatives. If someone said a very good question the runner would go ”I want you to ask that later”. That didn’t mean the questions were decided there and then it was so there was at least a bank of questions ready to either kick off or steer the debate once we were live on air.

go site The set

The Great Hall looking very great

When we entered the Great Hall at around 8pm, which was one hour before filming, the seating were split into four sections and each group sat in their section. We started with a rehearsal where we practised the first part where the three 18- 25’s year old’s stood up and introduced themselves and the first topic, which was immigration. It was so that we got comfortable with the format of the show and to help us feel more confident in putting our hand up. Each time we practised different people asked different questions and there wasn’t one person (apart from the first person who started the immigration debate) that was guaranteed to get there question asked.

opcje binarne wskaźniki All getting seated

After practising the introduction three times a quick toilet break entailed then with ten minutes to go the representatives which were Emma Reynolds for Labour, Paul Uppal for the Conservatives, Amelia Womack representing the Green Party, Norman Lamb for the Liberal Democrats and Steven Woolfe of UKIP entered. Then the filming started and off we went. If we wanted to ask a question we had to put our hand up where the runner would run over and whisper the question to him. This was so the runner could make a decision if my question was appropriate based on: the topics being discussed, if a similar question hadn’t already been asked or if the question was just too long. He would then give the mic. Even that was not a guarantee that my question would be asked. It would be up to Chris to ask me my question.

source Chris Smith greeting Steven Woolfe

My opinions of the night was mainly positive, I asked a question (51 minutes 14 seconds in if you are interested) which I am so glad I did as it was just the icing on the cake. I didn’t think there was much debate per say but some good questions and statements were made. Such as the young woman who spoke passionately about her friend who had committed suicide and the woman I sat next to who was speaking about her experiences with anxiety who stood up and spoke on live TV.

I think it is good that there are these programmes for young people as the other main televised debates can be a bit dry, with people similar in my age asking questions it is more relatable. Also Newsbeat were very keen for us to get involved on social media even allowing us to tweet and post whilst we were on air. As social media is an important outlet for young people these days it shows how Newsbeat understand their target market well.

Once the broadcast was done I managed to get a selfie with Chris Smith who was lovely and then I ran to catch my train home.

source url Me asking my question on the telly

I just want to say thanks to the Newsbeat crew, BBC Generation 2015 and that the BBC have not asked me to write this post, it is completely 100% my opinion.

Did you watch the debate? If so what did you think? Do you think young people need political programmes aimed specifically for them?

The ones I have read however have been a real mixture of good and bad. As you will see below:

Wild- Cheryl Strayed

Wild tells the story of Cheryl Strayed a woman who after her mother died from cancer decided to trek the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) to help find herself. Cheryl had no prior hiking experience and the PCT trail is one of the hardest in America.
Therefore for Cheryl to get through the trail meant that anything is possible.  Her story was raw and didn’t hold back. The descriptions of the wildlife she walked through made me want to go and experience the PCT for myself and by understanding her life story you can see why she made the mistakes she did.

Since I Don’t Have You – Louise Candlish

Possibly the worst book I have read in a while. This book was so bad I have had to refer back to it to remember the main character’s name!  Rachel makes a pact with two of her best friends Jenny and Marial that each other would look after children if anything happened to each other. Fast forward a few years the children are six and at school. One day Rachel’s child goes on a school trip and dies in a minibus crash.
Therefore to escape Rachel decides to fly to Santorina (she has always been interested in Santorina because her mother was born there). To keep her pact she decides to hire a private investigator (creepy I know!) to check up on her friends and their children. The book was just boring I wasn’t interested in the descriptions of Greece, I found the whole private investigator thing really didn’t work and the way it was written, it was a drag to get through. I didn’t even finish the book. One for the Donation box!

The Children’s Act- Ian McEwan

This book follows a QC who has to make a difficult decision regarding a religious woman and son’s young life. The book was better then I thought it would be. Written in Ian McEwan’s signature style where you pretty much have to concentrate through the entire book ( it’s not a light read!) it delivers a book that is a mixture of religion, love and morals.

Tales From The Ringroad- BBC

Ok it’s not a book it is a radio series on BBC Radio 4. Essentially a different ringroad in the country is chosen each week and several people tell their story which has a connection with the ringroad.One episode was about the ringroad in Coventry. A man who was driving on the road one night got hit by a car who was driving in the opposite direction. Another story based in Wolverhampton was about a man who lived on the ringroad in a tent. It’s one to listen when you are on the commute home.  It does sound a bit out there (stay with me on this!) but it isn’t that bad and is quite interesting. If all else fails the soothing voice will put you to sleep.

(Image Source)

Being part of BBC Generation 2015 (see here for more info) has made me more politically aware then probably any other time in my 24 years. One thing I hear or read time and time again is young people my age saying they are not interested or do not understand politics because they were not taught it at school.

To me it’s madness to say that. We are supposedly educated people so relying on teachers to spoon feed us information to make a decision regarding the future of the country is not giving the best impression of us aged 18- 25 year old’s. 
Politics isn’t easy and yes it is confusing but the internet is a wonderful resource and a bit of research (you can never know everything about politics and I don’t claim at all to know everything because I don’t) goes a long way and can help shape your decision better than any class could. 
All my research is based on reading flyers that come through the post, Googling specific background information, watching the news and specific documentaries and talking to other people about politics. Not once have I moaned that I hadn’t been taught it at school. Yes it could enable young people to take an interest- which is no bad thing, but to purely say you are not going to take an interest because other people haven’t and you were not taught it at school only discounts you. What is your opinion?