Having read about ‘booming tourism’ in Alaska I had pre-booked some hostel nights, which turned out not to be necessary. Spent the first two nights in 26th Street International Hostel, which I loved but it’s closed now. In the same building is now a new hostel, Base Camp Anchorage, hopefully it’s equally good. (If you don’t want to drag your suitcases around for a long time, notice that the hostel is on WEST 26 st.) The neighbourhood is a bit shabby and maybe because of that the bus going to it (nr. 7) is quite ehm, interesting. Some time after my stay in Anchorage I talked to a guy who had stayed in another hostel on the line nr. 7 and he had had the impression that this bus line was going to some mental asylum. But the hostel itself was very nice, very relaxed atmosphere.
Quite un-prepared I went (I walked with a Polish guy, I think it took us about 45 minutes) to the city center to pick up my reserved bus tickets for Homer at the Stage Line Office, only to find out that this office is not located in the city center, so then I had to take a bus. I probably hadn’t needed to pick the tickets up beforehand if I had just given them a call. After that I took the bus to Dimond center to buy a temporary cellphone. Found a very cheap deal at Walmart and the guy who was working there was kind enough to activate it for me. Then it was time for some tourism: rented a bike to cycle the Coastal Trail. People had seen moose and bears along that trail that day but I didn’t (which may have been due to my -deliberate, didn’t want to surprise a bear- loud singing of Dutch soccer songs in places that had no other cyclists or walkers around). The landscapes were nice enough though. Anchorage has quite a lot of trails, all of which are said to be good. Be careful on all of them though and don’t think (as I did until recently) big cities like Anchorage are not bear country: they are.