Illegals in Mexico – crossing the ‘hell border’, free bus organised by policemen, flea and mayan pyramids

As fast as possible through the border inferno

Meksikos-Jav siena itin pavojinga, nes čia nereti gaujų susišaudymai, pagrobimai, didelis narkotikų gabenimas, o ir patys policininkai ne angelai. Kirtome sieną ir negavome štampų pasuose, tad keliaujam toliau - kaip nelegalai. | Mexico-USA boarder is very dangerous as here are common gang fights, kidnappings, big drug traffic, while the police is not without a spot. We have crossed the boarder, but without getting an entry stamp on the passports so going now as illigals.

If you have read our last USA adventures, you have probably felt our anxiety before entering Mexico. In our imagination and the people stories ‘There’ sound like a hell, where you would not like to get in. It seemed like narco mafia gangsters and corrupted police like aligators awaiting for you to fill their empty stomacks. ‘Maybe you are not that interesting for big mafia bosses, but there young ones who have relatives belonging to gangs, so they want to show off and might play with the guns. Kidnapping is popular, too’. So we haven’t heard anything nice about the part ‘behind the border’, but we have no choice but cross it. According to travellers advice, we will take a bus to make first 50 kilometres to get out of this inferno part. Maybe the truck would have been an ideal part, but because of the insurance problems they do not take anyone to the cabin. We were not successful crossing commercial border, too.

In the early morning we arrive to Laredo on the USA part. The hitched mexican woman warns us to take care. As if we didn’t worry enough. The bridge over the river, the latter one being a popular place to cross illegally, hence the once to succeed are called wetbacks. So on the one side of the river is ‘Hell’ and on the other ‘The Dream Land’. Few people crossing to Mexico, and long qeues to enter USA. To get to Mexico – no passport checking or stamping, and this part gets us into a trouble. After all, without stamps we become illegals in the country. Only some officers try to check our things, but being a bit unsuccessful to repack our backpacks, they let us out quickly.

Maži gyventojų namai | Little houses people have

One officer after crossing the border was so amazed seing us, he couldn’t stop admiring ‘I have never seen a person hiking here’. So our first steps into ‘a hell’.

It’s early morning. The town is at its usual bussiness – food stores, busy plaza, people chat on the streets. Of course, they are surprised to see us. The last we have experienced such glances was in Indonesia, after that for the 5 months (Australia and USA) were were usuals with bizarre backpacks. It’s not common for gringos (whites) walk here. Normally they take the bus (even that is a rare thing to do) on the USA side and go deep into Mexico. But even then, its not as safe as it might seem. One German guy, whom we met later at our travels, told how he got a bus from the same town Nuevo Laredo, how their bus got stopped by policemen, they pushed their gun to his neck, and all the bus got robbed of their money.

One old guy explains us how to get by public transport to the bus station. The crooked bus with lots of religious swinging and glued elements goes to the busy streets. All seems so usual and normal. But we do not try to paint it in pink colours. The evening scenes might look very different, and we reccomend other travelers to take precautions and walk here only in the morning. It’s not without a reason, that USA trucks do not enter Mexican part – too many robberies and deaths happened.

Policemen provide us with free tickets

We successfully get to Monterey, the city among mountains. The inferno belt is crossed, but the locals will constantly warn us of the same: Mexico is not a safe place to be.

We approach the policemen within the station. We are hoping they will explain how to get out of the city so we can start hitchhiking. After hearing our story, they all cheerfully promise us to get us free tickets. Meanwhile they share their lunch with us.

Later we get to know, that the tickets were from Caritas organisation. Rich people in Mexico donate money, and the Caritas provides free tickets for those unable to travel. In theory, we got an opportunity to travel even further by bus, using Caritas contact, but hitchhiking is so much closer to our hearts. At last we want to use our rusty Spanish and get to know some locals.

Tampico – tequilla and crocodiles in the city pool

Plazos - miesto aikštės kuriose verda miesto gyvenimas; čia vyksta koncertai, žmonės rytais mankštinasi, dieną kartu geria kavą, o vakarais susitinka porelės. | Plazas - little parks where the city is living to its full. Concerts, couple meetings, morning excersising and so much more life in these little places.

We want to know more this little lovely town, so couchsurfing is always an option. To get the night stay at the same day is always risky, as people might need few days in advance, but brothers Ivan and Gerardo were very fast to reply. Already in the evening we taste tequillas and fish in their parents house and we can observe the lovely cosy atmosphere amont the colleagues who gather weekly to have social time together. They laugh at each other innocently, but it seems they are the happiest people on earth.

Tampico is a small town, and rarely people would come to visit it, as they would have plenty of other options: Mexico, Oaxaca and others. But we like small towns. The atmosphere so lovely. In the main plaza kids mess around with pigeons, the old observe young couples, while the young ones enjoy the sweet stuff they just bought from the street vendors. In the middle of the plaza there is a place for local bands to perform, so despite it’s a daytime or evening, the life boils there.
In the town there is a pond, where the crocodilles flourish. The pond is fenced, so the animals would not curioiusly go walking in the city.

Actekų palikimas | Actec relics

Aztec culture – human body is made from corn

Aztecs is one of the civilizations in Mexico. It covers 6 current regions from Mexico golf to Sierra Madre mountains. Their religions was based on fertility and three main principles: birth, death and rebirth. Cosmos, according to them, is made of three horizontal plates, communicating among themselves via five trees and one in the middle, which is popular in a sacral life. The sacral dance around it was a common habit. Lots of handcrafts were of religious theme, too. They used lots of make-up and dye their hair. Only the nobles had a right to tattoo or dye their body, sharp their teeth or paint them black.

Aztecs unlike Mayans did not have glyphs, but they had a rich oral tradition, and that’s how they communicated their culture and traditions. For example, god Dhipaak, the Corn god, was so popular in myths, because actecs believed that human body is made from corn.

Persikėlimas per tiltą yra mokamas toliau esančioje būdelėje, bet kam mokėt, kada gali apvažiuoti? | You have to pay for the bridge crossing, but why paying when you can avoid it?

At last on the Road

Ivan brings us to the Tampico – Veracruz bridge, which is a paid option, so not many cars passing it. We soon witness a very economic crossing strategy. When people going with motorbike come to the end of the bridge, in certain place (far enough from the collecting boot), they take their motorbikes by hand and roll/carry it over to save some pesos. Later we also witness another way of saving up – one car took a really bad countryside bumpy full of potholes road in order to avoid the high taxes. At the beginning it was a bit awkward when he got into the neglected road in the fields, but soon we enjoyed it better than a highway – at least we can see the countryside life closer.

It rains heavily. One driver becomes suprised to realise we are planning to camp somewhere in the fields, but when he saw some neglected building in the fields, he gets curious in the process. ‘Maybe there?’ Yeah, soon we get over the fence, which obviously means we are getting into some private area. It rains and getting dark soon, so no other choice. Its a cowshed, after all we realised. But the cement floor and a roof will serve us well as a shed tonight. We inspect the area. In one hole we find five snake skins. Glow-worms are all around us. We don’t even suspect that tomorrow we are going to spend a night near the Gulf of Mexico. The paradox in the traveling still amazes us.

The next morning doesn’t promise anything dry. No wish to get out of the dry place, but the cows are approaching, so probably we need to move. The orange tree fields all around. Later an old guy brings us pockets of fruits probably from those fields.

Jūros gėrybių kokteiliai | Seafood cocktails

It pours heavily. Two genetics professors, who try to improve the corn quality, stop for us as they feel sorry. Normally they wouldn’t take anyone in – such a university policy.
With them we start our seafood era. They bring us to one place, where they normally stop to get some shrimp cocktail – amazing thing. They also suggest Chakchalaka beach to stay over, so the next few days we enjoy the emerald water of the golf. Wild dogs look after our tent, but those lovely creatures leave us some gifts – fleas. We get into panick as the traveler forums suggest it will be very hard to get rid of them. We change our plans and go to Veracruz. We don’t want to infect any couchsufers, so we choose cheap hotel instead to make a total wash-up.

We do it in a standart tourist way: a hotel (cheap 5 dollar one, but there are beds, even a tv and coffee in the morning), then a walk in the town and museum, and the dinner. But how do the tourist get to know the locals? Where does the adventure lie? We started to long our Road and meeting the local people.

We began searching for some things against the flea. Even though we had an exact Spanish word for that, everyone tried to offer us something against louses. You can only imagine what they thought of such ‘tourists’.

Turguje | In a bazaar

Next to our and neighbouring hotels you could see some different shape and sized woman in their prolonged eyelashes waiting to ‘offer their services’. We will see such women often on the highway, too. We hitch, and they wait for their clients. Normally truck drivers wouldn’t take us into their trucks due to insurance policies etc., but they would they them for a shorter or longer distance, or just on the spot to implement ‘the thing of great importance’. Of course, our backpacks were not filled of make-up, and the only service we could offer is the our chats in a broken spanish.

Sleep in the gas stations

In Mexico people are afraid. There are lots of vanished people, even more are missing unofficially. Hitchhiking is relatively easy, but it’s hard to hitch a car just before the dusk. So when the sun sets we start searching for a safe place to sleep. If not couchsurfing or guests, we need to find a good spot for pitching a tent. Jungles and some agressive snakes (nauyaca) are not the best option, and some people might be dangerous, too. So we start asking around gas stations, and it worked out very well.

When we say that we search for a safe place, both parties understand what we have in mind. It doesn’t cost them anything to provide a two meter spot for us, and for us it is a lot. They have clean toilets, and sometimes showers, too. Maybe, some louder vehicles will disturb your sleep, but after all, it’s a safe place.

So you can have assistance in unsafe countries too. As we don’t travel often to touristic places, so not many people would expect to see a gringo in their environment. Gringo (‘green go’ derives from Mexican – USA war times, when USA army wore green uniform).

Palenque pyramids and the end of the world

Palenkė | Palenque

A young family that brought us close to Palenque, pointed some mountains saying the inscription about the remarkable 21 12 2012 date was found there. ‘People think it means the end of the world, but it only tells about the end of era’. After all, everyone who is scared of the end of the world should read more what scientists tell about that. This date only signifies b’a’ktun five millenia era end, but its says nothing of catastrophies, encounter of other planets or new spirituality uprise. There are lots of upcoming events both in Palenque and other mayan sites to celebrate this date, and there are lots of chats about the ‘end of the world’ around the ruins during this time.

Palenque is truly a wonder in a jungle. The temple of Inscriptions and other pyramids stand out among cedar, mahogany and sepodilla trees. There was found a sarcophagus of one of the great leaders Pacal. There are lots of glyphs, which is a well developed and interpreted mayan script, where only nobles were able to use.

About the food in Mexico

Tamal - palmės lape įvyniota vištiena su kukurūzų koše. | Tamal - chicken with korns wrapped in a palm leaf.

To prepare food on our tiny stove is a waste of time and money when you can find so much cheaper food from street vendors, observe how they prepare it, sit down on white or red plastic chairs and eat the food with the locals. Tacos with some vegetables, which some of them can be so painfully spicy, that you want to cry. Eventually, the pain becomes a pleasure, and the next time you nearly seek that pain again. It’s easy to get used to such flavour. We soon start to use everywhere Ivan’s gift – green chile habanera to spice up all our food.

Tamales – corn and chicken meal the cheapest options fill you well. And the diversity of fruits is amazing. One driver treat us with some pineapples and its juice, the softness and sweatness of the fruit gives you shivers. One paradise on earth.

Illegal in Mexico

No stamping at the USA Mexico border meant trouble to us. We after all, are illegals in the country. After having read lots of forums, we arrive to the immigration office in Veracruz and explain the problem. ‘You are illegals here’. We know it, and we came to solve the problem. The young official hearing we use our broken Spanish didn’t think to slow his tempo or simplify the vocabulary. No chance of getting stamp here, you need to come back to USA (no chance of that, too) or go to Guatemala. The only left option.

You can only imagine, how uncomfortable we felt each time being stopped by policemen. Luckily, they never asked our passports. We wanted to sort our dirty things at the border.

The smiling officer at the border after getting to know our story repeats the same old stuff we know by heart: ‘You know, you are illegals here’. Really. We give our passports, which are new fresh (we just received them in Lithuanian consulate in Chicago). No stamps. Nothing. We show our old ones to prove we REALLY traveling around the world. He smiles. ‘You will need to pay a…’ he tries to find a right word… ‘fine’ we finish it off. ‘It’s not so fine’ he still smiling plays with the words. We pay 25 dollars each and happy leave the office. ‘Welcome in Guatemala’. Here we go we coming all very legal.

Canada – a broken vehicle, hot springs, the life story of Cree Indian and a pig in the car

Yukon and British Columbia – self made vehicle and hot springs

Keith took us from the place in Alaska, which another driver nearly believed had a curse on. ‘I bet I’ll find you here in few days. I’ve seen hitchhikers standing here for a long time’. He didn’t find us as Keith picked us up in exactly fifteen minutes, and we had a long good drive for exactly four days.

Kanada | Canada

The trailer was seriously long. We are lucky as he was going down all the way to States. Well, not all the way we need, but I would say the best part of Canada. Yukon and British Colombia are fascinating provinces. Northern Rockies interwoven with rivers and lakes, bisons and black bears.

At the border we ought to tell we are flying out of USA, as no other way we would able to cross the country by land. Quite a few miles you think you are in Canada, as they welcome you, but officially you only entering it after the border crossing. It’s still the same beauty as in Alaska. For some time.

Kytas | Keith

Keith is a stubborn traveler and the inventive one. His job is a pure traveling – transporting motorbikes across the continent. We are lucky ones to catch him. Funny enough he is also writing his diary about the traveling, and posts it to forums and Michigan newspaper. We have so much to share that it feels in four days he got to know us quite a bit. We felt comfortable and very cozy. Spending nights having a bonfire, chats in depth.
The drive seemed nearly perfect until the car started to choke and eventually died. Keith tries to change the filter, than stab the old one. No chance. The vehicle simply doesn’t get up the hills. Eventually Keith creates a new invention. He takes a fuel tank from his own motorbike, puts it into the wash basket, places it on the top of the car and straps it. With pipes he connects the engine to the tank, and here we go. The car rushes smoothly.

Keith was not only inventive in his own Dodge kingdom. When some travelers (in fact a bunch of couchsurfers) stopped us for some help, Keith in no time scrolled under the car and fixed the problem instantly. He was a hero for the travelers.

Well, we in fact got to the Liard hot springs eventually. This is a tropical oasis amongst Canadian forests. Springs are so hot you can hardly touch the water close to the origin. It cools a bit further away, and you can pleasantly bath under the blue or starry sky. Amazing place worth a visit and relax well. We spent there floating for a full day with tiny breaks.

Verdame karštosiose versmėse. | We are enjoying the hot springs.

Our ways split in Dawson Creek. At times we had a thought, what would have happened, had we continued our journey all the way around States. We still wanted to know more of Canada and its people, and needed to get to Chicago a bit sooner than later.

We try our chances to camp in the Pouce Coupe camping site. ‘We are travellers, and made quite a chunk of our journey. Would it be possible to pitch a tent in your site for free?’ Lovely workers not only helped us with wood, but also provided us a delicious breakfast.

Alberta – the story of Cree Indian and bikes for Africa

Galvojome pasistatysime palapinę prie upelio, bet šalia pamatę kempingą su daug pievelės ir laužavietėm, pagalvojom pasiprašyti vietos. Gavome ne tik malkų, bet ir nemokamus pusryčius! | We wanted to pich a tent next to a river, but there was a campsite with lots of fireplaces, so we thought of trying our luck. In the end we got some free wood and a breakfast in the morning!

‘My job is to cut the trees. It goes against what I believe in’ starts his life story Gordon. He is a Cree Indian, native one. He believes the trees have got soul. But only seven years ago he had a totally different approach to the world. His pursuit after happiness meant cars, women, alcohol and drugs. And jail. Until his mom offered him to come to the sun dance ritual. Then he started to attend sweat lodges, where the elderly to his request of finding a fine woman said ‘you came here for a wrong reason’. They didn’t try to convince him of anything, but soon he came up with the answers all by himself. The inner peace was the most important thing to him. No more anger or jealousy as such. He even helps at alcoholics anonymous club now to get over things.

Paul - tranzuotojas, dviratininkas, mus begalo šiltai priėmęs į namus žmogus. | Paul - hitch-hiker, cyclist, wonderful traveller that invited us to his home.

We thought to catch a hitch to Edmonton. Paul, who was the one to give us a lift, invited us to his home. He understood us from the first instance. No wonder, he is a traveler himself, cycled through Africa, hitched all around Europe. Moreover, he also cares for the ones in Africa to cycle. On Sunday one church donated 200 bikes, so they will be shipped eventually to the remote lands of Africa. The container will serve as a repair shop, people for a reasonable price are able to buy a bike and reach water or shop instead of walking for hours. The charity Bikes for Humanity is run voluntarily, and it partners with Ben Stiller Foundation. Check out to know more about this fascinating project.

Saskatchewan: domestic pig, the largest Easter egg, and 2600km directly to Chicago

Paul gave us a lift to a place more appropriate to hitch. The woman approached us and offered some sandwiches as ‘her daughter had hitched around Canada, and ordered her mom to take care of any hitchhikers’.

Miesteliai užsikrėtę tikra didybės manija - didžiausias pasaulyje vėlykinis kiaušinis. Ukrainiečių benduomenės sukurtas. | The biggest easter egg in the world in a land of Ukranian community.

Soon we hitched a guy who was willing to show us the largest Easter egg in the world. It seems that some little villages create something extraordinary. The Ukrainian community in the Vegreville had a thought to produce a massive ‘Pysanka’. The other village made a landing strip for aliens. So if any aliens come to Earth, they would have a place to land. The fascinating village imagination.

‘It would be great that someone would stop who would be going directly to Chicago’ we foresaw the massive traffics in the big cities. The nice car stops. There is a pig at the back. Beautiful one. With dyed nails in pink. Willis and Geraldine smile, they perhaps got used to the reactions of people towards domestic pigs. Geraldine feeds a baby goat in the front seat. “We are by the way going through Chicago’ total surprise to us. ‘If you want you could stay at our farm for a day, we could go to Chicago all together’. Wonderful. Herd of yaks, miniature horse, a donkey, goats, dogs. Lovely people. It felt like at home. The drivers made 2600 kilometres to Chicago bringing us straight to the house.

Practical tips
It is expensive as in Alaska.

Hitchhiking is Canada is purely a pleasure. People are friendly and helpful.

The camping sites normally are paid, and visitor centres might be surprised at a question of free options.

Camping places normally have (paid or free) showers, rivers are clean

Alaska – encounter with a grizzly family, a free flight above taiga and seven days in the wilderness

We are often asked, what countries we like best in our Journey of Life. We seem to pronounce Iran or China quite often. But after Alaska we have to move around our list, as it gets deep down in our brains and veins. It’s wild up there, and for hours and hours you can drive through forests and valleys, and you see no sign of the houses. Before we have left it, we already longed to come back. No wonder why some people come here to visit, but stay for ever. If to close our eyes, we still can picture the bright colours of Dalton road, wild animals, tundra and taiga from above, and we can still taste the red salmon.

Anchorage – a pepper spray against the bears for 50 dollars

Ko gero pats lengviausias oreantavimąsis mieste. A.. B.. C gatvė.. D.. | I guess the easiest city navigation ever. A.. B.. C street.. D..

To one of the biggest cities in Alaska – if in fact you can talk about big cities at all – we flew from Hawaii. In the airport some stuffed grizzly or albino beaver stand like some beauty and warning – you are entering a wild state. We are soon to enter that wilderness.
As very un-knowledgable people, we come to the visitor centre in Anchorage. Firstly, to get to know more about good places to go and what to do in case we meet some wild animals. We also buy a small book about wild berries, it’s a high time for us to try out a variety of them too. For those who are planning to visit Alaska or north west of Canada, few tips about wild animals.
Secodnly, we desperately need a beer spray. After a long hunt through some shops (‘sorry, we just ran out of it’), we finally get one for 50$. Expensive, but you rather have it…


Nusileidus Aliaskoje oro uoste mus pasitiko grizlis. Draugiškas. | After landing in Alaska airport a grizzly met us. Friendly one.

In Alaska you most frequently see two sorts of bears distinguished by colours (rarely the white polar bear which inhabits the northern part). Grizzly, or brown bear has a little hump on the back, he is normally bigger than a black bear. The latter one often lives in the forestry area (hence Canada is widely inhabited by them too). Grizzly chooses more open areas, like tundra or near the rivers.

It’s strictly advisable not to run from either of them, as they are predators who will run after they prey. It’s also that you won’t be able to run away from an animal running 50km per hour, who can climb the trees or swim the rivers. Normally if you walk and make lots of noise (talk, laugh, sing), they should run away. If grizzly approaches you, pretend to be big, put your hands up in the air, wave (otherwise you are an elk or so) and shout. They should go away. Otherwise, in case they charge you, you should pretend to be dead. Lay down on the ground, protect the vulnerable areas, leave the backpack on the back. They should see no harm in you and leave.
If the black bear charges you, you will need to fight. Till someone is the winner. Don’t pretend to be dead. It doesn’t work with black ones.
You are highly recommended to have a bear spray with you – it costs 50$, but its a good way to have it ‘just in case’. Usual pepper spray is not strong enough.

In the visitor centre we also bought a book about wild berries for 10$. Brilliant, as we were able to distinguish poisonous from edible ones, and if you in Alaska in August, it would be such a down moment missing out on the berry diversity.

Alaska from above

Beveik kaip Lietuvoje. | Almost like in Lithuania.

After having left Anchorage, pretty soon we hitch a humble yet very interesting person. Josh came to live to Alaska, and you might often hear a story something like that ‘I came to visit a friend and stayed here for ever’. He has a log cabin in the wilderness and is a pilot. Very soon he offers us a flight above taiga, mountains. Not only that, we are able to try out some piloting ourselves. This speechless experience is one of our favorite ones. We see the wild rivers from very close, and cross under bridge, go around and over the mountains, around the waterfall, over the forests and little lakes in the sunset.

Karolis, Josh, Evelina.

At the end of our awe experience, Josh takes us to Buyers lake to camp. Even though we come here after the sun is set, he knows that we will be amazed in the morning with a view. And if we dare to try the steep trail to the mountains, we might see even greater views.

We start to walk along the lake. It’s dark. And we are in some sort of the wilderness. The only thought in the head ‘bears’. It would be good to talk aloud, but we run out of topics, even if it was never an issue before. Loud singing is an option, but somewhat the lyrics tend to fade away. The fear taking over. We find a camping place, and there is a container to place all our food. Good, no bears for tonight then.

In the morning we hit the trail. It’s truly spectacular. Up above, when the forests fade and only rocks the place seems like a massive version of Scotland. Only wilder.

On the way down the rain commences, but we still stop for some berries. Blue berries are massive and sweet, and we finally try something new – watermelon berries. We fill our thermos mugs, so we will have oatmeal with berries and honey in the morning.

Denali National Park and Preserve – an encounter with a bear

Milžiniškos mėlynės mus lydėjo kiekvieną dieną. | Massive blueberries were everywhere we walked.

Denali in local Athabascan language means the High one. They called it the highest peak, which is later been named Mt Mckinley after former senator and later president. It’s huge at 6 million acres, the park is larger than the state of Massachusets. Some local Athabascan groups still live there gathering berries, fishing and hunting, and preserving nature. In fact Denali is preserved so well as it has been hundred years ago. You can encounter caribous, grizzly bears, Doll sheep, wolves and moose, and arctic ground squirrels.


If you want to hike in Denali and camp there, you need to get a backountry permit to do so. It’s free, you only need to tell rangers in which units you are going to camp. The park has around 87 of them, and we chose only 3 of them. The entry fee for the park is 10$ (for 7 days) and the map for some units is 8$. You also receive a plastic container (for free, but you have to return at the end of the hike) to place all your food and cosmetics in there). The green service buses will drop you at your hike starting point, and off you go.

Finally in the wilderness. We soon start our ‘hello!’ and ‘woohoo!’ to scare off the possible animals. Going in the wilderness without tracks means you will need to figure out from the map how to go, where to cross among the mountains or through the rivers. It means you will walk on the soft tundra surface and get tired, or get soaken wet walking through the swamps, or fighting through the bushes. You will find a bear skull or moose antlers. And if you in August you will find tons of blueberries or blackberries, which obviously liked by the bears. That you might guess from the faeces that you will encounter all the way. You know the bear been there.

In the morning we see a moose from afar or a family of caribous. But one encounter struck us completely. The encounter of a grizzly family.

Konteineriai maistui. | Food cans against bears.

I walk whilst still shouting ‘hey hello’, when all of a sudden see a grizzly sour with two cubs. The little ones look very curious, trying to climb on the mom to see who are those strangers. To see a grizzly is scary enough. To see it from 20 meters is terrifying. To see it with kids – you feel paralyzed, as you know you might be in a big danger. So I see them, and then I see that Karolis doesn’t see them as he has reached the bottom of the tiny valley, and he is going up. ‘Karoli, bears!’. Karolis finds himself a short 20 meter distance from them. They are terribly close. He can hardly take a bear spray from his backpack belt, starts to withdraw slowly, and finally when we both closer to each we start to pretend we are huge. We lift our sticks high above, we wave, we shout. The bear still tries to approach us, then it turns away and walks the other way. Cubs are still trying to look at us curiously. Woof. They are gone. The fear somewhat paralyzes now. They are still ‘sitting in our heads’ for the rest of the day.

Well, only after we got back we got to know, that exactly the same day, one guy first time in Denali been killed by grizzly. It seems he took his chances – he tried to photograph it from far too close and for far too long. The bear took the dead man’s body for cache to keep for food. Grizzly had to be shot down as once he tasted human blood, he would go for more. The first such accident in Denali National Park.

The autumn comes and goes in Alaska as a thunder. Taiga’s leafy plants and trees get the yellowish reddish colours. It’s been a splendid seven day hike.

Fairbanks – one the way to North

Mus pavežęs ir netikėtai į namus pasivadinęs Fairbanks miestelio gyventojas. | One Fairbanks town resident offered us a place to sleep at his house.

We thought to get a bit more to North, hence Fairbanks could be a good stop for us. Art stops to give us a lift. Soon we realize he is a fair traveller himself, and we have lots to share about. We say bye at the end without exchanging our details. The very next morning, Art finds us on couchsurfing site (as we have talked about it extensively) and invites for a salmon (their family caught the fish by themselves) bbq and dinner and hang out with some locals. We get to know the differences about red and pink salmon, talk about hunting and fishing.

We have some couchsurfing experience in Alaska too. Brenna and David live in a cabin together with 4 dogs and one cat. We eat pancakes with their own produced honey (whilst they put the bees to an eternal sleep later on, as bees cannot survive the winter cold here).

A week later we stay in Art and Anne’s place before will about to go down to Canada. We all refreshed, recharged and ‘salmoned’ (what a taste). But before that we did a northern to detour above the Arctic Circle.

Coldfoot – beyond the Arctic Circle

Šūnys rogėms. | Sled dogs.

If you are an independent traveler seeking out to see the Arctic Ocean (reached by the road), you will need to pay 50$ for the tour. Otherwise you might see only Deadhorse or Prudoe Bay towns. So we decided Coldfood was north enough as the weather was a bit dreadfull too.

So we have been given a lift to the crossing where on every site there is forest. Not a living creature out there. No idea, if anyone would pick us up. Corrie and his girlfriend stop for us. He is a cook in Coldfoot, where no one lives, but only a restaurant for the by passers and season visitor centre out there. And only 10 people in the cold winter.

So we visit the Yukon river with a cuppa on the banks of it, and then we reach the Arctic Circle. And when we reach Coldfoot, it’s pouring down. ‘There is a cabin, that no one lives. It’s a bit dusty, but it might be ok for you’. Ok? It was wonderful. We didnt have to get wet down in the tent, it even had a white sheet on the bed (!). So when everyone pays 200$ per night for the stay in the motel-like-cabin, we stay for nought.

Kelyje atgal į pietus link Fairbanks. | On the way back to the south to Fairbanks.

And Corrie invites us to hang out with the staff in the evening.
In the evening we also go to listen to the local Heidi Shoppenhurst as she has lots to tell living in the wilderness all year round. Silence and cold in the winter, when the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon for some days, and the rushy times in the summer time, as everyone tries to build the house, to make the jams, to sort everything for the winter. But it’s wild and beautiful out there.

So from Coldfoot through Fairbanks we finally on the way to Canada. ‘You might not be able to hitch for couple days in Tuk one drivers warns us after he invites for a filling lunch. But in no time we hitch Keith, who travels from Alaska down to ‘lower 48′ through Canada. But the canadian adventures soon to come.

Practical tips


The same as for Hawaii or any ‘lower 48′. No more than 3 months in Northern America.

4,5 val laukimo | 4.5h of waiting


To hitch in Alaska is fairly easy, people are kind. If you intend to hitch up to Prudoe Bay, make sure not to do so in wintertime. People say it’s easier to reach Hilltop cafe – a stop for drivers before a long drive. Only independent truck drivers would take you in, as companies don’t allow passengers on due to insurance etc .

Rengiamės žygiui nepaliestoje gamtoje. Maistas 9 dienoms. Kuprinės svėrė virš 40kg. | Preparing for wildernes. Food for 9 days. Backpacks weighted over 40kg.


If kind locals will host you with red salmon, this is a real meal. It’s absolutely not the same as the pink salmon in cans. Alaska is slightly cheaper than Hawaii, but you need to look what you are buying too. Wallmart is a place to shop if you are a budget traveler, and for those who support a fair business Fred Mayers might be an option.


Alaskan rivers are cold, but to swim in it is a challenge and a reward. Don’t play in it for too long (not that you will be able to) as hypothermia is a very real thing in Alaska. Do not wear cotton or jeans in general, as this will increase the chances of hypothermia as your organism need to waste lots of energy to dry that hard to get dry material.
The water in wild Alaska may look clear, but Giardia and Cryptosporidium, carried by beavers, might present a real health problem, so better drink water treated.


Camping is fairly common, but be aware of the wildness. Don’t keep food in your tent, leave it up in the trees or in the containers which bears would not be able to open up.

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