Optional activities

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Optional activities

Postby roofie » Sat Mar 31, 2007 7:37 am

Hi, I was wondering about the "optional activities" that are listed in the trip files. Are these "offered" by the tour leader or are they merely stating stuff you can do on your own? also, as I'm travelling solo, do people in the groups usually go on these activities (city tours etc)?
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Postby francine_16 » Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:37 am

Optional activities are sometimes things the guide arranges and tells the group about. For example, in Thailand we had the option of bamboo rafting and everyone in our group went and we had an optional cooking course and not everyone did that. However, in Peru there was an optional sand boarding and our guide did not tell us about it we had to aske him several times about it because he said although it was an option for safety reasons they were not mentioning it. So my suggestion is take your list of optionals that you want to do and if the guide does not tell you about it ask and I am sure you won't be the only one wanting to do it.
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Postby roofie » Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:58 am

ahh...thanks! where in peru did you do the sandboarding? in nazca or arequipa? (or somewhere else?)
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Postby Sabine » Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:57 pm

Also, in our group, there were several participants who did not want to hike the Inca Trail. They booked Sacred Valley instead, etc. I ended up adding a short trip there the day after my return from the trail. Surely worth it.
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Postby roofie » Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:42 am

do the hotels gap uses themselves arrange tours (or be aware of what gap uses)? I mean, say if you go to a starting hotel 3-4 days early would it be possible to do any of the optional activities?
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Postby francine_16 » Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:59 pm

we went Sandboarding just around Nasca and it was so much fun. Other optionals that you can do before you start your tour I think really dependant on the country your talking about. I know people in my group who arrived in Lima did a city tour- although most of them did not recommend it, so I stayed a day later after the trip and just did what I wanted in Lima wihtout a tour with another girl on the trip.
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Postby ballu » Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:40 am

Chances are there will be people who want to do optional activities, some may just want to relax.

Sandboarding was a blast. I wasn't good at it, but used the board more as a sled. Don't wear sandals! It's like being at the beach with the hot sand, but no water to cool off. You'll also be able to take a shower after, you'll be covered in sand. FYI, 4 of the group of 12 did the sandboarding, the rest went for drinks beside the oasis. We didn't feel rushed at all.
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Postby Dawna » Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:30 pm

Just to clarify, if you don't wear sandals what do you wear? Bare feet? Proper shoes? This definately sounds like fun!

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Postby ballu » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:00 am

You probably will have sandals and either shoes or hiking boots. I'd wear the shoes/hiking boots. The sand is really hot and there's no where to run to get relief. You have to walk up the sand dune, so your feet constantly get buried in the hot sand if you're wearing sandals.
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Postby Sabine » Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:39 am

As to GAP arranging the optional activities, I heard nothing but positive things from the others in my group. They loved it and could not stop talking about their experiences.
I personally also went on my own in Lima, however, my guide was good enough to take me there.
As far as the Sacred Valley was concerned, one traveller was sick when the actual tour was supposed to happen, which allowed me to add 1/2 day at Sacred Valley by joining them. Again, our guide had volunteered to help out and take us there.
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Postby Myosotis » Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:29 am

In India, our guide made arrangements for us to have a cooking class. He also arranged for us a picnic and an archeological and cultural tour out of Chanderi. For some other activities, he gave us all this information to arrange all by ourselves. It was the case in Varanasi, when an American girl and I decided to visit the Sarnath (deer park). We arranged the transportation alone, found a driver, etc. But the local guide explained to us how to negociate well the cost of all that, and gave us indications. It was pretty well organized.
And usually, you have plenty of choices, for activities.
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