Elderhostel's thousands of cultural and educational programs detailed in catalog

TRAVEL Q&A

June 06, 1993|By New York Times News Service

Q: ld you give me an address for contacting Elderhostel to obtain program information?

A: Elderhostel, which offers thousands of short-term cultural and educational programs for people age 60 and over (the spouse of an eligible participant can be 50 or over), is at 75 Federal St., Boston, Mass. 02110.

It mails catalogs 10 times a year giving details of thousands of programs at colleges, conference centers and other institutions in the United States and 47 foreign countries. Expect a four-week wait in receiving the first mailing. The organization's telephone number is (617) 426-7788, but mail requests for information and catalogs are preferred.

Domestic programs average $315 a week, and foreign programs, which include air fare, range from $1,700 for two weeks in Italy to $5,458 for a four-week wilderness experience in Australia and New Zealand.

Q: Last year I attended a slide show about a mountain bike trip along the Silk Road in central Asia. Can you help me get information about such a trip?

A: The trip you have in mind was put together by REI Adventures of Seattle in 1991. The next trip is planned for 1994, and it is recommended that only hard-core mountain bikers in excellent physical condition apply. The journey covers some of the most challenging terrain in the world, with some of the cycling in the Tien Shan, Pamir Alai and Karakorum Mountains done at altitudes of almost 16,000 feet and a good part of the overnight camping at 10,000 feet.

Sights along the way include the Fragrant Concubine Tomb in Kashgar, China, and the architectural wonders of Samarkand. The weather in Kyrgyzstan, Xinjian and northern Pakistan, through which the route passes, varies from extremely hot and dry at lower elevations to cold and windy at the high points.

, The 25-day trip, tentatively

scheduled for June 19 to July 16, will begin in Moscow and end in Islamabad, Pakistan. The biking occupies about 20 days and averages between 18 and 75 miles a day.

Land costs will be $3,100 a person, which include all ground transportation, meals, ground camping equipment and sightseeing. Participants must provide their own mountain bikes.

More information: REI Adventures, P.O. Box 1938, Seattle, Wash. 98390; (800) 622-2236 and (206) 891-2631.

Q: Are there any organized tours of Newfoundland that would include a visit to the Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows?

A: At least two United States companies, Brian Moore International Tours and Globus Gateway, are running tours to Newfoundland this year that include a stop at L'Anse aux Meadows, site of the only known Viking settlement in North America and the first known European settlement in the New World.

The visitor center has interpretive and audiovisual exhibits describing the Viking way of life, with artifacts from Viking discoveries. Walking trails go through the reconstructed areas and the original sites.

Brian Moore International Tours will run two 15-day bus tours of Newfoundland, called McCarthy's Party Motorcoach Tours, that will include visits to L'Anse aux Meadows.

The first tour starts July 21 and ends Aug. 4. The second starts Aug. 18 and ends Sept. 1.

Departure points include Newark, Boston, Hartford, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The prices from Newark, which include round-trip air fare to St. John's, Newfoundland, accommodations, sightseeing tours, 11 lunches and a farewell dinner, are $2,920 a person for two people and $3,399 for a single.

For more information: Brian Moore International Tours, 116 Main St., P.O. Box 740, Medway, Pa. 02063; (508) 533-6683.

Globus Gateway will run 16 13-day bus tours this year called "Newfoundland, Labrador and the Viking Trail." All will include visits to L'Anse aux Meadows.

The first leaves Saturday and the last Sept. 25; all begin in Halifax and end in St. John's.

Departures on Sept. 11, 18 and 25 are also fall foliage tours. Prices, which range from $1,338 to $1,358 a person, include bus transportation, accommodations and most meals.

For more information: Globus Gateway, 5301 South Federal Circle, Littleton, Colo. 80123; (800) 851-0728.

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