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'An Idiot Abroad' Goes Whale Watching in Alaska, but It's Never That Simple

February 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM | by | ()

Our favorite Idiot Abroad, Karl Pilkington, crossed whale watching in Alaska off the bucket list in this week's episode.

As usual, Ricky and Steve planned a few detours for Karl, including a hike through Heather Pass in the Arctic Circle. Karl was lead to a snowy cabin by his guide, Marty, who was incredibly patient considering Karl moved even slower than usual on his skis as he dragged along a sled that kept getting tangled. At one point Marty reassured Karl that it was all down hill from here, to which Karl replied, "since I got off the plane it's been down hill."

After spending a night in a rustic cabin that more like a shed with no heat and no toilet (as Karl put it, you have to "wipe your ass with a chuck of ice"), Karl was off to Barrow to meet a few Eskimos and see the northernmost point in Alaska.

In Barrow, Karl tried some frozen whale and caribou, took a snowmobile ride to the northern most point in the world, Barrow Point, collected human waste from local homes, and went dog sledding. Though his time in Barrow didn't seem too uncomfortable (he's definitely lived through worse), Karl complained the entire time about the cold and the vast nothingness that surrounded him. He even commented at one point that it wouldn't matter if you were blind in Barrow because "there was nothing to see anyway."

After exploring Barrow, Steve sent him on another "water-related experience" to see the glaciers melting. Karl once again didn't see any reason to be on such a trip since he felt he was already environmentally conscience. "I am energy efficient because I'm bald," he explained. Karl even got the chance to float in the glacier water which he said made him feel like he was "floating about like a crisp pocket."

Karl checked into the Russian Heritage Inn in nearby Kodiak the next day, and then hitched a ride on a working fishing boat where he would finally see some whales. The crew put Karl to work right away, gutting fish and chopping octopus. The smell of the fish combined with seasickness left Karl so nauseous that, when the whales finally did appear in the distance, he was too sick to enjoy it, or even stand up.

There are easier ways to explore Barrow, Alaska and the surrounding area. Alaska Tours has a trip that includes opportunities to visit with the Iñupiat Eskimos in Barrow and swim in the Arctic Ocean. The one night excursion starts at $1049 for triple occupancy. For more information, visit AlaskaTours.com.

[Photo: sky.com]

Archived Comments:

Get your info straight

Karl went skiing in HATCHER'S Pass, (not "Heather's Pass), which is hundreds of miles below the Arctic Circle. It's just outside of Wasilla & about an hour's drive from Anchorage. It's not nearly as rural as they made it seem. Though hiking up those hills/mountains is quite difficult. Nothing against the show or Karl- I LOVEKARL! I'm just from Alaska and whoever wrote this article got their facts mixed up.