Green Tortoise?

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Green Tortoise?

Postby jessdev » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:40 pm

Hey everyone,
I've never been to BM before but I'm hoping to make it out this year. I don't really have friends serious about going as well so I was thinking of doing the Green Tortoise bus. However, there's a lot of negative reviews on the internet. And although everything on the forum sounds positive, some claim that they're obvious Green Tortoise employees writing those comments. So I'm just looking for honest opinions. Should I go with them?
Thanks!
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:29 pm

What were you looking for that you thought they might do?
If you go by yourself, you'll find that neighbors are friendly.
If transport's an issue, you might find a ride on the rideshare or craigslist.
You might want to join a camp...
I haven't heard much about green tortoise as a camp. That includes not having heard them panned. I don't know if that's because there's little or no overlap between eplaya and tortoise campers, or if it's because it's really okay, but not spectacular.
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Postby jkisha » Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:45 pm

I have never heard anything negative about them either. There were a couple that camped with them last year that I met at the bus depot; again, nothing negative. But I would do your own due diligence.
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Postby duder9000 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:36 am

The one helpful bit of info I have on the Green Tortoise experience came to me when I was looking at a satellite map of Burning Man one year:

What is this sea of tiny little tents? And why does it stand out to me?

Oh yeah - they have no shade structures over their tents! Ay papi! :cry: I investigated and discovered that the sea of tiny ovens was the Green Tortoise experience.

If you have any hopes of sleeping past 6 am on any given day (and I'm sure there are days where you won't even hit the hay UNTIL 6 am), you best have have a shade structure OVER your tent. Unless you like sleeping in an oven.

So for that reason alone I would avoid Green Tortoise. Even though you may be nervous about contacting some camps, there are plenty out there that would happily have you as a member, provided you put in your share of sweat equity and pay any applicable dues.
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Postby Packoderm » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:18 am

I've taken GT several times here on trips in CA and Mexico. It was good. I don't think I'd do the tortoise to BM unless I had a Northpole Party Shade along with a tent that seals out the dust. Not being allowed to bring the Party Shade would be a deal breaker. Along with the shade, as long as I have enough beer, I'd be happy. Meals can take hours, so you need to surrender into that sort of thing if you don't want to feel chafed by rules.
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I love GT!

Postby TheRealMsMo1 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:29 pm

Hey there,
So I will preface this with saying that I HAVE NOT gone with GT to BM, (I'm a virgin burner this year.)

I have however traveled to Mexico with them twice, once for 3 1/2 weeks and a month. And I will absolutely travel with them again.

I have been told (by drivers) that a a BM GT experience is a lot different.
As a passenger you're on your own a lot more, they mostly focus of getting you there and back,feeding, and watering you. The drivers are there to party and have a good time just as much as you, there are also going to be a TON of GT passengers so you might feel a little bit like cattle and a little less communal.

I think it's important to remember what you're paying for when you hitch your wagon to GT. You are paying to be fed, transported, watered, and provided with a centrally located camp. AND THAT'S IT.

They are NOT going to:
hold your hand
set up guided tours
do all the prep that everyone needs to do themselves
set up your tent
Or generally babysit your drunk ass

GT passengers and drivers in my experience are typically really nice and caring people, (they usually drink too much, but) they will unofficially hold your hand if you need it, (and aren't a tool,) hang out and interact with you, and generally show you a good time.
It's just important to not come in expecting all of that.

Both times I've traveled with GT after they had us sign the "I'm not going to sue you if I get drunk and do stupid shit" form, they said something along the lines of, (legally) you're on your own, in the event of injury, international incident, or water supply shortage, we are not obligated or (legally) expected to bail you out. They then quickly follow up with BUT we will of course do our best to help you and take good care of you.

On both my trips especially the 2nd one, the drivers administered first aid, took ill people to Doctors and hospitals, helped with lost and stolen cards, and generally took really good care of us. It's just important to remember that they are a bus company and not a concierge travel company.

Just because you're with them means you can stop being a critically thinking adult.

One thing you'll want to consider is are you a party-er? I personally do not drink, smoke or do drugs, (including pot,) The average GT group however DOES, and I'd imagine more so @ BM.
So if you can't handle that, aren't comfortable with it, or are in recovery you might want to rethink GT as an option.

The main benefits of GT are they have really good food, and water, so if you don't have a vehicle to haul all that stuff, or you're apprehensive about going it alone then I'd say go for it.
It's kind of nice t have that instant built in community/camp that you can interact with as much or as little as you want.

I would say do you research find people who have done BM with them and buy your GT ticket with them as soon as possible.

Just remember that you will be expected to cook and clean if you're traveling with them. I'm also not sure if they provide any sort of shade structures so look into that as well.

So yeah, to wrap of that long thread I say if you're a flexible somewhat easy going person, who doesn't require much handholding then I think GT is a good option!

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

-M
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Postby Elliot » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:50 pm

Look into which days they actually spend on the Playa. I seem to have read or heard that they arrive late and leave early, which would be the wrong way to participate in BM -- in my book.
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Postby Savannah » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:49 pm

That's why I didn't take them. The year I researched using Green Tortoise, they didn't arrive until the Wednesday of the event (the early days are actually my favorite) and they left on Sunday, I believe. That was enough to put me off, but there was also a halfway stop with camping and cooking of a communal meal.

I do not like to camp on my way to go camping. :lol:

Yes, I know that's weird.
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Postby jkisha » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:29 pm

Savannah wrote:
I do not like to camp on my way to go camping. :lol:

Yes, I know that's weird.


I can relate. Setting up and tearing down once is more than enough!
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Postby TheRealMsMo1 » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:09 pm

So there are two different options one that goes on the 30th, which is the 2nd day and another that leaves gets there on the 1st.


http://www.greentortoise.com/adventures ... tival.html
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Postby jessdev » Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:43 pm

hey everyone thanks!
Yea the shade thing, and the fact they arrive late, do concern me. But other than that, I think I'd get along great w. the GT crew.
I'm going to leave it as a last resort and try finding a rideshare/others to camp with from around here first.
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Postby Packoderm » Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:26 pm

... and a folding chair.
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Postby Savannah » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:17 am

I can relate. Setting up and tearing down once is more than enough!


Thank you! I feel slightly better. :)

I actually kind of enjoy the rampant fast food and cheap motels on the way there instead--and not touching anything in the overstuffed cache but for the 2-Overnight Bag. It's the kind of shameless Road Movie Lifestyle I don't treat myself to any other time of the year.
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