Reviews

Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.

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  • Mech Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 5 Countries

I arrived two days early; I stayed at the Royal National Hotel where your tour will start and finish. Personally, what you pay is what you get there, the staff wasn’t really friendly and the restaurant wasn’t that great. Oh and the WIFI was hopeless, I didn’t use the phone sim that Contiki sends you in your pack I ended up buying a EE sim for 25 pound and lasted me the whole trip, although it didn’t work in Ireland so I bought another cheap one at Vodafone for a couple pound till I was back in London and used the EE again. I ended up eating dinner at the pub next to the Royal National and lunches I found cafes along my adventure. I met my roommate there, she was doing another Contiki. I went for a wonder to Covent Garden the next day to keep me going after jetlag and it’s the cutest suburb! If you get a chance before or after your tour go to Gordon’s Wine bar – we got there just as it was closing but the wine is good and it’s a cute little set up.

London- Get to London at LEAST one or two days before the tour begins. There is so much to see, all the touristy attractions, museums, pubs, coffee shops, shopping etc. When I go back I will spend at least 2 days before and after the trip to see more of London and the surrounding areas. The day before your tour starts everyone met up at the Contiki basement which is right around the corner from the Royal National, after we met our tour Manager (Rhett) and Driver (Joey) everyone ended up at the London Pub and mingled and broke the ice before our early start to the next morning.

First day of the trip is a driving tour of London so you won’t get to do anything but take pretty picture of London. To start off the trip we had to do a “Speed dating” on the on the bus to get to know everyone. Who ever sat in the aisle seat had 3 mins then move to the next seat, was a great way to meet everyone on the bus that didn’t come to the pub the night before.

Liverpool- What an awesome city! The lady that talks about the city is amazing and easy to understand. The waterfront is beautiful and yes there is Beatles stuff everywhere. A group of us went for a wonder to the shops to buy some alcohol and just have a wonder to the Cathedral (So many on this tour) it also bucketed down raining and none of us had an umbrella so we had fun running back to the hotel.

Carlisle- Is this tiny city, that basically consists of the one main street. Everyone ended up drinking at the Cocktail bar and myself and a few from the tour had a game of Beer Pong with the locals. England 1 Australia 2 !! across the street and if you felt like it, you walked up the road and find more pubs or dancing. We also had our mock HEN’S & BUCK’S night here. So much fun.

Gretna Green- Get ready for one of your to get married !! and a group photo for the memory of this incredibly awkward event. When you get back home tho you may end up with another groups photo, if you email Gretna Green tho they are really good and will send you another copy.

Oban- The hotel is right on the water, beautiful scenery. We again went tour walk about dinner and ended up at Ceildah House and Skipinnish were playing. AWESOME band with bagpipe players and they played old school and some of their own songs. Amazing night of dancing and lots of laughter. Oh and the fish bowls. Make sure you have panadol for the next day haha

York- Was lovely but we didn’t get to do the Ghost Tour but we got our monies given back to us.

Lake District- Do the high ropes activity! It was windy as the day we did it and I was scared beyond belief so I skipped half of it but did the zip line after. So much fun!. The Windermere cruise was alright, I would have skipped it if we could have.

Hadrian’s Wall- A must see! Beautiful scenery and a fantastic place to show the beauty of Scotland.

Edinburgh- More travellers will join you here and may or may not finish in London with use. This was the highlight of my trip. Edinburgh is beautiful!! We spent 2 nights there. Luckily we went during the festival time. The Fringe festival is EXTREMLY crowded (not my scene), Contiki also had pre booked tickets for the MILITARY TATTOO, OMG if you get the chance do it, was amazing to see it live. Weather held off good and rained after when we were leaving so I recommend taking a poncho or umbrella. The next day I spent it at the Castle, shopping, and again just pub hopping haha Sainsbury’s is across the road so I topped up on supplies as we were off to the Lochness the next day.

Try the Haggis or share with someone like I did and DO the Traditional Scottish dinner. Good food and our Tour Manager organised a bagpipe player to come and perform for us after. It was amazing!

Scottish Highlands/Lochness- This is the only place that the whole group is has to stay in the hotel and it was a really cute place! I think it was my favourite hotel on the trip. There is nothing around to do so most of us spent it in the bar after dinner and had a few drinks. Also do the Lochness challenge!! So much fun and bloody cold! Take a bottle of whiskey to warm you up beforehand.

Glasgow- This is where the travellers who only did up to Scotland leave (Sad Face) LOTS of goodbye drinks and Ping pong at the bar which turned out to be a bit of a pub crawl. (stay away from Sleazy's nigh club) title says it all.

Dublin- You will spend your first night here then your last before the long drive back to London on your last day (again sad face). Also the hotel you stay at the Elevator is really dodgy so take the stairs! Dublin you’ll pick up the rest of the gang who are only doing Ireland. Be nice to them! They wont be the same gang that started with you but they are still family on this trip.Dublin there's basically one street for drinking and night life, the locals told us though to head a little outside of where the main drinking areas are as its cheaper to drink. We weren’t happy to pay 9 euro for a drink, so go hopping around and listen to all the live music and dance.
Do the Guinness Storehouse (if your into getting a free Guinness at the end, and see how it is supposed to taste. I became a fan of the Ruby colored beer. you'll also get a Group photo and a certificate to say you are competent in pouring a pint of Guinness.
Jamesons Distillery - Amazing! try the cocktails.

Belfast – was interesting I’d love to go back and see more, I didn’t go to the Titanic tour so a few of us got dropped into town and we went to the markets instead. Was great!

Giants Causeway- A must see!. Great scenery and a place to take photos of the beauty of Ireland.

(London)Derry- This place will blow your mind. I don’t want to spoil the history here, make sure you do the walking tour.I've forgotten his name but the walking tour guy is lovely. Pack a poncho also as it was bucketing when we did our walking tour.

Galway/Aron Islands- Again AMAZING views. Rent the bike! Other options are using the bus (you won’t see much that way) and a horse and carriage or simply walk (it will be a very looong walk).

Cork- Cliffs of Moher is beautiful and it was a clear day and time to kiss the Blarney stone too (Yes it’s safe to kiss)

Kilkenny- Another highlight to the trip, DO the bike tour and say G’day to Jason! He is great

The last night before the tour finishes there will be your last 3 course meal with everyone at a Traditional Irish dinner and Irish Dancing, DO it! I'm a big fan of traditional stuff so I highly enjoyed it.
The hotels you stay at are pretty good. Get used to the Bacon, Eggs, baked beans and haggis every morning. there's also toast, muesli fruit etc but it's the same every morning.

All in total the GB + Ireland is amazing! Everything I imagined it to be!
Highly recommend.

My Contiki was: In-Depth, On The Go, Fun

  • Stace Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 15 Countries

Where do I begin?? I decided that I wanted to go overseas after coming out of a relationship because I decided to see the world how I wanted to see it. I went into my trusty flight centre for an enquiry and came out with my trip fully organised HAHA!
I was incredibly sick on the way to my trip with tonsilitis and then sick again with whooping cough at the end, BUT Besides being sick I had the most amazing time :D

If you want to see all of these fabulous places but not be away from work or home too long then I definately recommend this tour!

My Contiki was: enlightening, fun, AMAZING

Berlin to Budapest

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Eastern Europe
  • Rudi Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 13 Countries

Gonna keep it short.. Some of the most Beautiful cities in the world.. Great informative tour with loads of fun stuff and laughter.. New friends for life.. Another bucket list ticked off ;) Prague & Budapest just Amazing !!!

My Contiki was: #SightSeeing, #Experience , #NewFriends

Went for Machu Picchu and fell in love with this country along the way. Amazing guide (Jonathan) that was the perfect mix of culture and fun. Would definitely recommend staying the extra few days for the Amazon part. We didn't and were super bummed. Even if you don't do the inca trail (we didn't the permits were sold out by the time we booked ) this trip is still worth it. Go!

My Contiki was: Breathtaking beauty , Adventure , Party

Eastern Escapade

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 'MERICA
  • jmahn23 Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries

Happy Fourth of July!!! if there was ever a time to see philly and Washington its Independence Day weekend.

Last July (2014) I was lucky enough to be state side for independence day and in philly aswell which made it that much better. This trip really has something for everybody! the perfect mix of history, laidback lifestyle and ofcourse partying!!!

Highlights include cruising down Niagara Falls imaging yourself as Jim Carey on the Maid of the Mist aswell as letting your karaoke juices flow that night, in the theme park city that is Niagara.

If you are planning to do this trip underage, you are actually in luck as over the border in Canada the drinking age is actually 19 so this gives you the chance to party with your group.

Washington is absolutely amazing, downtown old dc is beautiful. Toronto is also beuatiful, be sure to use your free 2nd day wisely as the night before this is when you head out on your pub crawl!

My Contiki was: Independence Day, Cultural, Partying

  • Ally Nek Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 5 Countries

The trip was great, met amazing, friendly people!! Italy was fabulous but I would recommend getting there's few days before if you want to explore the city on your own. First day is a waste because you're getting settled and the hotels throughout the trip is outside the city so it's difficult exploring on your own. And the second day you're doing touristy things so you don't experience the vibe of the city. The ME optional meals are HORRIBLE! We figured that the guide was getting some sort of kick back from the restaurants because of some of the comments that were made throughout the trip, not to mention that guide discouraged members from going to dinner meals on their own. Also, the bus ride to Barcelona from Avignon was 7 1/2 hours and 10 hours from Barcelona to Madrid.

Positives: lots of cool places, great group, lots of free time to explore Florence, nice, Barcelona and Madrid.

Cons: hotel wasn't in the city so difficult to get around, discouraged to go outside of group for dinner, long bus rides (lose 2 days)

My Contiki was: Great cities, Do your own dinner , Great group

  • Dezmond Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

This was by far my favorite trip out of all the destinations i have been, the people you meet are spectacular, the sights you see are breathtaking, and all the activities there is constantly something new and challenging to do. I met so many people that I have later visited and are good friends for sure. The planning of it was superb as well, very hassle free and you get a taste of everything that the country has to offer, from waterfall rappelling, to snorkeling and kayaking up close and personal with animals that cannot be seen many other places in the world. Overall it was a tremendous experience and I would recommend it for anyone going to south america.

  • Elizabeth Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

It was my first solo and first Contiki trip, and I was a bit scared of what to expect. Let me just say that It has been one of the best trips I've ever had!! Friendly tour manager Gustavo was great. Always felt safe and best of all felt like a local and not like a tourist. Loved the resort we stayed in Tortuguero in the middle of the rainforest. My favorite optional activity was the turtle laying eggs, which I recommend to do. I would recommend this trip to everyone!

  • Melissa Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 9 Countries

Overall I had an amazing trip! Even though I was travelling alone, I never felt like I was because I met some fantastic people. We had an awesome driver and an exceptional tour manager, who together made every day memorable. I took part in all of the optionals, and felt that it was always money well spent. The only downside to this trip was that when I booked I was not informed that I was part of a larger tour. Because many of the people were continuing on after I left, it felt unfinished. There was no final dinner or real a opportunity to say goodbye to everyone. This should have been explained somehow prior to booking, as it may have impacted my decision to take this particular tour.

My Contiki was: Memorable, Exciting, Fun

  • emma Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

I went on this trip with a friend and by day 16, I had another 50 friends for life. We shared such an amazing journey together, one which I didn't want to end and mostly important one I will never forget!

I loved every city, especially Paris and Rome. Amsterdam was crazy and if you get time definitely check out the Anne Frank Museum (The lines are worth it). The one city I liked least was the Rhine Valley. But hey I got to see some stuff there that I probably wouldn't get to see or experience anywhere else so I can't complain too much! The hotels we stayed in were all quite nice and pretty much all had WiFi (bar one), to allow us to contact family and friends from home.

Can I just pre warn you now, the food in Europe is AMAZING! Particularly in Italy !! The amount of pasta and pizza I consumed whilst being there, oh my god! Its a wonder I didn't come back 20 kilos heavier!!! The alcohol is free poured so you WILL get drunk, but trust me when I say that speaking from our personal experience, if you have a 7 hour bus ride the next day, do not and I repeat DO NOT drink too excessively the night before. Because when your stuck on a bus with 52 people, no windows and you can't vomit in the toilet, those service station toilet bowls are your only friend! Our group learnt the hard way after our 2nd night in Amsterdam!

Being slightly un-organised I didn't know there were optional activities that you had to pay for to attend or participate. None were mandatory, and I participated in pretty much all of them, but I just wish I had paid attention and saved away some more money just for those activities. I particularly enjoyed the white water rafting the most. Also when your in Paris, make sure you go see the Eiffel Tower at night. There are not enough words that I could use to describe how magnificent and beautiful that sight is! One I will never forget that's for sure!

If you're as lucky as us to get such an amazing crew like ours, you're seriously set for a such a good trip! Our extremely handsome and one hell of a parker, bus driver Gustavo and the ever so bubbly and kind Emma made our trip that much better!

If you've got bored after the first paragraph and have skipped right to the end JUST REMEMBER THESE 3 THINGS
1. Take lots and lots of photos and videos
2. Let loose (but not too loose) and be sure to try things you wouldn't do at home
3. and most importantly HAVE FUN

My Contiki was: amazing, fun, unforgettable

  • Alice Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 10 Countries

The European Whirl was one of the most amazing and life changing experiences of my life. In just 18 days, I made life long friends and so many unforgettable memories that will stay with me forever.

The tour started in London and took us to Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Austrian Tyrol, Venice, Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Switzerland (including Swiss Alps) and Paris. It was the perfect mix of activities which ranged from cultural and historical activities such as clog making in the Netherlands and bunker tours in Prague to adrenaline pumping activities like white water rafting and paragliding over Austria where the Sound of Music was set. We were able to explore cities by day and enjoy the night life whilst getting to know the rest of the group. All the places we visited were amazing but it was the people we were with that really made the experience.

Our tour manager Ed was very knowledgable and one of the best guides ever. When we arrived at each city, he gave us such a comprehensive and interesting introduction that left us all so comfortable to explore the city on our own. Quite a few of us enjoyed his walking tours more than the ones provided by the local guides! He was very organised and professional but also approachable and fun, and became more like a friend as the trip progressed.

Our tour driver Bento was amazing! He navigated through the cities with such ease and seemed to know each place like the back of his hand. Even driving the coach through the tight streets of Amsterdam and the busy and crazy traffic in Paris was never an issue for Bento. He was so friendly and approachable and always gave us the best tips for each city. Throughout the trip, he not only amazed us with his awesome driving skills and excellent taste in music, but also became a great friend.

Ed and Bento were a dream team. Even though we had 46 people on our tour, they still managed to take the time to get to know each and every one of us. They had a great dynamic, worked so well together and made sure that the tour ran flawlessly.

In my previous travel, I had never really stayed in hostels so I was a little unsure at first, but after experiencing this trip, I wouldn't have done it any other way. The hostels we stayed at had such great facilities and were a great way to get to know others on your trip, especially for solo travellers.

If you are thinking about travelling to Europe, I would highly recommend this tour - it is action packed and high energy and gives you a great introduction to Europe. Make sure you do all the Me Time Optionals - definitely worth every cent! 18 days flies by so quickly so make sure you make the most of it! #noregrets

My Contiki was: Life Changing, Unforgettable, No Regrets

  • Hannah Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 8 Countries

This is the best way to see some places of Europe!! This trip takes you to some amazing places and on many different activities. Make sure you do all the Optionals, they are well and truly worth the money. Our trip Manager (Aaron) was also the best person, he gave us so much extra information & showed us some great places to go.

You meet so many amazingly different people from all over the world & will have lifelong friends and memories!!!

Euro Highlights 2015 #noregrets

My Contiki was: AMAZING, ACTION-PACKED, FUN

  • Carla Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Kia Ora!

Before I start this review, I want to let you know that you should definitely extend your trip and do The Big Tiki. I booked the Northern Choice and Sweet as South (reverse) trips that make up the Big Tiki and wouldn't look back.

Living in Australia, I was worried that this trip would be too similar to home and I was completely wrong. New Zealand's landscape is absolutely breathtaking. Not only do you travel to the major cities, you get to stop in some of the smallest towns along the way, which was a highlight for me.

I would recommend doing as many optional extras that you can. It's an adrenaline based country and the best way to get over any fears that you may have. You also learn a lot about the Maori culture and their way of life. Everyone is lovely.

The hotels and food provided were fine and a few of them had spectacular views.

Soap our guide and Pat our bus driver were the perfect team. There were no issues along the way and they helped us make the most of the journey. The trip was full of #goodtimes and a lot of firsts, #justsayin

I could go on about how amazing this trip was, but if you're interested, check out a video I made. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7oQkjaheWc

My advice would be to definitely travel to New Zealand. It might end up being an expensive trip due to all the extra activities, but you may not ever get the chance to do this again, so make the most of it.

My Contiki was: trip of firsts, #goodtimes, no regrets

  • Carla Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Kia Ora!

Before I start this review, I want to let you know that you should definitely extend your trip and do The Big Tiki. I booked the Northern Choice and Sweet as South (reverse) trips that make up the Big Tiki and wouldn't look back.

Living in Australia, I was worried that this trip would be too similar to home and I was completely wrong. New Zealand's landscape is absolutely breathtaking. Not only do you travel to the major cities, you get to stop in some of the smallest towns along the way, which was a highlight for me.

I would recommend doing as many optional extras that you can. It's an adrenaline based country and the best way to get over any fears that you may have. You also learn a lot about the Maori culture and their way of life. Everyone is lovely.

The hotels and food provided were fine and a few of them had spectacular views.

Soap our guide and Pat our bus driver were the perfect team. There were no issues along the way and they helped us make the most of the journey. The trip was full of #goodtimes and a lot of firsts, #justsayin

I could go on about how amazing this trip was, but if you're interested, check out a video I made. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7oQkjaheWc

My advice would be to definitely travel to New Zealand. It might end up being an expensive trip due to all the extra activities, but you may not ever get the chance to do this again, so make the most of it.

My Contiki was: trip of firsts, no regrets, #goodtimes

European Magic

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ best holiday ever :D
  • Alex Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 8 Countries

I was a little nervous booking this up as i went solo. However upon arriving and meeting some of the awesome people i soon chilled out, especially after our weird icebreaker at a sex show in Amsterdam. its a quick tour of Europe but it was surprising how quickly everyone gets close and everyone became my extended family :D i could go and talk to anyone about anything. I've made friends from all over the world and I hope to go see them all sometime in the future :D I was 21 when i went on the tour and I wasn't the youngest and I certainly wasn't the eldest!

I went out every night, it was great! showing off my incredible (terrible) dance moves, i was tired but didnt sleep on the bus even though most do, i wanted to talk to and learn as much as I could as you're only with these incredible people for 9 days! yeah it's true you're on the bus quite a lot but that's where I learnt the most about people, move seats, speak to new people. everyone was lovely and i appreciated every conversation i had :)

my favourite place was Paris, it's a gorgeous city the national monuments, the Eiffel tower, the arc de triomphe, the louvre (which we skipped the queue by bribing a security guard), Les Invalides during the day and then the Latin sector by night, we tried frogs legs and snails and I got a drink called the TGV (tequila, gin, vodka and a drop of blue curacao) it's meant to get you drunk quick as it's named after the high speed train in France.

do all the extras if you can, for example Mt. Stanserhorn in Switzerland was amazing and beautiful, we were above the clouds and felt on top of the world. or the moulin rouge in Paris. it may be expensive but it was so worth it, by far the greatest show i've ever been to, at one point there were live 10 foot anacondas on the stage!

overall an absolutely fantastic experience and worth every penny! I enjoyed every minute and have made some unforgettable memories and friends. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone even considering visiting Europe, it changed my perspectives afterwards and now look at my life differently and what is really important to me. Goodbye to my savings for a new car and hello to my next Contiki tour :D

My Contiki was: #NOREGRETS, incredible, eye opening

  • Romy Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

Everywhere you go is beautiful and you see a lot of it on the bus rides to the next destination. You quickly become family with the group of people you are travelling with, and the Contiki Team are so helpful and do everything they can to make your trip as memorable as possible.

New Zealand is packed with options for adrenaline junkies; Rafting down the Kaituna River with a 7m waterfall drop, Skydiving from 15000ft, Jet Boat rides, Zorbing and Quad Biking are all fantastic and heaps of fun. Other than the action packed optional activities, some must do's while in New Zealand is Hobbiton and the Waitomo Caves.

Nights with your Contiki family is full of laughs; whether you stay in at the hotels, or go out; try out karaoke at Winnies in Queenstown for a good time.

Chur.

My Contiki was: Stunning , Amusing, Exhilarating

LA to the Bay

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Amazing
  • Ben Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 17 Countries

This tour was such an amazing experience that I'm quadrupling the excitement by doing a 45 day Ultimate European!

My Contiki was: fun, amazing, epic

After doing some Contikis I can say that Japan Unrivalled is gold. Asian contikis are completely different from the USA and European tours. It is more easy pace and hotels and special stays are usually class A. I highly recommend this tour for people that want to do a in-depth tour to Japan.
Start saving money now for shopping!!! Souvenirs and different things to bring back home are simply the best in Japan. People are kind and nice. The country is clean and safe. Although not all speak English, communication is easy, they are always trying to help. Go and book your tour, I am sure you will have a wonderful time!!!!!
It is a very organised tour, I am sure you will enjoy it! And prepare! There is a lot of worth walking in this tour to see the best of Japan's sights! Good luck for you that will have the opportunity to do this amazing tour, it is worth it!

  • Melita Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 4 Countries

I went with my 2 best childhood friends and we jumped on the contiki tour towards the end of the trip because they had already started 10 days before us in Sydney. It was a bit tough at first having to meet everyone in only a short amount of time but everyone was so lovely and they were already a family and so welcoming. Other than that issue, the actual trip itself was amazing!

7 days, each day was jam packed. I went up in October and the weather was perfect, 28 everyday hot and always warm. If it ever dribbled rain, it was never a bother! Bring lots of spare swim wear! Because we didn't have any time to wash any so luckily I took up 3.

The accommodation is great, especially the daydream island, its so beautiful and you have the unique experience of a open aquarium around your hotel. I recommend doing the jet skis and the fish feed talk with contiki and use the free spas and saunas!
The hotel in Cairns is also a bonus! Its only a 5-10 minute walk into the main town and has awesome breakfast!

I recommend doing the one day sailing! I got to see a sea turtle! Definitely swim in the white haven beach, its that clear and you can open your eyes under the water and it hardly stung!

I did most of the contiki activities such as one day sailing, white water rafting, minjin swing, bungee & kayaking in cape tribulation and when ever I had spare time I even would just call up activities nearby by to fill up spare space in my day. Like example in Cairns, I did the bumper boats and parasailing when I had mee time and that was so much fun!

Lastly bring lots of sunscreen, you will peel if you don't slip slop slap, and bring lots of insect repellant for cape tribulation and sunglasses!

I also recommend starting in Sydney the 16 day tour if your going solo so you can start at the actual beginning

  • Rhea Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries

This was my first time to Vegas and the West coast. Being from East Coast US I had no idea what to expect. Contiki outdid itself once again and I had the best time. My favorite part was hands down San Francisco. Shout out to Kiran for being an amazing tour guide! The hotels were very comfortable as was the cabins we stayed in at Bass Lake. Yosemite was my other favorite part because I got to see the beautiful mountains in an awesome part of the country. This tour has a mix of urban and well as nature and I would recommend this trip!!!

My Contiki was: amazing, exciting, beautiful

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