Express reader Rosemary Gillam is always up for a challenge when it comes to learning some of the local language – and her rewards are wonderful real life experiences around the world…
“Some of the places that I have had the good fortune to visit so far I have had fun looking up the common words needed to get by on the internet. I already knew hello and goodbye in French when I visited New Caledonia on my first overseas trip. I found it very difficult to order a salad in the native quarter of Noumea, pointing to the menu at the item I was trying to buy finally got a smile form the proprietor and a plate of asparagus for lunch. I guess this must have been what I was asking for in such bad French that there was no comprehension until my finger did the talking.
Bulla was the word required for my next trip. I learnt this before I went to the Fiji Tourist Board in Sydney. This opening gambit helped me get a ton of information on local attractions that would not normally have been supplied. Every where I went on that trip and a subsequent one I usually got a big grin and a very loud bulla vinaka in response.
When Sophie Wade visited Cuzco, Peru, with her family, she decided then that one day she would be back.
So now 18 months later, after completing her final year at school, waiting tables and cleaning rooms, stints working in Intrepid’s Beijing and Melbourne offices and an unlikely but most amusing job as a USA summer camp petting zoo counsellor, she’s finally back in Cuzco. But this time Sophie is there to make a difference on Intrepid’s Peru Teaching and Building trip…
“After a year and a half I did not expect to remember all that much, but I can say for sure that Cuzco has not lost its appeal. Cobblestoned streets, women wandering in traditional dress with blankets strapped to their backs (carrying anything from flowers to children) and the Andes towering above the city still give this place charm. And arriving from ever-imposing New York I could really appreciate the lack of tall buildings… or any building over 3 or 4 stories. Of course not everything is perfect… some streets smell of things you really don’t want to imagine people doing in the street, and occasionally the extreme altitude will hit you, but it’s all part of the Cusquenian experience and personally, I am loving it!
Impressions of Africa, that vast amazing continent and some holiday incidents, by Cheryall McCullough…
Amazing – The wildebeest migration into the Serengeti national park; we were extremely lucky and privileged to witness the start of it. Some two million animals move into the lush grazing over a couple of weeks. Here and there the long line five or six abreast with the largest bulls on the outside, is broken as a lion makes a run for dinner. In no time, the lines reform.
Anachronism? – An enduring sight to bring home, was being on the first of four camels led by a long-legged Masai warrior-tribesman, garbed in traditional, colourful woollen robes (it’s winter), complete with spear – while he chatted on his cell phone! We have yet to see a mud brick/thatched house with a satellite dish, but it could happen.
Brilliant – African sunsets across the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers. A large orange sun sinks over the horizon into a purple, fading to aqua sky.
The splendour of the big screen came to life in France for Intrepid’s Tamara Palinkas, when she enjoyed a walking holiday in Provence…
“In my opinion critics have been a little tough on the movie A Good Year, starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ridley Scott. It’s true that the story is a bit predictable: Max, a British broker, inherits a rustic chateau with a vineyard in Provence. He decides to sell it, but he falls in love with the laid-back Provencal lifestyle and Fanny, a beautiful French woman. However, I loved watching it for the real star of the movie: the stunning countryside of Provence.
At an emotional ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London, UK, last week Wanderlust magazine announced the winners of the third Paul Morrison Guide Awards and we are thrilled that the top GOLD accolade went to Intrepid’s Esam Abd El Salam!
Set up to recognise the difference that a great guide can make to travel experiences, a shortlist of eight was whittled down from a record entry of 170 nominated guides from around the world.
“Egypt is a country with some of the most highly regarded and experienced guides in the world and Esam has done incredibly well to stand out,” commented Lyn Hughes, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Wanderlust magazine.
We are very excited to announce that Weerapong Thanachana (Noi) has been selected as the most outstanding tour guide at this year’s Thai Tourism Awards. Noi joined Intrepid over 6 [...]
A tuk tuk can cough up 1.1kg of CO2 per person on a return trip from Khao San Road to Bangkok’s Grand Palace, and even hiking to Everest Base Camp can peak at emitting 4.0 grams of CO2 per person each day. Calculating all your holiday carbon emissions could seem impossible, but Intrepid knows it can be done!
When Intrepid set course to be a carbon neutral company by 2010 we knew it wouldn’t be easy, but we also understood that as a responsible travel company it was the only way forward. So we have employed the help of professionals and are definitely on track to achieving this important goal!
A big (and exciting) step in our journey towards carbon neutrality is the release of our first Carbon Offset trips. We’ve taken 38 of our favourite Intrepid adventures, such as Cambodia Basix, Roam China and Moorish Spain, carefully assessed their greenhouse gas emissions and reduced them where possible. Then we will offset the remaining emissions on these trips with our already pre-purchased carbon credits.
Nancy Mills looked forward to admiring the art deco architecture of Casablanca, exploring medieval Fes and watching the sun set over the Sahara, but it was what she didn’t expect that turned out to be to her liking in Morocco …
“I looked forward to riding a camel on my Intrepid trip to Morocco. I never imagined I would be eating camel, much less enjoying it!
Wandering the Meknes souq’s labrynth had certainly made us hungry. The wonderful aroma of frying meat and onions promised relief. But this was not to be a ‘Big Mac’ moment.
First we had to buy our meat and so we followed our guide’s directions to the butcher shop – buried deep in the interior of the souq. The giant camel’s head overlooking the stall confirmed that this was not to be an ordinary carnivorous experience.
“I recently did this The Reunification Express tour through Vietnam with my partner and a group of 6 others. We had a great local guide who became our good friend [...]
“After living in Australia for almost eight years and never venturing outside of Perth, I decided I wanted to explore more of this beautiful continent and booked a trip to Sydney in my last university holidays. By chance, I happened to grab my second-hand copy of Looking for Alibrandi, by Melinda Marchetta as reading material for the flight.
What luck to be reading a book set in Sydney while travelling around Sydney! Looking for Alibrandi depicts the struggle for identity of a teenage Italian-Australian living in Sydney. The novel has a unique perspective for the traveller as it is written with the familiarity of the native Australian, as well as with the cultural observations of the outsider.