Stepping out of our comfort zones can so often lead to our most amazing real life experiences. For Julie-Anne McMackin you couldn’t get much more uncomfortable than stripping off in front of strangers, but she mustered the courage on her Intrepid Morocco trip…
“I loved getting lost in the chaotic, crowded splendour of the Medina in the imperial cities. I lost my heart to a blue-eyed Berber who would have given Aladdin a run for his money and learnt how to wrap my head in the traditional Berber headdress to protect my face from the windblown sand that shapes the dunes as it races towards the endless horizons of the desert. But the most boundary-stretching, confronting and life-affirming experience of my time in this wonderful country was my visit to a hammam, or local bath.
Bathing in an outdoor onsen (hot spring bath) in Japan is one of those very memorable real life experiences. But mustering the courage to shed your inhibitions could end up a travel blooper rather than a holiday highlight, so David Atkinson helps us take the plunge…
“Bath time had never been so tricky. Here I was, tackle out and goose bumps spreading like a bad rash, prancing between the centuries-old dipping pools of a pristine hot springs resort in Japan. Set against a serene backdrop of mountain scenery, autumnal forests and tiny shrines, the resort oozed a sense of almost Zen-like calm. But inside I was stricken with fear. I mean, what’s the etiquette when getting naked with a bunch of total strangers?
In December 2006 Intrepid made a bold statement announcing our intention to become a carbon neutral company within 4 years. It was a long and winding road to achieve this gutsy move, during some of the most challenging global economic times. However, the hard work paid off and we proudly announced at the end of 2010 that we achieved this goal!
We have a firm Carbon Management Plan in place, with key principles to which we must adhere. We measure how we contribute to global warming; avoid where possible; and what we cannot avoid we reduce. Then where we cannot avoid or reduce, we purchase carbon offsets.
May 20th this year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Restoration of Independence in Timor-Leste. There will be enormous celebrations and you could be there!
Our first Intrepid trip of the season starts on this anniversary, so it’s well worth arriving in the capital, Dili, a day or two early so you have plenty of time to kick up your heels with the locals. There’ll be parades, music and dancing in many of the districts, so no doubt the celebratory feel will carry on throughout Intrepid’s 15 day adventure.
Gender inequality remains a massive issue, particularly in education. This is one of the reasons why Intrepid has been spurred into action and joined forces with Plan to set up SAMA, a 3-year global gender equality project that aims to improve the lives of communities and help bridge the gender gap through education.
We’re asking for your support and giving SAMA a High-5 will really help. This recent article from Plan gives an insight into the struggles youngsters in Laos face to get an early education and how much of a difference it makes when children are able to attend pre-school…
So often it’s our first travel experiences that we remember most fondly and it is no exception for Margy Stevenson. Her overlanding adventures as a young woman may now be worlds away from her daily routine, but wow, what an incredible journey to look back on…
“The year was 1971, the place was Kathmandu, it was January 24th and it was my 18th birthday. Of all the fantastic places to be in at that time. Nepal had only been open to the rest of the world since about 1953 – the year I was born.
The island of Floreana was once home to the Floreana mockingbird, one of four endemic species of mockingbirds only found in the Galapagos Archipelago. The introduction of cattle, goats, cats and rats by humans since the 1800′s caused dramatic changes in the ecosystem of Floreana, including heavy grazing on the island’s vegetation and predation on nests and adult birds, such as the Floreana mockingbird.
Fortunately, two islets off the coast of Floreana remained free of introduced species of mammals and currently represent the last strongholds for the Floreana mockingbird: Champion and Gardner. In 2007, an ambitious plan to restore this species in its former territory was launched and consists of three phases:
Sharing a meal with a family who live on the shores of Lake Titicaca in Peru remains one of Julio Padilla’s fondest memories. This is a place where people’s passions and priorities are clear and the opportunity to break bread together and take part in their daily lives is a privilege…
“Arriving on the island community we were welcomed with a delicious homemade lunch and enjoyed the chance to get to know our hostess, Viviana. This lovely 54-year-old woman, who invited us to call her Vivi, exudes a gentle charm and it touched our hearts to hear her moving story.
In February we called all Foodies and Food-ettes to let us know the best local dishes that they discovered on their travels. The competition to WIN a trip from the Intrepid Delicious Discoveries digital brochure has now closed and after spending days in the kitchen testing recipes and reading about your scrumptious journeys, our judges have reached a verdict… Congratulations Donna Mackereth, your Cinque Terre pesto is a winner!
Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your own Delicious Discoveries – it was a very tough decision to choose just one winner! We are going to keep this blog post live so that you can enjoy trying all the recipes at home and we shall be publishing many of them over time in separate blog posts so that they will be easy to find under the ‘recipe’ theme.
2011 saw some big challenges and changes in Egypt. The revolution in January marked the start of a new era, but while the country regroups many regions are experiencing a dramatic drop in visitors. With so many Egyptians relying on tourist dollars to support their families, sadly pictures of starving animals are making headlines.
The Animal Care in Egypt (ACE) hospital on the outskirts of Luxor has had its hands full, and Kim from ACE reports on how one special in-patient touched the hearts of everyone at this Intrepid Foundation-supported project…