It can be easy to put a foot wrong when we travel, but thanks to our Intrepid Russia team, here are some responsible travel tips to help you get it right…
In Moscow it won’t cost you a ruble to visit the Sakharov Museum, which tells the history of repression and human rights in Russia from the revolution onwards. Another great option is the newly-designed ‘Eco Walk’ to Vorobyovy Gory. The walk to the city’s highest point marks Moscow’s first attempt at recycling bins, bird feeders for the local wildlife and information about the nature of the area.
When a young man from Ghana announced his goal to ski in the Olympics, you could imagine the responses. But he’s done it! Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong has just qualified and will be Ghana’s one-man ski team in Vancouver next year. A great good news story to come out of Ghana, and here’s another from Intrepid’s Erin Farmer..
“It’s 6 am and I’m sitting on the veranda watching the mist roll through the mango orchard and listening to the echoes of the school choir practising their hymns. As I sip my coffee and coax my eyes to open fully, I think of the day ahead.
What is it about a volunteering adventure that makes the experience so special? John Holland has travelled the world and spent six weeks backpacking around South America after joining Peru Teaching & Building, so it was easy for him to pinpoint why this trip was a personal highlight…
“Forget the work, it’s the people that make an Intrepid Volunteering project brilliant. First are the local villagers: friendly, hospitable and they love any excuse for a party. Second is our own group of volunteers, a knock-about group of Poms, Aussies and Irish who shared everything for a period of up to six weeks with no major whines, issues or arguments.
Together with eight others I signed up through Intrepid, who works with local partners to organise community projects around the world. Sometimes they build schools and teach. Other projects, such as the one I am doing, involve providing a safe water supply for the village of Peccacacho, high up in Peru’s Andes mountains – an hour walk from the small town of Chinchero and an hour drive from Cuzco, the former Inca capital and well-known jumping off point for Machu Picchu.
Given any opportunity the Intrepid team will head off to wild and wonderful corners of our world. Sarah Moore from our NZ team has recently jumped aboard Intrepid’s Reunification Express and her journey continues on Day 3 in Vietnam…
“Everyone was looking forward to today – we’d all heard so much about Halong Bay with its emerald waters and unusual jutting islands. But first it was all aboard the Intrepid bus for a trip to the Blue Dragon Charity – another institution set up to help disadvantaged children earn an education.
We were welcomed into a beautiful building decorated with children’s art and brought upstairs to a breakfast of thick coffee, cakes and fruit (including the popular dragon fruit – a watery but tasteless produce specked with seeds that look identical to black sesame seed. Huong assured us that dragon fruit is very delicious and refreshing, but I’m not sure she’s going to secure any devotees on this tour).
We are very proud to announce that Intrepid Travel has just signed up to the United Nations Global Compact! Intrepid has joined over 4700 companies worldwide in signing the UN [...]
When travelling in Vietnam, Express reader Pam Shackleton enjoyed a special Intrepid real life experience that embraced the spirit of Christmas…
“We were travelling on the Reunification Express from Saigon to Hanoi. It was late evening and next day we were to have a celebratory Christmas breakfast when we arrived in Hanoi. We were delayed by several hours, stopped in the middle of nowhere during the night. We realised that our breakfast would not materialise and it was changed to lunch. Our guide Dave didn’t tell us too much about where we were going for our Christmas Day dinner, but we knew enough to be expecting a lot!
In the heart of central Turkey lies the beautiful troglodyte village of Goreme. Many people still live in carved rock houses that date back hundreds of years, but with natural erosion and the region’s rapid development Goreme is at risk.
The Old Goreme Restoration Fund was created in 2007 to protect the wonders of Cappadocia and this year The Intrepid Foundation proudly contributed AUD20,000 towards projects that will help preserve the architectural and cultural heritage of the village and surrounds.
As you can imagine The Intrepid Foundation’s donation was very welcome and on behalf of Old Goreme Restoration Fund (OGRF) we heard from Pat Yale about the exciting work that has been undertaken by this passionate organisation.
On a misty Saturday morning in September, gorillas across the country were stretching their hamstrings, donning their running shoes, boarding trains, buses and bicycles and congregating en masse in the City of London in preparation for what was to be a world record-breaking gathering of gorillas, and Intrepid’s Emma Southerden was amongst them…
“Over 1000 gorillas registered to take part in this year’s Great Gorilla Run, in aid of the Gorilla Organisation. Shockingly that is actually more than there are mountain gorillas remaining in the wild. The Gorilla Organisation, which was founded by the late Dian Fossey, works to protect the gorillas in west and central Africa, including Rwanda and Uganda.
Intrepid’s Simon Graham, Rosie Cowen and myself led a family of Intrepid apes, who were all dressed up in our finest furry suits ready to run, jog, walk and dance through central London and raise vital funding for the organisation.
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!
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.