“It took several minutes before I realized that an entire squadron of baby spiders was repelling down from the thatched roof above me and into my cup of hot aba* punch”, relates David Knight, Intrepid’s Community Based Tourism researcher in Peru.
“My research assistant and Spanish-Quechua translator, Nilo, seemed all too amused. Together, we had been invited into the home of a kind local woman to shelter from the hail that had begun to fall in destructive force upon the high Andean town of Amaru, where we’d been conducting research for several weeks. As the tiny spiders descended upon me to escape the fury of the elements, I couldn’t help but laugh with my companion in contemplation of the unique challenges and experiences we’d had thus far in these remote and breathtakingly beautiful highlands.
Intrepid is delighted to announce that we have won the Maritime, Nature & Heritage category of the Thailand Green Excellence Awards 2013. We proudly received the award from the Thai Princess, HRH Princess Ubolratana Mahidol.
The judges were seeking a company that offered the best of Thailand to its travellers, in a sustainable way. With Thailand being so rich in natural wonders and cultural heritage, we know the sustainable way is the only way. It’s actually the third time we’ve been successful in these awards, and as Thailand is where it all began for Intrepid, 25 years ago, we think it’s rather fitting to receive this award at the beginning of our quarter century birthday year!
So what did the judges like about Intrepid?
Sharing some fun and a laugh with the local kids is often one of the highlights of local grassroots travel. But sadly, as we’ve become all too aware these days, the children who are out and about meeting foreign visitors may be at risk of abuse or harm – whether by those with ill-intent, or by those with good intentions but unaware of potentially bad consequences. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is the ‘right thing to do’!
At Intrepid Travel, we’re proud to have terrific relationships with really effective organisations, that can help travellers navigate the child protection minefield. One of these, the ChildSafe network, provide some of the following information and excellent practical advice on what you can do to protect children wherever you travel:
We recently asked Intrepid Express readers to tell us their best tips for being a Responsible Traveller – how they travel in a way that’s respectful of local people, the environment and local economies. The response was a deluge of ideas demonstrating that Intrepid travellers care and want to do the right thing when they travel. Here are the top 12 tip topics (try saying that quickly!) and some of our travellers’ suggestions:
1. Water, water everywhere – pack a stainless steel or sturdy plastic BPA-free water bottle and a purifying method suited to your destination – purifying tablets such as Micropur, or a purifying device such as a SteriPEN. Avoid buying wasteful bottled water.
October 11 marks observance of the second International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
Filmmaker Rebecca Barry highlights many of these unique challenges in her recently launched fabulous documentary, I Am A Girl, (with support from Intrepid) which features the lives of six girls on the brink of womanhood. We caught up with Rebecca recently, to ask her more about the film…
We love the lengths that some Intrepid travellers will go, to raise funds for a good cause! In mid October, Garry West-Bail of Melbourne, will be running and cycling across Vietnam, to raise funds for KOTO.
KOTO is well known to Intrepid travellers, for serving delicious food through their restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City – which are the fronts of a great organisation which helps support young people in leaving a life on the streets, through training in hospitality and life skills. Intrepid and The Intrepid Foundation have been proud supporters of KOTO since KOTO’s founding in 1999, by former Intrepid tour leader Jimmy Pham.
As an Intrepid traveller, your opinion is incredibly valuable to us. Today, you can help shape responsible, animal-friendly travel across the globe. We have partnered with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to make a difference to animal protection in tourism across the world – and your opinions can help us do this.
Just take our short survey about animal-friendly travel and you can be in the running to WIN a trip for two on Intrepid’s Beautiful Thailand small group adventure. All you need to do is to fill in the short survey and tell us in 50 words or less about your favourite animal-friendly travel experience. Then the holiday could be yours!
Intrepid travellers you’ve done it again! With your generous support and matching donations from Intrepid, The Intrepid Foundation’s global support has, with our latest funding round, topped AU$3.4million! Hundreds of children are being educated, health is being restored, wildlife protected and many other wonderful outcomes achieved – all thanks to the generosity of the Intrepid Travel community.
This year’s funds distribution has AU$344,396 benefiting 51 fabulous not-for-profit organisations around the globe, many of which are visited during Intrepid tours. Young people with disabilities in Morocco will receive prosthetic limbs and physiotherapy, injured elephants in Thailand will be cared for at a dedicated hospital, highland children vulnerable to malnutrition in Peru will have breakfast served at school and the lives of mums and their newborn babies will be protected at a clinic in Indonesia.
Ceviche is a classic Peruvian dish with simple but decidedly delectable ingredients including raw fish, onion, salt, cilantro and garlic – tantalizingly tossed in lime juice. For David Knight, Intrepid’s Community Based Tourism researcher in Peru, his recent experiences examining local perspectives of tourism impacts in the Sacred Valley town of Chichubamba could well be compared to the preparation of a fine ceviche. David tells us why…
“Now, given the references to my pasty, peeling skin in previous blog posts, you might be inclined to see me as the raw fish in this citrus soup metaphor; and, until recently, I might have been inclined to agree with you. But I learned a new Peruvian phrase yesterday while talking with an Intrepid leader, and it seemed a truer analogy to my experiences thus far.
“One main factor in the upward trend of animal life has been the power of wandering”, said mathematician and philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead. It certainly adds up to us at Intrepid, that experiencing animals you may have never seen before, in new environments, is part of the very essence of travelling. However, with the amazing opportunity that this presents, comes an obligation to act in a responsible way to best ensure the welfare of the animals.
Carmel Molloy, CEO of WSPA Australia, explains more: “I will never forget a holiday that I had to India, where I saw an elephant restrained by its owner and forced to bow down to tourists by kneeling every few minutes on a concrete floor. You could see that this repetitive action was causing him pain, yet people flocked round, seemingly unaware of the daily torment that this wild animal faced. People paid money to see it happen again and again. Wild animals should be protected, not used, abused, farmed or sold.