Peru might not have officially qualified for the World Cup in 2014, but you’d never know it in this small village high in the Andes.
At 9840 feet (3000 metres) above sea level, the stage was set for a tough international battle – Intrepid Travel Guests vs. Locals. Both teams were a bit rusty – but soon the competitive World Cup spirit overcame their stiffness!
Some places in the world are stunning in their starkness and too emotional to fully comprehend, as Intrepid Group Leader Masha Rogozhina discovers on her Central Asia adventure…
“I’m awakened by the sun streaming through the train window as we travel across the steppes of vast Kazakhstan. My destination is the small town of Aralsk, which used to be the major port of what was once the biggest sea in Central Asia, the Aral Sea. After whole day in transit we finally roll into the small station and go straight to our homestays, where we meet our host Gulmira and her children.
Cheers erupting; swarms of fans rising from their seats; flags waving proudly above them: think we’re talking about a football game?
As the 2014 World Cup plays out in Brazil, 32 countries are competing head-to-head for global soccer supremacy. A little-known fact: these countries will also challenge each other on another field, for an entirely different title.
Going on vacation is synonymous with three of life’s purest pleasures: eating, drinking and relaxing.
So if, like me, you’re someone who enjoys the sadistic ritual of regular exercise, then you are a prime candidate for succumbing to ‘Travel Bulge Syndrome’ – TBS – where you feel you’ve earned the right to relax your diet and exercise routine a little, so you go ahead and eat your bodyweight in patatas bravas and chorizo all day every day. And follow it up with gelato. And a beer. Because, you know, you earned it, right?
Destination and itinerary planned – tick! Flights and trip booked – tick! Now what to pack? What clothing will be most appropriate for this upcoming adventure?
Being prepared for the differences in clothing norms will go a long way towards helping you feel at ease and welcomed in your holiday destination. And it may additionally help, especially, but not only women, avoid unwanted attention.
Japan is renowned for being conservative, orderly and refined, but take a weekend walk to one of Tokyo’s hip inner suburbs and you’ll see a very different side to this fascinating country.
Philip Wilson explains…
“I’ve visited Japan many times, but never seen anything to match the crowds at Harajuku on a Sunday afternoon!
Thomasina Miers is passionate about all things Mexican and a devoted chilli lover, so who better to ask for a spicy Mexcian-inspired dish than this famous Intrepid Foodie who helped design Intrepid’s Real Food Adventure Mexico…
“Most people think about chillies in terms of heat and their capacity to blow one’s head off. I think about how they can delicately pep up a pile of silky aubergines, how tobacco-flavoured chillies can add deep mysterious tones to molten chocolate, how smoky chillies can add body to slow cooked stews and how smoked, sweet peppers can add a note of earthiness to eggs, grilled flatbreads and sautéed greens,” Tommi explains.
If I was to give you one tip about travelling in Central Asia, it would be expect the unexpected.
Everything about the region is surprising; the extraordinary landscapes, fascinating history, intriguing culture and the warm welcome you’ll receive from friendly locals.
North and Central Asia is weird, wonderful and quirky on steroids, as I think you can see in my photo album of things you can wear on your head…