When considering supporting local events such a the Pamplona running of the bulls or bullfighting in Catalonia, as with most animal welfare matters Intrepid Travel has chosen to side with the experts at the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).
While we appreciate that events such as Pamplona’s famous bull run are steeped in tradition, it doesn’t detract from the fact that bulls are forced to run en masse down cobbled streets, which causes significant stress and risks serious injury to both the bulls and the people attending. Many of WSPA’s member societies in Spain, France and Portugal are working hard to get this cruel practice banned.
Laos is excited to be hosting the 25th Southeast Asian Games this December. Preparations are well under way and Intrepid’s Nicki Gibson was recently enjoying the pre-games events when she was surprised to see an old friend…
“This is the first time Laos has been the host country and with Vientiane full of colour and buzzing with activity, it looks as if this will be a fantastic place to witness the celebrations from 09-18 December 2009.
The closest Khmer word for ‘strength’ is clang and according to Intrepid’s Jo Crisp, this is certainly something that is not weakened by wild weather in Cambodia…
“Siem Reap, home of World Heritage Angkor Wat, was the Venice of Asia in the aftermath of Typhoon Ketsana that rocked the Philippines and Vietnam. Storms hit Cambodia causing torrential downpours and flooding in many parts of the country.
On Tuesday night, 29 September, water was about a metre from my front door when I went to bed. By 4am the water started lapping at my fingers as I slept. I awoke to find water was over a metre deep throughout my house and small fish were calling my bedroom home! So after grabbing essential items and raising everything up on shelves and cupboards I waded out to the street to join the hordes of people who were also flooded out of their houses.
Just because a country has the same official language, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll understand everything that is said. Intrepid’s Kim Bowden helps us untangle the local lingo in New Zealand…
“New Zealand slang has developed over time from such a diverse mixture of backgrounds that it is sometimes difficult to establish exactly which colloquialisms are originally from New Zealand! However, be assured that all of these listed words and phrases are used with regularity throughout New Zealand. Hopefully they will help give you a better understanding of what your Kiwi mates are really trying to tell ya!…
The Intrepid Foundation is very pleased to buck the trend of the financial crisis and give away more money this year to support incredibly worthwhile and effective projects around the globe. All up AU$435,766 is being disbursed to 50 beneficiary organisations!
A big thank YOU to all the donors to The Intrepid Foundation’s Community Project Fund. Along with donations that were matched by Intrepid Travel, 35 community-based grassroots organisations and projects receive donations adding up to AU$211,631. This includes a wide range of activities. From the education of disadvantaged children in Tanzania through Amani Children’s Home and the Village Education Project, to working with the Cyclo Centre to aid welfare, education and support services for cyclo drivers in Cambodia, and helping build a shelter for pregnant elephants-in-waiting via Friends of the Asia Elephant in Thailand.
Travellers have combed great cities and climbed mountain trails to capture special travel photos and we are very excited to celebrate their achievements and announce the winners of the 2009 Intrepid Photography Competition!
As you can imagine, trying to pick winners from so many fantastic entries was a very tough task for our panel of judges. Eventually they narrowed it down to a select few, but they wanted to pass on their congratulations to everyone who entered as the standard of photographs was exceptional. The love of travel and appreciation of real life experiences was evident in the images and we look forward to sharing as many as possible with you in our Intrepid publications.
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While you’re hanging out waiting for your Intrepid USA road trip to kick off, here’s some great tips on how to spend your time in the City of Angels from Intrepid’s own Carly Wallis…
“Los Angeles is full of excesses so I had a fabulous time indulging. Whilst not famous for being the prettiest of cities, LA is generally a starting point for journeys in the west and it is well worth a few days if you can handle the pace. Here are my top tips for a great time in Los Angeles:
1. Any trip has to include Hollywood, see a film at the Chinese Mann Theatre – you might even be lucky enough to be there for a premiere, and definitely find your favourite movie star’s footprints in the sidewalk. A few hours should be enough to dedicate to this area of LA.
“It was about midnight on a very cold winter’s night in Delhi, when we found this young man without legs sitting around a makeshift fire made of rubbish collected from the road-side”, writes Anshu Gupta, Director of GOONJ.
“Although GOONJ provides clothes largely under our Cloth for Work Initiative, on chilly nights we also carry out anonymous distributions on Delhi roads. We gave him a warm overcoat and started moving ahead. Then suddenly, I saw from my rear view mirror that this guy was trying to run after the car on his crutches. We stopped the vehicle, but before we could find out why, he stops, rests on the crutches, lifts both his hands and yells, “AB HUI HAI MERI EID” – now its Eid for me!
Travel tips aren’t only about where to go and what to buy – sometimes the best advice is how to behave. You can check Intrepid’s tips on how to be be a responsible traveller and here are ways to help you enjoy harmonious wildlife viewing in Africa…
Respect the ‘personal space’ of the wildlife, this is their habitat. If a visitor/vehicle causes an animal to alter its behaviour, then the visitor has invaded its space and influenced its normal behaviour. Observe nature as it occurs naturally and not as to how it responds to your presence there.
Speak quietly – do not call out, whistle or in other ways try and attract the attention of animals. Noise disturbs them and may antagonise fellow visitors.