Sure, you can turn up at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro with nothing but a song in your heart and a pocket full of dreams. But you’re going to be in for a bit of a shock.
Trekking may just seem like walking for a long time up and down hills (and to a certain extent, it is), but there’s usually a lot of preparation required to do it successfully.
Stepping off the plane into the midnight air of Kathmandu, a wave of excitement rolled over Tom Svensen.
A new destination, new sights and of course a new culture was just waiting for him to explore…
We all know that the more we prepare for our Himalayan trek, the greater chance we have of successfully rising to the challenge. But how?
Before I list what got me to the top (and back) on my first Nepal trek, I need to let you know that I’m no gung-ho hiker. I love bush walking and keep relatively active, but I wouldn’t consider myself an adventure junkie by a long shot.
Going on holiday 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?
We always know that our travels are going to leave us with lasting memories, but as journalist Brenda McCormick discovered, our adventures can also leave us with lifelong new friends…
“I was heading to Australia and wanted to travel a little on the way there. My brother had been to Kathmandu and always spoke highly of the experience, so my friend Leanne and I decided to join Intrepid’s Kathmandu to Delhi tour as it also offered us the opportunity to see the Taj Mahal, which remains one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
By the time Christmas rolls around again, it can be tough trying to recall what we were doing this time last year. But that’s an easy question for Intrepid’s Judith Radicke, who travelled to Nepal in 2012 to enjoy her most memorable ever Christmas and New Year…
“I met my group in a grand Kathmandu hotel, that would be our base for exploring this exotic city. Kathmandu is a one-of-a-kind type of place, not comparable to any other city I’ve known before. In its centre is Durbar Square, with even more pigeons then the piazzas of Milano or Venice! It is an impressive square though, with pagodas and many small details that make it all very beautiful.
When Nelle Edwards trekked to Everest Base Camp, she expected to be taken aback by the incredible scenery, but it was the whole experience of being there that took her breath away…
“From standing on top of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah at sunrise, completely breathtaken by the beauty and magic of the wondrous colours in the dawn lit sky, to driving through Spain under the brightest light of a full moon, creating mysterious shadowy patterns on the rocky slopes of the surrounding valleys – I am fortunate to say that most of my outdoor experiences are very memorable.
There are those precious moments on our travels when we stumble across an amazing local festival. For Angela Greco that powerful experience remains one of her fondest memories…
“The most unforgettable festival experience I have had was Maha Shivaratri Festival in Nepal. A Kathmandu friend took us southwest of Boudhanath to the great Pashupatinath Temple, where devotees flock from all over Nepal and India.
Flea is the world’s smallest Intrepid traveller on the world’s tallest Mountain, in a new e-book called Flea, A Himalayan Adventure, by former Intrepid Group Leader, Bruce Foreman. Most of us love travel. Not Flea – an insect who gets booted off his frustrated and itchy host, Bazza the dog, and transported inside an envelope to Durbar Square, Kathmandu.
Homesick, culture-shocked and intent on getting back to Bazza, Flea ends up instead on the top of Everest, where his thwarted plans make for a wonderful guide to the Sherpa homelands in the Everest region.