San Francisco’s Mission District is the city’s oldest neighbourhood and its culture is part-Latino, part-punk, part-hipster.
Once a working-class neighbourhood sheltering immigrants fleeing from oppression in Central America, the 1990s saw an influx of young professional people seeking cheaper rents in what was fast becoming one of America’s most expensive cities. Today the area is trying hard to hold on to its edginess and working-class roots and is resisting the gentrification of its culture.
Yogyakarta is definitely one our favourite cities in South East Asia. That’s a pretty big claim, but we have our reasons; from the wonderful temples on the outskirts of the city, to rural village life which exists just a short bike ride from the central hustle and bustle.
As the cultural hub of Java, Yogyakarta has so much to offer. Whether you enjoy perusing the eye-catching graffiti covered walls, getting arty in a batik class, or exploring the surrounding area for a flavour of local life. Adventure enthusiasts can also get their thrills, with the choice of jeep rides up nearby Mount Merapi, rafting, and caving.
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 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?
Walking the ancient pilgrim path of the Camino de Santiago has attracted a myriad of nationalities for centuries.
Beyond the native Spanish, many languages are spoken on the way, but as discovered by Glenyce Johnson, Intrepid’s General Manager – Business Development, the conversation generally started with much in common.
Ok, so we know there’s a heap of amazing places to travel to, so why choose to explore Guatemala over all the others?
8. Really cool ruins
If you’ve ever fantasised about being Indiana Jones for a day or just love old, stone things, Guatemala’s ruins will blow you away. The most famous is coastal Tikal, which will impress even the most jaded traveller. Then you’ve got the remarkable ruins of Yaxha, Uaxactan and Quirigua scattered around the country looking fabulous. And if you’re up for a 5-day hike and a bit of roughing it, then El Mirador lies deep within the jungle and is believed to be the cradle of Maya civilisation.
For over a thousand years, people have embarked on pilgrimages along El Camino de Santiago as an act of Christian spiritual devotion.
For Intrepid co-founder, Darrell Wade, the experience of walking on the Camino in Northern Spain was perhaps more on the self-gratifying or pleasurable side…
Intrepid trips have always been designed to be as planet friendly as possible – using public transport where we can, staying in smaller locally owned and operated accommodation where available, buying local produce and carefully managing precious resources such as energy and water.
And since 2010, the majority of our trips are carbon offset – this means we measure the carbon emissions from the transport, accommodation and waste generated and contribute to emissions reduction programs ‘balancing out’ these emissions.
Could 2014 be your year to get really high? We mean a 5,895 metre kind of high…to the roof top of Africa! And why might you do it? For the personal challenge of pushing yourself beyond your usual limits? To get more girls into school? Because it’s there?
Well the answer for Intrepid employees Amy Bolger and Ronnie Albanis and two groups of Intrepid travellers who recently conquered Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, was all of the above! And what an experience it was! They tell us more about the whys, the highs and the preparation needed to get there:
The highest peak in North Africa appears to be a well-kept secret amongst trekking enthusiasts, making it all the more enticing for those who are willing to walk through the breathtaking scenery of the Ait Mizan Valley to reach Mt Toubkal Base Camp.
Intrepid’s James Ingham tackled the climb in winter, when it’s a more icy and dicey affair, but even the frosty conditions didn’t detract from his Morocco adventure…