In response to a recent blog question about climbing Mt Kinabalu in Borneo, we asked Intrepid’s Karen Porter for advice. Not just because she’s got the right name, but she’s been there, done that and loved every challenging step!
“Further to your comparison regarding Nepal’s Annapurna trek and Mt Kinabalu, it would be my personal opinion that if you can trek the Himalayas, you should have no problems with Mt Kinabalu. I have trekked the Annapurna Circuit, Mt Kinabalu and Mt Kilimanjaro and while all 3 treks require a certain level of fitness, with some physical preparation there’s every chance your mountain dreams will be realised.
Real life experiences are those ‘wow’ moments that happen when least expected. Much like Jim Stanton’s fortunate photo in the Czech Republic…
“My wife and I enjoyed our Road to Budapest adventure in April/May very much indeed. One of the highlights was a two-day visit to the fairy tale town of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic.
This quaint old medieval town is built on a bend in the Vitava River and its flag-stoned squares and narrow streets remain almost as they must have looked in the thirteenth century. When the princely lineage of the Schwarzenbergs inherited Krumlov in the 1700s, they undertook a restoration and enlargement of the castle on the hill overlooking the town.
Have you always wanted to make a clean break, but didn’t know how? Kayaking around the Scottish isles, snow-shoeing in the Pyrenees, wild swimming in Finland, learning to dance in Rio, walking across the Serengeti… these are just some of the hundreds of Clean Breaks featured in Rough Guide’s exciting new Clean Breaks: 500 New Ways to See the World, by Richard Hammond and Jeremy Smith.
So what makes a Clean Break? Essentially it’s about minimising your environmental impact – on your journey and at your destination – by choosing carefully how you travel and the nature of the places you decide to stay. Clean Breaks are unusual, alternative and incredible experiences that also make a difference to the lives of local people and the planet, so it’s no wonder that Intrepid’s very own Thailand hilltribe trek was one of the few trips operated by travel companies to receive a special recommendation from the authors.
You can visit Rough Guide’s website to find out how easy it is to make a Clean Breaks!
“I was on cloud nine in Cappadocia!”, is how Melissa Grima describes her sky high adventure in Turkey…
“For years I’ve had a list of things in my head that I have always wanted to do, and through my travels I am gradually realising my dreams. From scuba diving in the Red Sea, to walking over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and rock climbing in Southern China. The next must-do was hot air ballooning.
A countryside blessed with mind-blowing natural scenery, Cappadocia is the perfect stage for a hot air balloon ride. We assembled in a field at 5.30am and whilst the balloon was being inflated, we were given our boarding instructions by Lars, our trusty pilot who is ranked amongst the top ten most experienced balloon pilots in the world. This is a non-smoking flight, all seats are first class and everyone has a window seat!
The Intrepid Foundation has long supported the Animal Care in Egypt hospital on the outskirts of Luxor. Here they work hard to improve the lives of the working animals in Egypt and as Sue from ACE reports, recently spirits were high with the happy tale of Harry…
“Harry Habibi was left outside the ACE hospital, whilst two separate owners argued about who this baby donkey belonged to! With an uncertain future ahead for this little fellow, we admitted him to the hospital until the dispute was resolved. Neither party returned to collect Harry.
We managed to get Harry drinking milk from a bowl and he soon became quite a mischievous character – he would follow everyone around and generally had his nose in everywhere! It didn’t take long for ‘Harry-mania’ to begin and people were closely watching our blog and also emailing for updates on the infamous Harry Habibi!
Many travellers have the amazing temples of Angkor high on their must-see list, but Intrepid’s Anna Harvie chose to set her sights even higher in Cambodia…
“Sunrise at Angkor Wat in Cambodia is always amazing, as you hear the monks chanting their morning mantras and see the golden rays of sun lighting up the thousand-year-old temples. It doesn’t matter how many times I visit, I could never tire of this sight.
But one of my best sunrises was when I went up in a balloon to see this spectacular event. The balloon is certainly cheaper and more accessible than helicopter if you want to witness Angkor by air – and from the sky is the perfect vantage point for a fresh perspective on how it all fits together. At ground level it’s sometimes hard to grasp the size and extent of the Angkor Empire and the waterways they built between temples.
Who would have thought that the humble balloon would bring a child and a small group of Intrepid travellers in China so much joy? Intrepid’s Marina Mildenhall is bursting to tell you her story…
“I was travelling with my fellow Roam China adventurers, when the second of our three epic train journeys started. Of course, there was the usual hustle and bustle of getting on the train and finding our beds, but once we were settled and the train moved off, it was time to meet our neighbours.
It’s over a week now since Jane Crouch, Intrepid Travel’s Responsible Travel Manager, and Intrepid’s five sponsored trainees emerged from their intense three days at The Climate Project Asia Pacific Summit. Now their independent work begins with consolidating their learning and preparing personalised presentations for their audiences.
Each presenter has pledged to do at least ten significant activities within the year, including presenting Al Gore’s main slideshow, engaging the media, politicians and key decision makers and training ‘connectors’ – individuals who are motivated to get active on climate change. Jane shares with us some of her lessons…
When surrounded by impressive ruins of bygone eras, you can’t help but wonder who has stood there before you. Remarkable cities that have been reduced to remnants of the past still tell a memorable tale, as Intrepid traveller Cameron Rose discovered on his Istanbul to Tehran adventure…
“Our journey through Anatolia in Turkey was filled with many highlights. It felt so good to see places that are barely touched by tourism and western exposure. Inspiring landscapes, ancient buildings and ruins, pure Turkish hospitality and an abundance of Turkish tea drunk are the predominant images and thoughts that come to mind. But what made a special impression on me was the visit to Ani from Kars. For others Ishak Pasha’s Palace outside Dogubayazit was more imposing, but there I still had the overwhelming memory of Ani, with its beautiful buildings in a majestic setting close to the Armenian border.