Intrepid Express reader Sandra Bolton still lights up when she thinks of her amazing India experiences, even though her first trip started with her most memorable travel bloopers…
“My partner and I had never been to India before, but it was a country that had been top of our travel list for many years. We began our journey in Goa, as we had heard that it would be a gentle introduction to the most incredibly diverse country.
This week’s top trip doesn’t make light of how tough it can be hiking in the Himalayas, but getting the light just right is another challenge that Intrepid traveller Marianne Lim was determined to rise to in Nepal…
“When I booked an Intrepid Active trip to Everest Base Camp I made a silent resolution to get up early each morning to try and catch the dawn light on the enormous awe-inspiring mountain ranges I was bound to see.
Who better to ask about packing tips than our Intrepid team? We’ve travelled extensively over the years and managed to refine our packing into a precision operation that saves time and space and most importantly, the weight of our backpacks…
1) Buy a waterproof toiletry bag that has a hook, so that all you have to do is take the whole bag to the bathroom and hang it on the door or the shower rail. The temptation is often to buy a pretty bag with lots of seemingly useful pockets and zips, but over time these become impractical, they break, are fiddly to get at items and they don’t fit everything.
2) Buy shampoos and other creams with a screw-top lid – instead of a flip-top or pumps. This will save you hours of cleaning up leaking bottles and you can re-fill the same screw-top bottles for years.
National Day on October 1st is one of China’s seven official public holidays. It’s a fabulous time to take part in the cultural celebrations and dramatic displays of national pride, but as Intrepid traveller Laura Carroll discovered, it can also be a time when getting around Beijing can be a bit tricky…
“Sometimes the best nights out are the ones that are completely unplanned. One fateful night in Beijing, a friend and I went out for dinner and a few drinks, then decided to head back to our hotel for a relatively early night. We knew, of course, that rehearsals for China’s National Day celebration were underway and that a few streets would be closed, but we didn’t think that it would affect us that much. We couldn’t have been more wrong.
Many Intrepid travellers to Cambodia visit the Land Mine Museum near Siem Reap and learn of the sad legacy of war – the deaths, the amputees and the estimated five million unexploded ordinance (UXO) and landmines still left in the country. They also may meet the larger-than-life character, Aki Ra, who has just been short-listed in the Top 10 CNN Heroes for 2010 – out of 10,000 nominations!
At the age of 10, after being separated from his family through the war, Aki Ra became a child soldier and was given his first rifle that measured his height. He fought firstly with the Khmer Rouge (whose genocidal crusade was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Cambodians during the 1970s); he was captured by the Vietnamese and fought for them, then when the Vietnamese left he fought for the Royal Cambodia Armed Forces.
Donald McGovern loved his Intrepid taste of Vietnam so much that he was inspired to pen this poem…
“Wine was drunk
Beer was quaffed
Tri, our leader
Tri, his name
Tried to make us very game
“We are thrilled to announce that The Intrepid Foundation has hit a new high. We are giving away a record AU$442,903 for the 2009-10 financial year, representing funds donated by travellers and matched by Intrepid Travel, to 50 fantastic non-profit organisations or projects around the world.
This brings us to now having distributed over AU$2.2 million, since The Intrepid Foundation’s inception in 2002. A very big and sincere thank you to all who contributed this past year and enabled us to give so generously at a time when many communities and organisations needed it most. With all the Foundation’s administration overheads covered by Intrepid Travel, with the assistance of a dedicated team of volunteers, and with donations being doubled by Intrepid, you can be fully confident that your contribution has made a significant and meaningful difference.”
Jane Crouch, Intrepid’s Responsible Travel Manager, and Geoff Manchester, The Intrepid Foundation Chairperson.
Below is our full list of beneficiaries and more information can be found about many of these supported projects on theintrepidfoundation.org…
The astounding ruins of Machu Picchu remain one of the world’s most remarkable archaeological discoveries and as Intrepid Express reader Henrietta Grant experienced, retracing the steps of the Inca to reach this ancient site is a wonderful way to explore Peru…
“Whilst I on holiday in Tanzania, one of my travelling companions spoke so enthusiastically on numerous occasions about her experiences of walking along the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, that I decided what better way to visit the South American continent for the first time but to do this trek. So six months later, I found myself on day two of a three day trek at the highest point of the Inca Trail, Dead Woman’s Pass. The views from both sides of the Pass were staggering and I found it an awe-inspiring experience to look down to the valley far below where we had started our journey the previous day.
A trip to Rome wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Colosseum, and around 20,000 people a day agree! This week the exciting, yet somewhat controversial, news from this ancient amphitheatre is that in an effort to relieve crowding, visitors are now able venture into the bowels of the Colosseum. For the first time guided tours can enter the dark tunnels where the gladiators prepared to do battle, walk on the Roman bricks that still line the floors of the dungeons and see the remains of a sophisticated sewerage system.
To help you explore the Colosseum and more of Rome’s incredible ruins, Intrepid’s Chotie Moloney has put together a little walking tour that stretches your imagination as well as your legs…