Who would have thought that 2012 would be the year that Intrepid’s Anya Hodson sets herself one of the biggest challenges of her life? It’s not surprising that she’s pledged to do this for a cause that she’s passionate about, as she always gives everything 110%, but the kind of challenge that she’s decided to take on is definitely outside her comfort zone…
“I can recall being in Cuzco last year, climbing hundreds of steps a day and feeling the grip of high altitude tightening on my chest and lungs. The sheer majesty of Macchu Picchu will never be forgotten, but the steep descent down so many steps caused aches in my bones that lingered for days. I remember thinking to myself that I could never do a trip that involved trekking or cycling for days on end – I just didnt think that I had it in me.
Never let it be said that Intrepid staff are cheap – but it’s true that we are always on the lookout for travel bargains. This can prove more of a challenge in the big cities of the United States, but Intrepid’s Claire Baxter comes to the rescue in Los Angeles with a low-budget tip on how to see a different side of town…
“On a recent trip I decided to take advantage of the free transport provided by my airport hotel and head down to Manhattan Beach. Although I was there in December, it was still really warm and perfect weather for a stroll and an ice cream.
One of the world’s great shopping experiences is the mayhem of Chichicastenango markets. The prices are way too tempting, so before she could stop herself, Intrepid’s Rachael Harvey was bagging bargains in Guatemala…
“Jostle for space with traditionally dressed locals, haggle to your heart’s content and ponder whether or not the whole Guatemalan population has turned up. Don’t be surprised if you leave with a backpack overflowing with vibrant textiles and handmade jewellery that you won’t find anywhere else.
Braille reading kits and Braille canes were deservedly top sellers amongst Intrepid Foundation ‘Global Gifts’ sales this Christmas. These will be distributed by Braille Without Borders (BWB), a wonderful organisation bringing education to blind children in Tibet. They have made extraordinary inroads in not just education, but also dispelling myths around disability in Tibet. Sabriye, the founder of BWB, updates us on their news…
“Right now, Tibet is freezing cold. On the farm, at an altitude of 3900m, the temperature varies between 11 degrees celsius during daytime and minus 11 degrees at night. Everyone has prepared for the coldest winter months of January and February. Our Tibetan colleagues use south-facing greenhouse like structures in front of the dormitory-windows to collect the heat of the sun. On the doors the house parents have placed extra quilts and blankets to protect the kids from the icy winds.
If you’ve ever wondered what we mean by ‘Intrepid real life experiences’, then this story from Jill Olsson on her Classic Peru trip explains perfectly…
“Our Intrepid trip to Peru last September provided my husband and I with memories that will last a lifetime. Whenever I look at the woven table runner in my home in New Zealand I am reminded of the hardworking women of that village we visited in the Sacred Valley between Cuzco and Ollantaytambo.
When Alison Meredith took up the challenge to travel the world for over a year, she probably never expected to be berated by border police, forced to ask strangers for help to get cash from an ATM or touching down in someone’s front yard in a hot air balloon. But all this and more happened in the first country she visited…
“The following is an email account of my initial experiences in China. It was the first destination of a life changing, 15-month journey through over 30 counties and still remains at the top of my list of favourites. I travelled with a German girl whom I met en route and despite the absolute chaos of China, or perhaps because of it, we had a fantastic time. I can’t recommend China highly enough if you’re after an eye-opening, all sense-assaulting, entertaining and thoroughly worthwhile travel experience.
A 5-day eye camp in the Kampong Chen Cheung commune of Stong District, Cambodia, has recently restored sight to over 190 people. Around 500 people lined up to have their eyes checked by an outreach surgical team consisting of an ophthalmologist, a resident and three nurses. Intrepid travellers and The Intrepid Foundation have supported The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Cambodia program over many years, and have helped restore hope and dignity to many Cambodians through the restoration of their sight.
Mr Chhun Chat, the commune chief, said that every year The Fred Hollows Foundation’s eye camp brings hope, smiles and laughter to his villages. “As far as I remember it has been the fifth eye camp conducted in my commune,” he says. “We were waiting for their visit to arrive sooner, so hundreds of people would have the chance to see their loved ones again.”
“There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second.” Based on this astute observation by Logan Pearsall Smith, you’d have to consider Eric Kruszewski a very wise man. Albeit a newcomer on the photography scene, Eric set his sights on winning the prestigious Travel Photographer of the Year competition and then focused on enjoying every moment of his triumph…
“December 2010, my cereal bowl crashed to the floor as I read the announcement from TPOTY naming me their New Talent Award recipient. This recognition granted the winner an Intrepid Delhi to Kathmandu trip!
A challenge for vulnerable youth in many communities is finding the opportunity to forge their future. If you have been raised in poverty, homelessness or suffering other disadvantages, finding a right fit might simply be having your eyes opened to possibility. Such possibilities were recently presented to a group of young Laotian men, who are training in mechanics with Peuan Mit, a project supported by The Intrepid Foundation and based in Vientiane.
The 14 young men went on a study trip to a large Kolao workshop accompanied by their teachers. At Kolao, they met the head of the mechanics garage and the manager. Kolao is a Korean brand of motorcycle that is extremely popular in Laos, so the mechanics students learn every possible way to repair and service them because in their future job, they are most likely to see these models.