You’ve decided that Peru and its famous Inca Trail is at the top of your travel wish list, but how do you make it happen? Is it within reach for an inexperienced hiker and what should you know before you go? MatadorU student Leora Novick shares valuable tips to read before planning this popular trek to Machu Picchu…
“I arrived at the Sun Gate at the end of a grueling four-day hike and took my first look at Machu Picchu. As the stone walls pierced the early morning fog, and the entire Inca city unfolded before me, the tiredness melted away.
Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is one of life’s great challenges and Intrepid’s Jane Crouch discovered that even when you’re oxygen starved on the highest mountain in Africa you can apply the fourth rule of success and ‘have fun’…
“They say it’s all in the journey, not the destination, but when you talk to people about climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, they ask: how high is it? (5895 metres or 19,340 feet). Did you make it to the summit? (Yes). Did you get altitude sickness? (Moderately). What was the view like? (Great). But they don’t ask much about the journey and what it was like during the walking before and after the summit. So let me tell you… it was fabulous!
Emily Mitterhuemer knows firsthand that trekking in Patagonia really puts you through your paces, but reaching your goals in this awe-inspiring region of South America has the greatest rewards…
“I know that hiking up a mountain is not for everyone, but bear with me for a moment. The feeling that you get when you have slogged your way up the toughest part of the trail and the perfect lookout point appears from over the ridge, is a particularly special one. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, not to mention privilege, to be in a hard to reach place that is difficult to achieve any other way. Patagonia is a particularly rewarding place to test your endurance and get back into shape (like you have been promising) with the added bonus of breathtaking scenery and the cleanest air imaginable.
Why would a warmth-loving Aussie girl want to pass up her summer, spend two months in mostly freezing temperatures and sail on some of the roughest waters in the world? These questions and more are what we posed to Intrepid’s Responsible Travel Manager, Jane Crouch, who will be joining the Shackleton Epic – a big adventure that includes a re-enactment of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s perilous Antarctic voyage of nearly a century ago…
Q: Congratulations Jane – why did you want to do this?
A: Lots of reasons: there’s no activity that excites me more than participating in a challenging expedition with a purpose in a wilderness environment. I’ve had a long interest in Antarctica, inspired by several friends who have worked there. Some years back I flew over Antarctica and was entranced, but frustrated to not land! Shackleton’s achievements are incredibly inspirational. And to go on a magnificent tall ship, the TS Pelican where ‘everyone is valued as an individual’, sounds fabulous. All the ingredients are there for an amazing voyage of discovery.
Ten travellers with an insatiable thirst for adventure are being offered the chance to follow in the footsteps of legendary British explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton by joining an epic 56-day Antarctic expedition to mark the centenary of his remarkable 1916 polar voyage.
The Shackleton Epic, which will be led by veteran British/Australian explorer Tim Jarvis, aims to be the first expedition ever to recreate Shackleton’s incredible 800-mile nautical voyage across the Southern Ocean from Elephant Island to South Georgia, and his subsequent crossing of the island’s mountains, using a replica lifeboat and only the equipment that was available to Shackleton at the time.
Mount Everest – just the name evokes an air of majesty, danger, exploration and for Intrepid’s Jared Alster, a personal challenge. Would Jared be at the top of his game at altitudes of over 5400 metres (17,700 feet), or would a roll of the dice be his downfall in Nepal?…
“Everest National Park lies within the Khumbu region, home to the Sherpa people. They are renowned the world over for having super-human strength and the ability to climb mountains, like Everest, with relative ease compared to un-acclimatised Westerners. On our expedition, we had one Sirdar, or leader, and about five other Sherpas who would watch after us on our adventure.
Having caught a red eye flight to Marrakech, Karl Thurlow arrived a little fatigued. Not an ideal start to his Active Morocco trip, but he didn’t need to worry because the senses kicked in as soon as he walked through customs and joined the wonderful world of Morocco…
“Riding shotgun in the taxi enroute to Djemaa-el-Fna, the square in the heart of old town Marrakech, my eyes grew large and a healthy smile dawned on my face…oh how good it felt to be back travelling in a foreign land, even if we had just dodged a camel and horse roaming the road. It’s exactly these kind of unexpected sights I love to see and they weren’t confined to the highways.
When you take a trip around Indochina, it doesn’t mean that you need to let your fitness slip. Nicola Gibson is an avid runner and explains how you can easily jog around Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and join the locals in their daily exercise regimes…
“My first tip is to either head out early just before dawn, or at dusk when the sun takes its final rest. Early morning or late in the day the temperatures are often more bearable, plus it’s a more peaceful hour to pound the pavement.
Even if you’re not competitive by nature, when you are egged on by a cheeky sea lion in the Galapagos Islands Summer Davis discovers that you have no choice but to take up the challenge and be thankful that you’ve put in the hard yards in the pool…
“Swirling under a cyclone of bubbles, a spirited sea lion stares sweetly into your snorkel mask, its puppy dog eyes pleading to play with you. Almost twice your size, you freeze with fear, then realise this hefty mammal means no harm as it dives down in circles below you. Let the games begin!