Argentina may be the second biggest country in South America, by area and population, but the World Heritage-listed Parque National Los Glaciares in Patagonia is one of the continent’s most dramatic landscapes. The spectacular region is overwhelming, as Emma Mitterhuemer discovered…
“When people say “moving at a glacial pace”, I will now think of something moving with such incredible, brutal force that it takes with it everything in its path! The Perito Moreno glacier is one of the world’s only advancing glaciers and fills the space between two peaks much like a giant frozen river spilling out into a valley. The glacier is well balanced, advancing around 1.5 metres each day and simultaneously shedding the same amount of ice into South America’s third largest body of fresh water, Lake Argentina.
The Thai language has the second largest alphabet in the world. So while it can be tricky to get your tongue around the local language, Michelle Stucky had no trouble finding the words to describe her Thailand experience…
“Ten days ago we boarded a plane in Indiana for an adventure of a lifetime. Leaving behind everything we were accustomed to including air conditioning, bland foods, and the English language.
The tallest free-standing mountain in the world is one of the 28 finalists for the New 7 Wonders of Nature and we find out in November if Mt Kilimanjaro is voted into the top 7. This incredible mountain may be an inactive strato-volcano, but trekking to the top is one of the world’s greatest active adventures, as Karen Graham can attest…
“At 5895 metres (19,340 feet) above sea level, Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest mountain in Africa. My trek to the top was the most challenging and rewarding experience I’ve ever had, especially due to the spectacular landscapes I encountered en route.
Read Mike Collin’s autobiography, A Few Steps Too Far, and it strikes you that this is one man who has left his indelible footprint on the world. His adventures at home have been many and he’s sought out incredible experiences in a lifetime’s worth of travels. And not one to slow down, in his 78th year it was a combination of good writing and good fortune that led him to an Intrepid Nepal trip. Would this be 3rd time lucky for his attempt at Everest Base Camp?…
“In late 2008 I entered a competition set by the magazine of the Royal Geographic Society to write a five hundred word essay on “That Special Moment” – something that had been a life-changing experience. I have been lucky enough to have several special moments, but the one that really meant something was meeting the elderly Monk in the hills above Taunggi while I was working in Burma. I have tried to portray this meeting in the section above describing my International Red Cross employment. Making something readable and sensible in only 500 words was the challenge of course, but in February ‘09 we were very surprised to hear that I had won the “Mountain” category. The prize was two-fold – an excellent Gore-tex Arc’teryx climbing jacket and a highly subsidised trek to Everest Base Camp and an ascent of Kala Patthar for the incomparable view. – Decision time!
Machu Picchu: one of those magical places that will either render you speechless or cause you to instantly want to put your experience into words. Sean Kennaway was so inspired by his Intrepid adventure that he penned this ode to the Inca Trail…
“The dawn bus rattled over the cobblestone streets of Cuzco
As we ventured towards the Inca town of Ollantaytambo
A trek to the mythical citadel of Machu Picchu was set
Day one of the Inca Trail lay ahead
When you are trekking the Inca Trail at an average altitude of 3700m, it’s very comforting to know that you have a crew keeping you safe, preparing your meals, pitching your tent and carrying the bulk of your load! Of the 500 trekkers a day on the classic Inca Trail trek and on the alternative routes, more than half the trekkers are the guides, cooks and porters who help travellers have an enjoyable trek up to the magnificent and sacred site of Machu Picchu.
The majority of the porters we employ in Peru are from the countryside – simple farmers who supplement their income by working on the trails during the busy months. Most of these people are still pure-blooded Quechua, the people who were governed by the Incas almost 500 years ago. Their first language is Quechua, but many now also speak basic Spanish. Many of their traditions and superstitions have remained unchanged since well before the Spanish arrived.
The remote southern tip of South America is a region rich with tales of conquerors, pirates, resilient natives and brave adventurers. It’s also the setting for our legendary Patagonia Wilderness trip and Emily Mitterhuemer loved spending time in the world’s most southern city…
“Ushuaia is located right on the tip of Argentina on the island of Tierra Del Fuego. It’s not far from Antarctica and the cold is proof of that. A panorama of snow capped mountains hug the town, which sits on the Beagle channel. Wind whips across the channel at high speed and causes the weather to change within hours. It is a place where adventure is in the air and where people flock for a spectacular outdoor experience. Be it hiking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, horse-riding or wildlife watching, you can find it all here.
Mt Kinabalu, as the ubiquitous t-shirts point out, is the highest peak in South East Asia. And although it was working for Intrepid and road-testing a trip that initiated her climb, it was Angela Zuniga’s own will that helped her take each slow step to the top…
“My local guide made sure I had enough water, that I got my permit and that I was relayed onto an experienced mountain guide. Then with my daypack weighed down with warm clothing and slightly unaware of what I was getting myself into, I took my first steps. As had been the advice, I was intent on establishing a slow and steady pace. I told myself my priority was to tackle the climb at a pace that would allow me to appreciate the beautiful Borneo vistas.
Sure, you can plod up a mountain path to get a great view, but Julie McMackin discovered that there is another way to get high in Slovenia…
“I love the reward of the stunning views when I walk a mountain path and climb through the various levels of vegetation to be up in the clouds, where trees shrink and bend with the challenges of living at that height. Sweating and panting every step, the view seems all the better for the personal challenge.