When travelling to Tibet, My Journey to Lhasa was a book Intrepid’s Anastasia Kozak simply had to take with her and following in the author’s footsteps was an adventure of the mind, body and spirit…
“Alexandra David-Nell’s bio makes impressive reading: a French traveller, writer, and mystic who was fluent in Sanscrit, Tibetan, and Buddhist philosophy. She was the first western woman to ever enter the forbidden city of Lhasa and receive an audience with the Dalai Lama. Disguised as a Tibetan pilgrim, she walked for four months in the middle of winter, oftentimes sleeping outdoors without even the protection of a tent and subsisting on the simple Tibetan staples of “tsampa”, barley flour, and yak butter tea. I brought her sensational account, My Journey to Lhasa, to read on my own adventure in Tibet, visiting famous monasteries from Lhasa to Kathmandu.
There’s so much happening on Intrepid’s Central Explorer trip that we recorded it on video. Our stunning Intrepid Central Australia video tells it like it is and we hear from the now Intrepid traveller, Clive Berry, to find out about his Australian 4WD adventure in front of the camera…
“DJ had been searching the internet for ideas for a trip when she stumbled across an advert for a holiday to anyone who was available at short notice to travel to the Red Centre of Australia. So after posting an email, along with photos and a short profile of ourselves, a prompt reply came back from Intrepid explaining what would be involved. They wanted someone to take part in creating a DVD that would go out with their brochures. “It wouldn’t cost a penny – flights, insurance, transfers and all food would be provided, you just have to be available in 2 weeks time. All we want you to do is say a few words to camera about your experience and we will take photos of you doing some the activities.”
Yeah right! Now I have always held the opinion that you don’t get anything for nothing in this world. Sceptical as ever I suggested to DJ that it was probably some timeshare scam and we would be lucky to get home with both our kidneys in tact. A short time later Sally from Intrepid called and explained that it was all legitimate and no organs were to be donated!
Intrepid’s Kate McLean is a massive animal lover. She travelled to Uganda to see the gorillas, trekked in Thailand to reach an elephant camp and even searched Spain to spot the elusive Wild Mountain Bear! But it was in Switzerland that she found a special fluffy travelling companion…
“Some time ago, I was travelling through Europe with my husband. Whenever we got the chance we would make friends with someone’s pet dog on the train, in a cafe, in a park or wherever we could! It was all fairly innocent, until we got to Switzerland. Here I fell in love with the most gorgeous dog I had ever seen – a Bernese Mountain Dog! They are huge tri-coloured dogs, with massive paws and a smiling face, always affectionate and happy to be given a scratch under the chin.
Some Intrepid groups have a signature song because the catchy tune is playing everywhere they go, or they might all end up buying similar coloured hats in a village market, but a group led by Aaron Davis ended up with a too-cute dog who became group member number 13…
“Bashukway joined our group in China a few years ago. Not such a little mascot, the larger than life fluffy dog cut a funny figure at group meals and overnight train rides.
Purchased in a Xian club that our group was enjoying for 80 yuan, or in Mandarin, “ba shu kway”. Bashukway now lives with me in Tokyo, having travelled on all modes of transport – train, bus, sea ferry, tram and plane – through Korea and Hong Kong as well as much of mainland China.
In Japan Bashukway can often be seen out and about at many famous sites, joining the odd Intrepid group and competing with all things cute and cuddly. He joined Japan Active Adventure earlier this year and was hoping to make his first Fuji climb, but conditions didn’t suit his chubby frame and instead he did some of the less strenuous activities with the group.
He is looking forward to maybe trying again in April, when the mountain sheds its winter coast and you can spy the famous summit through the picturesque cherry blossom.”
At Intrepid we figure fundraising should be fun and our Intrepid Cambodia team put that into action when they raised money for the Sala Bai Hotel School For Underprivileged Cambodians. Jane Dearden, Responsible Travel Coordinator Cambodia, tells how Team Intrepid enjoyed the recent festival and managed to stay afloat for a good cause…
“After a gruelling week of rowing training and only once upturning our boat, our team felt like we were dreaming the three words ‘Muy, pii bei’! The Cambodian cry of ‘one, two, three’ signalled the start of our daily training ritual for the annual Bonn Om Touk in Siem Reap.
Wow! The race weekend finally arrived and suddenly the once quiet river banks were overflowing with Khmers ready to celebrate the Moon and Water Festival.
The weeks surrounding the summer solstice in northern Russia are known as the ‘White Nights’, when the sun barely sets and the country celebrates its round-the-clock glow.
From May to July each year St Petersburg basks in the cultural light of ballet, opera and musical events. While in more remote regions the festivities may be a little less flamboyant, as Intrepid’s Tara Kennaway discovered, seeing the sun almost set on Solovki is a very special experience…
“It’s 2am and the sun is only just starting to set, streaking the sky with strips of pink and purple which reflect on the waters of the lake and mingle with the image of the 12th century monastery that stands in front of us. This is summer on the Solovetsky Islands and White Nights celebrations are in full swing.