While we’ve been watching the horrific situation unfold in Japan, many of The Intrepid Foundation’s partners have immediately flung themselves into action to help those in the affected areas. Two of these organisations are Plan and WSPA and as these recent reports convey, your help in supporting the people and animals of Japan is desperately needed…
Plan has let us know that their immediate concern is the welfare of tens of thousands of vulnerable children who have been forced to flee their homes with their families, as nearly half a million people are currently living in temporary shelters. Many schools in the northern districts are serving as temporary shelters, including 5 pre-schools and more than 80 primary schools. Plan will initially focus on providing warm clothing, heating equipment, water and sanitation, food, health care, supporting community kitchens, and providing child-friendly spaces for children.
There’s no doubt handle-bar height gives the best view of Vietnam. Cycling gives you a chance to meet the locals in ways that wouldn’t be possible otherwise and as Jo Gilbert discovered, once you rise to the challenge of the roads for the first time, you’ll be freewheeling all the way!…
“Attempting to even walk across the manic streets of Hanoi is a mean feat, but cycling? Standing on the curb in Hanoi, clad in my beautiful new lycra attire and clutching my bright mountain bike, my heart was beating madly and thoughts were racing through my mind. Was I hallucinating when I signed up for this?
In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, with more than 1 million Japanese households still without electricity and with gas and supplies running low for many hundreds of thousands more, we’ve come across a different way of lending a hand to Japan. Intrepid Travel is donating 200 solar lamps.
Illumination and its sister company, Frontier, with the kind support of donors, have pledged to send as many solar lamps to Tokyo as they possibly can to help those families most in need. The lamps were designed for tough African environments, and have also proven to be a perfect emergency lighting solution. Currently, the Mandarin lamps are illuminating low-income households across northern Tanzania.
Any trip to Cambodia wouldn’t be complete without spending time at Angor Wat, but the full complex of ruins is actually scattered over an area of some 160 sq km. So you can imagine why Graham Stanley decided to spend a second day marveling at these amazing archaeological sites…
“Our Intrepid trip included a visit with a local guide to the temples of Angkor Wat. This was amazing, but there are so many temples that it’s impossible to see them in one day, so on our free day a group of us decided to go back into the temples to explore in our own time.
From a sea of candles in Singapore to drinking whisky in the dark in Scotland, at 8.30pm on Saturday, 26 March the world spent an hour reminding ourselves about our impact on the planet and how we can reduce our own carbon emissions.
Earth Hour is your chance to turn off your lights for 60 minutes, then show your support by going beyond the hour to help make our world a better place. Plus this year it was your opportunity to WIN a fantastic Lonely Planet Wildlife Photography book from Intrepid Travel!
To WIN all you had to do was post a Twitter photo of your Earth Hour celebration!
Congratulations to the winners – @ivory_ebony & @vellamalcolm – we loved seeing your Earth Hour photos on Twitter!
Now our global challenge is to go beyond the hour and continue to show our support for action on climate change and sustainability!
Just across the border in Ecuador, and a short distance north of Quito, is a small town where the women are renowned for their remarkable weaving skills and vibrant textiles. Visit mid-week and you might think this to be a quiet village, but as Intrepid’s Summer Davis explains, come the weekend you’ll see the true colours of this Indian market town…
“Rowdy roosters ring in the sunrise as the faint sound of clanging metal and bustling vendors signals Saturday morning in Otavalo. Not yet six o’clock, early risers assure their tables will be set-up before the mayhem of marketing begins.
From Berber robes and bracelets to carpets and ornate treasure chests, there are so many incredible souvenirs to purchase in Morocco, but as Intrepid traveller Casey Wallen discovered, the items and prices become even more appealing when you leave the main tourist thoroughfare …
“Marrakech is a highlight of Morocco for many people and you tend to hear most about Djemaa el-Fna, the main square. During the day there are touts, performers and snake charmers, then at night it transforms into an outdoor food festival. The square is surrounded by souks, otherwise known as local markets, and exploring it all is a fabulous experience, but that is not what I want to share with you.
Local culinary delights and buying special souvenirs are part of the joy of travelling, but there a few principles you can apply to ensure you shop and dine responsibly. Rather than seeking out imported familiar products from home, eat local food and drinks and your money will support the locals. Buy handicrafts and art directly from the makers when you can, instead of from department stores, which may not be locally owned.
The art of bargaining is something you can work on during your trip. Here are a few pointers to help you on your way:
Casey Wallen has explored many regions in Australia, but until recently one state was still to be crossed off her list. At last she has made it to Tasmania and it turns out it was such a fantastic adventure that she’s already planned her next visit…
“We spent 2 days at Cradle Mountain in August (a winter month in Australia) because I wanted to see the iconic mountain dusted with snow. The National Park is ringed with many walking trails that traverse the peaks and valleys. Some of the trails are quite moderate in difficulty but some are very easy – such as the Dove Lake walk that circumnavigates the lake at the base of the Mountain. It is relatively flat the entire way around.