Kathmandu is one of the world’s best cities for catching travellers by surprise. Your first arrival is an attack on the senses and as Allison Davies discovers, just being in Nepal can take your breath away…
“Nepal. It’s all about mountains, isn’t it? I think as I step off the plane in Kathmandu. But today the Himalayas play hide and seek behind the clouds. No mountains for me it seems. My friend turns up in a battered Landrover and we turn left out of the airport, beginning our journey to the Terai, a strip of flatlands that run along the edge of the foothills like a border on a sari.
While many travellers avoid the monsoon season, Intrepid’s Chetan Shanker Jha explains why this can be one of the most special times to witness all that is magical in India…
“The earth’s fragrance stifles the nose as the first drop of rain plummets on the leaf and slides its way down to the ground. When you look up, the army of clouds conquers the sun. Somewhere the clouds’ defense fails and there’s a rainbow – it’s just the beginning – the Monsoon has arrived.
After a fantastic Okavango Experience trip with his wife Debbie, John Watkins was inspired to write this great poem about the highs, lows and wonders of Africa…
“My arrival in Johannesburg was a good twelve hours late
And there when greeted by my wife, she was in quite a state.
Debbie said that this was different than just being down the pub,
‘I thought that you were lost somewhere, in the Tanzanian scrub.’
It all started back at Kili, with a plane that wouldn’t start.
So instead of a reunion, we were still left well apart.
For I was stranded up in Kenya, half a content away.
These things often happen here, explanation, T.I.A.
Intrepid is very excited to resume trips in a country where women, such as Queen Shajar al-Durr and Hatshepsut, have shaped history with their wisdom and nerve. Today times may be different, but meeting the women and families who call this ancient land home is what Casey Wallen enjoyed most on Discover Egypt…
“On our Intrepid trip we spent a wonderful night at a homestay in a Nubian village on the banks of the Nile. To get there we set out from Aswan in our felucca, a very popular sailing boat on this river. As we cruised we could view the mud brick houses, almost camouflaged in the sandy landscape, and received cheery waves from farmers tending to their buffalo in the lush fields along the river banks. After a short ride we disembarked on the other side of the river and were greeted by kids who couldn’t wait to show us their clever acrobatics in the refreshing river water.
How many times have you sat next to an elderly woman and before your journey’s end she has extracted your life story? When Yvette Thompson boarded the bus on her Intrepid India trip, little did she expect to meet a lovely local lady who would insist on planning her future…
“We galloped along at an impressive rate, the constant shrill of the horn warning pedestrians en route to get off the track, or beware the consequences. Our bus was packed tight with people: mostly local commuters, plus our dozen of mixed-bag nationalities. As it swerved around the corners our group all held on, white knuckled, constantly jiggling up and down and banging into the persons next to us (there were at least 3 to a seat). Perspiration trickled down the nape of our necks and glued the back of our knees to the vinyl seats.
There is a group of people in the world today who are more persecuted than anyone else, but they are not political or religious activists…They are girls.
Gimse is 14 and a mother of a 3 month old baby girl. She makes her living as a sex worker by the river in Phnom Penh. Gimse lives with her mother who is sick with diabetes and needs daily medication. Gimse is a tough young woman who knows that her mother and daughter depend on her. The work that she does puts her in constant danger and she often faces dangerous situations. But as she says in her own words “screaming out will make the abuse worse.”
A visit to Singapore would not be complete without experiencing High Tea or sampling a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel. Opened in 1887 in an old bungalow known as the Beach House, the Raffles Hotel was named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore.
Over the years it has evolved into one of the worlds most beloved luxury hotels and played host to a swag of celebrities, writers, and royalty. So, Intrepid’s Chotie Moloney decided it was just the place for a travel treat…