Always wondered it’s really like in Antarctica? It’s wild and windswept, but far from being a wasteland. It is a destination for the most intrepid of souls and Vicky Marin rates it as one of her most amazing adventures…
“Antarctica to me was always a dream destination and I finally had a chance to see the dream up close and personal. One of my favourite memories was when we visited a rookery of Gentoo penguins. This particular breed of penguin is quite sociable. One curious bird approached me and nibbled at my boots and pants. I smiled and snapped a few close-ups of my new friend.
It’s just 5 weeks to the end of The Intrepid Foundation’s financial year – a time when we tally up all the travellers’ donations received in the last 12 months and Intrepid Travel doubles it by matching donations. Then we speak with 50 fabulous organisations to let them know the good news of how much of their work we are able to support. Jane Crouch, Intrepid’s Responsible Travel Manager, shares the joy of this role…
“I was just talking with the ever-smiling Rith, from Ptea Teuk Dong in Battambang, Cambodia, yesterday and he gave me an update on their marvellous vocational programs for vulnerable young women in their community. Their programs include literacy, vegetable cultivation, sewing and weaving, as well as hospitality training. Rith says they have approximately 30 girls in their programs now, but the demand and need is huge, and with more funding they can build their capacity to take up to 80 girls.
Ancient ruins, windswept rock sculptures and a wild yet welcoming desert culture – this is the wonder of Jordan and why the remarkable country left such a lasting impression on Intrepid traveller Tori Salman…
“From the moment we enter the narrow, winding passageway called the Siq, I can barely contain my excitement. I’ve been dreaming of visiting Petra for years, and it is finally happening!
There are those stand-out travel moments when we meet someone who has an incredible impact on our appreciation of a place and an understanding of its people. Aaron Davis had one of those profound experiences, when with Intrepid he met Kei san in Japan…
“I have been affected by radiation.” Not a sentence I ever thought I’d hear someone say, but in Hiroshima I got to meet and talk to a hibakusha, a survivor of the A-bomb. Kei san is a most remarkable man with a wonderful outlook on life. He was 16 years old when the bomb was dropped and by a stroke of pure luck he was in school in Hiroshima at the time, which offered some defence from the heat and radiation blast.
Less than an hour from Irkutsk, it’s no wonder many Russian and international visitors love visiting Lystvyanka. The village is in the stunning Lake Baikal region, but Intrepid’s Boris Golodets introduces us to another special local attraction…
“Sveta is a vendor at the local village market in Lystvyanka. She has her stall right at the end of the market and not many people notice her in the back corner. In case you’re there – look out for the lady wearing her yellow hat when it’s cold. Seller Sveta lives in Irkutsk and each morning takes a very early public bus to come to the market and returns home late in the evening.
Kyila was raised in a remote village on the Tibetan plateau. Her father, her twin brothers and Kyila were all born blind. Villagers believed that the family were cursed. “Children didn’t want to play with us,” Kyila says, “adults would throw old food on our doorstep.” Today Kyila is the founder and principle of the first integrative kindergarten in China.
Here she teaches blind and sighted children to become confident, critical and alert little thinkers. “I want to prove that blindness is not a punishment! I am educated, I have travelled the world and I am the richest woman in my village, and this because I am blind.”
A word of caution, don’t come between an Intrepid traveller and their food! Intrepid’s Ella Benjamin not only loves trying new dishes when she’s travelling, but she plans her itinerary around the best local food and beverages…
“For me, like so many other travellers, food is one of the top priorities when visiting a new country. I remember reacting in horror when a friend of mine casually mentioned that several times on her Italy trip she had been so busy that she had forgotten to eat lunch. How can you possibly FORGET to eat, in Italy of all places?
Intrepid’s Susan English has seen the world’s 3 biggest waterfalls, swam in the 3 biggest oceans and climbed the highest peaks in Australia, South East Asia and Africa. But she was obsessed with one niggling omission on her bucket list and for that she had to travel to Africa…
“My quest? To tick off the ‘Big Five’. Even though I’m not a fan of the term, since it’s a throwback to days when these animals were the hardest to hunt on foot, I was desperate to see lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros in the wild. Imagine watching a lion patiently stalk its prey, or seeing our planet’s largest land mammal foraging for food and snapping tree trunks like toothpicks!
Steve Davey is consumed by his love of photography and he’s managed to successfully make this passion his career. We asked this world-renowned travel writer and photographer for his tips on one of the more tricky aspects of digital photography, the perplexities of post-production…
“Post-producing digital images has gained something of a bad reputation. Some people think that it is time-consuming, other that it is too difficult, and some simply dismiss it as cheating. But post-production on a computer is an integral part of digital imaging. It might involve subtle changes or more significant edits. Don’t think of it as cheating though, consider it in the same way that film photographers used to think about printing in the darkroom: an integral part of the process and a chance to take a good image and make it better.