If you don’t have the time, fitness or inclination to scale a mountain, then these book recommendations from Sean Jones will make you feel like you are taking each step with the authors…
“If I filled my backpack with all my best-loved travel books then I would need a team of sherpas to carry the load! However here are a few of my favourites:
Someone once said “there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” While the sentiment is admirable, you’ll notice in China that it’s no longer entirely accurate thanks to the introduction of cable cars. Yes, even the highest of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains can be reached the quick way, but as Lucy Hordern discovered if you take the traditional route you definitely won’t regret it…
“Anyone who has experienced smog in a city in China will understand the urgency with which one needs fresh air! Emeishan is a World Heritage-listed sacred Buddhist mountain near Chengdu, in Sichuan Province. It takes 3 days to make this pilgrimage and the altitude makes the going tough and the cobblestone steps are steep. BUT it is worth every step!
Have you ever experienced a visual overload? Something so different to anything else you’ve ever seen (or heard for that matter) that five years on you’re still unable to believe you were there? That was Rio Carnival for Intrepid’s Eliza Anderson…
“It was a sight so out of this world that I’m still getting flashes of the colour and vibrancy of the most amazing four hours of my life. Flashbacks of the fireworks exploding from the back of our float and wow, I’d almost forgotten about the transvestite ballerinas! For anyone who travels to Rio during Carnival I can promise you that the experience will be unforgettable.
My experience was somewhat unique, in that I really shook my tail feather, literally, on a float!
After weeks on the road we understand if you start to feel comfortable enough with your travel companions to let yourself go a little. But when the shaggy hair and holiday beard becomes too much, Intrepid’s Boris ‘Bob’ Golodets knows a local character who you’ll love to meet…
“Towards the end of a month-long Silk Road Journey I was in the ancient Uzbek city of Bukhara and badly in need of a haircut. I spotted a barber nearby our hotel and asked him for a trim. He was so skilled that then I asked him to shave me. To my surprise he did it with the traditional razor – being shaved the first time in my life by a big sharp blade was a little scary, but that’s what we call real life experiences, right?
One of the things that Denis Sobnakov loves most about being an Intrepid group leader is introducing travellers to inspiring local characters. Mongolia is a perfect example of how in one day you can come away with a lasting impression of a country and its people…
“Despite being a gorgeous and wonderful land, nowadays Mongolia has a lot of social issues that are not easy to overcome in a hurry. One of the biggest problems is the high rate of abandoned kids. Fortunately there are some generous people who have made it their priority to help the local community, like those who run Lotus Children’s Centre.
There are millions of local characters with fascinating stories to share and Intrepid’s Efrat Margalit loved getting to know one young man from Uzbekistan…
“Muzafar’s parents were born in Iran. Muzafar (a.k.a Raza) was born in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Like any other Uzbek guy in his early twenties, Raza wanted to get married. In order to find a good wife from a well-respected family, Raza had to have some property and money to offer. For the first time in his life he left his family and Samarkand behind and followed many other Uzbek men to Dubai in search of fortune.
At Intrepid, we’re always on the lookout for inspiring adventures and travel stories. And right now, what’s really got us thinking is “what inspires us to travel?” So we asked our staff a few questions on what, or who, is the motivation behind their most memorable escapes.
It turns out our team has a lot in common when it comes to certain things, like art and history – the majority of people quizzed would pick London, New York, Paris and Berlin as their top picks for galleries, and as for iconic people, there was definitely a trend for Mandela, Shackleton and Che Guevara-inspired adventures.
Intrepid provides travellers with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The Reef is one of the most inspiring places on earth, which makes it even harder to believe that a place as beautiful and precious as the Great Barrier Reef is currently under threat due to the ever-expanding coal export industry.
Current plans to build a series of coal mega mines running the length of the Great Barrier Reef not only spell disaster for this fragile ecosystem, but also for the global climate as a whole.
If you’ve been looking for a reason to visit Jordan, then this is the year! 2012 marks the 200th anniversary of the re-discovery iconic Petra and the whole country is celebrating. But the excitement and inspiration doesn’t stop there, as Lauren Jones discovered on her Intrepid trip…
“The first day of our Jordan adventure and we’re driving into the desert of Wadi Rum. As opposed to endless drifting sand hills, Wadi Rum is a beautiful and bizarre landscape of sand valleys (wadis) sunk beneath huge stone monoliths. We leave the bus behind and switch to 4WD jeeps for a bouncy ride that changes by the minute as we navigate these giants. The rocks have innumerable variations, from cliffs upon which the sand dunes break and build to sandstone crevasses of cool shade, where wind and rain have conspired to melt the rock into wedding-cake formations.