Archive for the 'Rafting' Category

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This February 2023 , TotalAdventure was invited by the Adventure Travel Trade Association to join an ATTA market activation program in collaboration with Alliance de l’Industrie Touristique du Québec and Bonjour Québec and their regional partners.

On February 8th, I arrived back in Montréal for the first time in five years. I had a free. day before the delegation arrived , so I set out to explore the snowy city, which I know fairly well. I walked from our excellent Hotel d’Uville to the beautiful Mont Royal Neighborhood.

‘Notre Dame de Montréal.

A Painting Of Early Quebec settler and First Nations life in Eglise Saint-Jean-Baptiste. It is a very politically charged subject for good reason.

Afterwards I enjoyed an excellent Moules Frites in the Vieux Cite. That evening the rest of the delegation arrived.

Early morning Friday, February 10th, our bus departed for the Lanaudière  Region for the first of several snowshoe adventures. I had not been on snowshoes in 30 years – on the old ones that looked like giant tennis rackets. The new kind are simple and sporty – allowing for fast tracking over very deep snow – usually two meters or more.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Auberge Lac-à-l’Eau-Claire, in Saint-Alexis-des-Mont. Afterwards we went ice-fishing – see in the video above , even getting to eat our catch afterwards , flash cooked on the spot.

Ice Fishing.

At days – end , our crew was welcomed at the Sacacomie Hotel overlooking frozen snowy Lac Sacomie- with. maple whiskey in carved ice shot glasses. After downing the shots ,we threw the shot glasses over the side, towards the lake.

Winter Sunset over the lake.

Early Saturday morning, a bright sunny – 14 C ( about 9 F) we were off and running – with the dogs ! They are pure intelligence, enthusiasm and strength – nothing delights them more than pulling a fully loaded sled through the woods ,across the lakes and over the steep hills. The dogs have small houses – but rarely sleep in them – they prefer the warmth of a burrowed hole in the snow. They eat twice daily – a small breakfast before mushing – then later a large pot of hot meat and water – many calories to sustain their strength.

Eager To Run !

Lac Sacomie

The next morning we were off to Quebec City – truly France in North America.

The Winter Carnaval. Quebecois love the outdoors in winter – they enjoy it as much or more than summer.

Quebec A Nuit.

Here the Fleur de Lis takes precedence over the Maple Leaf.

Above the mighty St.Lawrence – linking the Great Lakes to the Atlantic.

After First Nations storytelling at Ekionkiestha’ longhouse in nearby Wendake, we had incredible First Nations cuisine at their restaurant.

On Monday morning, February 13th, we explored  Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier. First we biked , then we hiked, then biked again. Uphil in every direction — or so it seemed. The snowy forest was spectacular and silent. It was TotalAdventure’s first time Fat Tire Biking. I found it much like being on a stationary bike at the highest setting – great workout.

That afternoon we were day guests at  Hôtel de Glace -rebuilt every winter at Village Vacances Valcartier.

Each guest room has different theme – you can see them all in the video above. One thing in common though – it is cold – the room temperature is about -4 or 25 F. Understandably almost all the clientele are couples.

The season lasts into March . Then a movie shoot will take place before dismantling and forced melting by April. While winter lasts well into April and perhaps May, the warming sun can weaken the structure.

A Cold Way To Fry !

On Valentine’s Day, The Adventurers voyaged to our most remote area of the trip , Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, stretching northward from the St.Lawrence. While some did back country skiing, we did cross country skiing on the Saguenay River.

The water underneath the ice is 100 meters. Fresh water on top and salt down below- allowing a unique opportunity to catch both salt and fresh water fish in the same spot – inside a nice warm hut warmed by a wood stove, where you can cook your catch.

The next two nights were in the igloo village of Imago Village.

Our final day outside was in the Vallée des Fantômes. Named because the forest looks so ghostly in the deep deep snow that covers the five meter trees by more than half.

Cat wheels are the only way mechanized transport can bring people into the park.

On the final day , in Chicitoumi, at La Pulperie de Chicoutimi , TotalAdventure met with Saguenay Adventures already has a trip up on TotalAdventure

TotalAdventure spoke on a panel discussing sustainability requirements . TotalAdventure is highly committed to sustainability with minimal development.

And the next day, we flew from Bagotville to Montréal to our respective destination in the USA or Canada. Only US and Canadian companies were invited to participate. Quebec is ideally situated from fly or drive vacations from the Northeastern USA – it’s only 5 hours from New York, and borders Maine !

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Hondius is the first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel in the world, meeting the latest and highest Lloyd’s Register standards for ice-strengthened cruise ships. Surpassing the requirements of the Polar Code adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Hondius represents the most flexible, advanced, innovative touring vessel in the polar regions, thoroughly optimized for exploratory voyages that provide you the utmost first-hand contact with the Arctic and Antarctica. ( Credit : Oceanwide Expeditions ) Length 107.6 Meters . Can Accommodate 170 Passengers In 80 Cabins. Only 4 years old – launched in 2019.

Observing Five Meter Waves From The Bridge,As We Cross The Drake Passage.

Top Of The Line Navigation – Ensures safe and speedy passage through the Drake and into ice filled Antarctic waters. Antarctic season is from November to April and Arctic season from May to September.

Hearty meals 3 times a day keep explorers energetic and alert for landings on the icy continent.

TotalAdventure’s Antarctic office. Satellite Wifi is extremely expensive and slow- even the ship staff suggest just unplugging. Some passengers used satellite phones and text devices to stay in touch with family. TotalAdventure used the MacBook Pro to review the day’s GoPro video and still photos. It was great to leave the rest of the world behind for 10 days – nothing much had changed by our return to Ushuaia.

Our extremely comfortable cabin on Deck 6. Housekeeping service daily, consistent hot water in shower and very quiet. Large screen with movies and constant update on navigation, daily schedule. The Hondius is an exploration ship, not a cruise ship. No casino ,no disco, though there is a bar in the lounge.

On this voyage we went within 100km of the Circle. The Antarctic Peninsula is the only part of the continent where one can embark upon the actual shoreline – the rest of the coast is surrounded by ice shelves extending many kilometers out.

The Midnight Sun From Deck 8.

On the bow after lunch, en route to the afternoon landing.

The Hondius Lounge – for lectures, a drink at the bar, card playing, and watching the icebergs float by.

For the most part we experienced great early summer weather. Temperatures from – 4 to +6 ,most of the time right around Zero . ( C) There were some light snow accumulations on the ship overnight twice.

Landings are by motorized Zodiac. We had a total of 8 landings in 4 days, with only one destination change due to ice conditions.

From the Stern- Return To Ushuaia – Base Port For The Southern Summer.

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On a beautiful Southern Hemisphere Spring Monday,October 16, TotalAdventure took part in a Day of Adventure , a prelude to the Adventure Travel World Summit 2017 in the high desert city of Salta in Northwest Argentina. Our host was Salta Rafting – they really create an amazing experience!

First our group of 45 adventure company leaders climbed a small mountain in order to reach the first platform – where we flew through the air at 30 mph. ( 55 km) at 150 meters ( 500 feet ) above the river. There were a total of 4 crossings, as seen in the video above.

Afterwards we changed into wetsuits and and rafted the mildly challenging river we had just ziplined across. The rapids were Class 2 and Class 3.

Special Thanks to David Figereau of Ideia Tours in Recife, Brazil for always telling me if the camera ( strapped to TotalAdventure’s head) was rolling. TotalAdventure will soon return to posts from the Bolivia Adventure as soon as we have proper high speed connectivity for video upload.

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From Shanghai we flew two hours South to Guilin – the main city of GuangXi Autonomous Province. Bordering Vietnam, the area has very hot,humid summers and cool foggy winters. Above ,we journey down the Li RIver towards Yangshuo. The cone shaped karst mountains begin here and are prevalent though Northern Vietnam and into Thailand.

On the banks of the Li River in Guilin.

Guilin, at 3 million people, is considered a large town or small city by Chinese standards.

Yangshuo is considered a village, at 300,000.

The area is very fertile,with rice paddies everywhere.

Rich in all cultures.

Some of the world’s most fantastic views.

A Fish Pedicure.

In a Very Peaceful Temple.



Jan 12th
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Sarawak is a Malaysian State on the island of Borneo – home to lost tribes and as yet undiscovered flora and fauna. Besides the Sarawak River, the Baram River, along with the Lupar and the Saribas, are the only way to penetrate the hot and hostile jungles. The Iban tribes, while modernizing, still live mostly in traditional villages.


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2008 saw several trips to the Far South. Above, a forest road in Southern Chile. In March.

Surf in Pichelemu, Chile. March.

Western Argentina highway – March.

Mexico – June.

El Popo Volcano – Mexico , June.

Pie de la Cuesta , Mexico – June.

Pie de la Cuesta , Mexico – June.

Jalapão, Tocantins,Brazil – August.

Jalapão, Tocantins,Brazil – August.

Rafting, Rio Novo ,Brazil – September.

Night forest fire,Jalapão, Tocantins,Brazil – September.

São Paulo,Brazil – September.

Andes crossing – Chile to Argentina – November.

Mendoza, Argentina – November.

Springtime – Mendoza, Argentina – November.

Cafayate, Argentina – November.

Salta, Argentina – November.

Buenos Aires, Argentina – November.

2009 plans include Asia and the Middle East.

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Our final day – with the biggest rapids – Class 4! We hike around Cachoeira Velha about 100 feet high and even walk behind it.

The final rapids are like a roller coaster – it is hard to stay in the boat.

Massimo – the Brazilian Kayak Champion – goes over the Class 4 in his kayak.

After a relaxing swim we board the 4 Elementos truck for the 8 hour ride back to civilization – in Palmas.

At night – back online for the first time in a week – I have heard no news since then – so it is interesting to read about hurricanes in the US, as well as the surprising Republican choice for Vice President.

The next morning we are off to the ATTA/ABETA Summit in São Paulo. Details soon, after everyone has a chance to read about the adventures.



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The morning of September 1st dawns like every other – clear and cool. While daytime temperatures soar to near 38 – 100 F , it is about 14 C – 57 F in the early morning.

We pack up – everything . This is “leave no trace” camping. Even the bonfire is built over a screen in the sand – in the morning the ashes are thrown in the river. Other than footprints , that will be blown away by the wind within an hour – no one would know that a camp of tents and cooking /eating areas was there only hours before.

The rapids today are more frequent and more powerful – up to class 3.

We set up camp at a beautiful river beach – but forest fires flare up throughout the night. Some of the crew puts out the fires with sticks.

Dinner was delicious – pasta followed by flambé, with champagne and red wine.

We saw no people other than our crew the entire day.


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This morning the Korubo truck takes us to join a new expedition, with Quatro Elementos – for a three-day rafting trip down the Rio Novo. In that time we will cover only 60 kilometers, but it will be action packed. Two nights will be spent camping on riverside beaches.

Qautro Elementos is another very professional adventure travel company. It is owned and operated by Massimo Desiati – one time kayaking champion of Brazil . Check out the website HERE.

About 10 AM we set off down the river. These kids were having a Sunday morning swim – they came from a nearby settlement of 150 people.

We are given safety instruction – helmets, preservers and shoes must be on at all times unless otherwise indicated.

The first day featured a small amount of rapids up to Class 2. Other times it was calm enough swim or drift in the fast moving water alongside the raft.

The cargo raft is transporting the very computer I am now blogging on – an ancient G4 iBook that will soon be replaced. Dry bags are used to protect valuables – but that’s no help if they are swept away downstream.

Late afternoon we pitch camp. At night we dine at a farmers house about a kilometer away from the camp. Everything is made of local ingredients, except for the meat since there is no cattle grazing in the area.


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This morning we climb Mirante da Serra – a tabletop mountain that is about 300 meters high. The landscape here, and all over Jalapão is very reminiscent of parts of West Africa – hundreds of millions of years ago it was all one land.

This is explained by the theory of continental drift – and the very obvious fact that the continents of South America and Brazil fit together like pieces of a puzzle. To read more on Continental Drift – CLICK HERE.

We then walked across the Serra – dry scrub with interesting plants – here we see latex dripping from a tree.

At the other end of the Serra, about 5 km from the climbing trail – there were incredible rock formations, similar to those in Arizona and Utah.

Wasp Nest.

State of Bahia in the distance.

The rest of the day was spent swimming and lounging at the base camp.