Archive for the 'River Journey' Category

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An 80 minute flight on an Air Lao prop plane. We received our visas at the airport and it was off to sleepy Luang Prabang on the Mysterious Mekong. It’s a “city” of pagodas and wats , and a beautiful ride up the Mekong to visit the Pak Ou caves.

On a Sacred Mountaintop.

Lord Buddha Gazes Over All.

Serenity is soon to end , as China connects Laos to the outside world by high speed rail that will run from Kunming to Vientiane and onwards to Bangkok and Singapore, or westwards to London, for that matter.While the USA build walls and excludes outsiders, China is building the Belt and Road Initiative uniting countries from Southern Africa to Eastern Asia and all points in between.

The Gateway To Pak Ou.

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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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A five hour journey from Rio de Janiero, via Brasilia, landed TotalAdventure in Belém – capital of the vast Pará State – about 80 km from the Mouth of The Amazon. The 450 year old Cidade Velho is closest to the River and there is a surprisingly  large modern city with skyscrapers not far inland.

TotalAdventure boarded a ferry for the one hour ride to the river town of Barcarena, which would be a 10 hour car ride by circuitous muddy roads through the jungle. These elevated cabins are not connected to the power grid, but many have generators to run their satellite TV’s.



In the Old City.



Galinhas Comem.


Ver O Peso Market.  Belém has a refreshingly remote feel, with few tourists – yet is only about 6 hours via connecting flights from Miami. For all TotalAdventure’s Brazil Adventures – CLICK HERE.

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2014 was an incredible travel year for ArcticTropic. We explored Myanmar ( Burma), European Russia,Siberia,Mongolia,China,Japan,British Colombia,Canada,Singapore,Philippines and Panama. Here’s 184 clips in 11 minutes. This version is natural sound,a musical version will be uploaded soon.

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Final edit of Go-Pro footage of ArcticTropic’s exploratory voyage across Russia in early Summer 2014. Five days in Moscow , then to Irkutsk,Lake Baikal and Ulan Ude , before crossing into Mongolia.


For Adventures in Russia, CLICK HERE

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From Lake Baikal we made a quick dash back to Irkutsk on the hydrofoil, and caught the Trans Siberian for the overnight run to Ulan Ude. Ulan Ude is the closest Siberian city to Mongolia and boasts the world’s largest Lenin head.

The train leaves Irkutsk at 10 PM and arrives about 6 the next morning. It also passes Lake Baikal’s eastern shore , so would be a beautiful day trip.

The sleeping arrangements are communal but not totally uncomfortable. There is a separate reserved cabin car for those doing the long haul from Moscow to Vladivostok.

Soviet Heroes who defeated the White Army in 1919 helping Communism spread east.

Old city street scene.

Inside an old wooden apartment building.


For adventures in Russia, CLICK HERE

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After flying for over two days – from Miami to New York to Frankfurt to Singapore to Yangon – ArcticTropic then boarded an Air KBZ ATR 72 prop plane to Bagan. I arrived Friday late afternoon on March 14,2014. The temperature was a dusty 104 ( 40 C) when I got off the plane. In the next few days it would get up to 107 in the day, then down to about 78 at night.

A combination of a silent electric scooter and a GoPro strapped to my forehead made for great stealth shooting (video) opportunities. Village inhabitants did not realize my presence till I was already gone.

Baby Burmese.

Crab Curry.


Next Stop – 1948 !

Offerings To Lord Buddha.

Burmese is written in one of the 19 Sanskrit alphabets.

Next Stop – 1648 !

Searing heat bakes the riverbed,now 20 feet above the current waterline. By August this spot will be under 20 feet of water.

Lunch Break.


For adventures in Burma, CLICK HERE

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Sule Wharf in the late afternoon , when riverboats load up with cargo and people, probably many times over their limit,for upriver journeys to Mandalay and Bagan.

Many rivermen live on their boats.

At Sundown the temperature was still 102 degrees ( 39 C ) so it was off to the Strand Hotel for an ice cold Myanmar Beer.


For adventures in Burma, CLICK HERE

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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.