Archive for the 'TotalAdventure' Category

May 3rd
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Hotel de Ville Cayenne

TotalAdventure crossed the Maroni River from Suriname to French Guyana on the morning of March 25. Before dawn, my driver, supplied by the French Embassy, picked me up in Paramaribo and we drove east to Albina , where I went through exit formalities , then boarded the ferry to St.Laurent du Maroni, notorious as the maritime entry point for convicts banished to Devil’s Island and the mainland prison camps.

TotalAdventure has been to 96 countries. Guyane is Department of France, just as Hawaii is a State of the United States. It is as much a part of France as Paris. It is debatable as to whether I can count this as Country 97.

Watch the amazing video above. Cayenne and Devil’s Island !

ColonialCayenne

After flagging down a driver for the 2.5 hour 100 Euro ride to Cayenne I relaxed with a cafe au lait and watched the jungle scenery fly by. The city is mainly old wooden buildings and is very low and swampy. There is a huge shopping mall with a Carrefour superstore. I stayed at the wonderful Hotel Ker Albert. We don’t normally post links to hotels, except where they are very helpful in achieving our mission.

Plage d’Cayenne

The beach above is one of the only beaches in the Guyanas that is swimmable. but one would not fly there just to go to it. The water has almost no salt, as there is river runoff from every river between the Orinoco and the Amazon. It is very muddy and black underneath. Constant trade winds make for good kiteboarding.

Vietnamese and Chinese soups in the Central Market.
French Dinner With Tropical Ingredients At Ker Alberte
Hospital and Lighthouse Ile Royale

The main reason I came to Guyane de France was to explore Devil’s Island. France banished its’ criminals – murderers and rapists, but also chronic petty criminals to a living hell from which few ever returned to mainland France. For good measure, I rewatched Papillon just before the journey.

Condame a Mort

The Iles du Salut – Royale, St. Josepsh and Diable – 10 miles from the mainland via shark infested rip current waters were for the incorrigibles, a prison away from the prison camps. Here is a cell for someone condemned to the guillotine. The bar was to secure a prisoner to his bed at night.

The End.
Worse Than Death – Reclusion

The solitary cells were the end of the line. Total seclusion in darkness and silence for up to five years. For attempted escape, the punishment was 2 years first offense , five years for the second – to be served in addition to the original sentence.

Light was alternated to keep prisoners from going blind . Many went totally insane.
Five Years. No talking, no reading.

Three slats of wood for a bed. No lying or sitting for 15 hours of the day – only standing or pacing. Food was a soup or gruel with a minimum amount of calories to sustain life – reduced by half for violations. No talking, no reading material. Many went mad.

Devil’s Island
Tropical Hell
Capuchin Monkey Ile Royale
Ile Diable

From the islands we returned via catamaran, with jolly French vacationers to Korou – site of the European Space Program. Then back to Cayenne for the evening. TotalAdventure then rose at 4:30 AM, took the van to St. Laurent for a mandatory covid test for both Suriname and the USA. Having missed the ferry, I crossed the Moroni by motorized pirogue to Albina where my Suriname driver was waiting. Back to Paramaribo for a delicious lunch and a 1 AM flight back to Miami.

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TotalAdventure Covered Over 10K Miles , Last Year 15K

In the dark early morning hours of June 28, TotalAdventure once again set out across North America. TotalAdventure was on his way to Portland,Oregon to see his 3 month old Grandson, and also see parts of the 48 States not seen in the Summer of 2020. The continued worldwide COVID crackdowns had eased a bitt, bit still made seamless travel impossible. Even the Canadian border remained closed, and it was hoped it would open in July in time for TotalAdventure’s return to the East.

Florida Sate Capitol Tallahassee

The first 600 miles were high speed and effortless and I arrived in the sleepy Southern town of Tallahassee, which happens to be our capitol. Florida is a large and diverse state . Sophisticated city dwellers of the large International Latin & New Yorker Metropolis 600 miles away do not appreciate being legislated by Bible Belt moralizers. As the joke goes, “Why is the capital of Florida in Alabama ? “

Confederate Graves Selma Alabama

Alabama is a State of the Old South being pulled in seperate ways – those who want to be part of the New South and those who wish to remain in the past.

TotalAdventure spent the night in Montgomery and traveled though Selma the next morning.

Everything From the Pig But Its’Squeal.

TotalAdventure explored the Civil Rights Battlefield city of Selma. Now peaceful, the genteel old buildings are a bit run down. One of the only restaurants in town has some great BBQ !

Pigtails For Lunch.
Birthplace of The King

The next stop of the day was Tupelo, Mississippi, at the Birthplace of Elvis Presley. Not only is it a shrine, but also a National Landmark.

Elvis’ Neighborhood Outhouse

The family was so poor ,the house had no s electricity or running water. The outhouse was shared with 8 other families.

Beale Street,Memphis,Tennessee.

The second day finished up in Memphis ,Tennessee, just across the Mississippi River from Arkansas.

Beale Street Blues

Beale Street, not quite as lively as the French Quarter, was in recovery mode from COVID and music was back on the menu, along with fine BBQ.

I 40 Bridge From Memphis To Arkansas. It was closed due to cracks in the steel.

Most of the the time crossing the Mississippi is on a high steel bridge ,hundreds of feet over the water. TotalAdventure decided to do it Mark Twain style – on a car ferry across the 1.5 mile wide River from Hickman KY to a cornfield 20 miles north of New Madrid MO.

Crossing The Mississippi

One drives off the ramp of the ferry onto a road through miles o Missouri cornfields, , some of which go in circles. Even the map gets confused. Finally we come upon roadsigns. Missouri has lettered routes as well as numbers. The signs are frequently used for high-calibre target practice. New Madrid was the site of one of the most powerful earthquakes in US History. In 1812 and earthquake of 8.2 reversed the flow of the Mississippi, destroyed the town and was felt as far away as New York. It can and will happen again.

Porterhouse -Antoine’s Kansas City

FromNew Madrid it was Westward bound through the hills of the Ozarks. The Ozarks are higher mountains in Arkansas. Watch the video to see the ferry ride and the Ozarks ! At mid day on July 1 I dined on Porterhouse at Antoine’s in downtown Kansas City.

Antoine’s chef took me on a tour of the meat locker. All of it is fresh from Missouri and Kansas organic farms. He actually threw away some very expensive cut that had aged too long.!
Grain Elevator,Kansas

In Kansas City it rained for about 10 minutes. After that, I did not see rain again for the entire trip. After lunch the X 2 did a high speed crossing of the Kansas cornfields.

Many Kansas Towns Have Emptied Out
Flyover Land. Most people only see this from a plane.

Considering the human eye can see 7 miles distant at flat ground level – that’s a lot of corn !

By mid day on Friday July 2, TotalAdventure reached the Rockies at Boulder Colorado. Spnt the night at a lodge at 10,000 feet in Nederland ,where the temperature dropped to 40 at night.

The TotalAdventure X-2 Crosses The Continental Divide For The Third Time. TotalAdventure spent 4th of July Weekend in Aspen. I had also worked there in the Winter of 1979 -giving me the taste for Adventure Travel as I hitchiked around the West.

Last Season’s Snow.
Gas Was Very Expensive In Aspen
The Jerome. Once A Wild West Flophouse, Now A $1200 Per Night Jet Set Hangout.

Only A Week Into The Trip – And Already Crossing Into Utah. From Aspen it was on to Dinosaur National Monument, which is in both Colorado and Utah.

Utah About 100 Million Years Ago.

In Salt Lake City ,stayed at the very nice Little America Hotel and went around the Mormon Temple which was under reconstruction, for the first time since being built by Prophet Joesph Smith.

I then swam in Great Salt Lake, which you can experience in the video. It was amazing to float on top of the water,whcih has ten times the salt volume of an ocean. It is not a pleasurable undertaking, but more of a bucket list thing. Bugs swarm, the water smells and you have to walk half a mile each way in 110 degree heat to actually get to the water. See above.

Bonneville Salt Flats

By late day , almost to the Nevada border, I crossed the Bonneville Salt Flats on 1-80. The world’s fastest car has driven there, breaking the sound barrier at 1,220 km/h (760 mph) set October 15, 1997.

Good Morning Elko.

Spent the night in Elko, Nevada, a poor mans Vegas. TotalAdventure hit a $50 jackpot, which paid for a steak dinner and cocktails.

In the morning the X-2 drove north through the Black Rock Desert, not far from where Burning Man is held. Crossed the line into Oregon at Denio Junction.

After spending the night in the High Desert town of Burns, TotalAdventure passed snow covered Mt.Hood. Still quite a bit of snow considering Portland had been the hottest place on Earth a couple of weeks earlier at 117 degrees.
Willamette River Portland

11 Days and over 4000 miles after leaving Miami, TotalAdventure was in Portland !

Pacific Ocean Oregon

We reached the Westernmost Point of the journey at Tillamook ,Oregon. After 3 trips across the USA in the last 12 months, it was hoped the X2 would journey North through Washington State and on the British Columbia, as a Northern Route home through the Great White North.

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On Saturday afternoon, July 18th, I crossed over the bridge from Superior Wisconsin to Duluth Minnesota. Minnesota was my 46th State and my second new state of the day.

I spent the night in Duluth, a city of low mountains overlooking vast Lake Superior. Though the inhabitants are thoroughly American ,the city has a European look to it.

High Over Lake Superior .Port of Duluth Is Almost 2000 Miles From The Atlantic.

Iron Ore from the Iron Mountains is shipped to steel plants all over the world.

City Hall of Duluth

I stayed at Fitgers Inn, a nice splurge , located in an old brewery.

The Beer Is Pretty Good.

I stopped for lunch in Virginia,Minnesota, heart of the Iron Range.

Hello McFly ? A Town Where Time Stands Still.
Small Government is the Best Government.
The plan was to overnight in Red Lake , but the lake is located in the Sioux Nation and Tribal Elders had declared martial law in order to bar outsiders from entering.I turned around and overnighted in Bemidji instead. Bemidji is where the Mississippi River starts, not much wider than a stream
Bridge To Grand Forks

On Monday morning, July 20th, I crossed the Red River into North Dakota, my 47th State ! The Center of North America ! After an excellent Vietnamese lunch in Grand Forks, I headed out into the farmlands.

Fordville

Miles and miles of soy and beans. Some corn, but this far north there’s only one crop a year. And wheat more than anything.

Amber Waves Of Grain – By September
Back Roads All The Way . Satellite Is A Big Help
Farmer’s Breakfast

I stayed at a hunting and fishing lodge at Devil’s Lake for the night. In the morning I stopped in Esmond and breakfasted at the Esmond Cafe. I ate inside for the first time on the trip. Not one mask in sight, except mine. Everyone very friendly and for most, the first time meeting someone from Miami or New York. COVID was almost nonexistent in North Dakota then, but later the state was devastated, with about 15 % of the population sickened and one in 500 of the population killed.

North Dakota State Capitol – Bismarck

I stopped for lunch in Bismarck ,the capitol. That building is the tallest in North Dakota.

Into The West

In Dickinson I was in the real West. Changed the clock back for the second time in 3 days.

Theodore Rosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a real introduction to a western landscape. Green gives way to brown, flatlands give way to Bad Lands.

A Little Afternoon Delight On The High Plains.
Prairie Dog – Related To Gopher and Marmot.
Slots & Blackjack At Every Bar In The Dakotas
Downtown Deadwood

South of the Park, on US 85, I entered South Dakota , my 48th State ! Spent 2 nights in Deadwood, which was kind of dead, not because of COVID, which people there did not think existed, but because the drinking and gambling town shuts down at 9. Not quite Vegas !

The 4 Greatest !

No words needed to describe Mt.Rushmore. And now – it was time to ride on into Wyoming….

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On the morning of September 10th, I awoke for an early morning dip in the Pacific before heading Eastbound the the Atlantic. Pulling out of my AirBnb Santa Monica garage I was soon eastbound on the 10 and then north on 15 to Las Vegas. Most of this TransContinental Adventure has been off interstates, but they will be used into Utah and again in Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.

The Highlight of the Eastbound Cross Country Would Be Utah ,Exploring 5 National Parks.

Fires raged in the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, sending thick smoke down to I-10. Some of the smoke from all the California and Oregon fires spread all the way to the East Coast ,dimming sunrises in New Jersey. This southern smoke band would follow me. I managed to always be a day ahead of it, until Colorado where I changed my itinerary because of it.

Quick Trip Through Vegas.

Normally I would spend a night in Las Vegas, but the wide open fun loving town is a bit clamped down for the moment due to COVID. In the video you can experience a very quick trip up the Strip. I did stop for some video poker at an empty slot hall in Mesquite, Nevada and walked out $ 30 richer. From there it was about 40 miles across extreme Northwest Arizona to St.George Utah where I would spend the night. Changed from Pacific to Mountain Time.

The Gateway To Arches National Park

The next morning I was up with the sun and off to Zion National Park. It was an introduction to the the incredible Utah geology. On the way I visited Hilldale, on the Arizona border. Hilldale is the town known for the highest number of polygamous families adhering to the original Book of Mormon. I saw groups of wives out shopping together dressed in 1800s style farm dresses and driving pickups.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park was the next stop. Now the temperature changed drastically according to elevation. St.George had been expecting a high of 100 degrees and this evening near Bryce the temperature slipped to 32 – I was glad to have a gas fireplace in my cabin for the night.

In the morning I continued through Bryce and then headed Northeast to Teasdale where I would explore Capitol Reef National Park with an old childhood friend I grew up with in Germany. We took a 6 mile hike up a canyon.You can see all the national parks in the video at the top of the page.

Arches National Park Is Otherworldly !

The final two nights were in Moab – home to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National park. In Canyonlands the X2 did amazingly well on rugged roads, in spite of the warning signs.

Finally I turned around where a spring had flooded a section of road turning it to muck. Without 4WD,I did not want to risk spending $1000 to be towed !

South Central Utah

 Crossing from Utah into Colorado, the smoke from California finally caught up, turning skies from bright Western blue to greyish white and encasing mountains in haze – diminishing prospects for photo and video acquisition.

Telluride – Old West Town, Now A Mini -Aspen.

Highway 50 climbed rapidly higher into the Rockies and by lunchtime I had reached Telluride, for the first time in 30 years. The big changes are to be expected. What was once a laid back Wild West type town with great skiing with a few bars up and down the main drag was now clogged with tourists even in off season September – looking for parking and lining up for $ 6 lattes. Tourism was higher than in the summer when people had been more cautious of COVID.

Rocky Mountain Stream.

The second night in Colorado was spent at the home of an old friend from the East. His wife is an Olympic ski champion.

La Junta Colorado

On Friday September 18th the X2 crossed the Continental Divide. For the next 1000 miles I would be tracking the Arkansas River from its’ glacial small steam origins to the wide river flowing into the Mississippi.

Spent the night in Syracuse,Kansas . The next morning , driving across table top flat land and crossing from Mountain Time to Central Time, I entered my 50th State – Oklahoma !

Near Where Eustace and Muriel live.

I stopped for lunch in the Panhandle town of Guymon and then went on to the Texas Panhandle.

The Big Texan, Home of the Free 72 Ounce Steak.

Stopping in Amarillo for the night, I stayed next door to the Big Texan. In one of my very few indoor meals of the trip, I dined on Rocky Mountain oysters and delicious Texas T-Bone that was about 20 ounces. The 72 oz steak is free if eaten in an hour. That’s 4 1/2 pounds, 2 kilos of meat. It comes with salad and baked potato which also must be consumed. If not finished in one hour the price is $ 72.

I-40 Eastbound the next morning. Back into Oklahoma. At Oklahoma city, the California smoke finally ended and the skies were clear once again, over the rolling Southern Plains.

Bill Clinton Library Little Rock Arkansas

Spent Sunday night in quiet Little Rock and toured the Capitol city the next morning. The Clinton Library , on the Arkansas River is an architectural masterpiece but closed by COVID.

Kibb’s BBQ – Best In The Southland ?

In Stuttgart I stopped for perhaps the best BBQ I’ve ever had with chopped ribs in a sauce that tasted like plums, coffee and super hot spice ! I bought a gallon jug to take home, which I carefully rationed over the next month.

Last Stop – Sarasota Florida !

From Arkansas into Mississippi I began a straight run back to Miami. Overnighting in Hattiesburg and then through Mobile Alabama to Panama City Florida for a swim in the Gulf of Mexico. Across the beautiful Panhandle . Though TotalAdventure has been located in Miami for over 18 years, I have never been to the Panhandle. Overnighted in Perry and then to Sarasota, a surprisingly young and thriving town on the Gulf of Mexico.

Back to Miami for a dive into the Atlantic Ocean. Watch the video above !

Mar 9th
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From Adigrat, Ethiopia , it is only 77 miles ( 120. km) to Asmara, Ethiopia. However, the border has been closed since it formed at independence in 1991, other than a brief period in 2019. Instead of 77 miles, I flew nearly 800 miles on 2 flights, from Mekele to Addis Ababa and then from Addis to Asmara, including a lengthy walk from.the domestic terminal to the international terminal.

There are 4 major languages in Eritrea – Tigrina, Arabic,I talian and English, and 9 local languages.

Arrival In Asmara was relatively smooth. Getting the visa is not easy – I actually had an agency in Washington DC handle it, whereas I normally get them on my own. Asmara Airport has flights to Addis Ababa,Dubai,Khartoum, and Mecca.

Asmara is perhaps the best preserved Art Deco city in the world. It is a 1930s Mussolini era time capsule.

Ave Maria Roman Catholic Cathedral.

Grand Mosque.

Eastern Rite Catholic Church.

Snail mail is still used as internet is extremely slow. TotalAdventure could not even access What’sApp.

An Apothecary.

Dining At Hotel Italia. I was the only customer, but had a great pasta and soup meal with beer for about $ 5 – 75 Nafka.

15 Nafka = 1 USD.

Perhaps The Best Coffee In The World. East African Beans, Italian Style.

Ancient Jewelry For Sale.

Getting Ready For Saturday Night.

The city has a. lively nightlife. This picture was taken on a Saturday morning.

Perhaps The Most Art Deco Building In The World After The Chrysler Building In New. York. Fiat Dealership That Closed In The 1960s Due To War

Imported Angolan Grain.

At the flour mill.

Extreme Deco.

TotalAdventure saw most of Asmara in a day. It is a fascinating place with few foreign visitors, the majority of them Italian.

Feb 25th
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TImkat Epiphany In Holy Gondar. Click Video Above.

Priests Enact The Carrying of Boxes Which Carried The Ark Of The Covenant From Jerusalem To Axum, Ethiopia.

TotalAdventure, a Catholic, went to Ethiopia to explore the origins of Christianity. Dismayed by the ever increasing commercialization of Christmas throughput the world, to the point where religion is barely mentioned ,we decided to go where Christmas is not commercial at all, but a joyous occasion celebrating the arrival of Christ on Earth. Like much of the Christian Orthodox world, Christmas is on January 7th and Epiphany 12 days later on January 19th. Because this year,2020 is a Leap Year Timkat was on January 20th. In the West Epiphany is celebrated as the arrival of the 3 Kings, one from Ethiopia. In Ethiopia Timkat celebrates the Baptism of Jesus Christ. In Gondar’s Emperor Fasilides Baths. After many hours of prayer and singing, male participants will dive in , re enacting the Baptism.

Christianity arrived in Ethiopia by the 4th Century. Traditions and mystical celebrations changed little by the time Ethiopia was effectively cut off from Europe and the Holy Land by the 12th Century. The ceremonies we see here, especially in the video above, are the closest to Original Christianity.

As darkness falls on Timkat Eve, the momentum builds, with prayer, chanting and singing.

Another palace of Gondar.

The Three Kings.

TotalAdventure returned to the Fasilides compound by 5 AM. The Faithful were fervently at prayer.

Monks Sing Around The Baths as they have all night.

Dawn Approaches.

Sahle-Work Zewde, the President of Ethiopia, Came From Addis Ababa To Take Part In The Ceremonies.

Blaine Zuver, Director of TotalAdventure, Is Interviewed For the Ethiopia Herald. Story Here.

Part of The President’s Security Unit. Many soldiers were on patrol as well.

At last , after sunrise, the clarions blow and joyful adherents of The Lord re enact The Baptism.

Timkat 2012 ! (2020) The Ethiopian Calendar is 8 Years Behind The Western Calendar.

A Very Unfortunate Incident Occurred At Timkat. Bamboo bleachers are constructed each year so the crowds can get a view above the walls surrounding the Holy Pool. They are built to accommodate perhaps 200 or 300 people.

Just before sunrise the overloaded structure collapsed. Ten people were killed. More than 200 went to the hospital, some paralyzed for life. The ceremony was disrupted for about an hour, then went on.

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Countryside Scenes In Ethiopia. Click On The Video Above.

As Timkat approaches, the entire country gets into celebration mode. We leave Lalibela on. Saturday – 2 days before. Roadside markets are busting, as people stock up on food for the large family feasts after a 24 hour fast.

A music man in the Highlands playing his masinko. Watch him play on the video above.

Coffee beans growing on the side of the road. Ethiopian Coffee is amongst the best in the world !

A boy brings coffee to market. Rural children work for their families, but not for others as far as we could tell. It’s a necessity that armchair moralists of the West may not understand.

All food is very fresh.

Two sisters off to market.

Restaurant Mountain Vista.

A colorful Injera lunch.Various meats and vegetables, mostly cold.

Injera “flour”

United States help is much appreciated. With 109 million people in a mostly desert country , extra supplies are needed.

A cold Saturday morning, everyone on the way to buy and sell.

Drying grain.

Spices are abundant.

Spices Are Abundant.

Inside a market bar. TotalAdventure was obliged to try some of the local firewater – made from fermented fruit that still had seeds floating in it. Powerful ! Though it was only 9 AM, music was blasting.

Bamboo for sale.

Approaching Gondar.

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Click The Video Above

The two day 500 KM journey from Addis Ababa to Lalibela is rugged and fascinating. Ethiopia is a land harkening to Biblical times, with a few modern twists like cars and smartphones.

The two day

On the first night , TotalAdventure stayed in Kombolcha and posted for the first time to the Magazine. After that , the voyage became too bsuy, exploring and traveling until well past sundown, meals with locals, and slow internet made daily contributions difficult. The next morning, before leaving the city, we passed through a market on the main street.

People walk for miles from the countryside to sell. their wares in the market.

Ethiopian markets have many spices In the US this would be sold in tiny packets for many times the price.

Salt , perhaps from Danakil .

Outside town, Gelada monkeys also shopped for food, asking passerby in cars. While many think the climate must be hot, as Ethiopia in in Africa, we were almost always between 7500 and 11000 feet – 2300m -3400m. In January daytime temperatures were generally in the low 70s F( 21C) to about 40 F at night ( 4C ).

Ethiopia is 33% Islamic and 62%. ( mostly Orthodox) Christian. In general there are no conflicts over religion.

Wheat is pulverized into fine powder by the hooves of oxen.

The powder is used to bake inerja – the ubiquitous bread that accompanies almost every meal in Ethiopia.

What appears to be a towel is the inerja. You use it to scoop up the meat and eat everything.

Evening in Kombolcha.

Sep 7th
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Kyrgyzstan was the final and most adventurous country on TotalAdventure’s Central Asia Expedition. Through membership in the Adventure Travel Trade Association we were introduced to Visit Kyrgyzstan. Visit Kyrgyzstan took us to amazing places impossible to get to on one’s own. Please view the video above to experience our amazing voyage.

We drove from Almaty, Kazakhstan to Karakol. We visited a Uighur inspired mosque, as Xinjiang is only about 150 km distant.

Also, a Siberian style wooden Orthodox Church. Since the demise of the Soviet Union, most Russians have left independent Kyrgyzstan.

Our first overnight stop was in a yurt village on the shores of Lake Issy Kul, a Mile HIgh ( 1607 m) and 182 km in length, ( 114 mi) .

Issy Kuul is an alpine lake in the Tien Shan Mountains, which lead into the Himalayas. Those mountains are 40 miles away.

We also explored an abandoned heavy water nuclear processing plant built in Soviet times.

The next day we went to watch Eagle Hunters. Traditional in the highlands of Central Asia, including Mongolia, young eagles are adopted and trained to hunt in a way to bring the prey to their masters, and they are given large amounts of meat in return. The prey is often rabbit or fox. Rabbit is valuable for its’ delicious, nutritious meat and fur good for making gloves. Fox skin also is prized..

The Eagles stay with their families until they are about 15 and are then returned to the wild. Eagle and master bond closely, much like people and dogs. An Eagle lives to 65 to almost 100 years of age.

The Real Adventure Begins. Four Days Journey In The Tien Shan Mountains To Lake Song Kul.

Visit Kyrgyzstan designed a trip to meet the needs of TotalAdventure. We tend to move quickly, with little time for rest. However, it would make a great trip for adventurous travelers in reasonably good physical shape. Our first day was from outside a town to small rugged yurt camp. The second and third nights were at camps with more comfortable yurts and even hot water showers heated by gas. Visit Kyrgyzstan is the exclusive provider for TotalAdventure in Kyrgyzstan.

Meals are hearty and tasty.

Hot meat dumpling soup . High in the mountains the weather is cold even in summer. Daytime temperatures were in the 50s ( 12 -14 C ) and close to freezing at night. 0 c Warm clothing is essential, but extreme winter gear is not required in summer.

Comfortable Yurts with woodburning stoves.

Kumis – Fermented horse milk with a small amount of alcohol.

Lake Song Kul. Elevation about 10,000 feet, ( 3076 m) Mountains still snow covered on July 1. Snow falls from October to May, year round in higher elevations.

Lake from a high vantage. Our highest point was around 12,500 feet, going over a ridge. Some areas were so steep the horses had to be walked.

My Horse enjoying a well deserved lunch.

Our Leader, Ernist. Also featured – the Go Pro that shoots the videos.

Our last . day was spent in the capital city of Bishkek. before returning to the USA via Istanbul.

Kyrgyzstan is a country that has overcome tremendous challenges posed by the Superpowers that surround it and adaptation to a market economy. Sustainable adventure travel and ecotourism as a big part of the economy. TotalAdventure and Visit Kyrgyzstan look forward to working together to bring travelers to this amazingly beautiful part of the world.

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Vietnam Voyage Is A 23 minute excursion from Saigon to DaNang  by air, from DaNang to Hue by train and then from Hue to Hanoi by air. TotalAdventure explores the main sites of the 4 historic cities with culinary adventures ,such as cobra snake in Hanoi.