Archive for the 'Views' Category

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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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The Mergui Archipelago is one of the last untouched tropical paradises on Earth. Only a few hundred miles from the packed tourist hotspots of Phuket and Ko Samui, Thailand – there has been almost no development here. The Archipelago was paced off limits to outsiders – even citizens of Burma – by the government for over 50 years. The 800 islands receive only 2000 visitors a year – mostly divers . One must obtain a permit ( in addition to the visa ) from the Ministry of Tourism .

ArcticTropic stayed at the Myanmar Andaman Resort ( Some Good Pictures ). Comfortable bungalows with air conditioning. I was one of 3 guests there.

Macleod Island ( many of the islands still retain their old British names ) is not easy to get to . One must fly from Yangon via Air KBZ. The fight stops in Yawe and Miyek along the way to Kawthaung. Foreigners are not allowed to drive north of Kawthaung, the southernmost point in Myanmar. After numerous formalities the resort will transport you by speedboat – a 2 to 3 hour journey ,depending on waves. It is also possible to take a ferry from Ranong,Thailand to Kawthaung.

 

For adventures in Burma, CLICK HERE

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One week in Namibia barely scratches the surface. ArcticTropic was there in October, 2013 for the Adventure Travel Trade Association annual conferences in the capital city of Windhoek and the small seaside city of Swakopmund. At least weeks is needed to see the country properly.

 

For adventures in Namibia, CLICK HERE

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After Namibia , ArcticTropic had less than a week to explore the vast territory of South Africa. 3 days in Cape Town was plenty, but the 1000 mile,1600 km journey back to Johannesburg via the Wynlands,the Great Karoo and the South Coast was quite a feat, meaning many hours in the car.

 

For adventures in South Africa, CLICK HERE

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On a hot spring afternoon in Namib Naukluft Park, ArcticTropic and fellow adventurer travel companies embarked on a horse safari covering many kilometers in the desert. THe trip was organized by Chameleon Holidays Travel in conjunction with the ATTA Summit. An edited version of this adventure is soon to follow – this is raw footage.

 

For adventures in Namibia, CLICK HERE

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Coming down 1050m ( 4000 ft) Table Mountain in Cape Town on a beautiful spring morning n November,2013. Cape Town had just exited a long cold winter that saw snow on top of the mountain for the first time in many years Edited footage will soon be available.

 

For adventures in South Africa, CLICK HERE

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Looking slightly out of place Swakopmund is thoroughly German town that looks as if it could be a neighborhood in Hamburg or Bremen, but instead is one of the remotest ” cities ” in the world perched between the barren sand dunes of the Kalahari and the frigid South Atlantic Ocean. Along with nearby Walvis Bay it is 200 miles from the next town and is one of the only settlements between Angola and South Africa.

Der Kaiser is fondly remembered.

German Southwest Africa was taken over by the British Empire after World War !, but German is still spoken today all throughout Namibia in additoin to English , Afrikaans and many local languages.

A lighthouse warns ships away from the treacherous Skeleton Coast.

Just past the town line. Truly one of the Ends of the Earth.

 

For adventures in South Africa, CLICK HERE

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Mongolia – with only 2.5 million people in 600,000 spare miles is the most sparsely populated country on Earth. The center of the Asian Continent is an empty spot on the globe !

 

For more adventures in Mongolia, CLICK HERE

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The GoPro headmount is a great way to capture the reality of a walk along the Great Wall at Jingshangling.

 

For adventures in China, CLICK HERE