Our last hike was through Altai Tavan Bogd national park to Malchin Uul, a sacred mountain. Tavan Bogd means Five Saints and refers to the highest peaks there: a tantalising curtain of rock behind the huge and graceful Potanin glacier, on the border with Russia and China. At 4,050 metres, Malchin is the baby of the five; the only one that can be climbed without specialist equipment, its bewitching curves covered in scree from the fracturing of the weather.
Traditionally in Mongolia, mountain guides are male but as our trip progressed Oyunaa became determined to climb. Especially when told by guides we met along the way that the mountain didn’t want her because she was a girl; that she would bring bad luck. Oyunaa was having none of it.
According to the National Geographic, here are some of the things to do in the shadow of Tungurahua, one of South America’s most active volcanoes:
- Swing at the End of the World
- Bathe in hot springs
- Outside adventure: Mountain bike, Zipline, Rappel, Rafting, Bungee
- Hike to Devil’s Cauldron
Picture this. You begin the hike on the wide and well-maintained West Rim Trail. It follows the river and then crosses the bottom of the canyon, surrounded by 270-million-year-old layers of rock. Relaxing, right? Just wait for it. The trail then starts to climb via a series of switchbacks leading up the side of the mountain. Then more switchbacks: 21 tighter turns, called “Walter’s Wiggles,” where elevation levels rapidly increase. Your heartbeat is probably rapidly increasing at this point, too.
On top of Walter’s Wiggles, you can stop for a stunning view (perhaps with a marriage proposal) and a restroom stop while you contemplate the final stretch of the hike. If you’re afraid of heights, it’s best to turn back now. The last stretch is the real test of bravery.
Although a traditional right from ancient times, allemansratten has been part of the Outdoor Recreation Act since 1957. The rules are simple: you can sleep anywhere as long as you stay at least 150m away from the nearest residency, and if you sleep more than two nights in the same place, you must ask the landowner’s permission. Most important, though, is that those who practice allemansratten should have respect for nature, the wildlife and the locals.
Norway is not the only country to practice this ‘right to roam’ law. Other countries include Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Latvia, Austria, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. What separates Norway from the rest, however, is fjellvettreglene.
Fjellvettreglene, which encourages people to have a healthy and respectful relationship with nature, has since become a crucial part of Norwegian culture. It includes points such as planning your trip and reporting wherever you go, bringing necessary equipment to assist yourself and others, always knowing where you are, seeking shelter if necessary and feeling no shame in turning around.
“Fjellvettreglene taught us nature doesn’t care about our egos. We should show as much respect and take as much caution as possible.
Fascination for the outdoors comes naturally to Norwegians because of friluftsliv. Coined in 1859, the philosophical concept of friluftsliv means ‘free-air life’ and is used to illustrate the raw dedication and passion Norwegians have for nature. It equates the sensation of going backpacking in the mountains or camping on the shore with the feeling of being home.
But while friluftsliv encourages people to practice allemansratten and allemansratten encourages the love for friluftsliv, fjellvettreglene is the education to preserve and protect nature.
Lucy Barnard is attempting to set a world record by walking 30,000 km, length of the world, from Argentina to Alaska. If she reaches her goal, the 35 years old Australian will become the first woman to walk that length.
“It’s meant to be 30,000 kilometres but with all the to-ing and fro-ing and getting lost and trying to take shortcuts that end up being far longer, I really couldn’t give you a true number,” Ms Barnard said.
There’s just one rule: she can’t use any motorised transport.
The vast majority of the journey is by foot, but several water crossings along the route require a kayak.
- Mongolian cycling adventure
- Swimming the Greek Cyclades
- Hiking weekend, Bulgaria
- Azores Trail Run
- Vätternrundan Bike Race, Sweden
- SUP tour, Cuba
- Cycling in Umbria, Italy
- Great Wall of China trek
Check the article for the other suggestions.
Heading out on a solo adventure can be one of the most rewarding travel experiences. It also comes with unique challenges. Anna McNuff, Trisha Andres, Emma Thomson, Lois Pryce, and Richard Madden, writing for The Telegraph have put together a list of holidays the intrepid traveller can do alone. Some of the more adventurous include:
- A multi- day hike through Bolivia, starting from the sprawling city of La Paz
- Head off in search of the Northern Lights and explore the wilderness of Finland
- Pedal through the Swiss and Italian Alps
- Horseback riding in Argentina at Estancia La Rosita in northern Argentina
- Meet the tribes of Papua New Guinea
- Dog-sledding across frozen lakes in northern Finland
- Survival skills in the African bush
- Learn to dive in Zanzibar
The Broomway traverses vast sand flats and mud flats that stretch almost unsloped for miles. When the tide goes out at Foulness, it goes out a great distance, revealing shires of sand packed hard enough to support the weight of a walker. When the tide comes back in, though, it comes fast – galloping over the sands quicker than a human can run.
Disorientation is a danger as well as inundation: in mist, rain or fog, it is easy to lose direction in such self-similar terrain, with shining sand extending in all directions. Nor are all of the surfaces that you encounter reliable: there is mud that can trap you and quicksand that can swallow you. But in good weather, following the right route, it can feel nothing more than a walk on a very large beach.