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Hiking

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Explore the Canadian Wilderness with Several of Canada’s Best-Known Explorers

It’s not enough that Canadian Mountain Holidays runs two lodges in some of the most glorious British Columbia mountain ranges, the Bugaboos and Selkirk, where granite peaks and spires pierce the peak over 7,000 feet high. No, it’s not enough that this well-known heli-ski company uses those same helicopters in the summer time to take hikers to trails traversed by far more bear, elk, and caribou than humans. Now you’ll get to explore those same trails in the company of Dr. Joe MacInnis and Dr. Roberta Bondar. MacInnis led the first team of divers under the North Pole and was one of the first to dive the Titanic. Bondar is Canada’s first woman astronaut and a neurologist to boot. Dates are July 24-27 with MacInnis and August 17-20 with Bondar.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/13/10 at 01:00 PM
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Adventures in Madeira

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I like to promote small outfitters from each of their respective countries. After all, who knows their region of the world better than a local? That said, I just received an email from Jhonathan Rodrigues, owner of Adventure Kingdom on the island of Madeira. 35 miles long and 13 miles wide, Madeira is best known for its mountainous interior, with Pico Ruivo rising 6100 feet in the center. Cliffs plummet to the sea from towering heights, ravines are cut into rough and hewn terrain to form more than 40 canyons. Indeed, it’s one of the best locales on Earth to go canyoneering. Adventure Kingdom leads guided jaunts to do just that, along with trekking deep into the heart of the island, and, for the less intrepid, walking along the “Levadas,” irrigation channels built hundreds of years ago, now laced with footpaths.

 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/18/10 at 01:00 PM
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wild China

I had the good fortune to have lunch last week in Boston with Mei Zhang, founder of Wild China. For more than a decade, the Harvard MBA grad has brought visitors to the remote parts of China, telling me that “over 80 percent of travelers to the country see less than 20 percent of the land mass.” More than likely they get a glimpse of the Great Wall in Beijing, go on a Yangtze River cruise, and, if they have time, see the Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China in Xi’an. But what about that impressive mountain and river scenery found in the backdrop of Zhang Yimou films? To immerse yourself in that otherworldly beauty, you’re going to have to sign up for one of Wild China’s trips. Zhang is keen on taking people to her native Yunnan Province, north of Laos and Burma. Here you’ll find centuries-old Hill Tribes making bricks of tea high up in the mountains and the Tea & Horse Caravan Trail, a southern Silk Route still being used that links southwestern China with Tibet. The trade route will be featured in the May issue of National Geographic, a perfect time to take the weeklong jaunt with Wild China, according to Zhang. She also offers hiking trips on the 19th-centruy French Explorers’ Route, along the Mekong and Salween Rivers, and trekking in the heart of Shangri-La.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/16/10 at 01:00 PM
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Dream Trips 2010, Hiking the Milford Track, South Island, New Zealand

It’s 2010, my friends. A fresh new decade to achieve those goals and check off the places you’ve been yearning to see. You can cower in a corner fearful of the next Al Qaeda operative, count your remaining pennies in the piggy bank, or leave the world’s worries behind and go on that dream trip. I prefer the latter. This week, I delve into the adventures I’m trying to fit into my calendar this year.

When I visited New Zealand on my last trip, I made the mistake of not booking the 4-day Milford Track. The country limits the number of hikers to 10,000. So this July, I’ll be the first on line to get my permit and hike this glorious route later in the year. The hiking season stems from late October to late April. Avoid the rush of Christmas school holidays from the last week of December through January. Set in the South Island’s Fjordland National Park, the Milford Track is a rite of passage for Kiwis. The 33-mile trail weaves through rainforest and alpine meadows, passing the country’s tallest waterfall, and dumping you off at the striking fjords of Milford Sound. I've cruised through these fhords before and they're spectacular, an amazing spot to end a hike.


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/11/10 at 02:00 PM
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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

My Top 5 Adventures in 2009, Climbing Masada, Israel

This past January, almost exactly a year ago, my family spent several weeks in Israel. On our final day, we drove south of Jerusalem past Bedouin villages into the rolling hills of the Judean desert. This is where you find the mountain fortress, Masada, known as the site where the Israelites committed mass suicide rather than serve as slaves to the Romans in 73 A.D. Climbing Masada is a rite of passage for most people heading to the country. Fortunately it was January, so the heat wasn’t too bad as my daughter Melanie counted all 865 steps to the summit. As a reward for the hike, we brought the kids for a swim in the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth. It was late in the day, the waters were rough, and we forgot our towels. No one seemed to care as we floated in the salty sea, staring at the mountainous ridges of Jordan on the opposite shores. See the full story in The Boston Globe.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/05/10 at 02:00 PM
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photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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