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Multisport Adventure

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bhutan or Bust

One of the biggest trends in travel right now is the increasingly popular multisport trip. Head off to a country and then try as many activities as possible, from hiking, to biking, to whitewater rafting. This has proven to be a huge success in places like Costa Rica which has a great mix of mountains, rivers, and ocean. Now Uma Paro in Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is entering into the mix. From July 6-13 and August 31-September 6, they are offering a weeklong adventure featuring rafting, biking, archery, and fly-fishing. The bike ride sounds like an incredible thrill. Guests are dropped off at the top of Chele La at 12,500 feet, Bhutan’s highest road pass. After taking in the magnificent views towards Mt. Jhomolhari standing at a mere 24,000 feet, you enjoy a 22-mile downhill run all the way back to Paro. You’ll also get to do a morning Puja (pilgrimage) to a local monastery.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/17/10 at 02:00 PM
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Active New Zealand

For thirty years, Active New Zealand has offered their signature Rimu trip. They’ve obviously doing something right because National Geographic Adventure called it one of the top 10 trips in the world. The location certainly doesn’t hurt. The two-week jaunt goes around the South Island of New Zealand. Start with a snorkel with the local seal colony at the seaside town of Kaikoura, then choose between three multi-day offerings: backpacking in Nelson Lakes National Park, sea kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds, or a mountain biking journey on the Queen Charlotte Track. The group reunites for a stroll in the Punakaiki Rainforest, before hiking at Franz Josef Glacier, and sea kayaking amidst the fjords of Milford Sound. I’ve been to the last three sites and even though it was close to 20 years ago, I still remember it vividly as some of the most stunning scenery I’ve seen on my travels. There are three upcoming trips in April, early fall in the Southern Hemisphere, so it’s a great time of year to go. Cost is $3399 US per person including guides, all lodging, and food.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/11/10 at 02:00 PM
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Top 5 Beaches in New England to Be Active: Multisport East Beach, Rhode Island

For the hardcore jock, we’ve created your own personal triathlon. Start at the western end of East Beach, one of the wildest stretches of sand in Little Rhody. You’ll be swimming for 3.5 miles to the Charlestown Breachway. Don’t worry. This is not Cape Cod or Maine ocean water. Touched by the Gulf Stream, temps here can reach a downright balmy 70 degrees. At the Breachway, your canoe will be waiting to take you across the state’s largest coastal pond, Ninigret, to the shores of Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge. Keep on paddling and don’t even think of reaching for those binocs to view the more than 250 recorded species of birds. The Refuge has more than three miles of trails to walk on, but we expect you to sprint.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/25/10 at 12:59 PM
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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kids Fly Free to Fiji

If you ever wanted to snorkel or scuba with the kids on Fiji’s legendary rainbow colored reef, or feel like venturing on a sea kayaking jaunt through the islands, now would be a good time. Air Pacific has just announced a “Kids Fly Free” program for travel from September 1, 2010 to February 28, 2011, with blackout dates over Christmas. One child flies free for each adult. I’ve been working as a travel writer for more than two decades and I have to say that Fiji is definitely in my Top 5 list of countries. The terrain is spectacular, but it’s the incredibly friendly and genuine people who really make the place. I’ve written about the islands extensively. Try these for starters.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/30/10 at 01:00 PM
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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Adventure Cruises, No Longer an Oxymoron

I’m in the midst of writing a story for The Boston Globe on how cruise lines are adding more and more active shore excursions for their clientele. For years, cruise lines were the antithesis of an active lifestyle, catering to a sedentary clientele who were far more fixated on the buffet tables. That’s changed dramatically in the past 3 to 5 years. Cruise brokers like Todd Smith, owner of AdventureSmithExplorations, feature small cruise lines whose specialty is getting people off the ship for a dose of adventure. Next spring, they’re unveiling two ships in Alaska, the M/V Wilderness Adventurer and M/V Wilderness Discoverer, that will feature overnight hiking and sea kayaking jaunts, white water rafting, and fishing charters that pick you up right from the boat. Each ship only carries 49 passengers, which helps them cater to your every whim.

 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/08/10 at 01:00 PM
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Favorite Fall Foliage Outings in Vermont

The last week in September is prime foliage colors in northern Vermont. Then the color change makes its way south through the state, peaking around Columbus Day. Having written more than 100 stories and close to a dozen book chapters on the state, these are a handful of my favorite outings: mountain biking the Kingdom Trails in East Burke, roaming (or biking) the Trapp Family Lodge grounds in Stowe, hiking Camel’s Hump, stopping at the Warren Country Store for a sandwich, paddling Lowell Lake near Stratton, road biking along the shores of Lake Champlain on Button Bay Road, going for a hawk walk at the Equinox, walking around the historic town of Grafton, biking along the Ottauquechee River in Taftsville, and as I mentioned last week, dining at the Simon Pearce restaurant in Quechee.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/27/10 at 01:00 PM
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

REI Adventures Across the Globe

Most people know REI as a place to purchase all their outdoor garb and equipment. Few active travelers realize the Seattle-based company also has been offering human-powered outdoor adventures since 1987. Rated on a scale of one (relaxed) to five (strenuous), these guided trips are far more reasonably priced compared to their competition. They just came out with their list of 2011 trips, which include a 10-day jaunt biking around Portugal and Spain to hiking in Utah’s Arches & Canyonlands National Parks to four days of mountain biking in the Sonoran Desert (only $675 including camping equipment, bike rentals, and most meals).
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/28/10 at 01:00 PM
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Couple Paddles the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and Hikes the Appalachian Trail…in the Same Summer!

In August, I had an assignment to write about an inn-to-inn bike trip in Vermont. After biking up and down short steep hills for a good 40 miles, I arrived at the first inn exhausted but proud of my accomplishment. That was until the owner of the B&B told me that she had another biker who just came through last week, one who was biking the entire country from Seattle to Boston! That’s what I thought about when I first read about Catherine and Ryan Thompson, from Old Forge, New York. On April 15th, they began paddling the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail and arrived at the northern terminus of Fort Kent on May 10th. An incredible feat for most humans, but that was just the beginning for the Thompsons. After completing their paddle, they walked 100 miles to Baxter State Park and started the Appalachian Trail. They completed the 2,179-mile trail last Thursday! As they said in their final blog entry, “We made quite a scene at the summit. Poles were flying in the air, as well as Toofpick's pack. It came down with a thud - a satisfying thud that signaled our end. It was a burst of celebration, and then suddenly we were standing there in silence. We were there...” Congratulations! You deserve a Couples Massage!
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/30/10 at 01:00 PM
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adventure in Halong Bay, Vietnam

A World Heritage Site, Halong Bay is known for its limestone karsts that jut up from sea making this one of the most striking cruise destinations in the world. But if you read my recent article in The Boston Globe, you’d know that any place that has cruises now offers adventure. Emeraude Classic Cruises has teamed with Slo Pony Adventures, owned by an American duo, to offer a three-day, two-night cruise in Halong Bay. Sure, you’ll get to sit back and marvel at the spectacle with gin and tonic in hand. That’s a reward for the daily dose of adventure that includes sea kayaking, rock climbing, and trekking through Butterfly Valley in the National Park to find waterfalls hidden in the lush terrain.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/11/11 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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