“Oooh, Machu Picchu!” Even my mom caught the hype when I told her we were headed there last week. As excited as she’s been about our travels, I think that was the first "Oooh!" of our trip she ever uttered.We kept our expectations low, however. Maybe it’s our reflex reaction to the prevailing travel wisdom: “Machu Picchu is the granddaddy of South American … [Read more...]
Favorite Treks from Around the World
A collection of our favorite treks from around the world, including unusual or offbeat treks that you may not have heard of before, but perhaps should consider for the stunning landscapes and immersive, cultural experiences. Many of the articles below are comprehensive "Beginner's Guides" that provide you with all you need to know to plan and prepare for the trek, from difficulty level to packing.
The weight of my backpack at 5:00 AM was brutal: 9 liters of water, 1 sleeping bag, and sundry other camping bits and bobs. And I was one of the lucky ones. Dan carried all that plus an old school (read: heavy) four-person tent.Even at this hour, it was steamy. Under the weight of my pack, I was glazed in sweat before we reached the crossroads for the chicken … [Read more...]
Nepal's Annapurna Circuit trek didn’t make the first cut of our respective **25 Things To Do Before I Die lists. But maybe it should have.With bathroom books like 1000 Places To See Before You Die serving as life-prescriptive authorities, we’re hesitant to describe anything as a “must-do life experience.” “Must-do” sounds presumptuous and “life experience” … [Read more...]
Though we are not mountaineers, we have done our share of trekking. Then, just last week, we came off a 15-day trek in the Himalayas in Nepal that looked and felt something like a “best of” of our previous treks. We would like to think that’s saying something, what with journeys in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Burma and bits of the western United States under … [Read more...]
When you get there, you'll meet the Afghan at the telephone pole.These instructions given to us in Mestia by the Svaneti Mountaineering Tourism Center left us baffled. Is our mountain guide a member of the Mujahideen who’d lost his way and made his home in the mountains of Georgia? After all, in Svaneti just about anything seems possible. … [Read more...]
I tell you, the Svanetians are crazy. Their brains are deficient in oxygen. - A Tbilisi resident describing how the high altitudes of Svaneti have affected its people.Svaneti, the high Caucasus mountain region in the northwestern corner of Georgia, has a long reputation of fierce independence characterized by the 12th century defensive towers that still dot many … [Read more...]