This is our little corner of the web where we will be sharing ideas. What we don’t want is for people to go three years between courses and get a bit rusty. In most circumstances that may be OK, but what if a loved one, or even a perfect stranger, needs your help and you have forgotten what to do?
This is where we can all stay up to date, so should we need to call on those skills, you may just save a life.
So what else...
I'm going to be taking a look at places I've been and want to go. Not the usual travel agent look at glossy travel books and tourist attractions, but places off the beaten track. I wont be saying, "I'd recommend that hotel, I've stayed there myself" because when you hear that, you know the agent in their air conditioned office has never been to the country, never mind the hotel. Shame on you travel agents. The last "packaged" trip I went on was to Nepal at quite possibly the worst time of year, with terrible weather and minimal staff. The weather was so bad that the flights to Lukla were cancelled for several days and we ended up going to Annnapurna instead, a place the 'Nepal expert' back in the UK had never heard of let alone been to.
Anyway, I'm moaning now so lets get back on track...
The first place I'm going to talk about is South America. Not Machu Picchu or Rio because you can find info on these places just about anywhere. I'm more interested in the path less travelled and the places and the people of today, not a thousand years ago. There are places of interest to people like myself that may be overlooked by the average tourist. Aconcagua for example. Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia. It is one of the Seven Summits, and yet it's possible for the keen trekker to get to the top. Quite something!
I'll also be keen to visit some of the places in Bolivia that the tourist never gets to see. This is not only because I want to stay away from the crowds, but because, as I experienced in Nepal, these places don't benefit from the money that the tourist brings. They struggle to find basic needs such as everyday medicines that you and I take for granted. Bolivia is after all, one of the poorest countries in South America. There is an excellent book on the troubles the 'Water People' of Bolivia are suffering from at the moment, it's written by Alvaro Diez Astete, a fellow anthrapologist. Take a look at an article on them here.While I'm there I will have to pay a visit to Sajama National Park to see some beautiful Andean landscapes and being a mountaineer, Bolivia's highest mountain, Nevada Sajam.
I have it on good authority that the best way to get around this part of the world is by bus, the down side being that they usually only run at night, are often breaking down and the roads are sometimes blocked by protesters for days on end, but hey, this is adventure travel after all.