Imaginative Traveller's trekking guru shows you where to get the 'best' trekking holidays
After all the amazing places I have travelled to I still come back to this one. If you want to spend most of your time wide-eyed, wide-mouthed and taking endless photos of some of the world’s most dramatic scenery then head to Chile and Argentina! Embark on an amazing series of day walks, with no altitude to worry about and only moderately challenging terrain. Now is the time to journey to this trekking haven as it only has a limited season (Oct-Apr) and discover Fitzroy and Torres del Paine for yourself.
Nepal has to be the ultimate trekking mecca and Island Peak an excellent choice for a first Himalayan peak. Anyone with the right fitness and mental strength can attempt it as training can be given on location (although some previous knowledge would be helpful – as well as a head for heights!). Climbing Island Peak was one of the hardest things I have ever done but I was well acclimatised after my trip to EBC and, as is usual when climbing mountains, starting out in the dark on a freezing cold morning was tough. But worth it when I finally summited to the epitome of a breathtaking Himalayan panorama. It wasn’t actually Everest but, located right behind it, possibly the next best thing!
This fabulous country has provided some of my favourite trekking moments: The walking safari in Timbavati Private Reserve gave me one of my most singularly extraordinary moments when we sat quietly watching a mother elephant teach her baby to clamber up a riverbank. Even coming across an aardvark’s print in the riverbed was exciting!; trekking in the Drakensberg Mountains – where I woke to possibly the most memorable sight I have ever seen – the Amphitheatre. An incredible 3 mile curved wall of breathtaking magnificence reaching nearly 1,000 m that I literally could not take my eyes off; hiking the coastal Tstitsikamma Mountains; on the rim of the magnificent Blyde River Canyon; along Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope; and, of course, up Table Mountain. Proof, if it was needed, that South Africa is the whole world in one. Experience some of this and more on our Kruger Wildlife Experience or Best of South Africa tours.
Walking the great routes and ranges of the world has completely opened up a new life to me. Whereas once I used to look up at the snowy peaks I now stand proud atop their summits gorging on the stupendous 360 degree views, glorying in the sweat and tears it sometimes took me to reach there but loving the freedom, exhilaration and euphoria – as well as the inspirational scenery. It’s also a fantastic way to remind you that this is beautiful world we live in. So get out and experience it now – on two feet!
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