backpacking (11)




In travel terms, Afghanistan is still mostly a destination for adventurous and experienced backpackers, unshaped by mass tourism, and those interested in visiting should carefully monitor all current travel advisories and message boards as to safety/security concerns, especially as international forces leave the country by early September 2021. But if you are interested in visiting, the main thing is to avoid Taliban-controlled areas, and many key parts of the country are relatively safe t

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NEW Yosemite Audio Adventure!

Currently working on a new Yosemite Audio Adventure from Lee Vining, Ca., on the East side of the Sierra, to Yosemite Valley. This audio will be close to two hours in length and filled with lots of Yosemite trivia as well as insights about hiking trails, history, bears and much more!  Listeners pass through several different ecosystems on their way to Yosemite Valley and view some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Music and sound effects enhance this exciting audio tour guide. Availa
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No, mercenaries have not overrun the Chinese lines, and there are no soldiers from the Mersey or the Thames or the Thyme.  No bombs have been launched; no shots have been fired.  No casualties have been reported; the hospitals are not full.  And if any negotiations have taken place, it's been within tourist (and drinking) circles, not political ones.  You see, we're not talking about normal society here.  We're talking about an alien life form—visa runners.

For those of you who don't know what a

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Our children grow up eventually and they want to do all sorts of things we don't want them to do however we remember being their age and we remember what we did and we have a hard time saying NO.

There comes a time, whether in their late teens or early twenties when sons and daughters alike want to go out and discover the world. This sometimes comes as a shock and a great stage of fear ensues; we find ourselves wishing we were still taking them to Disney to meet Donald Duck.

However they want to

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A Guide to Being a Good Guide

I AM NOT AN EXPERT. Yet. There's a couple dudes better than me (Arthur Frommer & Rick Stevens to name a few). I'm trying. I'm learning. So here's a couple tips to be a better guide.
1. Don't hide all your money in one place. Cause if someone gets it, that's it. Have a couple spots for some emergency money.
2.Don't you dare wear a fanny pack. DON'T YOU DARE. 
3. Make several copies of your passport. I know its a pain. I know. Just do it.
4. Guidebooks. Here's my thoughts. The DK series is really my g
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Season 2 is here!!!



So after saving some pennies for a bit after NZ, we've come to our next destination! My mom has always wanted to see Tuscany (thanks to Under the Tuscan Sun) and since her traveling prowess isn't the best, I'll be on hand to help out. With the pops at the helm, it's sure to be quite the adventure. So, a week in Tuscany (with a rental car) a train ride to Venice, and then off to Switzerland to do the Glacier Express, Zermatt, Lucerne, and Zurich (all in 5 days

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Highlights of New Zealand's North Island

  • BAY OF ISLANDS: If you can survive the four-hour drive (for which I rented a car), I highly recommend checking out the Bay of Islands. I got some incredible weather and had the privilege of working with R. Tucker Thompson and meeting some awesome people. Paihia is a great place to make your home base, and you can check everything out in about four days. Kings Road has some cool bars and several good backpacking hostels.  If you have the time to kill, Russell is a cool town across the bay, and th
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9008624861?profile=originalPahilia: Bay of Islands is a great place to visit.  Its relaxing, calming, and there's still alot to do. Pahilia is a great place to start your adventures.  It allows easy access to the North and West to do Cape Reinga, Sand surfing and glow worm caves to the South.  Not to mention in Pahilia itself you have scuba, dolphins, skydiving, boating, and golfing.
Taupo: Taupo is great for its hiking (Tongarino) thermal pool, skydiving and night life.  It has a good bar scene and some cool hostels to ha
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Yosemite Water, Is It Safe?

This is a question that is asked frequently by visitors to Yosemite National Park and the answer is NO!

Neither the park nor anyone else can guarantee the safety of the water in rivers and creeks.

Either buy your beverages and cart out your trash or simply buy a water filter.

There are many such filtering devices on the market that range in price from $10.00 up. Check them out!

REI has a good selection. I personally use a chemical by McNett called Aqua Mira Part A & B.

Most filters are easy to carry

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Think about Summer!

People have different 'traditions' for celebrating the New Year. For me, it's time to get out my favorite Yosemite map and the new calendar and start thinking about adventures for the upcoming Summer.

It's not too early!

You can make reservations for backpacking trips 24 weeks in advance and many Yosemite Valley campgrounds require reservations from March through November.


9008584499?profile=originalYosemite Audio Adventures

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We here in Quito and trying to keep in touch with all those people that we have met at The Secret Garden Hostel, Finn McCool's and Uncle Ho's in the Mariscal, and Lead-Adventures, Hostel Tiana, and The Surf Shak.. Working with those travelling around South America is great but it gets to be a drag when you don't here from people after they leave. So we are trying this as a test to see if people respond to it and if we get enough of a response from all the adventurous travellers in South America
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