“Hey, are you from India? The land of colours, cows and Taj Mahal.”
“I can’t believe it snows in India. I always thought it’s a hot country.”
“Adventure travel in India? You gotta be kidding me. I guess the biggest adventure would be to get into a train.”
“Is it safe for girls to travel in India? I keep reading and hearing about so many rape cases.”
“I always thought traveling in India would just be for visiting temples or doing Yoga.”
These are the usual questions I get asked whenever I travel abroad or meet any foreigner. India is still considered to be a poor country where travel means just visiting temples and clicking pictures of cows and also the land where the concept of adventure and solo travel still seems alien. Where girls are still supressed by men. Where Indians are still considered to be timid and low on self-confidence.
However, with time, Indians too are trying to change this perception of what the world at large thinks about us. I am trying my one cent as well. Every time I meet a foreigner I wear my Indian ambassador hat and try to share the Incredible India picture. Travel becomes the centre of my discussions. Travel See Write becomes my tool to bring that change.
In my earlier post, I shared the motivations of adventure enthusiasts from different walks of life on what motivates the people to choose adventure travel. Taking that story further, I am going to share some off beat adventure activities that you might have not heard of before. Activities like desert safari, skiing down the snowy mountainous slopes or hiking the toughest terrains have become the norm for millions of travellers. Some countries like Nepal have based their entire GDP on adventures that form the core component of their tourism industry. Despite this being the era of internet and communication, there are several adventure activities that are still offbeat and remain true to their raw essence.
Here are few of them. Maybe next time you can try one of them, if you haven’t tried yet:
Mountain Biking in Road of Death, Bolivia
Bolivia’s North Yungus Road Aka Road of Death is the biggest tourist drawcard of this South American country. Every year hundreds of cyclists attempt to travel downhill the Road of Death assisted by gravity and compounded by hair-raising hairpin turns, narrow tracks and occasionally mud gravel instead of proper tarmac. Each year 300 people die while travelling down the road and yet it remains the hottest cycling adventure in the world. The rewards are amazing; with beautiful views of valleys, thick forest ridges and misty clouds, with streams of water and rains being your constant companions.
Ski to South Pole, Antarctica
Antarctica is one of the last few wildernesses of our planet; still free from touristy commercialization. This continent is rough, harsh and is a test of human surviving skills. The continent is now base for several research labs set-up by various countries. However, its real test is the skiing expedition to South Pole, the ultimate challenge! This trip to the South Pole takes 50-60 days and requires higher degree of physical fitness, strength, stamina and endurance coupled with sound mental strength and indomitable spirit. A general day involves 7-8 hours of skiing over the ice caps filled with intense solitude and tranquillity. No plants and animals are seen in this part of the continent. Frozen rocks, endless stretches of snow and blue skies are your constant companion along with 24-hour daylight.
Sand Boarding at Cerro Blanco, Peru
Peru is renowned for its mysterious sites associated with the lost Inca Civilizations and high altitude cities and villages. However, the country is also known for sand dunes. Peru has the world’s highest sand dunes, Cerro Blanco which is a highly popular sand boarding destination in the world. Cerro Blanco sand dunes have an elevation of 2070 metres and are located in Nasca, Peru. Enjoy the adrenaline rush as you glide down the desert while enjoying the views of the vast sprawling desert.
Skydiving in Kamchatka, Russia
Kamchatka, Russia is one place where life is harsh and conditions are extreme. Punishing low temperatures, heavy snow and a lack of oxygen makes it one of the most difficult places on earth to travel. Imagine skydiving in these conditions and all you have is an unbeatable and dangerous adventure which is only available for highly certified and accomplished sky divers. One needs to know how to operate radios, use parachutes and many more technicalities to accomplish the daring adventure. The views are sensational: from a volcano, to hot springs and vast acres of wilderness – you get to see it all.
Trek on frozen Zanskar River, India
Every year heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperature turns the mighty River Zanskar, a tributary of Indus River into a solid mass of ice sheet. The river is the only lifeline and mode of communication in Ladakh, located in the north of Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. The setting is close to -20 degrees as you trample the frozen river, camp on ice slabs and spend the night in your tent. Windy conditions and unstable ice sheet adds extreme challenge to the trek that requires high physical fitness and mental strength.
Volcano Boarding at Cerro Negro, Nicaragua
Cerro Negro is an active volcano located outside of Leon, Nicaragua. The volcano is also the most exciting place for adventure seekers as they can enjoy volcano boarding, an extreme sport. The adrenaline rush is great for enthusiasts but it comes at a cost. The volcanic gravels create a great deal of friction at high speed and a slight movement can change the course of the wooden board leaving you sliding across the steep slope of Cerro Negro giving you several bruises and injuries. Even the crash protection suits won’t be able to save you from the skin peel offs and bloody cuts and bruises.
Sky Diving over Victoria Falls, Zambia
Victoria Falls in Zambia is one of the most spectacular sights on earth amongst the seven natural wonders of the world. The cascading waterfalls from a dramatic height looks sensational. The waterfall looks at its very best from the air as you skydive over the vast falls and its surrounding areas. As you glide down, see the beautiful waterfall, rainbows, mist of waterfalls and endless stretches of African horizon.
So aren’t you excited already?
What are you waiting for?