Ten Top Travel Experiences

I blame the folks at Wanderlust Magazine – they sent a reminder that they’re asking for ten top travel experiences.  This is ten I put together at lunchtime today.  I’d probably pick a different set on other days.  I can see two themes – one involves getting up early, the other involves wildlife – which probably explains why the first one is the first one….

Penguins at Dawn.   Having gentoo penguins pecking my boots on the beach at dawn on Sea Lion Island while I tried to photograph them is a wonderful experience.  Wide angle wildlife photography doesn’t get any better. (Falkland Islands, 2009)

Polar bears dining.  Sitting in a Zodiac watching polar bears feeding on a whale skeleton – there were other people there but I was too absorbed watching to notice them. (Svalbard, 2010)

Lunch en route.   Sharing lunch with a local family on a steam train from Coonoor to Ooty.  The train was delayed – and the family travelling on the train with us produced leaves to use as plates and rice with serious pickles and insisted we share.  Now referred to as a ‘Palin’ moment – if it has been included in one of his travel programmes you would have assumed that it had been staged. (India, 1994)

Seeing forever.  Having read about how clear the Arctic air was it was amazing to arrive in Kulusuk and really see what this meant in terms of how far you could see. (Greenland, 2007)

Early Start.  Seeing the El Tatio Geysers at dawn – required a very early start from San Pedro de Atacama and many hours being driven along unlit and in places very rough roads over high passes but arriving at El Tatio as the sun just started to strike the geysers was more than worth it. (Chile, 2007)

Tiger's Nest. First close-up sight of the Tiger's Nest (Taktshang Goemba) – it’s first revealed through the trees in the distance high above you and occasionally re-appears as you climb up the track, then after a long haul when it’s completely invisible you suddenly reach a turn on the path and the Monastery is visible bathed (if you are lucky) in bright sunshine. (Bhutan, 2008)

Tiger. After several days seeing fresh pug marks along the tracks finally seeing a tiger in the wild for the first time at Nagarhole NP. (India, 1994)

Nesting Albatross.  Sitting on the edge of a black-browed albatross colony on Saunders Island. (Falkland Islands, 2009)

The Treasury.  First sight of the treasury in Petra after walking through the Siq first thing in the morning with no-one else around. (Jordan, 2006)

Getting in touch with your inner Viking.  Seeing Up HellyAa - everyone should do it at least once. (Shetland, 2007)

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