Easy Way Round: Achievable Adventures

Written by  Kat Mackintosh

All the earth’s continents have been discovered and the race to the poles have been run, but the human hunger for adventure isn’t sated. While some people still have an appetite for a BIG ADVENTURE, there are a lot of people who’d prefer something more achievable – Adventure Lite: you have to work for it but you don’t have to kill yourself getting there, and you can fit it into your two weeks off work.

In days of old, or yore, or bygone, many adventurers were sailors – there isn’t much more adventurous than setting off to discover a new land - but that kind of adventure isn’t unattainable today: those who crave the open promises of the sea, the rocking of the decks and the creak of the ropes can still experience life on a tall ship, or attempt to sail round Cape Horn – or for the Adventure Lite version charter a boat and bob round Scotland’s western coast.

Completing the Three Peaks Yacht Race would certainly be an achievement - it’s a testing triathlon of sailing, running and cycling involving sailing between ports then racing to the top of the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales – and winning it would be something else… But less competent sailors can still get their racing thrills Sailing on an America’s Cup Racer for an afternoon.

The other direction explorers used to head was up. Everest took some conquering, and Mont Blanc’s snows have made a worthy adversary in the past. But Kilimanjaro was recently conquered by a bunch of celebrities for Comic Relief, so it’s definitely do-able - but even more achievable are the impressively titled highest mountains in the United Kingdom and Australia: Ben Nevis and Mount Kosciuszko. Ben you can summit in about nine hours, Kosciuszko you can do in about three – even if you’re walking with a group of year eight school children. And you’ll have officially climbed one of the ‘Seven Summits’.

No one ever ventured 2,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but the underwater world has set challenges for man, with bot its creatures of the deep and its very depths – conquer them in relative comfort by diving with Great White Sharksor the less teeth-ywhale sharks or dolphins or take a submarine safari to the depths on your next holiday to the Spanish sun.

Some of man’s other glorious achievements can also be enjoyed in comfort in 2009. China’s Great Wall is still an adventurous and historic hike, but you can now get up to the wall via cable car and down via toboggan. Instead of racing to the pole you can witness the wilds of Antarctica from the deck of your cruise ship, and the Arctic though the window of your train, and instead of joining a Tureg Salt Caravan you can opt to camp in five star luxury at Ksar Ghilane in the Sahara.

If you’re in the market to prove yourself there are still plenty of ways to come of age in traditionally challenging style. Young men on Pentecost Island were expected to prove themselves in the form of the bungee jump of faith, and while you could travel there to perform with the traditional vines etc. it would be much more exciting and impressive to come of age in the same kind of way James Bond would have – not with Miss Moneypenny – but by repeating the Bond bungee from Goldeneye off Verzasca Dam. Running with the Bulls is kind of bullfighting lite, though still pretty dangerous…

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