The ancient Inuit word ‘Tunu’ means the ‘backside’; the local inhabitants use it to describe East Greenland, an untamed land sculpted by forces far beyond the human world. This is a place virtually unvisited by tourists, with its culture deeply rooted in Norse and Greenlandic legend. Surrounded by mountains and deep fjords, there are few places on Earth as remote and pristine. At the same time, the simple lifestyle of the Greenlanders, and their strong connection to nature and to the sea, is omnipresent. East Greenland is a place to have your imagination ignited and your heart captured.
Jordan remains a safe haven in a region of conflict, and has some of the most spectacular landscapes in the Middle East. The new, 400-mile long distance footpath, the Jordan Trail, takes you on a journey past ancient cities, through impressive wadis, and out into the unforgiving heat of the desert. It connects the entire length of the country, from Um Qais in the north to Aqaba in the south.
The cloud cover is solid above our heads; if it wasn’t for the Peruvian stamp in our passports, we could be trekking in just about any part of the world. But then the clouds lift, and the majesty of the Salkantay Peak reveals itself. Its massive bulk is breathtaking and gives us our first real flavour of the Andes – the longest continental mountain range in the world. We’re following the road less travelled to the ancient city of the Incas – Machu Picchu. It’s a lesser known trail following a river valley that takes us through cloud forests and past numerous archaeological sites. Machu Picchu is an exciting place to visit, but on this occasion the journey in itself was the destination.
Banff National Park in the heart of the Canadian Rockies offers some of the world’s best hiking trails, both in summer and in winter. It’s a truly wild place, and whilst the local towns have all the creature comforts you’d expect in Canada – log fires, hot tubs and great restaurants – head a mile or two off the Banff-Jasper highway you’re as likely to bump into a moose or a wolf as another human being.
Viti Levu, Fiji:
Hiking across Vito Levu’s rainforest-clad slopes you are rewarded with beautiful swimming holes and the great hospitality of the local villagers. Fiji has so much to offer beyond its white sand beaches; the true soul of this country is found in its rugged interior, yet few visitors come to explore it, partly because it’s hot and very humid. Fiji has a very tight-knit community based mostly around the network of rural villages, where kids are cared for by the entire community. Perhaps it’s this communitarian aspect of their society that makes Fijians so friendly and welcoming to visitors.
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