Posts Tagged With: Travel

Namibia: The Search for the Eternal Flame

Children

As Marko and I plan our next 6 month adventure around the world,  I look back on an amazing and formative experience in my life.

In August of 2012,  I set off on an expedition with Ken Hames, a former Major in the British Special Forces and BBC TV presenter.  Our goal was to cross the Otjihipa Mountains in Northern Namibia, one the most remote regions in the world.  We wanted to find a sub-tribe of the Himba,  the Chimba.  The Chimba are some of Africa’s last hunter-gatherers and exist in almost complete isolation.

Our journey lasted three weeks and was fraught with danger and setbacks.  It took us 6 days off-road to arrive to the Otjihipa mountain range only to have our Land Rover break down 15km from our goal, the Kunene River.  From there we set off on foot and  battled the elements; searing heat during the day and frigid temperatures at night.  During this expedition I learned the importance of team-work, determination, and the immense power we all have, the power of the mind.

For those who say there is nothing left to explore in our world… I most certainly disagree.

-Vagabrother Alex

Thank you Mark Tattersall of Ainsworth & Parkinson Ltd. for the edit.

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Vagabrothers Win My Destination’s Biggest Baddest Bucket List

Wow.

The Vagabrothers are stoked to announce that out of 1,251 entries from 110 different countries, we have WON My Destination’s Biggest Baddest Bucket List.

What does that mean?

Starting in July we are off on a 6 month trip around the world to 6 continents and 25 destinations of our choice.  Our goal?  Explore the world, connect with the locals, and inspire you to do the same.  From the deserts of Oman, to the summit of Mount Kilmanjaro, to the jungles of Bali our Bucket List is sure to be amazing.

We will be vlogging, blogging and snapping photos the entire time so be sure to stay tuned. Trust us, this is going to be one hell of an adventure…and we are taking you with us!

Thanks again to Mydestination.com for making this all possible and making dreams come true!  You guys rock!

– The Vagabrothers

Here is a taste of what’s to come.

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Our #MyBBB Bucket List: Tasmania

As we prepare to go to London to compete against 9 other finalists for MyDestination’s Biggest, Baddest Bucket List competition, we’re blogging about the places we’d love to include on our bucket list. We’ll spend this month in constant count-down, researching MyDestination.com’s 65 featured destinations and highlighting one per day. In no particular order, today’s post is on Tasmania, Australia.  

Tasmania

The challenge of Australia is its vastness. Tasmania, Australia’s only island state, offers the best bits of Oz in a manageable size – plus things you won’t find anywhere else.

We see Tassie as a place to get outdoors and into some real adventures. When we found out that Tasmania has the “world’s cleanest air” it made us want to run, bike and hike our way from north to south until our lungs are gasping for it.

We’re keen for a few walkabouts – from getting lost in the rugged Tarkine wilderness to finding Tasmanian Devils in a conservation park, taking on the Overland Trail or topping off a day’s hike with fresh oysters in Cole Bay. From rock climbing to white-water rafting, caving to jet-boating -there’s plenty to get your heartbeat up.

All that exertion requires some calories. Luckily, Tasmania is renowned for fine dining.  The islands’s climate produces some of the best food in Australia from fresh fruit, local honey, rich chocolate and delectable craft cheeses. Fly fishing tours offer the chance to catch your dinner while wineries provide the local drink to wash it down.

Tasmania also holds many monuments to a fascinating but painful history. It was a center of convicts during the colonial era and still holds many traces of aboriginal culture. Though both were treated harshly at the time, modern historical sites offer a glimpse into this past.

With so much to do outdoors, we can’t forget the cities. Hobart is the capital in the south, where it all comes together. From Salamanca market to Gothic architecture and fine dining, it makes the perfect place to come back to after all that time in the bush.

Hope to see Tasmania soon!  For now, we’ve got this playlist from JamandaHalf.com for Aussie inspiration!

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Our #MyBBB Bucket List: Hawai’i

As we prepare to go to London to compete against 9 other finalists for MyDestination’s Biggest, Baddest Bucket List competition, we’re blogging about the places we’d love to include on our bucket list. We’ll spend this month in constant count-down, researching MyDestination.com’s 65 featured destinations and highlighting one per day. In no particular order, today’s post is on Hawai’i. 

Hawaii (3)

The only downside of Hawai’i is that there is too much to see in a week. With only seven days to explore eight islands – each one of them unique – we’d have to pare down our bucket list to the bare essentials. Help is appreciated.

Much of Hawai’i’s allure comes from it’s Polynesian heritage, stunning natural beauty and active lifestyle. All three factors are in abundance in each isle – whether it be surfing, night diving, swimming with sharks or sailing – so let’s instead focus on what makes each island unique.

Everything starts in Oahu.  Touch down at Honolulu’s international airport and spend a day walking to Chinatown, Waikiki beach and the sobering monument to Pearl Harbor. We’d pass through the center of the island to see the former palace of Hawaii’s royal family before finding the real action on the North Shore – some of the best surfing in the world.

Maui is more low-key than Oahu – especially when taking the road less traveled. The Hana Highway is a 52 mile winding coastal road with 59 bridges cutting through the jungle. It also passes by the Seven Sacred Pools (Haleakala), a series of gradually increasing waterfalls (perfect for cliff jumping), and Honolula Bay, must-stop for surfers.

Kauai would be our top pick. The “Garden Island” is supposedly the least developed and contains the most impressive natural beauty of the island chain. Waiamea Canyon is waiting for us to hike it, while the Napali coast beckons us by bike, sea, or air. Our goal on Kauai is to simply explore, film, and transmit the experience to our viewers.  The island of Lanai floats just offshore – unspoilt beaches where you can swim with dolphins or watch the whales during their annual migration.

The Big Island has the world’s most active volcano, which gives the lush island it’s black sand beaches.  In the center of the island is Mauna Koa, a dormant volcano that is actually bigger than Mount Everest if measured from the seafloor.  We’d sip local Kona Coffee to stay up late and visit the mountaintop telescope with some of the world’s best stargazing.

But sometimes good things come in small packages – such as the “Forbidden Isle” of Nilhau, a nature preserve that only admits a select number of visitors each year. This is where native Polynesian culture is strongest and locals live in a traditional way and the endangered Hawaiian language thrives. We would be honored if Nilhau would admit us onshore.

In short, too many options, not enough time. Perhaps we’d be better off using the prize money to buy a house on the beach and explore each island at a more Hawaiian pace. For now, let’s throw on some Hawaiian music courtesy of JamandaHalf.com, and imagine life in paradise.

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Our #MyBBB Bucket List: Bali

As we prepare to go to London to compete against 9 other finalists for MyDestination’s Biggest, Baddest Bucketlist competition, we’re blogging about the places we’d love to include on our bucket list. We’ll spend this month in constant count-down, researching MyDestination.com’s 65 featured destinations and highlighting one per day. In no particular order, today’s post is on Bali.

Bali1 (3)

Bali is one of the most fascinating destinations in South East Asia. This lush jungle island sits between cultures – midway between trade winds that brought together Chinese, Indian and European influence, today Bali is a Hindu island within predominately Muslim Indonesia with a rich cultural heritage still preserved despite its immense popularity with tourists.

Bali is a true paradise. Its thick jungles hold scores of crumbling Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas, and traditional villages. Terraced rice paddies cut unforgettable lines into hillsides waiting to be explored, while its valleys hold hotels and yoga/meditation retreats beckoning us to come, relax and soak up the essence of the island.

But beauty is only a part of it – action junkies have more than they can handle. Bali’s surf breaks are world-famousUluwatu, Bingin, Keramas, and Balangan, to name a few. Add scuba diving, sailing and hiking to the list, and our week would be packed with activities.

However it is Balinese dance which truly sets the island apart. Traditional dances are closely tied with religion and are often a way of telling stories and epics like the Hindu Ramayana or the Barong Rangda, representing the eternal battle between good and evil. Some ceremonies – like the “monkey chant” – would be truly magical to witness, and while even performances at tourist hotels are preceded by a prayer to the gods for inspiration.

Inspiration seems to abound on Bali. Whether it be surfing some of the world’s best waves, finding inner stillness in an ancient temple or yoga retreat, or simply standing in awe at the island’s natural beauty, Bali one place we’d be sure not to miss.  

Thanks to our friends at JamAndAHalf.com, we’ve got a little sample of Balinese music as well.  Cheers Big Leks!

Comments? Advice? Disagreements? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

And please vote for us to win MyDestination.com’s Biggest Baddest Bucketlist Competiton! 

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Vagabrothers on the Radio

Hello World,

What a crazy past few weeks it has been over here in San Sebastián.  Ever since Mydestination.com announced the finalists to the Biggest Baddest Bucket List we have been a wild roller coaster ride!

Here is a quick video edit of Alex’s radio interview with Cadena Ser from last week.  In it he explains more about the BBB contest, a bit of history about the Vagabrothers and their views on travel and exploration.

Sincerely,

-Vagabrother Alex

Categories: Films., Words. | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Andalusia: Road Trip through History

Wow,

What a crazy adventure, where to begin and how?  The last month has been hectic,  March Madness is not just about Basketball,  Mark left Spain and is back in California (visa’s are an unfortunate reality of travel).  With Mark gone, two of my childhood friends, Andy and David came out to visit.  We found a ridiculously cheap camper van rental and headed South, into the heart of Andalusia where Spain’s history is on display and very much in your face.  Semana Santa is a week-long somber ‘celebration’ of Jesus’s story;  it’s where a moribund Catholic Church takes the streets of Spain and reinforces its presence. It’s when the Army, the Church, and the Spanish people get together to celebrate the Reconquista.  All week-long from the biggest cities to the smallest pueblos, Jesus and Mary, cloaked in the silver and gold amassed by Conquistadors so many centuries before, make their way through the winding cobble stone streets of Southern Spain.  The processions often pass the architectural reminders of a time when Spain was an Islamic country.  It’s a fascinating and at times perplexing display of a long, complicated and violent history.

Here is a two-minute taster of what we saw.

Enjoy

Vagabrother Alex

 

Categories: Films. | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Interview: Travel, Culture & Basque Country (English, French & Portuguese Subtitles)

Good News: We’ve added English & French subtitles to our interview with the local Basque newspaper, Diario Vasco (see article on their website).

Learn more about the Vagabrothers’ philosophy and why we’re so stoked on the Basque Country by turning on the caption in the bottom right corner.

Aupa Euskadi!

Categories: Films. | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Searching for Scotland (4/4): The Secrets of the Isles

In their last instalment on Scotland, the Vagabrothers sail to the the Outer Hebrides in search of something many don’t know exist – and find something much different altogether.

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Searching for Scotland (2/4): Great Balls of Fire

In part two, the Vagabrothers move from the city to the sea to test stereotypes in St. Andrews before moving to Stonehaven for the infamous celebration of New Year’s – Hogmanay. They bring in the New Year with fire and learn a few things about Scotland – and themselves – in the process.

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