8—5 The 5 18 May—1989

More and more people are reaching beyond the average loll-on-the- beach holiday. Food. sun and rest. the staple diet of British holiday-makers. are being displaced by the lure and promise of adventure. Over the last five or so years. several adventure holiday operators have leapt into existence. offering almost every activity in almost any country. The organised trekking. canoeing and roughing-it trips are especially popular with young adventurers who don’t feel quite ready to go it alone. The majority of adventure holidays (or ‘expeditions‘) involve smallish groups setting out on specific routes. Itineraries are clearly mapped out. but because of the nature ofthe countries to be explored and the type of accommodation (often tents) on offer. the feeling that anything might happen still hovers around the mosquito nets.

Below is a list of the main operators (including some based in Scotland). plus some idea of the tours available. prices and duration of trips. Prices generally include almost everything from return flights. food. transport to accommodation. but insurance can be an expensive (although necessary) extra. In choosing an adventure holiday. apart from considerations of price and duration. the area you would like to explore is the main determining factor. The regions of the world are by and large broken down into the following tour areas by the travel companies: Europe. Egypt and the Middle East. Asia. Africa. India and environs. China and Latin America. You then need to decide whether you want a specialist adventure holiday trekking. sailing. Some companies have separate brochures for more active activity trips. Sadly. as usual, Scots have to pay to get themselves

to London before the adventures are -

even on the horizon.

Exodus Expeditions (All Saints‘ Passage. 100 Wandsworth High Street. London SW18 4LE01870 0151/877 0399).

Exodus have been ‘organising’ adventures for fifteen years. Their programme now includes over 50 holidays to around 30 different countries. including Greenland. Canada and Alaska. several destinations in South America and Asia. and Africa. Methods oftravel range from train to trekking. Groups are generally comprised ofabout 15 to 20 people. Many trips involve travelling quickly over large chunks ofcountry and camping out in the wilds. Prices range from £390 for a 15 day holiday to Morocco (mosts things are included) to £2500 for a 30 day trip to 'l'akla Makan and Gobi Desert. Expeditions toexotic locations ((‘hina. African safaris) average out at around £1100. New and special trips include a Galapagos Trek and a trek to 'l‘ian Shanon the Sino-Russian border. Exodus can supply videos of specific destinations (a small charge is made) for those who wish to know more before they book Up Their ()verland

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Kristina Woolnough looks at the adventurous holiday alternative to wimping out on a Mediterranean beach the burgeoning phenomenon of ‘overlanding’.

The true high-living adventurer Stephen Venables climbed the east lace at Mount Everest (the Kangshung Face). lost three toes trom host-bite. but lived to tell histale. ‘Everest: Kangshung Face', his account oi the climb, is published by Hodderd Stoughton at £14.95.

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Plumbing the depths: Rob Palmer explores and photographically records the maze ot caves 300 test under the sea oll Andros, one olthe largest Bahamian islands. ‘Deep Into Blue Holes' is published by Unwin llvmen at £14.95.

expeditions last weeks rather than days. some taking up to 26 weeks for a complete tour across Europe. Asia and Africa. They also offer Walking Explorer tours which last about a month and costing about £1500 for destinations outside Europe. Encounter Overland (267 Old Brompton Road. London SW5 9JA 013706951).

Encounter Overland claim to have invented the ‘overland‘ concept in 1963. so they have been going for a

while too. Prospective adventurers have to be between the ages of 18 and 40. Trips include ‘Brief Encounters‘. for those with the travelling itch. but not much time. and ‘Trans-Continental' for the adventurer in less of a hurry. The briefvariety consists of between 14 and 28 day expeditions to such places as Egypt. the Sahara. Morocco. East Africa for such exploits as Gorilla Safaris. The long ones take between 9 and 29 weeks (the Amazon. South

America, Asia and Africa all

feature). Encounter Overland,S coup is really a Trans Globe expedition which lasts 63 weeks. covers 31,000 miles and costs several thousand pounds. Travel across country is done either in specially-equipped trucks or in landrovers. Adventurers camp where possible. and prices stretCh from around £400 to £3000. Explore (7 High Street. Aldershot, Hampshire GU11 lBH 0252 319448). This company started in 1981. Explore don‘t have an age restriction. they travel in groups of 12 to 24 people and they run 70 adventures to 50 countries. Accommodation frequently comes in the shape of low-cost local huts, cabins and tavernas. although camping occasionally rears its head too. Areas covered include Egypt. the Middle East and Arabia. Europe. Africa. Asia, China and Latin America. The message. like that of all other adventure travel specialists, is ‘off the beaten track’. so even destinations in Europe are more unusual or have specific themes (island hopping. classical sites. beaches and gorges. sailing). Tours last from 15 to 31 days and prices start at £400 (for Spain) and run to £1780 (USSR Mongolia and China). Explore hold slide-shows across the country. to supply potential clients with extra information. Pioneer Expeditions ( 105 Hanover Street. Edinburgh EH2 ID] 031220 3747) Pioneer are a small. Edinburgh-based company. who only recently started up. Their tours are few in number. but they are unusual and do really sound full of gritty adventure. They offer two expeditions to Alaska (one lasts 17 days. the other 26). which involve camping. trekking. canoeing. fishing. going on trains, ferries, and glacier-climbing. Special clothes and camping gear are provided. ‘Pioneer‘ also operate expeditions to Lapland (with ski-touring and snow-hole building). Anatolia (in Turkey) and Peru. Each trip has elements ofvigorous activity, has a maximum of 14 people and includes equipment. Prices range from £985 (departing London, including insurance) to £1989. Guerba Expedltions (101 Eden Vale Road. Westbury. Wiltshire BA13 30X 0373 826611). Guerba specialise in holidays to Africa. running 43 safaris, overland trips and adventure expeditions, Camping and travelling by truck are the norm. and each holiday includes specnal highlights (camel treks. sights. canoeing. guided tours). Guerba offer week-long safaris (from 53759). two week excursions a sort of mix-and-match series of safaris or adventures. plus a number or longer holidays (a 23 or 27 week ‘Africa All The Way‘ costs from £3100). As far as food goes. only breakfast is included in the price,