Many people travel to experience Nature’s wonders – the migration of the Serengeti, the gorillas of Rwanda, the penguins of Antarctica, the amazing waterfalls, mountains and forests of this world. But sometimes we think that we are the traveller going to experience Nature – we are in control of where we go and what we do. We are after all superior beings – are we not? Nope – I think Nature has us there and loves to exercise her sense of humour as often as she can.
Take this gorilla – All he is doing is hanging out in his back garden having a munch only to see these strange creatures struggling through the jungle. He just can’t believe his eyes.
Let’s say you plan a trip to Antarctica. Well it seems that you are going to end up wearing a lot of clothes. Special boots, snow trousers, special monogrammed parkas. Well at least that is what the majority of tourists wear. So what do you think the local seals thought about this chap?
This is what they thought – and they are still laughing.
And when you go on safari and you have driven all day looking for animals and have had no luck at all – you come around the corner and run into an elephant with an itch. A serious itch.
Try explaining that one to the rental car company. You see Mother Nature is in control for most of the time – that is until we start clogging the seas with plastic straws. But she fights back – again and again –
The interior of an abandoned building where the floor has completely decayed and has been replaced with overgrown plants. (Thomas Windisch/Caters News)
Maybe we should cheer her on!
“I used to be Snow White but then I drifted away” – Mae West
I don’t know about you but I am so tired of the snow and wish it would all drift away. I am sure the only people who want the snow around are those who enjoy skiing, snowboarding and other such sports that require complicated and uncomfortable equipment strapped all over the body. (You can see that I am not a skier). However I did start thinking a lot about snow and how it features in quite a few of those “bucket list” destinations.
ANTARCTICA – This is a destination that is not easy to get to from the beginning. It involves flights through Buenos Aires via one of those dreary US airport hubs before you finally get onto the ship in Ushaia. Then you have to face the Drake Passage – yes my boys – you have to get your sea legs for that one. When you finally do get to your destination the preparation for your shore excursion is exhausting. You need to get into your waterproof trousers, rubber boots, thick sweater, Parker. It takes half an hour by which time you are a sweating wreck. Do I speak from experience? No. I sent my brother instead (wicked laugh). As the older sister I am allowed to laugh. Despite all the blood sweat and tears (not to mention a little sea sickness) he said it was one of the finest trips he has ever been on. The magnificent scenery was well worth it.
KILIMANJARO – the tallest mountain in Africa has snow all year at the summit. The only way to get to the top is on your own two feet. Quite an achievement which sadly I have not done. My friends in the business who have done this trip tell me that it is not the climb as such but the altitude which is the most challenging but getting to the top is an amazing experience. Wow – could I do it? Not sure. On the up side of course is the fact that after the climb you can go and pamper yourself in style at one of the fabulous luxury camps in Tanzania. What an experience – and this I can personally attest to. One of my top favourite adventures (with no snow).
ICELAND – one of the hottest destinations over the last year or two – but would you go in winter? What do they have there that we don’t have here in the winter. More snow. But – they do have the Northern lights. Convinced yet? And they do have hot springs which are fantastic for your skin. Just look – where could you wear a swimsuit in the winter in Calgary?
ALASKA – I would be remiss if I did not mention Alaska. I do understand why people in Alberta might think that they really would not want to go and see more ice but I have to say Alaska was amazing. From the top deck of our cruise ship we made our way down one of the glacial fjords early in the morning. The light was crisp and clear and the only sound was the tinkling of the ice floes – sort of like the tinkling of ice in a gin and tonic. Do go. It is so close to us and people travel from all over the world to experience this incredible scenery.
In the meantime, more snow is predicted for the weekend and we do know that in Calgary we can even get snow over Stampede. So you know they say – if you can’t beat them, join them. Maybe I should think about digging my old skis out of their hiding place in the basement!