Get off the Couch, and get out! At Realworld Adventures we've been taking real people on real adventures for over 6 yrs. We're dedicated to outdoor adventures for real people (independent travelers) on limited budgets and unlimited drive. No special talents or deep pockets are required. Each of these adventures or activities have been inspired by fellow travelers, novels, dreams, or chance. Like us --> Visit FB Page
This is a trek into the Baltistan Karakorum Mountains to find the Machilu La Pass from which spectacular photos of K2 are possible.
This is a combination jeep safari across the Daiosi Plains to reach the Rupard face of Nanga Parbat (9th highest mountain in the world at 8,125m) and then a short trek to reach the Herlligkoffer Base Camp.
This is a strange but visually amazing foot border crossing between India and Pakistan. It is a ceremony steeped in politics, rivalry, and religiously fueled passions.
We rent motorbikes in Ladakh's Tibetan town of Leh and ride over the Khardung La Pass (the highest motorable road in the world at 5,606m or 18,500ft) and then drop into the permit restricted Nubra to follow the Shyok River towards Pakistan and the military disputed zones.
Setting out from Sabu Monastery, we follow the river into the mountains to find its source and ultimately the lost Digar La Pass (at 5,250m or 17,325ft) that was once the smuggler's foot route into the forbidden Nubra Valley.
Rent a motorbike and ride out of Leh on the remote 'road' towards Kargil to visit the precarious 10th century Lamayuru Monastery, known as the Place of Freedom for sheltering sinners and criminals alike.
A trek gone bad as we set out from the hippy village of Bhagsu, sleep in a high altitude cave and then struggle to cross the snowy Inderhar Pass at 4350m.
Beyond the Inderhar Pass at 4350m, we sleep in caves, get drenched in cold rains, and become stranded on a washed out and treacherous ridge trail.
Hard travels and then trekking to reach the source of the Ganga River at the foot of the Gaumukh Glacier (3,892m) and then suffer the impact of a late winter snowstorm that catches us exposed on the glacier as we try to reach the high camp at Tapovan (4,460m).
Five days of hard trekking alone thru the poverty stricken Jumla District in order to reach the largest lake in Nepal. It's an isolated, rugged, sub-tropical, and calorie-deprived trek. Getting to the lake is only half the battle, one still needs to somehow return.
A simple 3-day mountain biking ride thru Nepal's Shivapuri National Park is evidence that nothing in Nepal is simple. Basically it all boils down to obsolete maps, roads that don't last thru the monsoon season, military checkpoints, and one's ability to plan as events unfold.
A motorbike ride that rattles your fillings loose. Winding Nepali roads, rocks, dangerous buses, rocks, washed out roads, rocks, shear valley walls, rocks, sub-tropical forests, rocks, dust, and did I mention rocks?
A fast paced trek through the Langtang National Park to reach the sleepy Tibetan village of Kyanjin Gompa at the foot of Mt Langtang (7234m).
Warning! Graphic Content! There is one thing that is certain in this lifetime: eventually we all die. In the Ram Ghats death is viewed as a natural aspect of life. I walk you thru the cremation ceremony where the soul is released from its earthly existence.
In this episode we take a short meditative break from the hard trails of NW India to practice Tai Chi, with a twist.
This is a two day riverboat ride up the Mekong, from Louang Prabang and along the Thai & Lao border to reach Huay Sai, next to the Golden Triangle. The river is the artery of life from its source in China's Qinghai Province near the border with Tibet and forms the border between Myanmar (Burma) and Laos and most of the border between Laos and Thailand. It then flows across Cambodia and southern Vietnam.
This is a fast two-day summit of the highest mountain in Vietnam at 3,143m. We set out from the near-by village of Sapa with a guide, a porter, and a minimum allotment of time.
It's all about food! Different kinds of food. Days spent in the traditional villages of Sapa & Bac Ha reveal mixed metaphors as the modern world merges with the culture of the past. We check out the markets and the most unusual meal options. Beware!
This is a walkabout in Vietnam's Hanoi to find the Ho Chi Minh tomb. How difficult can it be to find something as big as Ho Chi Min's mausoleum? Well finding it, figuring out when it was open, a side excursion to Halong Bay, and then finding my way back to the Guest House was a trial to test even an experienced trekker.
Cyclos (rickshaws) are going the way of the dinosaur in Saigon so we found some to give us a street level tour of the old capital of South Vietnam (now called Ho Chi Minh City). The victors always get to write history and rename the cities.
We arrive in Saigon and go exploring. We start with the a visit to the Vietnam War Museum where we are reminded of our transgressions, then a work camp for victims of US chemical bombings, then switch to a spiritual interlude, only to end up at the Chu Chi Tunnels and a propaganda film to remind us that the US invaded a gentle farming community.
Two girls, one river, and a kayak. Stir, add sunshine, locals who have never seen a kayak, and let cook in the sun for 4 hours. The result is an uplifting view of life on this lazy river.
Why take a fast bus from Siam Reap to Battambang, Cambodia, when you can take a long riverboat ride? This is an interesting alternative way to travel in Cambodia. One in which a lazy day on a river can be both too long and too entertaining. But ultimately it is interesting. It's not about life on the river. The river is life here.
Angkor Wat is a marvel of 12th century temple complexes. Spending a week here is not enough time to see it all, yet a week can seem like too long if you are using peddle power to see the many temples. We give it a go and find that in the end it might be a bit much.
We rent dirt bikes and head out into the countryside to find dirt and ultimately cross into Myanmar. What we didn't count on is the amount of dirt we would discover on that first day.
Two more days of eating dust on dirtbikes while tracing remote farming tracks in western Thailand. Country living at its best.
With time running out on my Thai visa, we spend two more days visiting border crossing after border crossing. I need to get out of Thailand and into Myanmar. The clock is running.
A tourist island that is still mostly isolated lagoons, bungalows, and beaches. Toss in cheap scooter rentals and a hike to the top of the island, then stir and let sit on a sunny beach for a few days. The formula to R&R.
Strawberry fields forever, then tea fields up high. A green and luscious land that was annexed by the British elite for a good reason. I find a circus bicycle and decide to get to the top of things.
Indonesia is the world's most volcano centric location. In Sumatra we set out to summit Mt Merapi (meaning Mountain of Fire ). It is the most active volcano in Sumatran with an elevation of 2,891m. Over 50 eruptions have been recorded in the past century. We set out early to reach the smoking rim by mid-afternoon, where I decide to get closer and take a look inside!
We set off in the dead of night to summit Mt Merapi volcano (2,968 m) in Java. It has erupted regularly since 1548 and killed 64 people in 1994. But Cristina didn't know these facts until reaching some gravestones, at which time she started to have serious doubts. To calm her we pointed out that it has not had a major eruption since 2006.
Four days on a crap bicycle, 232 km, and some of the most stunning scenery that Southern France has to offer. Part 1 takes us from Mediterranean Agda to Caracassonne, half way to the source of the Canal and a luxury of a hotel with a pool.
Four days on a crap bicycle, 232 km, and some of the most stunning scenery that Southern France has to offer. Part 2 proves that women have their own priorities and ends at the source of the canal in Toulouse.
A Sahara sunrise was Pablo's objective and all it took was three days and two nights (and determination, persistent beetles and lots and lots of sand).
We rent a motorbike and ride out into Sri Lanka's beautiful Hill Country in search of World's End. A place on the map that seems impossible to find. Perhaps that is a good thing.
Another country, another holy mountain to climb. The only thing harder than walking up all those steps (2,230 m) is probably the job of installing them.
Many countries have hot springs and public baths, but Sri Lanka has its very own versions. From ancient holy baths to river laundry spots, this is a light hearted review of my discoveries.
Three more days of up & down Himalayan trekking! In this episode Seth & I must cross the treacherous Ngozumpa glacier, then climb across the Cho La pass at 17,500ft (5330m) and then summit Kala Pattar at 18,400ft or 5545m for another outstanding view of Mt Everest.
Reality is stranger than fiction.We discover that a marathon is about to originate from the Everest Base Camp, altitude of 17,600ft (5400m) and end at Namche Bazar (11,300ft-3440m).
A small Italian mountain that turns out to be a monster. My goal is to summit the south face solo in October. Bad weather and a lack of proper respect leave me in an ice cave for the night and the next day gets even worse.
I return with better equipment, better weather, but less time. It boils down to a race against the clock.
A year later I return to face the mountain again. As before, the mountain and the weather are ruthless advisories. The weather changes so quickly in these mountains that 30 minutes make all the difference between success and failure.
Two years later I return to find the town at the base of the mountain destroyed by an earthquake. Determined to put this mountain behind me I spend a week fighting the elements and the mountain's spite.
This time I wait for springtime before returning to the mountain for my 5th attempt. A week of cat and mouse with the weather puts me in a stronger position and wiser, but still short of the summit.
With the advantages of a new advance base camp at 2,300m and the possibility of a full day with good weather I set out on my 6th attempt in 3 ½ years. This time, as before, I am determined to succeed if the mountain will just give me visibility.
After more than 20 yrs, Nagaland was finally been opened to Westerners, so I was determined to visit and verify that the headhunters had all been converted to Christianity.
The Royal Chitwan National Park is a sub-tropical-jungle type of park with a Nepali twist. The package included Elephant rescue center, Safari & bathing, jungle walks, canoe rides on the river and best of all, lots & lots of rhinos.
I met 2 English guys in Kathmandu who told me it was possible to cycle across Tibet if one was willing to bend a few rules. Rules were made to be bent. In this episode I arrive in Lhasa, buy a junk bike, outfit it and sneak off to discover a land of 5,000m passes.
In this episode there are more passes and then finally some serious downhill rides out of Tibet and into Nepal.
Nepal's two larger sibling treks, Everest and Annapurna get all the attention and glamour, yet it is now my opinion that Langtang is the Cinderella stepchild of treks. Beautiful but ignored. This trek proves my point.
Sweltering at a rooftop restaurant in Delhi in early March we met a French couple that mentioned their wonderful visit to a desert town called Jodhpur, in Rajasthan, and the availability of camel safaris. It was all the prodding I needed. We were off.
This cold November three-day loop ride to Niagara Falls, Ontario, wasn't so much an idea as simply something that happened. And naturally we paid for such arrogance.
I find two cute girls and convince them to do a 16 day trek that traces a circuit around the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal. Along the way I collect an assortment of fellow travelers and experiences. Part 1 starts in Kathmandu and makes it slow way to Pisang.
I find two cute girls and convince them to do a 16 day trek that traces a circuit around the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal. Along the way I collect an assortment of fellow travelers and experiences. Part 2 takes us across the Thorangla pass at 5416m and then back to Pokhara.
While on my way to Everest Base Camp I decided to climb a really big mountain. In this case Island Peak at 6165m. But first a bit of schooling and then the real pain begins. 6Km is a real ball-buster. So why are there so many people trying to get to the summit I wondered?
This is a trek to Guichala pass at 4950m on the boarder of Nepal, in the state of Sikkim, for a clear view of Mt Kangchenjunga, the 3rd highest mountain in the world. In Part 1 set out from Gangtok to reach the trailhead and then start a comfortable trek to the foot of the mountains.
This is a trek to Guichala pass at 4950m on the boarder of Nepal, in the state of Sikkim, for a clear view of Mt Kangchenjunga, the 3rd highest mountain in the world. In Part 2 we make move from lookout to lookout with confusion and frustration until we decide to throw caution to the wind and just do it.
Who wants to summit a 6,240m or 20,473ft mountain? No volunteers in this case so I set out on my own with a two-bit map and a lot of desire. Even though it was September in lovely Ladakh, it was already snowy and cold above 5K meters, plus a glacier added a serious chill to the air.
21 days is a long time to trek solo, but especially if the trek involves Mt Everest Base Camp via the old traditional Jiri route. Days and days of hot steamy valleys punctuated with 4-5K passes and that is just to reach the normal jump off point in Lukla. In this episode I realized why people opt for the modern/shorter route.
In this episode I realized why people opt for the modern/shorter route. Too many hot steamy valleys & too many passes. Was it really worth it just to see a lot of ice and tents?
Shiva is the Hindu living God and this is a pilgrimage to a cave that houses his ice lingam (yep that is what it is). Unfortunately this cave is located in Muslim dominated Kashmir, an Indan state that sits on the border of Pakistan. Talk about variety. Hindu pilgrims, Muslim pony herders and lots of military. Add to that NGOs and money making schemers and you have it all.
I found two volunteers in Leh and convinced them that we should trek through the Markha Valley. They agreed eagerly but the first pass robbed them of their strength and enthusiasm. Then 7 more days and a few more passes pushed things to their limits.
Ed Arena, Spike & I (with our private cheering squad) partake of liquid strength to lower our intelligence sufficiently to RUN WITH THE BULLS! What fools!
In this episode I realized why people opt for the modern/shorter route. Too many hot steamy valleys & too many passes. Was it really worth it just to see a lot of ice and tents?
Mike & I buy top quality children's camping gear, borrow a kayak and head out into the Everglades totally unprepared. But that's what makes for real adventures, storms, hyperthermia and spooning.
After surviving a cold, wet night in the Everglades Mike & I continue north pursued by curious gators, lots of birds, a diligent ranger and sunshine.
My original intent was to summit Mt Belukha, at 4509m, but let me just say that my ass was kicked before I even got to the mountain. Need I say more?
A few years after the Siege of Sarajevo I decided to drop in and see how the city had mended. Unfortunately the signs of the war were still present so I then went to visit Serbia to learn more. This is what I found and some very gruesome statistics.
The Camino, or The Way, is an ancient pilgrimage across Spain to reach the resting place of the Bones of St James.
And every day of the Camino I add to the cast of wayward pilgrims in search of something illusive.
As we pass the halfway mark life gets harder, we become more focused and yet the wine and songs continue to flow.
Two thirds of the way into the Camino the roads get longer, drier and the cast more determined.
The Tuscan hills are generally a laid back place to hang out. But come October 1st the pace changes. It's time to harvest the olives.
Le colline toscane sono il luogo ideale per rilassarsi e rallentare il proprio ritmo di vita. Quando arriva il primo di Novembre però le cose cambiano. E' il momento di raccogliere le olive.
A National Park that we ride our bicycles through to reach the volcanic gorge that houses Hell's Gate!
I leave Niarobi to meet Ben in Arusha. We jump in his old Toyota Land Cruiser and start a cross-Africa road trip. Our first goal? The Indian Ocean.
Theres only one road south and it goes through the Saadani National Park so naturally we have to pay. Ok, lets go off road and see if we can get our road-tax worth of wildlife.
Crossing Tanzania takes time. So why not stop at a very remote mountain National Park and check out the sights?
A roadside attraction! It's a local to-do with displays, education, exotic animals and a natural walk. Reminds me of roadside attractions in Oz.
How big can volcanic lava flows be? We pull off the road to follow the signs to a natural lava bridge that has been carved out by a fast moving river.
All the inhabitants of the original mission, setup by Livingston, died of Malaria. So this high plateau vision is lost in time and lost the clouds.
To get out of Malawi we leave the lake, cut though a Game Reserve, weave along dusty tracks, visit a metropolis and are still in Malawi. So much for shortcuts.
With few tourists visiting the park in the wet season we have the run of the place. Wild animals, elephants and more.
One day simply wasn't enough time. So we return for another day of game watching, elephant chasing and off-roading.
Livingston must have been truly impressed. I was. A monster falls up close, wet and personal.
So if Zambia has big falls, what do Namibian falls look like? Very different!
So what do you do when you find a 600 ton nickel in your yard? We decided to check it out.
Enough easy driving. Time to leave civilization, roads and fences behind. We follow a bone dry riverbed and discover animals that defy logic.
Continuing along the dry river bed we search a way west in vain. Plan B is to cross over the dry plains to reach a different valley.
Our first water hole in days and I wonder why there are no animals around. After being chased by a lion I found out why.
Finally reaching the correct dry river we spot more elephants. How these monsters survive in this desert is a mystery.
Somehow elephants survive but it appears that rhinos do too. But the evidence is not encouraging.
We've driven from Ocean to Ocean across Africa. The Skeleton Coast is aptly named.
Bizarre orange mountains and boulders stand like an island in the dry wasteland. And here I find kids that break my heart.
The trip continues with a trek to the top of a mountain National Park located in the heart of a remarkable city.
A visit to the southern tip of Africa is a stop on my East to find more strange coastal areas and another waterfall.
A surfer's paradise and strange rock formations are perfect for day hikes.
We set out in search of Mpusi! Don't ask for directions because it may be a prank. Lets find out.
Rock paintings by the San People are found in these Drakensburg Mountains. We check out a site and get the details.
The Dragon Mountains are an island of stone with a separate country on top. We check out the base of the 2nd highest falls in the world.
The view from Cathedral Peak is said to be outstanding. But the gang mutinies. I feed them and still they refuse to move on.
Determined to see the sights from Cathedral Peak I become obstinate and like always find that mountains always demand respect.
Enough mountains! Lets see a wetlands park and visit the number one animal killer of humans in Africa (size does count).
Another self-drive safari but this time we decide to hire a gun-toting guide and see the animals on foot.
I prefer the safety of the car and the ability to get close up an personal. The wildlife doesn't seem to mind either.
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|Rwanda the land of many hills is not a place to explore by foot or bicycle. Why? Way too many hills. So we set out via moto-taxi.|
|The Silverback gorillas of the Virunga mountains are the last in the world (less than 800 per last count). I had to visit.|
|While in the DRC visiting Virunga National Park I discovered a killer volcano with the largest lava lake in the world.|
|The east coast of Zanzibar has very, very long tides but that works out for both the locals and us.|
|Zanzibar's northern village is a mix of turist paradise, locals living in the past and a small project to save the turtles. I contributed (to the cause) with a swim (and a few dollars).|
|I decided to summit Kilimanjaro in the rainy season. Why? With only 10 foreigners in the entire park (vs 600 in the peak season) it seemed ideal for an isolated hassle free summit attempt.|
|A lake of many small birds, hills like Nepal and an island for pregnant single girls round out the mix.|
|I decide to paddle my butt off to drink a beer and see Uganda's Batwa Pygmies. A vanishing ethnic group without official support or recognition.|