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CONTENTS T H E

H I G H L I G H T S

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Go heli-biking in New Zealand.

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34

THE BIG BLUE

KING OF THE HILL

Chantae Reden freedives with wild dolphins in Hawaii.

Jonathan Thompson checks out the latest adrenalin sport – heli-biking.

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60

40

WORLD’S BEST BUCKET-LIST EXPERIENCES Take a look at these out-of-this-world holiday ideas.

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RIDING HIGH

OUT OF AFRICA

WORLD’S BEST KIDS’ CLUBS

Shelley Seale saddled up and rode with a Chilean cowboy through Patagonia.

Photographer Alwyn Chong kayaks along the famous Okavango Delta.

Don’t be offended if your tots don’t want to come home.

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CONTENTS

9 Meet The Guest Editor Marin Minamiya, the youngest person in Asia to complete the Explorers’ Grand Slam, helps create the ultimate bucketlist issue.

12 Contributors Our writers and photographers reveal their own bucket-list destinations.

14 Take Me Here From racing a Porsche on ice to playing paintball in a helicopter, we reveal the latest high-octane adventures available.

21 Light Show You are sure to see the Northern Lights if you book this hotel suite.

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22 “I’ll Take The Jet” Arrive at your destination in half the time thanks to one of these new private jet trips. .24

Georgia On My Mind

Ride through the Okavango Delta.

Why you need to go to Tbilisi right now.

26 Wonder Woman Guest Editor and explorer Marin Minamiya tells us about some of her adventures.

28 The Big Blue Chantae Reden makes a splash in Hawaii with wild dolphins.

34 King Of The Hill Jonathan Thompson checks out the latest adrenalin sport – heli-biking.

40 World’s Best Bucket-List Experiences The Lightfoot Travel Designers show you how you can take your holiday to the next level.

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48 Riding High Shelley Seale joins a Chilean cowboy for a horseback ride through the Patagonian landscape.

56 Private Islands For Hire Can’t bear to share? Then book an island for yourself.

60 Out Of Africa Photographer Alwyn Chong paddles along the crocodile-invested Okavango Delta in Botswana.

68 World’s Best Kids’ Club Expect to be crowned ‘Parents of the Year’ when you book your tots into one of these VIP hotspots..

72 Sail Away Conner Esworthy and Karl Gerchow quit their jobs in New York, bought a boat and set sail for the Bahamas.

76 Top Chef Jonathan Thompson enjoyed the ultimate cooking class with the Michelin-star chefs of Alain Ducasse’s Provence restaurant.

81 Chef’s Guide To New York Raw food chef Adam Kenworthy takes us on a whirlwind tour of his city.

82 If You Do One Thing… Take a seaplane to Margaret River for a wine tour with a difference...


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MEET THE GUEST EDITOR

PHOTOGRAPHY: COURTESY OF MARIN MINAMIYA

“I

’m impulsive, very impulsive. It’s a bad trait of mine, but on this occasion it worked pretty well,” says 21-year-old Marin Minamiya. While somewhat understated, Minamiya is probably right as she is now the youngest Asian to have completed the Explorers’ Grand Slam. This means that she has climbed the highest peak on each continent and conquered the North and South Pole. The politics student from Tokyo completed her final expedition last year, at the ripe old age of 20. She came up with the plan to climb the seven highest peaks when she was preparing for university. “I thought ‘Oh, my gosh… how boring my life is’. I thought there is no way I can become an adult if I don’t do something at this point in my life,” says Minamiya. So she mapped out a mini bucket list for herself.

Initially she had only planned to climb Everest, but after climbing Aconcagua in South America and Kilimanjaro in Africa in preparation for Nepal, she realised that she was already enroute to completing the Seven Summits. Then after an impromptu — or should we say ‘impulsive’ decision — to walk to the South Pole after climbing the Vinson Massif in Antarctica, she decided to add the Explorers’ Grand Slam to her list. While Minamiya makes it seem like a list of happy coincidences, the woman who drew up her bucket list in her school dormitory and found sponsors to support her expeditions never loses her focus or drive. “I want people to know they can get whatever they want in life as long as they keep their focus and they get the support from other people. As long as you have that passion to get others involved to achieve dreams, it’s totally possible,” she says.

MARIN MINAMIYA

Youngest Asian to complete the Explorers’ Grand Slam. Travel By Lightfoot | www.travelbylightfoot.com

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CHRIS

WWW.TRAVELBYLIGHTFOOT.COM

Senior Travel Designer Chris has dived with great whites sharks in South Africa and seen snow leopards in Kazakhstan. BucketList Trip Everyone Should Take: “The US of A. There’s nothing quite like hiring a convertible and planning the ultimate road trip.”

E D I T O R I A L

M E I YU N Senior Travel Designer Mei Yun may have spent time in the US, Kenya and Europe, but it’s New Zealand she loves most. Bucket-List Trip Everyone Should Take: “Go heli-hiking in Franz Josef.”

GUEST EDITOR Marin Minamiya EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Claire Turrell ART DIRECTOR Claire Lambert CONTRIBUTORS Alwyn Chong, Chantae Reden, Jo Upcraft, Shelley Seale, Jonathan Thompson

OLIE Head of the Americas Olie has sailed to Antarctica and ridden with gauchos in Chile. He knows how to complete that bucket list. Bucket-List Trip Everyone Should Take: “For me Antarctica should be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s home to incredible wildlife and the most aweinspiring ice-snow landscapes I’ve ever been privileged to see. Easily the best trip I will ever undertake.”

MEET THE EXPERTS THE LIGHTFOOT TRAVEL TEAM IS READY TO HELP YOU BUILD YOUR BUCKET LIST

M A R K E T I N G A N D A D V E R T I S I N G GROUP MARKETING MANAGER Lexi Shuttleworth HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Shirley Chen Moriarty

LU CY Co-founder Lucy wrote her destination bucket list when she was 20. After working in travel and founding Lightfoot Travel she’s been able to tick them off a lot faster. Bucket-List Trip Everyone Should Take: “Galapagos. It’s a place where wildlife is fearless of humans, so a Galapagos sea lion will brush playfully past a diver or swimmer.”

MARKETING EXECUTIVE Sharon Mak

L I G H T F O O T T R A V E L FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR Simon Cameron CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR Nico Heath

@ L I G H T F O OT T R AV E L

CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR Lucy Jackson Walsh

HARSHA Indian specialist Harsha has lived in Europe and Asia. Bucket-List Trip Everyone Should Take: “The temple-filled, trekking paradise of Bhutan! You may have heard it’s the happiest place on Earth, but when you arrive you’ll feel it.”

W I N N E R : T R AV E L M E D I A O F T H E Y E A R 2 0 1 7

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LIGHTFOOT TRAVEL OFFICES: SINGAPORE (+65 6438 4091) DUBAI (+971 4 455 8788), HONG KONG (+852 2815 0068), LONDON (+ +44 203 950 5105) Visit www.lightfoottravel.com Printed by Naili Print Media Pte Ltd, Singapore. For advertising enquiries contact info@lightfoottravel.com Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Cover image: Discover another side of Iceland. Photography: Nudiblue/Getty Images

PHOTOGRAPHY: CALLAGHAN WALSH

V I C TO R I A Raised in a Namibian national park, Head of Africa Victoria knows how to create the perfect bucket-list experience for her guests. Bucket-List Trip Everyone Should Take: “Tracking mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Out of all the wildlife adventures I’ve been lucky to enjoy, the hour that I spent with a family of mountain gorillas was the most moving of all.”


A jungle alive with adventure. Where few have ever gone before.

oneandonlynyungwehouse.com


WE ASKED OUR WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS ABOUT THEIR BUCKET-LIST DESTINATIONS

A DA M K E N WO RT H Y The US raw food chef has been flying all over the world creating delicious recipes for Aman guests to try. But there is still one place that he wants to visit... My Bucket-List Trip: “Bali. It looks incredibly beautiful and has great surf.”

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Writer Chantae Reden's love of adventure has taken her to 20 different countries. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure. My Bucket-List Trip: "I’ve always wanted to go to Patagonia. The intensity of the landscapes, remoteness, and raw wilderness make it a destination that stokes a sense of pure adventure. I’m drawn to places that are challenging to travel through, but worth it once you see what nature is capable of creating. Also, I hear there are penguins in Patagonia."

H A N L I P R I N S LO O Freediving champion Hanli Prinsloo spends her time giving talks and taking people on freediving trips so that they learn to love the underwater world as much as she does. My Bucket-List Trip: “I have this incredible yearning for the frozen oceans — the Arctic particularly. The opportunity to swim with narwhals and beluga whales would be incredible. I feel like the frozen oceans are our next frontier.”

A LWY N C H O N G

C O N N E R E SWO RT H Y A N D KA R L G E RC H OW New Yorkers Conner Esworthy and Karl Gerchow bought a boat and set sail around the world. Our Bucket-List Trip: “The San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama are very special to us. We are fortunate to have already been there twice, but given there are 365 islands in this archipelago there is a lot more to explore! Our previous trips were on boat charters, but we would love to return via our own boat, Contigo.”

Photographer Alwyn Chong captured his adventure of the Okavango Delta on film then sold the book to raise funds for charity. My Bucket-List Trip: "l’m working on my bucket list trip now. I plan to visit and publish a triology on Botswana’s three areas — the Okavango Delta, Makgadikgadi Salt Pan and the Western Kalahari. I’ve been to the Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Salt Pan and plan to visit the Western Kalahari next year. Once I’ve done that I would really like to go to the Himalayas to see the snow leopards."

PHOTOGRAPHY: @ALWYNCHONG, HANLI PRINSLOO AND PETER MARSHALL,

Contributors

C H A N TA E R E D E N


# TA K E M E H E R E —

ULTIMATE PA I N T B A L L I N G Take paintballing to the next level. If you stay at the Leobo Private Reserve in South Africa you have the chance to take part in a paintballing game with a difference. One team races through the bush on quad bikes to avoid the paintballs, and the other team takes to the skies with paintball guns to try and take down the opposition. Not your average team sport.


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# TA K E M E H E R E —

T R AC K STA R Who needs tarmac when you’ve got ice? Each winter a team in Lapland carves out 13 racetracks in the snow and gives guests the chance to drive its purpose-built Porsches up to 125mph through Santa’s homeland. Four of the tracks are full-sized replicas of some of the world’s most famous circuits – Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi, Paul Ricard in France, Nürburgring in Germany and Silverstone in England. The drive of your life.

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# TA K E M E H E R E —

TREEHOUSE MASTERS Want to finish your safari holiday in style? Book a night at the Nay Palad Bird Nest at Segera in Kenya. Sleep in the suite that is tucked away between the interwoven tree branches, or if you’re feeling more daring, you can arrange for your bedroom to be moved to the top deck of the towering two-level suite that looks out over the savanna. When you wake in the morning you can enjoy breakfast while watching elephants and giraffes making a splash in the river. Need to go higher? Take a ride in the biplane that starred in the film Out of Africa.


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L I G H T F O OT T R AV E L P R E S E N T S

MAKING MEMORIES

START PLANNING YOUR BESPOKE JOURNEY WITH LIGHTFOOT TRAVEL NOW

EXPERTLY CRAFTED

We fuse our wealth of expertise and deep understanding of our destinations together to create unparalleled day-by-day itineraries to suit your needs.

KNOWLEDGE

Our Travel Designers spend the year crisscrossing the globe learning even more about the countries they specialise in and ensuring their product knowledge is second-to-none.

VALUE

We carefully nurture our relationships with global and local suppliers so that we can provide the best value and experiences to our clients.

EASE

When booking with Lightfoot Travel we allocate you one point of contact who will seamlessly guide you through the booking process.

PEACE OF MIND

You gain the reassurance that while you are travelling, we are constantly on hand to make sure that your holiday runs seamlessly. Visit www.lightfoottravel.com or email info@lightfoottravel.com

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Clockwise from top: Let your cares drift away. Picturesque Positano in Italy. Young boys from the Karo tribe in Ethiopia. A view to take your breath away.


ON THE MAP W H A T ’ S

H O T

N O W

LIGHT SHOW WATCH THE NORTHERN LIGHTS FROM THIS HOTEL SUITE ON SKIS Want to tick the Northern Lights off your bucket list? Then head to this exclusive wilderness camp in Finnish Lapland. The camp comprises three cabins on skis, which they tow by snowmobile across the tundra to make sure that you have a front row seat at nature’s light show. Just kick back on your double bed, and look out through your transparent roof to see the Aurora Borealis in action.

PHOTOGRAPHY: KILPISSAFARIT

Room with a view.

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TOUR THE INDIAN OCEAN Tick off three countries in one fell swoop – book the Anantara Private Jet Experience, which will fly you between Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Thailand. The hotel has joined with MJets to offer a multi-destination trip with a difference. Guests can use a Gulfstream V or Cessna to create a bespoke itinerary. Want to start your trip at the Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle in Sri Lanka before stopping by the Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas? Your wish is their command.

ON THE MAP —

“I’LL TAKE THE JET”

GO ON SAFARI IN AFRICA You could bump along the dirt tracks in a beaten up 4WD or you could touch down by jet. The Private Jet Small Group Journey takes you to some of the most iconic destinations in Africa. Start at Giraffe Manor in Kenya, then head on to the Masai Mara National Reserve, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Kruger National Park in South Africa and finally Cape Town. Available 1 to 12 September or 12 to 24 September 2019.

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FLY AROUND LATIN AMERICA Let the party start with dinner at the Versace Mansion in Miami, before you fly to Costa Rica, Buenos Aires, Bogota and the Galapagos Islands with the Four Seasons Private Jet Latin Escape. If that isn’t enough, you will also have the chance to squeeze in stops to the Iguazu Falls, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Teatro Colón, enjoy a salsa lesson with a dance master and dive among the crystal-clear reefs of the Galapagos. Available 9 to 24 February 2019.

PHOTOGRAPHY: &BEYOND, ANANTARA, FOUR SEASONS

WANT TO GET THERE IN HALF THE TIME? THEN BOOK ONE OF THESE PRIVATE JET TRIPS FOR 2019


ON THE MAP —

GEORGIA ON MY MIND W magazine called Tbilisi in Georgia the ‘coolest city you have never heard of’. But it’s clear that is about to change, for Hollywood director David Lynch is about to open a cinema institute in the city, a Design Hotel property has just thrown open its doors and the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week had the fashion pack adding Tbilisi to their New York, London, Milan and Paris calendar. If that’s not enough, a chiseled-cheeked ex-footballer is now the city’s mayor and he has announced plans to spend USD334 million on transport. But what’s more exciting for the traveller is that not only is the designer hotel Stamba just one of the new hotels launching in the city, but the ex-Soviet country is still kind on the wallet. And once you arrive, you’ll want to go shopping. Not only has this happening city already produced the likes of Demna Gvasalia, Creative Director for Balenciaga and Rihanna’s

favourite new designer George Keburla, but you’ll also find Situationist loved by supermodel Bella Hadid. There are also lots of unique boutiques to discover, such as More is Love and Chardin One Concept. The art scene is also catching fire. Tbilisi has just held its first art fair, and contemporary galleries such as Project ArtBeat and Patara have been thrilling art lovers with unique pop-ups around the city. After all that shopping and sightseeing, you can stop by Tbilisi’s first speakeasy bar. Just step behind the bookcase in a small café and walk into the prohibition-style cellar that is Woland’s Speakeasy. For gourmet eats, look no further than Restaurant Meama or Brasserie Buvette at The Art House. And whilst you’re there, don’t forget to order a glass of Georgian wine. When in Tbilisi...

DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT… “Visiting Narikala Fortress and trying the local food before your departure,” says Georgian fashion designer George Keburla.

Clockwise from top left: More is Love. The innovative Project ArtBeat. The hip city of Tbilisi. A dish from Meama. Tbilsi Art Fair. Stamba hotel. George Kerbula’s latest collection..

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PHOTOGRAPHY: TBILISI ART FAIR, WIKI COMMONS/NINO OZBETELASHVILI

TBILISI – THE HIPPEST CITY IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW


Making friends in Russia.

Q& A

Completing the Seven Summits in Alaska.

MY FIRST IMPRESSION OF CLIMBING The first time I was introduced to mountain climbing was when I went hiking on Lantau Island in Hong Kong with the school at the age of 13. Hiking was like meditation for me. When we got to the top and looked across the sea to the concrete jungle of Hong Kong, I felt small and humbled by the mountains, but I also felt empowered.

ON THE MAP —

WONDER WOMAN LAST YEAR MARIN MINAYAMA, THEN AGED 20, BECAME THE YOUNGEST ASIAN TO COMPLETE THE EXPLORERS’ GRAND SLAM. SHE HAS CLIMBED THE HIGHEST PEAK IN EACH CONTINENT AND REACHED THE NORTH AND SOUTH POLE. SHE TALKS TO US ABOUT HER ADVENTURES…

THE EXPEDITION I’M MOST PROUD OF… I’m proud of climbing Mount Elbrus in Russia. I had one week in Russia and within this time I wanted to climb Mount Elbrus. The weather was horrible every single day of my stay. On the day before I was meant to fly back to Japan, the weather improved and my team mate and I were able to start climbing the mountain. We started climbing at midnight and reached the summit at 9am. We were the only people on the mountain and we were treated to cold crisp air in our lungs and beautiful views of the mountain range. Two days later I was on the flight to Nepal to climb Mount Everest. MY FAVOURITE EXPEDITION… I really enjoyed skiing to the South Pole because it was so unexpected. I had just finished climbing Vinson Massif, the highest peak in Antarctica when I decided to stay a little longer and ski to the South Pole. I joined a team that I had never even met before, borrowed a pair of ski boots, and learnt how to cross-country ski as I went along as I had never done it before.

Everything just worked out perfectly. The team were great, the boots fit and when I made it to the South Pole I was pretty surprised – I thought “Wow! I’m actually here”. MY MOST CHALLENGING JOURNEY… The journey where I almost called it a day was when I sailed from Cape Town to Madagascar with eight guys last year. It was a 60-day round trip. Something on our 55-year-old wooden yacht seemed to break every single day. It was just chaos. It also got hotter and hotter as we sailed closer to Madagascar, plus I’m more used to being in the mountains. I’m still at that point in my life that I don’t know if it was a blessing or a curse. I still feel that it’s a curse (laughs). THE BEST SIGHT I’VE WOKEN UP TO… It was when I stayed in the Serengeti after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. I decided to stay in a national park to wind down after the climb. When I would open the door of the tent each morning of my stay I would see giraffes or monkeys and I really enjoyed that. I'd love to go back. MY NEXT ADVENTURE... I’m about to set sail from Tokyo to the Ogasawara Islands, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a chain of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean and is one of the most remote areas in Japan. It’s quite a special place.

M I N A M AYA ’ S R O U T E T O T H E T O P Aconcagua,

Mount

Vinson

South

Kilimanjaro,

Kosciuszko,

Massif,

Mount Elbrus,

Mount

America

Africa

Australasia

Antarctica

South Pole

Europe

Everest, Asia

America

North Pole

(Jan 2015)

(Aug 2015)

(Dec 2015)

(Dec 2015)

(Jan 2016)

(Mar 2016)

(May 2016)

(Jul 2016)

(Apr 2017)

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Denali, North

PHOTOGRAPHY: @MARINMINAMIYA

Climbing Denali in North America.


ADVENTURE —

THE BIG BLUE CHANTAE REDEN FLEW TO HAWAII TO FREEDIVE WITH DOLPHINS D E S T I N AT I O N : H AWA I I

L O C AT I O N : KO N A

Freediving with wild dolphins.


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“S

top swimming. I think we should let them come to us,” said Steffen, my freediving partner. A pod of at least 30 spinner dolphins entered Honaunau Bay in Kona, Hawaii. A group of snorkellers followed them, trying to catch a closer glimpse of the dolphins before they disappeared under the deep turquoise water. I halted my fins and let my body relax. The dolphins swam further away. It’s against human instinct to stop chasing after what we want. What if the dolphins didn’t come back? Honaunau Bay, part of the Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, is known as the City of Refuge to Hawaiians, as it once was a safe space for those who broke sacred laws, called kapu. Breaking kapu nearly always meant death — unless the criminal could escape to safety at a sacred site like Pu’uhonua O Honaunau. Here, every sin could be forgiven. Today, a temple housing the bones of former Hawaiian chiefs stands as a national monument symbolising a tumultuous past and a peaceful future. The spinner dolphins that live along the coastal water of Hawaii find Honaunau Bay to be a refuge of their own. Nearly every morning, the pod enters the bay and swims laps around the black lava rock edge. The bay has depths of nearly 90 meters, and you can find the word “ALOHA” spelt out in concrete bricks on the sandy bottom, welcoming you there. On my way to the middle of the bay, I saw schools of yellow tang amongst the coral reef, white-tip reef sharks, eels, sea turtles, and a handful of humuhumunukunukuapua’a (the Hawaiian state trigger fish). Spinner dolphins get their name from the signature spins that they do. The dolphins dive deep, then swim toward the surface at a high speed and launch themselves into the air, completing up to five rotations. They are the ocean’s best acrobats. Steffen and I tread water and watch the snorkellers swim to the outer edge of the bay and start to play an aquatic game of whack-a-mole. The dorsal fins popped up in one place, and the snorkellers scramble to get there. A few seconds later, the dorsal fins popped up elsewhere and

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PHOTOGRAPHY: KONA HUNA DIVERS, HANLI PRINSLOO AND PETER MARSHALL.

the snorkellers dart back. After witnessing this, it was obvious that the dolphins had little interest in changing their course to satiate our desire of seeing them from closer perspective. I felt guilty for wanting to join the melee. “I think if we swim down to 15 metres and wait, the dolphins will be curious about us,” Steffen said before taking a deep breath and diving. His theory came from an experience the day before, where he’d reached a depth of 30 metres. On his ascent, three dolphins had corkscrewed around his body like a trio of ballet dancers. Now we wanted to investigate whether this was a once-in-a-lifetime encounter, or a strategy for truly connecting with the dolphins. Steffen swam to five metres, then 10, then 15, and stopped. His body hung weightless in the blue. A pod of 15 dolphins passed underneath him, but seemed disinterested. I submerged my face into the saltwater and took a few relaxing breaths through my snorkel. At ease, I descended. At five metres, I saw the large pod of dolphins in the distance, barely close enough to distinguish their dark and light grey pattern. The dolphins’ clicks, hums, and whistles ricocheted around the bay. At 10 metres, I felt the pressure of the sea surrounding me. My chest compressed as I reached neutral buoyancy. For freedivers, this is usually the depth where the sea stops shoving us back towards air and welcomes us deeper instead. I kept falling... At around 17 metres, my diaphragm started its series of contractions. Contractions are used as a freediver’s internal gauge of carbon dioxide build-up and oxygen levels. When they start, you pay close attention to what your body is telling you. The strength of my contractions signalled for me to turn back. On my way up, five dolphins broke from the larger pod and came closer. About five metres away, their pace matched mine and we exhaled within nanoseconds of one another at the surface. Freedivers often refer to the mammalian dive reflex, a set of reflexes that slow your heart rate and shunt blood to the core of your body. It’s thought of our greatest physiological connection to the sea — a switch that preserves our bodies

Clockwise from left: A freediver uses the rope so they don't lose their way. A dolphin dives deep into the water. A freediver gets close to a school of fish. Unlike scuba divers, freedivers use only the air in their lungs to explore the deep.

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Freedivers believe that the lack of bubbles from a tank enables them to get closer to the marine life.

The calf matched my pace. When I broke through the water to take a breath, so did the calf

even when we’re in an environment that humans abandoned from an evolutionary standpoint millions of years ago. Steffen and I took turns diving. On some dives, the dolphins came closer. On others, they reached depths of over 40 metres — beyond both Steffen’s and my limits. But on one dive, the dolphins swam so close to Steffen, they nearly skimmed the top of his head. “They are like fighter jets doing a flyby,” Steffen laughed. We often witnessed the dolphins swim in their signature spirals, twirling through the water. I sensed both their playfulness and intelligence. I finned to 10 metres and hung weightlessly as two adult dolphins and a calf swam by. When they passed me, I started spinning — completing two rotations before stopping and waiting to see their reaction. The calf broke away from the pod and mimicked my twist. Our bellies faced each other and we swam a short ways towards opposite ends of the bay. Yin and yang. I spun again on my way to the surface. The spinner calf matched my pace and twirled in harmony. When I broke through the water to take a breath, so did the calf. Then, the inquisitive calf rejoined the pod. I felt exhilarated and thrilled by this mini aquatic interaction. As I readied myself to get back on to the boat, the old adage came to mind: “Good things come to those who wait”.

GETTING THERE For more information on travelling to Hawaii email a Lightfoot Travel Designer at info@lightfoottravel.com

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ULTIMATE DIVES Champion freediver Hanli Prinsloo reveals her top five freediving spots 1. NIUE ISLAND, SOUTH PACIFIC For humpback whales I would go to this small island called Niue in the South Pacific. I’ve never seen water that blue — it’s unbelievable. You’ll see dolphins, sea snakes, moray eels, huge Napolean wrasse, sharks… It’s really special. There are only 1,200 people on the island. So you have more animals than humans in your vicinity, which is my kind of place. 2. MADAGASCAR We went to the northwestern tip of Madagascar last year and I can’t wait to go back. We swam with

4. SEA OF CORTEZ,

a friend of mine who is a

MEXICO

whale shark researcher.

Jacques Cousteau called

Within the crystal blue

it the world’s aquarium. We

water you’ll see whale

go to the Sea of Cortez to

sharks, turtles and

swim in this marine reserve

dolphins. It’s the

that has been protected

same place that they

for over 25 years called

discovered the Omura’s

Cabo Pulmo. There are

whale, which was only

masses of giant schools

found in 1995.

of Jack fish. You just don’t see that biomass of life

3. MOZAMBIQUE

anymore, anywhere… It’s

I love to go to Southern

like going back in time.

Mozambique to swim with the dolphins. The

5. BAHAMAS

dolphins that are resident

I have a soft spot in

to that stretch of coast are

my heart for the very

remarkably interactive. You

misunderstood sharks. We

never know what you are

keep going back to the

going to see in Southern

Bahamas to see these

Mozambique. Sometimes

creatures. Hammerhead

you find manta rays, or

sharks, reef sharks… It’s

whales, or a tiger shark,

unbelievable diving around

anything in that wild ocean.

the Bahamas.

Hanli Prinsloo in action.

Speak to your Lightfoot Travel Designer to find out how you can dive with Hanli Prinsloo.


ADVENTURE —

KING OF THE HILL HELI-BIKING PROMISES ALL THE FUN OF DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKING FOR NONE OF THE EFFORT. JONATHAN THOMPSON SADDLES UP D E S T I N AT I O N : NEW ZEALAND

L O C AT I O N : Q U E E N S TO W N

Get to the top of the mountain without breaking a sweat.

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Left to right: Loading up the heli with bikes. One way down. Thompson starts his ride. Traversing the landscape.

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s Sir Isaac Newton famously observed, what goes up must come down. And with mountain biking of course, that’s the really fun part. But before you can enjoy truly epic downhills, you first need to pay your dues in hard, uphill struggles. That’s just the law of physics, right? Wrong. In Queenstown, locals are thumbing their noses firmly in Newton’s direction with the latest extreme sport to emerge from New Zealand’s South Island: heli-biking. Hooking mountain bikes onto specially adapted helicopters, operators like the one that I'm travelling with today are whisking clients up to the best local peaks in a matter of moments. Then all the riders have to do is enjoy the long, swooping downhill home. Maximum enjoyment; minimum effort. Or, as the company’s owner Greg McIntyre says: “all of the gain, none of the pain.” “What’s not to like?” asks McIntyre, as we take off for Crown Peak, home to one of the area’s most popular heli-biking trails. “You get to the top of a big mountain in minutes, then enjoy an awesome back country descent with completely fresh legs. Not only that, but you’re riding hidden trails you’d never have found otherwise.” The flight from Queenstown’s tiny heliport to the crest of 5,750ft Crown Peak lasts a paltry eight minutes — a journey that McIntyre says would have taken “at least three hard hours” in the saddle. Six full-suspension mountain bikes are attached to racks on the outside of the helicopter: three on each side. My companions for the day have come from all over the place: Mary is a local architect in her early forties who’s taking ‘an early lunch break’ for today’s ride, while Markus is a 32-year-old product manager from Zurich who’s flown halfway across the world for the experience. From the air, the top of Crown Peak looks barren, windswept and very, very high. The helicopter touches down, and we leap out beneath the thundering blades like Lycra-clad commandos.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: KONA HUNA DIVERS

I feel charged, happy and alive

“Let’s go play,” shouts McIntyre over the din, swinging into his saddle as the helicopter corkscrews back into the blue sky. This, he says, is his “dream trail”: it took six years, and a recent change in local land laws to gain access to it, and — he reassures me — it’s “gold standard”. The initial descent is precipitous, but we’re on good bikes and any fears are quickly overshadowed by the magnificent views of sprawling Cardrona Valley below. The Maori word “wehi” means “fear”, but it also refers to the sense of being awed before sights of grandeur. I’m brimming with it as I bounce and jangle down the flanks of the mountain. Despite being one of the more expensive ways of going for a cycle ride, heli-biking seems to be catching on. This company offers eight different routes into this valley, including half-day trips with just one ride, or “double drop” full days. A number of other Queenstown operators offer similar packages on neighbouring mountains. The one major drawback of this sport, it must be noted, is that it’s heavily weather dependent: in bad weather the helicopters can’t fly and during my own three days in Queenstown, I have two rides cancelled. But the wait is worth it. Our route passes from slender sheep trails to long-abandoned gold


Clockwise: Stopping for second breakfast. Riding through Rohan. Pride sometimes comes with a fall.

EXCLUSIVE

prospecting paths, all hungrily devoured by our fat tyres. This is Lord of the Rings country, and as we stop for an inevitable ‘second breakfast‘ (Frodo would be proud), McIntyre points out exactly how much of the scenery around us was used in the original films. We’re riding through genuine Peter Jackson territory: the bike riders of Rohan. With little previous experience of ‘serious’ mountain biking, I notice a growing sense of pride as I fly down the trail, keeping pace with McIntyre and the others. Sadly it doesn’t last long because — right on cue — the fall arrives. Distracted by the view of shimmering Lake Wakatipu below, I don’t notice a sudden drop in the trail. Gravity snatches my bike from between my legs, catapulting me mercilessly into a prickly bush. After I pull the thorns from my legs (and the others stop laughing) the path thankfully begins

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to widen and flatten. Eventually a swooping, dusty track delivers us to our final destination: the charming gold rush village of Arrowtown. A squeal of brake blocks announces our arrival at Provisions — a quaint cafe in a converted miner’s cottage, advertising “obscenely good sticky buns.” It’s an ironic choice after 90 minutes in the saddle. Washing the trail dust from my hands, I glance into a full-length mirror and am shocked by the vision blinking back at me. Sweat pours from beneath my helmet, congealed blood sticks to my legs and remnants of bush still protrude from my flesh. I look like an extra from the Battle of Helms Deep, but the reflection is deceptive: I feel great. My thighs are grumbling a little but nowhere near as much as they would have been had I ridden up Crown Peak as well as down it. I’ve summited and descended a mountain and completed McIntyre’s

PHOTOGRAPHY: FAT TYRE ADVENTURES

GO LOBSTER FISHING BY HELICOPTER.


BUCKET-LIST HOTELS IN NEW ZEALAND Why rest your head anywhere else?

THE FARM AT CAPE KIDNAPPERS It may be a working farm, but it’s a working farm owned by a hedge fund billionaire. This means that the 6,000 acre sheep and cattle farm on the North Island comes with an impressive golf course, spa, luxury suites and views of the Pacific Ocean.

MINARET STATION If you book a holiday at the Minaret Station in the South Island you will need a head for heights, as you travel everywhere by helicopter. Airport transfer? Take the helicopter. Picnic? Helicopter. Skiing — you’ve got it.

‘dream trail‘; the sun is shining and it’s still not even lunch time. Sitting in that sun-dappled garden with a selection of obscenely good sticky buns between us, we reflect on our helter skelter descent through Hollywood-worthy scenery. I feel charged, happy and alive — as if I can physically touch the wehi all around me. Sir Isaac Newton might have been right about the scientific rules which govern our universe, but as any Queenstowner will tell you, there are no rules that can’t be broken.

Did we say that the All Blacks legend Richie McCaw has been known to pilot the helicopter?

ANNANDALE When is a hotel not a hotel? When it is four bespoke villas GETTING THERE

scattered throughout the New Zealand countryside. For bucket list experiences, the state-of-the-art Seascape

For more information on travelling to New Zealand email

cottage on the South Island is hard to beat. Enjoy a glass

a Lightfoot Travel Designer at info@lightfoottravel.com

of champagne in your outdoor spa, dine on gourmet meals in your villa, and take in panoramic views of the ocean.


FLY BY MICROLIGHT OVER THE VICTORIA FALLS See the Smoke That Thunders when you take a trip over the Victoria Falls. Your microlight pilot will whisk you over the Falls, along the Zambezi River and by the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park for a safari with a difference. Want to get even closer to nature? Take a dip in the Devil’s Pool — a natural swimming pool that forms at the lip of the falls during the dry season.

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WORLD'S BEST —

BUCKET-LIST EXPERIENCES WORK YOUR WAY AROUND THE WORLD WITH THESE EPIC HOLIDAY IDEAS FROM LIGHTFOOT TRAVEL'S DESIGNERS


SAIL ON AGATHA CHRISTIE’S BOAT IN EGYPT Literary lovers get excited! You can sail upon the 19thcentury boat that inspired one of Agatha Christie’s books – Death on the Nile. The steamship SS Sudan in Cairo takes guests on a six-day cruise along the famous river. Overflowing with glamorous antiques and Belle Epoque grandeur, this trip has to be one of the most romantic journeys on water.

GO RHINO NOTCHING IN SOUTH AFRICA Get up close to rhinos in the wild when you join a team of vets at Ngala or Phinda Private Game Reserves in South Africa. You will be whisked by 4WD through the bush to see the rhinos safely being tranquilised before the vet notches and gives them a security tag to help protect them in the wild.

TAKE A HELICOPTER SAFARI OF KENYA AND ETHIOPIA

Africa WALK WITH ELEPHANTS IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA When it comes to travelling companions, these are hard to beat. Abu Camp in Botswana gives guests the chance to follow an elephant herd by foot as they wander through the bush, feeding as they go.

Discover some of the most spectacular landscapes imaginable on a helicopter safari that combines Kenya and Ethiopia. Fly across the Danakil Depression, over the subterranean churches of Lalibela and into the highlands of Ethiopia as well as above the lakes of the Great Rift, the mountainous Chyulu Hills and the deserts of Northern Kenya.


Australasia

PLAY HELI GOLF IN QUEENSTOWN Fly high into the mountain range above Queenstown, New Zealand, to play golf’s most extreme par three hole. You will be given the chance to fire 100 per cent biodegradeable golf balls on to a green that lies halfway down the mountain. If you miss, you’ll send your ball into the nearby water hazard, which on this occasion happens to be Lake Wakatipu.

SWIM WITH HUMPBACK WHALES IN AUSTRALIA If spending the day at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ningaloo Reef wasn’t enough, what about spending it in the company of humpback whales? Spotter planes will help your boat find the humpback whale so that you get the best out of your diving or snorkelling trip every time.


SAIL WITH THE AMERICA CUP TEAM IN AUCKLAND Join an American Cup team for a training session in New Zealand. You can learn how to crew the boat or just kick back and watch the professionals in action. Either way, it’s going to be an adrenalin-filled experience that you’ll remember forever.

FLY BY PRIVATE JET TO ULURU See Australia’s most iconic sites in 10 days. Fly by private jet to discover aboriginal paintings in Arnhem Land, admire the formations of the Bungle Bungle then touch down near Uluru so you can get a closer look at the famed monolith.

HIKE ACROSS A GLACIER IN NEW ZEALAND Head out to the Franz Josef Glacier by helicopter then take a guided walk among ice caves, pinnacles and seracs. See the extraordinary colours of the ice-flow from the skies and then get a closer look and deeper understanding on an unforgettable guided walk. Travel By Lightfoot | www.travelbylightfoot.com

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CHARTER A YACHT TO ANTARCTICA You could float around on a yacht in the Med or you could charter a yacht in Antarctica. Lightfoot Travel can arrange for you to take your own bespoke yacht to the White Continent. Your expedition yacht can plough through the ice while you relax in your private sauna. Then once you arrive, the crew can drop one of two Zodiac inflatable boats into the water so that you can witness the wildlife without having someone else’s camera lens obstructing your view.

Americas JOIN A LLAMA CARAVAN IN CHILE

SEE THE REAL AMAZON Leave the tourists behind and take a private yacht down the Tapajós River. Here you can still enjoy a true off-the-beaten-track adventure. Discover cerulean water, white-sand beaches and quiet coves in what Jacques Cousteau called the Caribbean of the Amazon. Go there now, before the rest of the world discovers it.

RIDE WITH GAUCHOS IN PATAGONIA Head to Estancia Huechahue in the foothills of the Andes to learn how to become a gaucho. You can spend the day working cattle with the gauchos and trying your hand with a lasso or you can also ride out with them across the landscape to discover the land they call home. Keen riders can choose to sign up for a 10-day ride across the Andes from Chile to Argentina, camping and staying in estancias en route.

EXPERIENCE ZERO GRAVITY IN FLORIDA If you’ve always had a hankering to be an astronaut this is for you. Join instructors from the Zero Gravity Corporation on a zero gravity flight near Arlington in Florida. After pulling two Gs above the clouds, the pilot will switch off the thrust, giving you the chance to experience weightlessness.

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Follow in the footsteps of the ancient people of the Atacama by joining an Ancestral Caravan tour. Join indigenous people as they take their llamas across the desert, hike through colourful ravines and tell you more about their culture along the way.


RIDE WITH EAGLE HUNTERS OF MONGOLIA

ENJOY A HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE OVER BALI

For a holiday with a difference, head into the wilds of Western Mongolia and spend time with the eagle hunters of Mongolia. You will be able to live alongside the family as they prepare for the annual eagle hunting festival in October, then ride 60km with them across the plains to the festival site to watch them compete in their world-famous yearly competition.

Get a bird’s eye view of Bali as you rise 50 metres above The Chedi Club Ubud. Look out over the rice paddy fields and drink in views of Mount Agung in the near distance. Flights are available at dawn or dusk. Your holiday photographs will never be the same again.

Asia LEARN HOW TO BE A SAMURAI WARRIOR IN JAPAN DIVE WITH WHALE SHARKS IN INDONESIA Looking for a magical holiday? Then how about pulling on your wetsuit and diving with whale sharks. Guests on board the Alila Purnama yacht can now spend time swimming through the waterways of West Papua with these majestic creatures. Not enough of a thrill for you? Head out after dark.

Follow in the footsteps of the Samurai warriors and learn the traditional art of Kembu at the RitzCarlton Kyoto. Not only will you be able to don the traditional robes, but you will be taught about the different types of Japanese sword and learn how to wield one.

TAKE A SUBMARINE RIDE AROUND THE MALDIVES Want to tour the coral reefs without pulling on a wetsuit? Step inside the new three-seater submarine at the Four Seasons Maldives. This James Bond-style craft will take you 37 metres below the surface so that you have the chance to explore the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and spy turtles, sharks, dolphins and rays along the way.


GO TRUFFLE HUNTING IN TUSCANY

Gourmands should hotfoot it to the boutique luxury castle hotel, Castello Di Vicarello in Tuscany. During your stay, not only will you be given the chance to join a local farmer and his dogs as they practise the ancient art of truffle hunting, but you will be able to enjoy a private tour of the vineyard with the owner and taste his fabulous Tuscan wine. Afterwards return to the resort’s kitchen where you will learn how to cook an authentic Tuscan dish with the truffle that you foraged on your travels.

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SEE POLAR BEARS AT THE NORTH POLE Feel like an explorer of old when you join an Arctic icebreaker cruise to the North Pole. Set sail from Helsinki, cross the Barents Sea then arrive at 90 degrees North. Mark your trip with a dip in the Arctic Ocean before you explore the Franz Josef Land archipelago, which is home to walruses and polar bears.

Europe DIVE BETWEEN TWO CONTINENTS IN ICELAND Want to touch two continents at the same time? Then dive into the most unique body of water in the world — the Silfra fissure in Iceland. This watery gap lies between the tectonic plates of North America and Eurasia, so when you take the plunge and dive into this craggy crevice you have the chance to carry out this unusual feat. If you can't dive, you can also snorkel in this crystal clear glacial water that has been filtered underground for decades by the porous lava rock.

PHOTOGRAPHY: ISTOCK

SLIDE DOWN AN OLYMPIC BOBSLEIGH RUN IN FRANCE

SPEND THE DAY WITH THE RUSSIAN ARMY Yes, we did just say that. Lightfoot Travel can arrange for you to join a Russian military unit for the day at a secret location near Moscow. You will wear a military uniform, ride in an Armored Personnel Carrier, visit the shooting gallery and learn how to assemble and disassemble weapons. You will need to know all this because you will be captured by an armed group on arrival at the base. We’re sure that you will be let out in time to enjoy the soldier’s lunch they serve you from their field kitchen.

Find out what it is like to be an Olympian by signing up for a trip down the Olympic Bobsleigh Track in La Plagne. You can live out your Cool Runnings’ experience as you climb into a bobsleigh and take on 19 bends and 1,500 metres of frozen race track in the French Alps. Travel By Lightfoot | www.travelbylightfoot.com

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ADVENTURE —

RIDING HIGH SHELLEY SEALE TRAVELS TO THE “END OF THE WORLD” AS SHE JOURNEYS WITH A CHILEAN COWBOY THROUGH PATAGONIA D E S T I N AT I O N : CHILE

L O C AT I O N : PATA G O N I A

A visitor rides across the Patagonian countryside.

Travel By Lightfoot | www.travelbylightfoot.com

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EXCLUSIVE BLIND WINE TASTING WITH A MASTER SOMMELIER IN SANTIAGO.

Clockwise: Dramatic glaciers. Above: A herd of guanaco. Right: Keep your camera at the ready.

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he mountains were vast, the sky was endless, and only the sounds of birds calling and our horses’ footsteps could be heard. There were no other people in sight and no trails in the remote Chilean wilderness — I was relying completely on Lucho, the experienced cowboy who led the way across the tall, grassy plains and through the trees of this vast desolate landscape. Patagonia is a wild and rugged place, and riding horseback through the Sierra Dorotea Mountains was an adventurous, yet peaceful, way to explore and take in the inspiring beauty found in Southern Chile. Here in the Ultima Esperanza Seno — “Channel of Last Hope” — fjords carve through craggy mountain ranges that creep down hundreds of miles to the Balameda Glacier, near the end of the South American continent. Lucho had greeted me at the estancia (ranch) in silence, with a bone-crushing handshake. He had a rough, windbeaten face beneath a jaunty black beret, and was dressed in the poncho and baggy gaucho pants that were the traditional garb for a baqueano, as Chilean cowboys are called. He clearly had an unspoken connection with the horses as he checked their saddles; the animals moved in tune with him, seeming to know what

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he wanted before he touched them. We set off on horseback without a word, quickly climbing past the log fences of the lonesome ranch and out of sight of civilization. Lucho’s solemn and stoic manner was typical of the baqueanos, who spend most of their lives in solitude in this great expanse of land. He worked the ranches, taking in new horses and taming them, rounding up sheep and cattle in a lifestyle rooted in tradition. Lucho was clearly knowledgeable about every nook and cranny here, leading our horses easily along craggy cliffs, shallow streams and through the occasional snowdrift, which became deeper the higher we climbed. I knew that a person who had not lived and breathed Patagonia their entire life would get lost in this wilderness. The true skill of the baqueano is that of the pathfinder; he knows how to orient himself at all


“ PHOTOGRAPHY: KEITH HAJOVSKY. MAIN SHOT: LIBRARY IMAGE FROM EXPLORA

Lucho greeted me in silence, with a bone-crushing handshake. He had a rough, windbeaten face beneath a jaunty black beret

times, using the sun, the stars and the landscape to find his way. They are famed for knowing how to find shelter and clean drinking water in the middle of nowhere, and it is said that they can find their way anywhere; even in the all-encompassing darkness of the Patagonian night. Until recent years, these forests were the only source of building and firewood for the estancias; some locals would go into the mountains with wagons and bulls, where they would live for months at a time gathering wood before going back down to the valleys to sell it. An isolated existence. We rode without speaking, picking our way among rocks and fallen trees. Lucho smoked one cigarette after another as he rode. The silence was comforting, reverent almost; it felt as if speech would break the spell cast by the untouched nature

Below: Lucho starting a fire. Right: Ultimate road trip.

that was all around us. As we crested ridge after ridge, the forest gave way to sweeping drops over thousands of feet. Lucho stopped occasionally for me to admire the view, though he remained fairly uninterested in anything beyond his horse, his cigarettes, and this land. It’s not that he was rude, but outsiders were simply not a factor in his world, beyond not letting us become lost forever in this outback. My horse beneath me, though I could not remember his long Chilean name, was strong and dependable. It was certainly not the nose-to-tail, broken trail horse that one often finds in riding excursions meant for tourists. Yet he was calm and trusting, sure-footed and dependable. The Chilean horse is one of the oldest equine breeds in the Americas, and perfectly adapted to the life in Patagonia. He responded easily to my commands and I trusted him in return. In one direction, far below were the lakes and fjords. Across to the east, over the next mountain ridge, was Argentina. The horses began carefully picking their way up a steeper incline covered with loose rock, and I was looking at the path below when suddenly we came to a stop. Glancing up, I saw that we had come to a mesa overlook. Framed by two massive granite rocks, a breathtaking view was before me: a deep purple valley framed by snowcapped mountains in the far distance, a dramatic landscape formed by centuries of cataclysmic earthquakes, glacier movements and volcanic eruptions. It was worth it travelling all this way for this view alone.


“

Its inaccessibility from the rest of the world creates a place that is rarely found by today's intrepid travellers: a pureness that has been changed little by man

�

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Clockwise from left: More riders exploring the wilds of Patagonia. One of the horses taking our writer on her tour. A condor circling overhead. Chilean cowboy Lucho helping to keep centuries of tradition alive.

EPIC RIDES No, you’re not dreaming, you can actually do this…

Lucho dismounted, unsheathed a carved silver knife at his belt, and began hacking away at small tree branches. Soon he had built a roaring fire, over which he brewed some mate tea as he stared wordlessly into the flames while the horses snorted and stamped their feet nearby. Here, in one of the most remote and wild places I had ever been, I got a glimpse into a lifestyle unchanged for centuries. The size of Patagonia and its forbidding topography proves too harsh for much human conquering. Its inaccessibility from the rest of the world creates a place that is rarely found by today’s intrepid travellers: a pureness that has been little changed by man. Rather, it seems, it changes those who visit instead. Immersed here, one quickly understands why Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral described Patagonia as “beautiful desolation.”

GETTING THERE For more information on travelling to Patagonia email a Lightfoot Travel Designer at info@lightfoottravel.com

JOURNEY ACROSS

GALLOP ACROSS THE

THE MASAI MARA

MONGOLIAN PLAINS

For a hack with a difference

Fancy riding with some

head to the Masai Mara.

of the best horsemen

Ride out with a team

in the world? Then how

through the Kenyan bush

about joining the Golden

and spy giraffes and

Eagle Hunters for a

elephants along the way.

journey across the plains

Enjoy a picnic enroute,

of Mongolia? Each year,

then hunker down around

the nomadic herdsmen

a campfire after dinner

ride — with eagles in hand

to swap stories with your

— to their annual festival

fellow riders.

and if you are a guest of Lightfoot Travel you can

RIDE THROUGH A DELTA

join them. This is definitely

Possibly the most

one for the bucket list.

glamorous way to cool off during a ride — canter

TREK ACROSS

with a team through

THE ANDES

the Okavango Delta in

Join your sure-footed steed

Botswana. You will have

at Estancias Huechahue

more than 50 horses to

in Argentina and go on a

choose from for your

10-day ride across the

African adventure. And

Andes to Chile. Spy open

after a day in the saddle

plains, mountains, forests

you will be able to relax at

and volcanoes on this

Macatoo Camp.

phenomenal ride. Travel By Lightfoot | www.travelbylightfoot.com

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S I LV E R S E A P R E S E N T S

GET POLARISED

LET US TAKE YOU CLOSER TO THE AUTHENTIC BEAUTY OF THE POLAR REGIONS


I

f you want to follow in the footsteps of the great explorers, but don’t want to leave those little luxuries behind, set sail with Silversea Expeditions. The team is ready to take you to the edge of the world with all the comforts you love. Aided by a team of world-class experts, its ultra-luxury ships are modern gems of design, excelling in fine living and exploration. The Silversea team recently launched the Silver Cloud Expedition, which has brought a new level of luxury to the Polar regions. It has been designed to offer its guests the ultimate wildlife experience. Not only do 80 per cent of its suites feature

Ushuaia

verandas, but you have the chance to make use of 16 Zodiacs and 10 kayaks so that you can get even closer to the wildlife. When you’re not watching a breaching whale or penguins cavorting in the waves, you can relax in your spacious suite, tantalise your taste buds in one of the four restaurants or book a bespoke treatment at the spa. Silversea is determined to make you feel pampered from the moment that you step on board, which is why it offers the largest space to guest ratio and the highest crew to guest ratio in expedition cruising. So what’s stopping you? Choose your bucket-list journey now.

Svalbard Northern Region

Longyearbyen Svalbard Southern Region

South Shetland Islands

Antarctic Sound

Antarctic Peninsula

A N TA R C T I C A

USHUAIA ROUND TRIP VOYAGE 1826 – 22 NOVEMBER 2018

Cruise & Explore Bear Island Tromsø

Skarsvag

Gjesværstappan Islands

ARCTIC

TROMSØ TO LONGYEARBYEN VOYAGE 1915 – 2 JULY 2019

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina 2-3 Drake Passage 4 Antarctic Sound 5-7 Antarctic Peninsula 8 South Shetland Islands 9-10 Drake Passage 11 Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 1 Tromsø 2 Gjeværstappan Islands 2 Skarsvag 3 Bear Island 4-6 Svalbard Southern Region 7-10 Svalbard Northern Region 11 Longyearbyen

Other recommended Antarctica departures: 12 December 2018, 5 February 2019

Other recommended Arctic departures: 12 July 2019, 22 July 2019, 14 August 2019

DISCOVER OUR POLAR REGIONS OFFERS ON SILVERSEA.COM OR CONTACT LIGHTFOOTTRAVEL.COM. #THISISSILVERSEA


I N S P I R AT I O N —

PRIVATE ISLANDS FOR HIRE WHO NEEDS A PRIVATE BEACH, WHEN YOU CAN BOOK THE WHOLE ISLAND?

THE ONE THAT HAS 12 BOATS

The island loved by Hollywood.

ARIARA ISLAND, PHILIPPINES

Clockwise from top: Ariara Island. Its private beach. One of its watercraft.

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Forget about sleeping in a hammock. This 125-acre island near Palawan in the Philippines, features four beach villas complete with vaulted ceilings, four-poster beds and marble bathrooms. A team of 30 staff will cater to your every whim. So whether you want breakfast at midday, champagne by the pool or to have a masseuse ease your cares away, Ariara Island is the place to do it. TREASURE ISLAND: With 12 boats at your beck and call, you and your friends can dive from your boat straight onto your own private coral reef. Need a few extra tips? Then ask your personal PADI dive master.

Travel By Lightfoot | www.travelbylightfoot.com

THE ONE WITH THE SPA

CAYO ESPANTO, BELIZE Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are just three of the celebrities who have chosen to get away from it all at Cayo Espanto. Once you take a look at the island, you’ll understand why. Spend the day trekking through the jungle, enjoying scuba diving adventures or being

pampered at the spa. Then spend the night in one of seven bespoke villas, which overlook the ocean. TREASURE ISLAND: Expect destination dining every night. Just tell the chef where you want to eat and they’ll set up a private pop-up restaurant for you.


THE ONE WITH A SUBMARINE

LAUCALA ISLAND, FIJI A tropical island owned by the co-founder of Red Bull? It has to be the ultimate adventure. Laucala Island, which features 25 villas, gives you every opportunity to get your adrenalin fix. Hike through the jungle to secluded waterfalls, play a round of golf on the 18-hole championship course, go for a horseback ride across the beach or take one of its 14 boats out for a sail around the island. If you were in any doubt over what an adventure playground Laucala Island is, one part of it is called Jurassic Park. Exactly.

THE ONE WITH A ZIP LINE

TREASURE ISLAND:

JICARO ISLAND LODGE, NICARAGUA Feel like the king of the jungle by hiring the whole of Jicaro Island on Lake Nicaragua. This eco-chic resort has nine private lodges that each have a view of the water. Once you’ve worked out where you want to rest your head, you can enjoy a few laps in your private pool, go on a horseback ride, enjoy a kayaking trip at sunset or whisk through the jungle canopy on your own zip line. If you wish to practise your Tarzan yell as you hurtle through the trees, you can, because no-one else is there to hear you. TREASURE ISLAND:

If a spa isn’t exclusive enough for you, how about a massage on a floating platform in the middle of a lake?

Clockwise from top: Laucala Island. Set sail on this boat. The Hilltop Estate bedroom.

Want to view sea life without getting wet? Go for a ride in Laucala Island’s own submarine.

Whisk through the jungle canopy of this Nicaraguan island on your own zip line

Clockwise from left: Jicaro Island Lodge. Relax on a floating deck. One of the tropical casitas.


THE ONE WITH ITS OWN MUSEUM

MIAVANA - TIME + TIDE, MADAGASCAR

THE ONE WITH ITS OWN ECOLOGIST

NORTH ISLAND, SEYCHELLES Looking for paradise? Then follow in George and Amal Clooney’s footsteps and take a helicopter or speedboat ride to North Island off the coast of the Seychelles. Here you will find just 11 barefoot chic villas, which come with plunge pools, driftwood sculptures and breathtaking views of the ocean. The resort has its own spa, an ecologist (who will take you on guided walks through the jungle), and a chef who doesn’t work to a menu, but to what your tastes are.

TREASURE ISLAND:

The island comes with its own Cabinet de Curiosities, which have been collected by the owners. Within the museum you will find anything from clothing owned by Madagascan royals to 17th-century cannons.

Below: North Island — where A-listers and royalty honeymoon. Left: Picture yourself on this deck.

TREASURE ISLAND:

There are four white beaches for you to venture to.

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The team behind North Island has launched Miavana – Time + Tide on Nosy Ankao in Madagascar. Less barefoot chic and more Palm Springs, this truly is the last word in luxury. Take a helicopter ride to the island hideaway. Your family and friends can choose from one of 14 villas, which come complete with a butler, plunge pool and kitchen should anyone fancy a midnight snack.

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Clockwise from above: The mini museum. Your neighbour. Your little piece of Madagascar.


Clockwise from above: Find your own piece of paradise at Bawah Island. Three of the 13 islands. Relax in one of the glamorous overwater suites.

THE ONE WITH 13 BEACHES

BAWAH, INDONESIA Well, when we say island — we mean islands. This barefoot chic hotel is spread over a mini archipelago of six tropical islands. Just 70 people at one time have the chance to trek through the lush rainforests, relax on the golden beaches and take a dip in the cerulean sea. So that’s just 11.6 people per island. If a member

of the family is annoying you, you don’t need to worry as there are 13 beaches to relax on. With this island hideaway you can all find your own secluded escape. TREASURE ISLAND: The island is set in a marine conservation area so snorkelling in these protected waters is like diving into an aquarium.

Editor’s Note “I WOULD LOVE TO HIRE A PRIVATE ISLAND AND INVITE THE WHOLE FAMILY." M A R I N M I N A M I YA


ADVENTURE —

OUT OF AFRICA PHOTOGRAPHER ALWYN CHONG PADDLED 400 KILOMETRES ALONG THE CROCODILEINFESTED AFRICAN RIVER D E S T I N AT I O N : B OT S WA N A

L O C AT I O N : O K AVA N G O D E LTA

The sprawling Okavango Delta.

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A

ll good stories start around a campfire. And it was when Singaporean Alwyn Chong and his friend Roger Dugmore, were hunkered around a campfire on safari in Botswana that they first came up with the idea of canoeing down the Okavango Delta. Dugmore’s nephew had just told them about an expedition where he canoed 1,600km from Angola to Botswana and Chong was instantly hooked. “I said I would have jumped at the chance of joining him if I’d known about it,” says Chong. “It was then that Roger and I decided to canoe down the Okavango Delta.” A year later, Chong, Dugmore and four others set off to paddle 400 kilometres along the crocodile infested river in Botswana. It was the fifth time that Chong had joined Dugmore and his team on safari, but it would be the first time that they would take to the river and see a part of Botswana they hadn’t seen before. “My first days in Botswana are always spent re-acquainting myself with the familiar smells and sights, taking time to clear the mind and unwind from the city,” says Chong. ‘This time was slightly different, there was anticipation

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as it was only my second time in a canoe, and my first true expedition.” The team made sure that they all had the right equipment for their trip and planned out a route as best as they could, knowing that the delta’s channels are not always permanent. “Safety was also a primary concern and we had to be prepared for whatever may happen,” says Chong. “It was our mission to start together as six and end together as six.” The journey would take them past Buffalo Fence, Fridge Island and on to the Okavango Panhandle, a narrow strip of swamp land that extends to the Namibian border. While it was the first time that Chong had ever done anything like this on such a scale, he wasn’t phased by what lay ahead of him, although he confesses that it was more to do with ignorance is bliss. “At the beginning, you don’t know what you are about to encounter. You go with a naive eye. It’s only when you get further into your adventure that you realise what it’s going to involve,” he says. “If you don’t know what’s up [the river], it gives you the courage to jump in.”


We were sitting chatting around the fire, when suddenly we were in the middle of a zebra stampede

PHOTOGRAPHY ALWYN CHONG

Clockwise from left: The team preparing for their adventure. Cutting through the waterways. Checking the route.

The night that they arrived at the river they were treated to a slight shower, but on the morning of departure they were met with clear skies. The photographer was instantly inspired. From the changing landscapes, to the flocks of birds, and the regular sightings of elephants and hippos, Chong says he was overwhelmed. “I had been on safari to Botswana four times. But I was amazed by how much of the delta I hadn’t seen,” he says. They would see crocodiles every couple of kilometres, but they didn't have to worry about these prehistoric-looking creatures, for Chong said that as soon as the crocodiles saw the canoes they would dive under the water and the canoeists would just paddle over the top of them. However, when they met some hippos, they did change direction. Hippos are known for being aggressive and unpredictable at the best of times, but Chong said that this group of hippos had a particular reason to take a dislike to the passing canoeists. “We saw a huge pod of hippos with their young,” says Chong. “The channel wasn’t very wide so we had to find another way out.” The team instantly backpaddled and found another tributary.

While the water was flat, the wind would cause the canoeists difficulty, particularly when they had to cross wide open areas with very little shelter. “There were a few tough days when the wind was strong and paddling was tough,” says Chong. “We just had to keep pushing forward as we needed to get to our campsite. As a lot of the grassy areas are floating plants, you need to get to solid ground before it gets dark so that you can pitch your tent and not lose your way.”


We plan to do one expedition every year for the next 10 years. Adventure is what life is all about

Their only close call on the trip actually happened on dry land. “We were sitting chatting around the fire, when suddenly we were in the middle of a zebra stampede,” says Chong. “We made a lot of noise to scare them off, but we basically couldn’t do anything. We braced for impact. About 20 of them ran by us.” Luckily, no one was hurt. But Chong adds. “You laugh about it afterwards, but we did wonder what had been chasing them.”

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He admits that it took him a few days to get into the swing of things, but it wasn’t long before spending time on the river became second nature. “We would spend time on the sand bars to enjoy our daily dip in the delta, and use the fine sand and silt at the bottom for exfoliation.” They also had the chance to meet some of the local communities who were spread out along the river. And when Chong wasn’t paddling, he was taking photographs. Spending hours on end in


Left to right: Navigating the vegetated islands. Chong (second from right) with his fellow adventurers.

a canoe did have its limitations, but somehow Chong managed. “Photography-wise when you’re in a canoe you can’t take a lot of equipment with you,” says Chong. The other issue was that he wasn’t resting on a stable surface. “It’s not like when you’re in a vehicle and you can manoeuvre yourself into position. You can’t always go back to that point, so I had to go with the flow,” he adds. However, the photographer managed to capture an array of images, which he has now collated in a book that he is selling to raise funds for a children’s charity in Botswana. When the 15-day expedition was complete, the city slicker admits he wished he could have gone on for longer. “I was sad it was all over. We spent the first few days trying to get into the swing of things, then we settled down and before we knew it we were leaving… We were told we were quite crazy [to do it]. It was an amazing journey,” says Chong. Chong is now in the middle of completing a Botswanan triology with Dugmore. They recently crossed the Makgadikgadi Pan on ATVs and next year they intend to take on the Western Kalahari Desert. “We plan to do one expedition, every year for the next 10 years,” says Chong. “Adventure is what life is all about.”

O U T - O F - T H I S -WO R L D SA FA R I S If you are going to go on safari, go in style

PHOTOGRAPHY SAFARI

ATV SAFARI

HOT AIR BALLOON SAFARI

Join the Wild Studio on safari in Botswana or

Not only is Botswana home to the lush

Get a bird’s eye view of the African

Kenya for a photography masterclass with

Okavango Delta, it’s also the setting of the

wilderness. If you book a stay at Vumbura

a difference. Learn tips and tricks on location

Makgadikgadi Pan, one of the largest salt flats

Plains in Botswana you can enjoy a scenic

from the expert, then leave with a coffee table

in the world. If you stay at Jack’s Camp, you

hot air balloon ride across the striking

book of all your favourite shots.

can ride out to the former lake by quad bike.

Okavango Delta.


AC C O R P R E S E N TS

ISLAND HIDEAWAY 10 REASONS WHY YOU’LL WANT TO ADD FAIRMONT MALDIVES SIRRU FEN FUSHI TO YOUR BUCKET LIST

W

ant to get away from it all? Head to the Secret Water Island in the Maldives. For the private island is now home to the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi – the ultimate in castaway chic. Just a 50-minute flight from Male, the island hideaway that is one of Accor's luxury brands has brought numerous firsts to the Maldives. Take a look at what's on offer. We won’t blame you if you want to keep it a secret a little longer… SLEEP IN THE JUNGLE Adventure-seeking families will love the Jungle Tented Villas that lie hidden within Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi's lush inland jungle. Designed by South African luxury tent specialists Bushtec Safari, the Tented Villas are designed to let you get even closer to nature. But as you would expect of the Fairmont, you'll also find your tent comes with a wine fridge, Bose Sound systems, a kingsize bed and butler. VISIT THE ULTIMATE KIDS' CLUB Why have one kids' club when you can have three? The Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi offers a Kids' Club, Toddler's Play Garden and Majaa, a dedicated town for teens. Teens will love the Instagram-worthy hangout, which comprises a stack of hip shipping containers. They can chill out here after taking part in Maldivian cooking classes, motorised water sports and kayaking the lagoon.


Clockwise from top: Discover the Secret Water Island. Relax in a Tented Jungle Villa. Dine on local dishes. Explore the house reef.

TAKE A MASTERCLASS WITH AN ARTIST Whether you’re a beginner or a master of the brush, you will want to spend time at the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi Art Studio. You will find all the tools you need to create a mini masterpiece and the resident and visiting artists will be there to help guide you too.

SWIM IN A GIANT LAP POOL Take a dip in the longest lap pool in the Maldives. Cutting across the breadth of the island, the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi swimming pool measures an astounding 200 metres. You will definitely have earnt your breakfast after burning calories here.

SPEND THE NIGHT ON THE OCEAN Want to make your trip extra special? Need a little alone time? How about booking an overnight cruise on a private yacht, and enjoying dinner under the stars before you spend the night on the ocean?

SPY WILDLIFE For magical wildlife moments, the Secret Water Island is hard to beat. From seeing manta rays cruise along the reef, to finding turtles hatching outside of your villa, to spying wild dolphins perfecting their acrobatics in the waves when you set sail on a sunset cruise.

ENJOY A CASTAWAY PICNIC Leave the rest of the world behind and be whisked away to a lush uninhabited island where you can picnic on its white sand beach and swim along the cerulean shore. Love the experience? Well, this is just one of the destination dining moments that the Fairmont offers. MEET THE LOCALS Visit a nearby island community and learn more about their way of life. Then travel to the uninhabited island of Utheemu where you can visit the home of the island king who is considered a hero for helping to save his people after overthrowing the Portuguese conquerors.

COOK WITH A MALDIVIAN CHEF If you’ve fallen in love with those rich Maldivian curries, join the resort’s expert chef for a private lesson and learn how you can reproduce these mouthwatering recipes at home. PLANT A TREE Take the opportunity to give back to this island paradise by planting your own coconut tree. Not only will you help do your part to save the environment, you'll have the perfect excuse to return to see how much it has grown.

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F A M I LY —

WORLD’S BEST KIDS’ CLUBS FROM A YACHT IN THE GREEK ISLANDS TO A DJ BOOTH IN THE MALDIVES, YOU’LL NEVER HEAR "I’M BORED" AGAIN WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR TOTS INTO ONE OF THESE

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FOR WATER BABES Crossing The Sea, Greece When is a yacht not a yacht? When it’s a floating kids club. The boat-ique Crossing The Sea flotilla, which journeys around the Greek islands comes with its own yacht for kids. At this mini mariners kids’ club, tots can learn how to read the wind, manoeuvre the rudder and tie knots, as the flotilla travels from Skiathos to Skopelos via Peristera. When they are not practising their sailing techniques, they can enjoy water sports with their friends or take part in treasure hunts when they go ashore. There is no fear of living off the ship’s biscuits as the kids will be treated to mini Mediterranean dishes prepared by the Kids’ Club crew.


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Clockwise from left: Burn calories at The Resort At Paws Up. Your tots can sign up for one of the six sports academies at Rocco Forte Verdura Resort in Sicily. Learn bush tracking skills in Botswana. The Den that’s full of surprises at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives.

Zarafa Camp, Botswana Nature loving kids can become conservation warriors with The Great Plains Young Explorers Programme. Apart from joining the rangers on game drives, children aged eight to 15 will be able to learn bush tracking skills, survival techniques and how to cook in the great outdoors. The Zarafa Camp is set in the Selinda Reserve, which is home to leopards, lions, giraffes, elephants, buffalo and hippos, so there's a good chance they will spy an animal or two with their binoculars.

FOR MUSICIANS

Soneva Fushi, Maldives Warning! When your tots step inside the Den in the Maldives they will never want to leave. This innovative club is purpose-built for tiny adventurers. From the DJ booth and drum kit, to the ping pong hut and in-house cinema… this jungle gym-style club made from bamboo will provide non-stop entertainment. If they want to cool off after all that excitement, the Den also comes with its own waterslide and pool. It’s free for guests aged four and up.

It's also home to six sports academies, including one run by Juventus Football Club

FOR ADRENALIN ADDICTS

The Resort At Paws Up, USA This luxury ranch in the wilderness of Montana is one huge playground. The original glamping site features two kids clubs – Little Discovers (age three to five) and Adventure Club (age six to 12). During the summer months they’ll enjoy go-kart races, zip-line rides and pony treks, and during winter they will play ice hockey and go luge-style sledding. You won't need to worry about them asking for extra data on this trip — they will be having too much fun outside. You can book the family into one of the lodges or complete the wild west adventure and reserve one of the luxury tents for your stay.

FOR SPORTS FANS

Rocco Forte Verdura Resort, Italy No surprise that the showstopping Rocco Forte Verdura Resort in Sicily comes with one of the best kids’ clubs around. The purpose-built kids’ club Verdùland features a science lab, cooking school, arts and crafts zone, heated outdoor pool and video games room. The club is open to children from newborn to 12 years old. Tiny babes (newborns to three years of age) have their own nap zone and dedicated playroom. On top of this Rocco Forte Verdura Resort is also home to six sports academies, including one run by Juventus Football Club.

FOR ANIMAL LOVERS


DREAM LIFE —

SAIL AWAY NEW YORKERS CONNER ESWORTHY AND KARL GERCHOW WANTED A SIMPLER LIFE, SO THEY QUIT THEIR JOBS AND SET SAIL FOR THE CARIBBEAN

Y

ou could start your day squeezed between other commuters on the subway, or you could start your day by weighing anchor and setting sail for the next tranquil bay… New Yorkers Conner Esworthy and Karl Gerchow, both 33, chose the latter. After spending 10 years climbing the corporate ladder in the Big Apple, the couple thought that there must be something more to life… maybe a simpler life. “After a decade or so of living in New York, we were ready for a change,” says Esworthy. “We would have never dreamt about this 10 — or even five — years ago, but here we are, aboard a sailboat in the Bahamas and seeing a bit more of the world one day at a time.” The idea of living on a boat attracted the couple for two reasons — it offers simplicity and at the same time, challenges them to learn a new set of skills. Neither of them grew up sailing. They had taken out a dinghy a few times on the Long Island Sound, but until they signed up for a sailing course in Grenada this was the extent of their knowledge. Above: Conner Esworthy and Karl Gerchow on board Contigo. Right: Marigot Bay in St Lucia.

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Clockwise from top left: Gerchow diving into the ultimate plunge pool. Bass Harbour lighthouse. Taking a dip in Great Sale Cay. Esworthy on a morning stroll. White sand awaits at the Turks and Caicos. An earlier practise run at Westport in Massachusetts. Esworthy taking in a sunset. Embracing the slow life.

“

We would never have dreamt about this 10 years ago, but here we are, aboard a sailboat in the Bahamas and seeing a bit more of the world one day at a time

�

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With their new American Sailing Association qualification under their belt they were then able to charter a boat in the Caribbean. “We used the trip as a test to see if living aboard a sailboat full-time was for us,” says Esworthy. However, they never seemed to find the right time to quit their jobs — Gerchow working for an investment firm and Esworthy working for a healthcare start-up. Then three months later, they met by chance a retiree who wanted to sell his boat Contigo. The couple then announced on their new blog that they had bought a boat, and they then quit their jobs ready for a life on the ocean. They knew that they had a lot to learn, but this was a case of now or never. The boat also gave them a starting point as it also came with crisp charts for navigating the South Pacific Ocean. They sold or gave away almost all of their landbased furniture and gave the keys to their rented apartment in Brooklyn back to their landlord. In February 2017 they moved out and changed their lives forever. They had already been preparing themselves for a life change by living more frugally than their salaries required and they were ready to live on their savings.

T

hey started with a plan to explore the Eastern Seaboard, sailing from Chesapeake Bay to Penobscot in Maine, then move onto the Bahamas for their second leg. Next, they decided to head towards the Southern Caribbean to avoid the 2018 hurricane season. However, they gave themselves the flexibility to stop and get off the boat when they wished and if they didn’t like a place, just weigh anchor and move. The cruising paths they chose were also well-trodden so they could find plenty of information on the internet by sailors who had been there before. They were wellaware that they were new to this, they were going to make mistakes and when they were not working on the boat, they were devouring sailing blogs and getting advice from other sailors. The first lesson that the boat gave them was to reset their expectations. They had to accept what they could and could not control. “They say that sailing frees you of the expectations and confines of society, but in exchange you forsake its security and comforts,” says Esworthy. “We are now more comfortable being uncomfortable and accepting of the things we cannot change, such as weather and boat maintenance.” But then there are certain things that they would never want to change — including the fact that they wake to some of the most picturesque sights. “On Christmas morning in Gun Cay, south of Bimini, I watched the sunrise over water that was so still I could see fish jumping on the horizon,” says Esworthy. “On another occasion we arrived under thick fog in Blue Hill, Maine, and woke the next morning to see a picturesque New England harbour.”

Life on the boat also comes with stress, but it is a different kind. “In New York, it could seem constant (too much traffic, too little time in the day), while life aboard has its moments of stress and panic when action must be taken, but happily it subsides,” she adds. One particularly challenging time on the boat was when they sailed from Bimini to Freeport in the Bahamas. “The conditions were less than ideal for sailing and we forced our departure to get a repair done. Our destination lay straight upwind, so we spent the day tacking back and forth and bashing bow first into choppy sea. The turbulence left the inside of our boat in total disarray and the nauseating smell of a broken gas canister pervaded the cockpit. What should have been an eight-hour journey turned into a tortuous 14hour expedition.” However, Esworthy says that while she is sure that they are sure to face many other issues, they wouldn’t change their new life for the world. “We have had so many beautiful and rewarding days on the water. There is a feeling that hits us, every so often, which sums up everything that we love about cruising. The expansive beauty and power of the ocean, the freedom of being out here answering only to ourselves, and perfect wind and sea-state conditions that make for a great afternoon sail. We have had many memorable moments, and it never gets old.” Follow Conner Esworthy and Karl Gerchow’s adventures on their blog TwoAnchovies.com

Editor’s Note “WHEN I’VE FINISHED MY STUDIES, I PLAN TO SAIL AROUND THE WORLD.” M A R I N M I N A M I YA

DREAM BOATS Three more reasons why you’ll want to do your sightseeing by water

INDONESIA

FRANCE

LAOS

Discover the Indonesian

Cruise along French

Set sail along the Mekong

archipelago in style. Set sail

waterways upon Belmond’s

in the luxury Gypsy cruiser.

with Rascal Charters — a

new luxury barge —

This four-berth vessel will

super-luxe sailing yacht

Belmond Pivoine — that

take you from Anantara

that combines the style of

will take you from La

Golden Triangle Elephant

a traditional Phinisi sailing

Ferte-Sous-Jouarre to

Camp in Chiang Rai to the

boat with the luxuries of a

Châlons-en-Champagne.

UNESCO World Heritage

world class hotel. You can

Stop to visit vineyards, tour

City of Luang Prabang

visit the UNESCO World

picturesque French villages

in Laos. Watch the world

Heritage Site of Komodo

or just watch the world go

go by from your private

National Park or go diving

by while sipping a glass of

veranda or go ashore to

in Raja Ampat. For extra

champagne in the hot tub

discover the Pak Ou caves,

barefoot fun, sea kayaking,

on your deck.

enjoy some Laos whisky or

wakeboarding or snorkelling

go jungle trekking.

can be arranged.

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FOOD & DRINK —

TOP CHEF JONATHAN THOMPSON HEADS TO THE PICTURESQUE HOMESTEAD OF FAMED CHEF ALAIN DUCASSE, IN A BID TO IMPROVE HIS KITCHEN SKILLS

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“Z

The 17th-century bastide Alain Ducasse fell in love with. Right: Chef Christophe Martin.

at’s not ze way to cook!” rants the zesty Frenchman in front of me. In one fist he holds a limp, freshly skinned rabbit carcass. In the other a long, sharp knife. I’m not about to disagree. If there’s one thing more disappointing than my overconfident schoolboy French, it’s my underconfident schoolboy cooking (read instant meals). So I’d travelled here, to a Michelin-starred auberge deep in the abundant heart of Provence, to tackle both bête noires as one. La Bastide de Moustiers might sound like the title of an Alexandre Dumas novel, but it’s actually a boutique hotel and restaurant — owned by France’s most celebrated chef, Alain Ducasse. One afternoon in 1994, so the story goes, Ducasse was riding his motorbike through this part of rural Provence. As he rounded a corner, he suddenly beheld the 17th-century Bastide (‘country house’), “rising up out of the fields of lavender and olive trees.” It was love at first sight and — fortunately for the property-hungry chef — the house was already for sale. After buying the bastide, Ducasse created the unique 12-bedroom hotel, which stands here today (and recently underwent another major renovation in Spring 2018). His concept was to create the ultimate “safe harbour” in one of the prettiest pockets of Europe. Ironic, then, that I have picked somewhere so cosy to leave my own comfort zone. For the duration of my crash course in gastronomy, I’m at the mercy of Ducasse’s chief culinary henchman — Christophe Martin. Kitted out in a set of pristine chef’s whites, I start with the easy stuff. First I’m introduced to La Bastide’s glamorous pastry chef, Martina, who shows me how to create the petits fours to be served with coffee. I mix pine nuts and raisins with flour and three carefully broken eggs, before piping the gourmand gloop into a cake tray and hefting it ovenwards. So far, assez-bien. To her credit, Martina is calm and patient, and we get along fine in tentative French. The experience couldn’t be further from the Kitchen Nightmaresesque scenario I’d envisaged: all flaming pans and shrieking, flour fingered psychopaths. This is more like baking cakes with a doting relative. When the petits fours emerge, it’s immediately obvious which are mine and which are Martina’s.


EXCLUSIVE DINE IN A CASTLE IN THE LOIRE VALLEY WITH THE OWNERS.

Clockwise from left: La Bastide de Moustiers' tranquil pool. The Michelin-starred restaurant. Working with locally-grown ingredients. The restaurant's garden. Roasted octopus with purple aubergine. Buckwheat granola with honey, citrus and pine nuts. Right: The bastide.

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Our rabbit stew is left to bubble away as we move onto a starter: lamb ravioli. Again, Christophe passes on a number of little tips, including his ardent assertion that summer savory is the best herb for lamb in any situation; never mint. As we prepare the fresh pasta (my job is folding and sealing the ravioli), La Bastide’s two full-time gardeners appear at the door with trays of fresh homage to the chef. It’s snapped up, washed up and chopped up with terrifying speed. The view from the kitchen doorway is spectacular. The sun-drizzled courtyard is heavy with lavender and, once my kitchen work is done, I adjourn to the heated pool and soak up the stunning views unfolding across the verdant valley. There’s a deep sense of peace and tranquility here: as if summer itself has somehow been captured in one of those dusty, outsized glass jars, and the lid firmly sealed. I feel a strange sense of pride that evening when, sitting in the small dining room, I watch guests order and eat the lamb ravioli and rabbit stew from the menu. It’s not often you get to enter the home of a Michelin-starred chef, let alone cook in it. You have a completely different appreciation of food — haute cuisine or otherwise — once you’ve been in a kitchen like this: the effort, the artistry, the preparation that goes into the delicate, complex flavours. Having said that, I can still recognise my work — and cringe — when the petits fours are served to a table of businessmen. What I’ve garnered from this little corner of paradise is more than just a few recipes and a smattering of French phrases. It’s an acceptance that making good food doesn’t need to be difficult or stressful. Time is definitely up on my fridge full of instant meals: the easy option is neither relaxing, healthy or fun to prepare. It’s not ze way to cook.

Editor’s Note “I WOULD LOVE TO DO THIS. WHEN MY STEPMOTHER COOKS, SHE DOES EVERYTHING IN ORDER. I FEEL BARBARIC WHEN I COOK. I AM ALWAYS SWEATING IN THE KITCHEN AND WONDERING WHERE THE SALT IS…” M A R I N M I N A M I YA

PHOTOGRAPHY: @LABASTIDEDEMOUSTIERS

Namely because hers are pert, fluffy and golden — while mine are shrivelled and lopsided. Martina laughs and says they’re “très bien”. I’m not sure the officials from the Michelin Guide would agree, but at least my pidgin French is starting to pick up. For the main course, I’m instructed by Christophe Martin himself. My first job is dissecting the rabbit carcass he thrusts at me with one word: “Roger” (even my French is robust enough to know this is a joke). The task isn’t as bad as it sounds: it’s more clinical, as I learn how to extract the most meat with tactical chopping and slicing, starting around the rabbit’s spine. Christophe is an old friend of Ducasse and travels the world to supervise his best restaurants. “Wherever I put my suitcase, that’s my home,” he smiles. “And my suitcase is full of saucepans.” Learning one step removed from a maestro is fascinating. Garlic is always crushed under the palm (“faire claquer”) rather than chopped, while the skin is left on as it’s tossed into the pot. Next I learn how to core a carrot (which Christophe says should always be done, because the centre “tastes like wood”), not to mention the key differences between 14 types of basil (until today I didn’t realise there was more than one type). It’s a great deal of fun, working in this sunny Provencal kitchen. Christophe is at pains to point out that this is the Ducasse way: the preparation of good food is something that should be enjoyable and relaxing. It’s an approach championed by all at Bastide de Moustiers, including the incoming head chef, Frederic Garnier. La Bastide’s five-strong kitchen team dart about the kitchen like a school of fish in a fast flowing stream. Lines of herbs hang from the homely ceiling like permanent Christmas decorations, while dusty, outsized glass jars house exotic ingredients on high shelves.


Christophe is at pains to point out that this is the Ducasse way: the preparation of good food is something that should be both enjoyable and relaxing

EPICUREAN ESCAPES Trips that are made to make your mouth water TAKE A TRAIN JOURNEY WITH CHEF JAMES MARTIN The celebrity chef will be cooking up a storm on the Belmond British Pullman in November. Dine on his dishes as you watch the English countryside roll past your window. MEET A VIRTUAL CHEF Art meets food. Watch a 5cm-high chef stir the soup on your table and fry virtual steaks in front of your eyes. The Belgian Skullmapping artists have joined with Alila Anji in Zhejiang to bring their famed Le Petit Chef projection mapping creation to its restaurant. ENJOY A KRUG PICNIC AT WOLGAN VALLEY Climb into a 4WD and let the One&Only Wolgan Valley team whisk you to a secluded location where you can enjoy an exclusive Krug Picnic. Look out over the Blue Mountains and watch kangaroos bounce by as you indulge in Krug Grande Cuvée 166ème Édition, a Victor Churchill charcuterie board and Maroochydore king prawns served with lemon.


Our journeys change lives

35 YEARS OF

Travelling with Purpose Since 1983, our Purpose has remained the same. We are proud pioneers of sustainable and authentic ecotourism in Africa, creating life-changing journeys throughout Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Our story is one of conservation and hope; celebrating culture, communities and extraordinary wildlife encounters. Our story is about Africa. Our story is about Purpose.

www.wilderness-safaris.com


BEST PLACE TO

Jack's Stir Brew.

HAVE A COFFEE…. Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee is organic Fair Trade. Best tasting almond cappuccinos in the city and Jack is "The Man!"

Best tasting almond cappuccinos in the city

BUY A FOODIE

Scorched cauliflower at Avant Garden.

SOUVENIR FROM…

See another side of New York.

Eataly at the Oculus. This Italian marketplace is super impressive. Lots of great souvenirs.

FOOD & DRINK —

A D A M Bowery Kitchen Supplies.

K E N W O R T H Y

CHEF’S GUIDE TO NEW YORK

RESTAURANTS TO TRY IN NEW YORK BEFORE YOU LEAVE… Cafe Clover as it has a beautiful aesthetic and a great farm to table menu. Caravan of Dreams, which is a classic East Village vegan restaurant and Avant Garden that serves up elegant plates.

PHOTOGRAPHY: ADRIAN GAUT, @BOWERYKITCHEN, @EATERLYDOWNTOWN, ISTOCK,

THE RAW FOOD CHEF TAKES US ON A GOURMET TOUR OF THE BIG APPLE SHOP FOR A KITCHEN EQUIPMENT AT… Bowery Kitchen Supplies in New York’s Chelsea Market. It’s a one-stop shop.

ENJOY A COCKTAIL AT… Boom Boom Room. My classic go-to.

The raw food chef first came to our attention when he starred in an episode of The Real Housewives of New York City - RHONY to its fans. So who better to give us the lowdown on the city that never sleeps? Kenworthy tells us about when he first clapped eyes on New York: “My first impression was that it was an intense place. At the time, I was living in the mountains in Colorado. It was a dramatic contrast.” Now several years later, when Kenworthy isn’t hosting private jet wellness retreats with Aman, he’s surfing at Rockaway or riding his bike through Palisade Interstate Park. “I enjoy the city, yet take great pleasure in leaving it behind and reconnecting with nature,” he explains.

Cafe Clover.

One of Serge Anton’s striking muses.

GO INGREDIENT SHOPPING AT… Union Square Greenmarket on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday. An incredible selection of local produce.

Organic buys at Union Square Greenmarket.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: COMO THE TREASURY

IF YOU DO ONE THING THIS YEAR…

TAKE THE ULTIMATE WINE FLIGHT FOR A WINE TOUR WITH A DIFFERENCE, TAKE A SEAPLANE TO MARGARET RIVER Looking for a souvenir to take home with you? Then book the Margaret River Seaplane Adventure with COMO The Treasury in Perth. Guests will be given the chance to take off in a seaplane from the Swan River that runs through the city and be whisked along the dramatic WA coastline to one of the country’s most famous wine regions. You will have the chance to tour the Margaret River wineries, stop for lunch among the vines and select a vintage or two to take home. From 1 November 2018. Is this the world’s best designated driver?

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