Tag Archive | "adventure"

The Interview: Maria Elena Malpezzi-Price of ExperiencePlus!

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Interview by Everett Potter

This month, we’re giving away an amazing bike trip in Italy with ExperiencePlus! (you can enter here). Rick Price and Paola Malpezzi-Price founded the company that would become ExperiencePlus! in 1972, an eternity ago in the world of adventure travel. Italy was and is their specialty, but today the company offers biking trips to two dozen destinations and is owned by their daughters, Monica Malpezzi-Price and Maria Elena Malpezzi-Price. I caught up with Maria Elena at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Kilarney Ireland last fall to ask her about ExperiencePlus! and its continuing role as an adventure trailblazer.

Back CameraYour parents were adventure travel pioneers when they founded ExperiencePlus! in 1972. What do you and your sister do to keep their original vision alive, even as you deal with a new generation -or two-of travelers? 

From the beginning, and still today, the emphasis has always been about combining the advantages of a bicycle, a human powered vehicle that is independent so you can start and stop when you want for photos, gelato, coffee and more gelato. The two wheeled pace is slow and yet you can travel significant distances.

What we find has changed is how people decide where to go and when.  We have developed shorter and longer tour options for most of our trips.  Most itineraries now have a 7 or 8 day option and a 10 – 12 day extended option so that we can accommodate different needs for different travelers.  We also find that more people want to just travel with their friends or on their own schedule so we found ways to easily set up custom dates or private trips within our schedule.  There are certainly differences in the newer generations but we find that ultimately the desire to explore and the delight people have in exploring by bike hasn’t changed that much.

Biking in Northern Argentina with ExeriencePlus!

Biking in Northern Argentina with ExeriencePlus!

 

You’re based in the US and your sister is in Italy. Is that a competitive advantage when it comes to planning and running trips? 

We definitely find that having a solid base in North America, where most of our travelers come from, and then another headquarters where most of our trips are operated helps us in terms of logistics, staffing, trip development and overall quality control. It actually mirrors how we grew up, part time in the United States and part time in Italy and so for us it seemed like a logical way to maintain our “split identities.”

What is the most under rated ExperiencePlus! destination for biking?

Northern Argentina, around the Salta area, is likely not on the top list of cycling destinations for most people, but we have found a fabulous combination of diverse scenery, breath-taking landscapes, friendly and welcoming people, good roads and great food.  We started running trips in Chile and Argentina about 10 years ago and although we don’t offer as many dates as we do in Europe, we are seeing an increase in interest. They are great “winter” destinations for those of us in the Northern hemisphere and although they have a slightly different character than our European trips, the beauty of the regions and the interesting history make up for that. After all, if we can pedal the vineyards in Italy and France, why not Chile!

Biking in Spain with ExperiencePlus!

Biking in Spain with ExperiencePlus!

For riders who’ve done some of the classic rides in France and Italy but want that special mix of old Europe, great food and scenic countryside, which destinations might you suggest?

I’m partial to our cycling tours in Spain because in my days as a tour leader I spent most of my time there.  Whether it is our bicycle tour in Andalusia (a harder trip), or pedaling the Camino de Santiago, or our easier Catalonia tour north of Barcelona, Spain always seems to surprise people with its history and interesting food.

Wine tasting in Bavaria with ExperiencePlus!

Wine tasting in Bavaria with ExperiencePlus!

Another destination is Germany. Germans travel by bike more than almost any European nation and so their own network of roads and streets and bike paths are incredibly friendly to cyclists. Our bike tour in Bavaria often receives high praise from longtime customers who have cycled all the “classic” destinations because of its picturesque towns, great routes and good food. The trip follows Germany’s historic “Romantic Road” and in fact, it has even been called by some of our senior guides – who are not even German! – as one the prettiest tour that we have.

 

You mark your routes with chalk dust? Who came up with this great idea? Does it really remove the need to look at a map? 

Our father, Rick Price, came up with this idea in 1986 or 87.  It is considered by many of our travelers’ one of the biggest advantages of traveling with ExperiencePlus!  Anyone who has cycled in a local charity ride or even just with a group of friends knows the feeling of having to navigate with a group of cyclists.

Chalk marks show the way with ExperiencePlus!

Chalk marks show the way with ExperiencePlus!

Imagine a family road trip when your GPS is broken and you aren’t sure whether you should go right or left at the next intersection. There are multiple opinions, arguments and the feeling like you are just going around in circles. Our arrows take all of that anxiety away and truly allow for people to ride at their own pace and they do in fact remove the need for a map. Of course, Rick was also a geographer and so we still provide very good marked maps for every day! The arrows are “chalked” each day by one of our tour leaders who rides out in front, usually an hour or two before others leave.  They are not permanent and they aren’t paint.  One of the beauties of the arrows is that we can really take people on small tiny back roads that would otherwise be hard to explain with cue sheets or with maps.

Any new destinations for 2015 or 2016?

One of the key design principles we work on for all of our itineraries is that people can ride from point A to point B without getting into a vehicle unless they want to! In fact, the allure of being able to say you cycled from point A to point B is part of what gave way to our ExpeditionPlus! trips in 2006 when we first ran a tour from St. Petersburg, Russia to Istanbul, Turkey.  Since that first Expedition trip we have developed other continental scale 30+ day Expeditions and almost every year we design a new one. Our 2015 Venice to Kalamata Expedition tour sold out within 2 weeks.  For 2016 we are reimagining the Eastern European expedition, this time from Tallin, Estonia to Istanbul, Turkey and we are also looking at a Scandinavian or Rhine River to Danube River Expedition.

ExperinecePlus! in the Dordogne region of France

ExperinecePlus! in the Dordogne region of France

Most cyclists don’t fall into the “I want to cycle 2000 miles over 30 days” camp and most of our trips are perfect for the recreational cyclists. So we have designed some exciting new tours that are meant to more of an introduction to cycle touring, called Sightseer Tours. These tours still include cycling every day but they also have more options for half day activities off the bike and the cycling is on quiet roads and bike paths. For 2015 we have two such trips: a Veneto and Lake Garda tour as well as one along the Loire Valley in France.

And where are you off to next?

I’m headed to Italy in February for a conference and to also have some meetings with our guides and guide selection as we plan for the season. But in April I’m very excited to be on our inaugural tour in the Alentejo in Portugal. My sister Monica has some plans to go out and scout some new tours, either in Southern Italy or the new bike and barge tour.  We seem to never have a shortage of places to go, just a shortage of time!

 

Visit ExperiencePlus!

Read a blog post from Rick Price about the founding of the company.

Win Adventure Clothing from ExOfficio

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We’re thrilled to be partnering with ExOfficio for a great gear giveaway. We’re giving away one pair of Kukura pants and one Rain Logic Jacket, for either a man or a woman. We’re also giving a 40% discount on both items for those who don’t win the big prize.

ExOfficio was born in 1987 “when our founders discovered the need for technical apparel that performs as gear. They engineered a shirt with the functionality of a fly-fishing vest, built-in ventilation, and the construction of a dress shirt.

Today, we put the same thought into every detail for garments that will enhance any adventure. In 25 years we have gone farther than we ever thought possible while remaining true to our original mission. You often have to return to a familiar place to realize the wonderful and sometimes unexpected ways you grew from your travels.”

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For Women
The Kukura is a technical performance pant for high energy activities where mobility is essential. It comes in regular and petite.

The Rain Logic Jacket ‘’is “completely waterproof, fully seam sealed, and breathable, it will keep you dry and active without overheating.” It comes in regular and trench coat length.

1021-6586_5760_grFor Men
The Kukura Trek’r is “a technical performance pant for high energy activities where mobility is essential.” It comes in regular and short length.

1071-1892_5333_grThe Rain Logic Jacket, which Ex Officio says is “A rain jacket so smart we named it Logic. Completely waterproof, fully seam sealed, and breathable so you can stay dry and active without overheating.”

For Everyone Who Enters
Readers who enter the contest but don’t win will still get a 40% off coupon code for the Kukura Pants and Rain Logic Jacket. This will be sent via email after the contest ends on December 17, 2015 and will be good as long as supplies last. Apologies to our pals in Canada, but this contest is limited to U.S. residents due to Ex Officio’s shipping system.

Enter daily for a chance to win this great gear from Ex Officio.



Enter for a chance to win a pair of ExOfficio Kukura pants and a Rain Logic jacket for either a man or a woman. By entering, you agree to opt-in for weekly emails from Everett Potter’s Travel Report.To enter, you must be at least 21 years old and a legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.
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ATWS 2014 Outdoors Ireland: Kayaking in Killarney National Park

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The Interview: Rob Rankin of Vagabond Tours of Ireland

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Vagabond Ireland

Vagabond Tours of Ireland

Ireland will welcome the Adventure Travel World Summit 2014 in Killarney in October, a gathering of some 600 plus tour operators, destination specialists, journalists and others in the world of adventure travel. I will be attending but I had a chance this week to ask Rob Rankin, founder and owner of Vagabond Tours of Ireland, one of the country’s leading adventure tour companies, about the evolution of active travel in Ireland.

Rob Rankin of Vagabond Ireland

Rob Rankin of Vagabond Tours of  Ireland

EP: Why do you think it took a while for Ireland to wake up to the fact that it’s a country with lots of potential for adventure travel?
RR: I think there are two main reasons. Ireland always had a strong brand for visitors, but it was an image built on history, heritage, culture, people, music and a gentle scenic image – and golf! With such a strong brand the tourism industry didn’t need to look at diversifying. The perception and perhaps definition of adventure travel has also widened and developed. Nowadays adventure travel is not just climbing or jumping off mountains or extreme sports. There is the realization that most adventure travel is ‘soft adventure’ such as walking, cycling, kayaking, and this is the type of adventure that Ireland is so well suited for. We don’t have massive mountains, but Ireland’s coastline is spectacular and perfect for watersports and the scale and topography on land is great for hiking, walking and other activities.
EP: How has adventure travel changed in Ireland since you began Vagabond?

RR: It has changed hugely in terms of opportunity and infrastructure and to a lesser extent awareness and perception. Since we established Vagabond in 2002 there has been a huge growth in local activity providers such as watersports and cycling operators. In addition there have also been large steps forward in the infrastructure, such as walking trails and cycling routes made possible by tourist board investment and local community involvement. It gives us a lot more opportunities for walks and activities on tour, which is great. I suppose it can also mean more competition, but maybe that’s not a bad thing. The more adventure operators, the higher the profile for Ireland as an adventure travel destination.

EP: Do you get returning Americans rediscovering Ireland through adventure experiences?

RR: Yes indeed we do, sometime customers come back with family or friends who didn’t visit with them first time round but more often it is customers who covered one part of the country on their first visit and now want to see another part. Usually they visit the south west and west of Ireland to begin with and then come to join a tour that includes Northern Ireland. It’s like the ‘advanced’ tour. Last week an American lady finished her third tour with us, all of which covered the same area. But because of the evolving nature of the tours, all of which them were different.

EP: Is Ireland still under the radar in terms of adventure travel?

RR: Yes I think so, both at home and abroad. For example, a recent survey of Irish people who visited the Glendalough Monastic Site in County Wicklow, had not visited anywhere else in Wicklow. This is Ireland’s largest single area of upland wilderness, with excellent walking, superb scenery and plenty of activity options. But awareness of the options still seems low.
Having said that, Ireland’s blip on the adventure radar screen is growing. When Vagabond started we often used to get asked if it was possible to do an adventure tour in Ireland, but with the growth of the industry here, it has given more credibility to Ireland as an adventurous travel destination. Hopefully the ATWS with help build on this growing perception and it will be a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase Ireland

EP: What’s new for Vagabond in the coming year?

RR: A few years ago we branched out from our original Vagabond adventure tours into our more leisurely ‘Driftwood Irish Journeys of Discovery’ to suit our less adventurous customers. Our next step is to develop new routes and experiences to entice past customers back again. It’s interesting how different a visitor experience can be by using different overnight locations within the same general area. We do have a few other plans up our sleeves but they are top secret at the moment, but you will be the first to know.

 

For more information, Vagabond Tours of Ireland and Ireland.com

 

Adventure Travel World Summit 2014 Ireland

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In less than two months, the  Adventure Travel World Summit 2014 kicks off in Killarney, Ireland. The country has exploded with adventure travel opportunities and one of the best of the newer companies is Vagabond Ireland, which offers a great way to get out and sea kayak, hike, bike and explore this remarkable and beautiful country. Here’s a great video showing just what they can do. I’m excited to view it, since I’m heading off with them for four days of adventure in Kerry and Cork before the Summit begins.

Visit  Ireland.com to learn more about all of the adventures that Ireland has to offer

Adventure in Ireland

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In the past decade, Ireland has become synonymous with adventure in Europe. I suspect my grandmother would find it hard to believe that her native Donegal is now the location of some of the best surfing on some of the biggest waves in the world. No doubt my grandfather would find it amusing that his native Mayo is now a part of what is called The Wild Atlantic Way and that people are hiking, riding mountain bikes and abseiling down cliffs. The entire West Coast of the country has been recognized for the wild, natural playground that it is.

So it’s no surprise that the Adventure Travel World Summit 2014 will be held in Killarney, Ireland in October 2014.

Watch the video for the Delphi Adventure Resort in Connemara and then visit  Ireland.com to learn more about all of the adventures that Ireland has to offer

Smart Deals: Epic Private Journeys

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In canyon country in America's Southwest with Epic Private Adventures

In canyon country in America’s Southwest with Epic Private Journeys

What’s the Deal: Epic Private Journeys offers a range of small, handcrafted guided and self-guided journeys in the American West, such as Best of the Southwest. This seven-day itinerary includes a private guided tour of Zion National Park, guided walking in Bryce Canyon National Park, a private float trip down the Colorado River through Marble Canyon as well as kayaking, hiking, rappelling and a boat tour on Lake Powell. Accommodations include Zion Mountain Ranch, a Desert View Suite at Amangiri and two nights of luxury safari-style camping on Lake Powell.

Why this Trip: “On the Lake Powell part of the trip, we offer safari-style camping in canvas tents,” explains Kevin Jackson, director of Epic’s American operations.  “For two nights, we sacrifice the luxury of a hotel so we can go over and above on the experience level. You’re taking great hikes, rappelling and kayaking in remote parts of Lake Powell, and looking up at the Milky Way at night. We have the permits to stay in the most isolated parts of this 1.2 million acre recreational area, which ensures an experience that’s out of the ordinary.”

Background: Epic Private Journeys,has been hand crafting trips for discerning travelers to Africa, Australia, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, North America and Papua New Guinea. Operating ground offices in the U.S., Australia, South Africa and Tanzania, and working with an enviable network of the best operators in each destination.

Details: Priced from $6,990 per person based on four people traveling.

Booking:  Epic Private Journeys

Win a Czech Republic & Austria Bike Tour with Backroads and Adventure Collection!

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Biking with Backroads in Austria and the Czech Republic

Biking with Backroads in Austria and the Czech Republic

We’re thrilled to be giving away the Czech Republic & Austria Bike Tour, a six-day ride from Prague to Vienna Along the Danube, with Backroads, the World’s #1 Active Travel Company, and Adventure Collection.

This six-day trip starts in captivating Prague, with its glorious architecture, music and cafés. Then you trace the gentle contours of the Bohemian landscape on two wheels. Absorb firsthand accounts of the Communist era. And delve into enchanting cities including Tábor and Český Krumlov, a fairy-tale town with a medieval castle looming overhead and a warren of cobblestone streets. Roam through Austria’s Wachau Valley wine region and stop in at a heuriger. Even find the castle where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned. Last stop: romantic Vienna.

Biking with Backroads in Austria and the Czech Republic

Biking with Backroads in Austria and the Czech Republic

HOW TO ENTER & WIN

For a chance to win this Czech Republic & Austria Bike Tour for two with Backroads and Adventure Collection, just fill out the form below. Multiple entries are welcome, so come back and enter once a day through April 4, 2014. Complete details and rules are below. The winner will be notified by e-mail on or about April 15, 2014.

Important: Please adjust your spam filter to enable receipt of e-mails with the domain EverettPottersTravelReport.com, so that we can notify you if you’re a winner. Good luck!

 

Sorry, this giveaway has ended!

 

ENTRY FORM




Register for a chance to win a 6 day Czech Republic & Austria Bike Tour for two people (sharing) with Backroads and Adventure Collection. By entering, you agree to opt-in for weekly emails from Everett Potter’s Travel Report and occasional emails with information on special offers, promotions and news from Backroads and Adventure Collection. To enter, you must be at least 21 years old and a legal resident of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia or Canada.
First Name:
Last Name:
Email Address:

 

Biking with Backroads in Austria and the Czech Republic

Biking with Backroads in Austria and the Czech Republic

 

THE PRIZE

This prize is for one (1) six-day (6) Czech Republic & Austria Bike Tour for two (2) people (sharing) with Backroads and Adventure Collection

What’s Included:

  • Skilled professional guides
  • 5 nights hotel accommodations
  • All meals except 2 lunches, 1 dinner
  • Use of a Backroads custom-built titanium bike

What’s Not Included:

  • Transportation to and from Prague & Vienna
  • Pre-and post-trip accommodations and meals
  • Insurance of any kind, including travel insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

The winner can choose any scheduled trip departure for the Czech Republic & Austria Bike Tour during 2014. If the winner is unable to travel in 2014, they can redeem the prize on a scheduled trip departure in 2015.

No credit will be extended for unused portion of the package. Package may not be redeemed for cash, resold or transferred. Gratuities are not included. Airfare not included. The total cash value of the prize is approximately $7,196.

 

Riding with Backroads in Austria and the Czech Republic.

Riding with Backroads in Austria and the Czech Republic.

ITINERARY: CZECH REPUBLIC & AUSTRIA BIKE TOUR

DAY 1 Explore Tábor, a 15th-century enclave sitting atop a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside  Stroll the cobbled streets of its lovely Old Town, lined with colorful homes, open-air cafés and artisan vendors  A clever maze of tunnels lies below the streets, which in times of danger were used to shelter its citizens.

DAYS 2-3 Český Krumlov, a charming 13th-century town with twisting lanes and red-tile roofs where most of the buildings are designated cultural monuments  Pedal across the hills of Bohemia, through tranquil farmland and Holašovice, an impeccably preserved World Heritage-site village  In Český Krumlov, behold views of ornate 13th-century Krumlov Hrad, the second-largest castle in the Czech Republic  Dive into Czech history with Helena, our local friend and historian  Gather at a local pub for a pint-sized taste of Czech culture.

DAYS 4-5 Discover two intriguing countries and cultures in one trip  Czech treasures make way for Austria’s beautiful Waldviertel, draped in forests and rolling fields of barley and wheat – a great place to pedal  Bike along the fabled Danube River and through Wachau Valley vineyards  Visit Melk, whose magnificent Baroque abbey is perched high on a rocky promontory  A local oenologist invites us over for a private estate tour and tasting of famous Rieslings and grüner veltliners.

DAY 6 Austria’s picture-perfect villages with onion-shaped church steeples  Soak up the views from the Dürnstein’s castle ruins, where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned  Say goodbye in vibrant Vienna, an enchanting place to extend your vacation.

Visit Backroads for more info

 

REVIEWS FOR THIS BACKROADS ADVENTURE

“I really can’t say enough positive things about the trip and the two leaders. Simply put, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I don’t know one person who can claim to have experienced a new culture on such a wide and intimate scale. Add the great people on the trip, the food, my birthday gift and the 800 some odd pictures I took…well, I’m already looking at my next adventure with Backroads. Outstanding!”

Jeff Dalton – Annapolis, MD

“I loved this trip. It was really a great experience all around. I loved the blend of athletic activity, with cultural and historical information. The guides are truly amazing people. The people were very nice and lively and intelligent. It was a great first Backroads experience.”

Hilary Thomas – New York, NY

“This was a tremendous experience. The leaders were outstanding, the van/bike support excellent, the destinations and accommodations terrific. I felt safe knowing that someone had my back. Also, it was a great blend of fitness and leisure, while also fulfilling my need for learning about new cultures. Overall, this will go down as one of my most memorable vacation experiences. Thank you!”

Marjan Panah – New York, NY

 

Backroads

Backroads

ABOUT BACKROADS

Tom Hale, founder of Backroads and Adventure Collection, possesses a passion for two seemingly divergent interests – business and back roads – which he has powered into the world’s most successful active travel company.

Armed with a Masters in Environmental Planning from UCLA, Hale was six months into an environmental planning position in Las Vegas when the back roads called. A middle-of-the-night inspiration to start a bike touring company motivated him to pedal 5,000 miles alone through the West, all the while formulating plans for his new business. Settling in Berkeley, Hale washed fondue pots by night and built his fledgling travel company by day. In true entrepreneurial fashion, he did it all – designed the itineraries, maintained the bikes, led the trips, produced the catalog. His first trip – a bike tour of Death Valley – attracted four guests (one of them his mother.) Fast-forward 35 years of nearly consistent growth to 2014.

Today Backroads annually hosts thousands of guests on biking, walking & hiking and multisport trips worldwide. Their 183 trip itineraries showcase the best lodging, dining, cultural attractions – and of course back roads -in destinations from California’s Wine Country to classic settings in France, from the pampas of Patagonia to the hill country of Thailand. Backroads is staffed by some 135 people in its Berkeley headquarters and regional offices in Utah, Canada and France, and also employs approximately 390 Trip Leaders worldwide. From the beginning, Hale has strived for and succeeded in offering off-the-charts trips, believing that the world is best experienced up close and under one’s own power. Backroads success is largely measured by an exceptionally high rate of repeat guests – on average about 80% become repeat and referral guests. Visit Backroads at www.backroads.com.

 

ABOUT ADVENTURE COLLECTION

Adventure Collection consists of 9 dynamic adventure companies:

  • Backroads
  • Bushtracks
  • GeoEx
  • Lindblad Expeditions
  • Micato Safaris
  • Natural Habitat Adventures
  • NOLS
  • O.A.R.S.
  • Off the Beaten Path

Adventure Collection member companies are experts in the activities they offer. These include cultural exploration, bicycle touring, hiking, walking, expedition cruising, safaris, general touring, mountain biking, heli-skiing, heli-hiking, mountaineering, rafting, sea kayaking, river kayaking, wildlife and nature cruising, camping, horseback riding, rain forest exploration and ecotouring, snorkeling, fly fishing, llama trekking, sailing, golfing, and more. Visit Adventure Collection at www.adventurecollection.com.

 

 

COMPLETE RULES: BACKROADS AND ADVENTURE COLLECTION Giveaway

Presented by EverettPottersTravelReport.com and BACKROADS AND ADVENTURE COLLECTION

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN

1. How to Enter. Between 12 p.m. Eastern time (“ET”) on March 4, 2014 and 11:59 p.m. ET on April 4, 2014, (the “Giveaway Period”), you may log onto EverettPottersTravelReport.com to enter this Giveaway. To enter, fill out your full name and e-mail on the entry form and click “Submit Now.” Entrants may enter once a day, each day, during the Giveaway Period.

All entrants must have a valid e-mail address. No automated entry devices and/or programs permitted. All entries become the sole and exclusive property of EverettPottersTravelReport.com and receipt of entries will not be acknowledged or returned. Delivery of prize will require a street address (no P.O. Boxes) upon winning. EverettPottersTravelReport.com is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, stolen, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible, misdirected, technically corrupted or garbled entries, which will be disqualified, or for problems of any kind whether mechanical, human or electronic. Only fully completed entries are eligible. Proof of submission is not proof of receipt by this web site.

2. Eligibility. Participation is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada who are 21 or older as of date of entry. Proof of age and legal US or Canadian residency may be required. Void outside of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and Canada, as well as where prohibited, taxed or restricted by law. Employees and partners of EverettPottersTravelReport.com, BACKROADS AND ADVENTURE COLLECTION, its subsidiaries and affiliates, and their immediate families (parents, children, siblings, spouses) or members of the same household (whether related or not) of such employees/partners are not eligible to enter. This Giveaway may only be entered in or from the United States and Canada. Entries originating from any other jurisdiction are not eligible for entry. You are not authorized to participate in the Giveaway if you are not located within the United States or Canada. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.

3. Random Drawing/Odds. One (1) winner will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible entries received during the Giveaway Period. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Drawing will be conducted by EverettPottersTravelReport.com on or about April 15, 2014. By entering the Giveaway, you fully and unconditionally agree to be bound by these official rules (“Complete Rules”) and the decisions of EverettPottersTravelReport.com, which will be final and binding in all matters relating to the Giveaway.

4. Prize. The prize will be given to one (1) winner. This prize is for one six-day CZECH REPUBLIC & AUSTRIA BIKE TOUR for two (2) people (sharing) with BACKROADS AND ADVENTURE COLLECTION. The winner can choose any scheduled trip departure in summer 2014 or 2015. The winning prize is valid through BACKROADS AND ADVENTURE COLLECTION’s 2014 season, which ends in September 2014. If the winner is unable to travel in 2014, they can redeem the prize on a scheduled trip departure in 2015.The prize is subject to regular booking policies and availability.

What’s Included:

  • Skilled professional guides
  • 5 nights hotel accommodations
  • All meals except 2 lunches, 1 dinner
  • Use of a Backroads custom-built titanium bike

What’s Not Included:

  • Transportation to and from Prague & Vienna
  • Pre-and post-trip accommodations and meals
  • Insurance of any kind, including travel insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

 

Winner’s certificate is for (2) two people sharing the same accommodations. No credit will be extended for unused portion of the package. Package may not be redeemed for cash, resold or transferred.  The prize may not be sold on eBay or any other auction site. Otherwise, the offer becomes invalid.

The total cash value of the prize is approximately $7,196.

5. Notification. The winner will receive a prize e-mail which must be submitted at time of booking or the space is not valid. The letter will contain instructions for redeeming the prize. The winner will be notified by e-mail on or about April 15, 2014. In order to redeem the prize, the winner must contact BACKROADS AND ADVENTURE COLLECTION after notification from Everett Potter’s Travel Report. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Trip dates are subject to approval by BACKROADS AND ADVENTURE COLLECTION. If the winner does not respond to our e-mailed notification within seven (7) calendar days of first notification attempt, if the prize notification is returned as undeliverable, if the winner rejects his/her prize, or in the event of noncompliance with these Complete Rules, such prize will be forfeited and EverettPottersTravelReport.com reserves the right to select an alternate winner from all remaining eligible entries. Upon prize forfeiture, no compensation will be given.

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Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Dogsled Umbagog Lake on the Maine-New Hampshire Border

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dog and kid

Polly Mahoney and Kevin Slater, owners of Mahoosuc Guide Service have chosen a good base for their dogsledding operations. They live on the outskirts of Grafton Notch State Park in the heart of the Maine woods. Almost every weekend in winter, the couple, with 15 of their dogs, drive some 30 miles to the remote shores of Umbagog Lake. Here, guests learn the basics of the sport: standing on the back of the sled and shouting the magic words “Let’s go!” to see the dogs romp through the snow or yelling “Whoa!” to slow them down. You’ll take turns dogsledding and cross-country skiing on iced-over lakes, fringed by mountains of pines. At night, you’ll sleep in heated tents on a floor of cushiony fir needles, only to awaken to the sounds of the dogs howling in the predawn hours.

Mahoney breeds her own type of dog, which she calls a Yukon husky. A native Mainer, she spent a decade learning her trade in the Yukon bush. She returned home and met Slater at a nearby Outward Bound center when he was in dire need of a skilled dogsledder. Two and three-day outings start at $575 and include food, tents, sleeping bags, even cozy parkas, mukluks, and leg gaiters. If winter camping sounds too ambitious, ask about their cabin-to-cabin option in late January, where you stay at three classic Maine sporting camps now run by the Appalachian Mountain Club.
steve1    Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at  Active Travels.

Slideshow: Above the Clouds with Steve Conlon

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Above the Clouds
Above the Clouds

Steve Conlon founded Above the Clouds 30 years ago, in the early days of adventure travel. Nepal is where he made his mark. Here are some of his favorite shots in a lifetime of adventure. In this photo, trekkers in eastern Nepal, approaching Jaljale Himal, with Kangchenjunga in background.

Yaks beneath Manaslu, central Nepal.

Yakherder huts on Jaljale Himal, dwarfed by Kangchenjunga, eastern Nepal.

Himalchuli, Nepal

Trekkers crossing Cho La, Khumbu, Nepal.

Trekkers at Kangchenjunga Base Camp, Sikkim, India.

Trekkers approach well-camouflaged Buddhist chortens, Dhakmar, Mustang, Nepal.

Trekkers (lower left) dwarfed by Kangchenjunga (upper far left) and other peaks of Sikkim.

Slide 9
Slide 9

Trekker entranced by The Towers, Torres Del Paine, Chile

Slide 10
Slide 10

Trekkers (center) work their way up the ledge trail above Tsaile, Mustang, Nepal.

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