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Newsletter 53 - sent on the 18 March 2022
Dreaming of India
The Covid situation around the World seems to be easing all of the time, and adventure travel to far flung destinations is seeming more possible than at any time over the past two years. It is not just countries around the World that are dropping restrictions; today sees the UK government end all restrictions for incoming travellers. This is massive for the travel industry and makes it a perfect day to book your next overseas trip.
Hopefully this will be one of our trips! We have seen a real surge in bookings. Our forthcoming trips to Turkey and Namibia are completely full, and July's Impressions of Ladakh trip has flown past minimum numbers and will go ahead.
At the moment we only have two trips with places left for 2022. Both of these tours are to different parts of India – which is one of our favourite and most photogenic destinations. India also has a hidden delight: both of these trips will be accompanied by the incomparable Chetan, Intrepid Travel's top Leader in India.
Our travel photography trips also boast another unique feature: as we sub-contract all of our land arrangements to Intrepid Travel, your trip can be fully ATOL Protected. This gives you the flexibility and vision of a small independent operator, whilst enjoying the full industry protection of one of the big names of the adventure travel industry.
Have a look at these two exciting trips below, and see if you are tempted to join us. This really is a fantastic time for travel, and we are expecting these trips to fill up quickly now that travel restrictions have been further eased.
Impressions of Ladakh
India is a totally unique place, and the mountainous region of Ladakh in the North of the country is arguably its most unique region.
Travelling in Ladakh is an adventure. As well as the more visited Leh Valley, we will summit one of the highest motorable passes in the World to reach the hidden Nubra Valley: home to Bactrian camels marking its place on the ancient Silk Road, before driving to the remove Zanskar Valley.
Ladakh is a land of festivals, and we have time this trip to take in two wildly different events. We will photograph the Leh Polo Festival, before heading out to the remote Zanskar Valley to witness the Stongdey Gustor monastery festival. This colourful event is a celebration of Tibetan Buddhism, the main religion of Ladakh. In many ways the culture of Ladakh is more Tibetan than Tibet, as the region has not suffered the same invasion, and subsequent external rule.
The scenery is reminiscent of Tibet too: high mountain passes, verdant valleys, ancient Monasteries and even glaciers. You will have plenty of opportunities to focus on a wide range of subjects, including the welcoming faces of the Ladakhi people, and be able to learn more about photography than you ever felt possible. We will even be able to take advantage of the clear Ladakh skies to practice astro photography!
As if travelling in Ladakh is not enough, we have decided to to leave the region along a newly built mountain road to Manali in Himachal Pradesh. We will quite literally be amongst the first people to travel this road, and it means that we can avoid a long repeat journey via the main city of Leh. It also means that we can explore the alpine town of Manali, before finishing our tour in the nearby city of Amritsar. Home to the glorious Golden Temple, and the crazy ceremony at the Wagah Border, it is also the most accessible international airport on our route, making it the perfect place to end our adventure and head for home!
There is a lot of interest in this adventurous trip, and we only have four places left. If you are interested then head to this link to reserve your place. I have put together an expanded gallery of images from this region on this link. so you can see more of the sort of things that you will be able to witness, and photograph on this adventure.
Impressions of Ladakh departs from New Delhi on 5 July 2022 for 18 days. Under our new variable pricing policy, the cost is from £2695 if 8 people travel, down to £2400 for the full 12 people. You can see more information on this link. You can see the full itinerary on this link and download the pdf for the tour here.
Impressions of Rajasthan
Many people have travelled to Rajasthan in India, although few will have seen it in the depth and colour that we will be exploring it in our final trip of the year.
India is the most colourful state of India, conjuring up images of vibrant saris and turbans. Rajasthan is the India that people imagine when they think of this great country. We will explore the great cities of Jaipur and Jodhpur, but we will also head out to some of the most remote and far flung corners of this entrancing State.
Rajasthan has a great martial history and is covered in some spectacular ancient forts. As well as Amber Fort in Jaipur and Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, we will get to explore the stunning forts of Jaisalmer and Bikaner. Jaisalmer is one of my favourite places in all of India. A living fort, there are still people living within its great walls. On the edge of the Thar desert, this is a place that has an atmosphere that conjurs up the days when Rajasthan was divided into warring kingdoms..
One of the most spectacular events in India is to colourful Pushkar Mela: the famous Pushkar Camel Fair. Set around the holy Lake Pushkar - one of the holiest places in Hinduism - we will get to this festival early, when there are still thousands of camels littering the nearby desert. As the festival progresses countless pilgrims will start to arrive, ready to bathe in the lake on the night of the Kartik Purnima full moon.
Photography is generally banned by Pushkar Lake so for the full moon we will head out to the nearby Kolyat Mela in Bikaner. His is a similar, but far less known event, and we will be able to see a festival that will be much less influenced by tourism than Pushkar.
Another less travelled region of Rajasthan is Shekawati, which is renowned for its historically painted havelis. These were the mansions of traders and they manifested their wealth by commissioning colourful and ornate decorations. This is a relatively undeveloped area and a real chance to see a traditional side of Rajasthan, that appears little changed for generations.
Impressions of Rajasthan departs from New Delhi on the 30 October 2022 for 15 days. Under our new variable pricing policy, the cost is from £2395 for 8 people to £2095 for 12 people. You can see the full itinerary on this link.
Better Travel Photography
We are in the process of planning a whole raft of new tours and UK based courses, and will keep you informed about these in future newsletters. In the meantime, if you have any questions at all about anything on this email or would just like to say hello, then please do get in touch. The simplest way is to reply to this email.
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