The People of Nepal

The Sherpas are a tribe of Tibetan origin who occupy the high valleys around the base of Mount Everest in northeastern Nepal. In the Tibetan language, Shar Pa means “people who live in the east,” and over time this descriptive term has come to identify the Sherpa community. According to Sherpa tradition, the tribe migrated to Nepal from the Kham region of eastern Tibet over a thousand years ago. They crossed the Himalayas and settled peacefully in their present homeland in northeastern Nepal.

But in modern times, Sherpa it has also come to mean any porter, climber or trek leader — jobs Sherpas have been doing for about 100 years.

Traditionally, Sherpas have grown potatoes and raised yak for dairy products, hides, wool and load carrying. Working at altitude (Khumbu villages are at about 13,000 feet) has long been part of their way of life, but apart from a few sacred mountains, the peaks towering over them were not of much interest.

With the opening of Nepal in the 1950s, the number of Sherpas working in mountaineering increased, and the arrival in the 1970s of large-scale trekking made climbing and trekking pillars of their economy. From the first British Everest expedition in 1921, Sherpa strength, honesty and dedication have made them ideal companions on the mountain. Every Everest expedition since then has relied on Sherpa support.

 

The people of Nepal are friendly and open-minded. With crystal-clear lakes, towering peaks, mountain-bound monasteries, and adorable tea houses, an adventurous vacation in Nepal will surely inspire you. Enjoy a soft adventure in Nepal with Women’s Own Adventure in the company of like-minded people guided by experienced guides. There are many life-changing moments awaiting you in Nepal; embark on an inspiring view of stunning vistas, gape at fat yaks, and enjoy an adventurous trek to Mount Everest Base Camp.

Traditional Dress in Nepal

Before embarking on a women’s trek in Nepal, it is worthwhile to learn a little about traditional Sherpa women’s clothing. Women traditionally wear long-sleeved floor-length dresses of thick wool called tongkok. A sleeveless variation called engi is worn over a raatuk (blouse) in warmer weather. These are worn with colourful striped aprons; metil aprons are worn in front, and gewe in back, and are held together by an embossed silver buckle called kyetig.

Sherpa clothing resembles Tibetan clothing. Increasingly, home-spun wool and silk is being replaced by factory-made material. Many Sherpa people also now wear ready-made western clothing.

A Scenic Adventurous Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp

Mt Everest, earth’s highest pinnacle is known as “Chomolungma” in Sherpa and Tibetan languages, meaning “Mother Goddess”. To climb Mt Everest is a dream for the many daring climbers. We won’t be climbing the mountain on this trip but you will experience all that is involved in the lead-up to a climb.

Enjoy an adventurous trek through picturesque and charming villages to Mount Everest Base Camp with Women’s Own Adventure.

This is regarded as a moderate plus graded trek which allows you a once in a life time experience to visit not only Everest Base Camp but to also climb Kalapattar for awe inspiring views of Mt Everest. A good level of fitness is required as the walking is strenuous at times in high altitude. The views of the mountains on this trek are arguably one of the best in Nepal. Starting at Lukla you will follow along the Dudh Koshi Valley up to Namche Bazaar. The trek passes below snowy peaks and through friendly Sherpa villages. Here you are surrounded by snowy peaks all times: Chomolungma 8848m, Lhotse 8511m, Nuptse 7879m, Makalu 8481, Amadablam 6856m, Thamserku, Taboche, Cholatse, and many more. You will be immersed in the stark beauty of these towering mountains that will take your breath away.

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Irish Ancestors and History: An Irish Walking Holiday to Explore the Culture

Archaeological studies show that Ireland has been settled for over 9,000 years. The majority of Ireland’s recorded history shows that the Irish people have primarily been a Gaelic nation. In the 12th century, parts of Ireland were conquered by Anglo-Normans. And, in the 16th-17th century, England re-conquered and colonised Ireland, bringing several English as well as Lowland Scots to certain parts of the island.

The Irish are traced to major Biblical figures, according to a medieval Christian pseudo-Irish history. The record states that the earliest lineage of the Irish people entered Ireland through Iberia and Scythia. While other medieval texts spell out a notion that the people of Ireland are all descendants of Eber Donn believed to be an underworld god.

Notable Irish People

Throughout history, there have been a good number of prominent Irish people. For instance, Columbanus, the 6th century missionary and monk is seen as one of the “fathers of Europe”. Other notable Irish people are Vergilius of Salzburg and Kilian of Wurzburg. Also, the “father of chemistry”, Robert Boyle is a famous Irish man. That’s not all, famous explorers; Robert McClure, Tom Crean, and Ernest Shackleton are also Irish.

Ireland’s current population is around 6.3 million, but estimation shows that about 80 million people all over the world have Irish descent. According to history, emigration from Ireland is said to be the outcome of conflict, dearth, as well as economic issues. Irish descendants are mostly found in English-speaking countries, particularly the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Canada. Also, a substantial number of Irish people are found in Mexico and Argentina. The largest number of Irish descendants are found in the United States.

Indeed, the ancestry and history of the Irish people is fascinating. Learn more about Irish ancestors and history by joining Women’s Own Adventure tour “Feel the Soul of Ireland on Foot”  A Walking Holiday to Explore Ireland.

Walk in the company of like-minded people through the soft rolling Wicklow Hills to the mountainous coastline. Catch a breathtaking view of the Cliffs of Moher, the amazing Wild Atlantic Way, and the studded islands off the stunning coastline. Women’s Own Adventure takes you on a guided adventurous walk through beautiful villages. Get to familiarize yourself with the Irish history and culture. The mere sound of traditional Irish folklore and music will connect you to this amazing land and its people.

 

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Italian Cooking Tours – Enjoy a Great Culinary Vacation

Amalfi Coast and Tuscany Cooking Holidays

Many consider Amalfi Coast to be the Mediterranean Sea’s most spectacular stretch of scenery. The Coast is a pleasant mix of amazing coastlines, vertical landscapes, blossoming Mediterranean islands, and of course a great Italian cooking holiday destination. During your Amalfi Coast Italian cooking tour you will enjoy the refreshing sunlight, irresistible flavors and pampering lifestyle of Amalfi, Sorrento, Positano, Capri, Ravello, and other legendary places. Embark on a guided tour with Women’s Own Adventure to uncover the secrets of Mediterranean cuisine, as well as what makes Italian home-made pastas so delicious. Perhaps you’ve heard of the appetising “Limoncello” liqueur, a guided Italian cooking tour is a great way to uncover the mysteries behind such famous liqueurs as well as the tasty artisanal cheeses.

Learning to cook amazing dishes in Italy is is a simply wonderful way to spend a holiday. And, Italian cooking is one of the world’s best known and loved cuisines. Amalfi Coast is famous for great food.

Some of the features of Amalfi Coast and Tuscany Cooking vacations with Women’s Own Adventure include hands-on cooking lessons in a relaxed setting in great company. The list of dishes during the week-long cooking vacation may include the following;

  • Pasticciotti – tasty pastry pie with lemon custard oozing
  • Marinated anchovies, spaghetti al limone
  • Ricci e peperoncini – handmade pasta prepared typically with chilli sauce and fresh tomato
  • Shrimps and prawn meals, including parpandalo shrimps and other fresh local seafood.

The Amalfi Coast and Tuscany cooking tours with Women’s Own Adventure is not restricted to only women. It is also an adventurous and fun cooking tour for men to enjoy.

Combine your flair for travel with a cooking adventure in Tuscany, Italy. Tuscany cooking tours cover all aspects, from practical pasta-making classes to restaurant visits. A cooking tour to Italy will not only expose you to new flavors, but will also boost your knowledge of, and increase your appreciation of the country’s outstanding culinary expertise and vast culture.

Come along and be inspired by the sunny and lush fields. Enjoy the Italian hill town markets and view the stylish display of appetising fresh produce. Watch the outdoor tables decked with country food, spicy olive oils, delectable wines, and mouth-watering fresh-baked breads. This is just a glimpse of a culinary adventure in Tuscany.

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Growing Popularity of The Camino De Santiago: How to Walk the Walk

More than ever before, the Camino de Santiago Walk in Spain is growing increasingly popular. The number of pilgrims who troop in yearly to walk the ancient route to Santiago de Compostela is almost growing in geometric progression. Also known as the Way of Saint James, the Camino de Santiago is a popular one. The walk is one of the most popular Christian pilgrimages that has outlived several decades. The starting point of the pilgrimage is any point on the many routes that lead to the Tomb of Santiago.

There’s no better way to walk this “Walk” than to be in the company of like-minded people. The women only Camino de Santiago offers great fun and adventure while walking through the stony pathways, paved roads, cobbled streets and wooded trails leading to the medieval Santiago de Compostela city. Make new friends and experience diverse cultures in the company of adventurous and high-spirited women like you.

How to Walk the Camino de Santiago

The Way of Saint James also known as the Camino de Santiago is Europe’s oldest traveled route that attracts huge number of walkers and pilgrims, especially in summer. At first, it all started as a sacred voyage to Santiago de Compostela in medieval times. Today, it has become a sociable, well-organised walk, as well as an adventure through Galicia, Northern Spain. It is a Christian pilgrimage to the “third holiest city” in Christianity, next to Rome and Jerusalem, in search of salvation at Santiago Tomb.

Modern-day ‘pilgrims’, like their forerunners, come from all over, but nowadays those with purely religious motives are joined by lovers of adventure, art, history and legends, all with a desire to take part in an experience that is unique in the modern Western world.

Here are some tips on how to embark on Camino de Santiago Walk in Spain;

Choose a Route

No single route leads to Santiago de Compostela. What is obtainable is a network of routes from Spain, Portugal, and France, leading to the tomb of St. James; the spot where a vase discovered in 813 A.D. contained what was thought to be the remains of the apostle. Traditionally, the main route to Santiago de Compostela begins in St Jean Pied de Port, approximately 780km journey.

Make this walk adventurous and fun by choosing the most picturesque route that starts from Leon (one of Spain’s greatest cities) and ends in Santiago de Compostello. This route is also the most rewarding. A lot of women prefer to walk in the company of fellow women with the same passion and zeal. You can join the  Women’s Own Adventure Camino de Santiago guided tour, designed with the adventurous woman in mind. Every bit of the trip has been organized, leaving you with loads of fun, adventure and ultimately a fulfilled walk.

Accommodation

It is usually easy to find a place to stay along the way in inexpensive pilgrim hostels. These hostels are locally called ‘Albergues’ (usually bunk beds in dormitory style accommodation) , manned by volunteers and exclusively kept for pilgrims. A Pilgrims Passport is required to get accommodation in the pilgrim hostels. The passport must be stamped by host Albergues along the way. You can obtain the Pilgrims Passport from the local confraternity in the larger towns along the way.

On the other hand, if you desire more comfort than the Albergues can offer, you can book hotel rooms along the way, in the main towns and cities, or join a guided walk where the accommodation is already  booked for you in comfortable hotels and manor houses.

Women’s Own Adventure specialises in Walking Holidays for women.

Thoughts on the journey of travel.

Here are some thoughts on travel that have been passed onto me from my new friend in Chile, Consuelo.

Travelling is not merely to move to another place or distance. It is a journey where we leave behind the life that we are used to, and suddenly be able to watch from afar. Remoteness makes us feel different, it opens the possibility of looking at who we are, and also to those around us. The distance allows us to be spectators and watch our life like a movie.

When we get to the destination we recover our capacity for surprise and astonishment at the novelty of where we are. We do not only discover unknown places, we discover ourselves in the process. The trip is not only distances covered, but a journey into ourselves. And when we leave, when the experience ends, a part of us stays there is some place and a part of that place will be alive in us.
– signing off, Marika Martinez – Women’s Own Adventure

Stupa of Pokhara

Our group of Women’s Own Adventure in Nepal had to make a slight change of plan today. There were demonstrations outside the town which prevented us from reaching the start of our trek. So we had the pleasure of an afternoon spent in Pokhara.

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This beautiful town is a contrast to Kathmandu. At a much slower and peaceful pace, it is surrounded by mountains. Our journey to Pokhara was via a half hour flight on a small aircraft which afforded magnificent views of the snow capped mountains.

This afternoon we crossed the lake by boat to walk up a steep track to the Budhist Stupa which overlooks the town. It sits at 1,100 metres above the lake. We enjoyed a picnic lunch on the way and marveled at the view. There were a handful of colourful paragliders on the opposite peak enjoying plenty of thermal lift. Nepal and its people are bright and colourful, with splashes of colour everywhere.

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Tomorrow we leave for our trek with our wonderful guide Ang. So you can read all about it in on our return to Pokhara in 6 days time.

– signing off, Marika Martinez – Women’s Own Adventure

Departing for Nepal on 4th April

A group travelling with Women’s Own Adventure are ready to embark on a 6 day trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal. These adventurous women will enjoy trekking around spectacular mountain scenery through charming villages.

April in Nepal and especially around the Annapurna region is the season of the brilliant rhododendron flowers.

Our adventures will then take us to the Chitwan National Park where we will search for the white horned rhino on elephant back through the jungle.

We will keep you up to date over the next 2 weeks with photos and stories of our journey as much as access to the internet allows.
– signing off, Marika Martinez – Women’s Own Adventure

Trekking and Wildlife Adventure in Nepal

Adventure travel company for women only;
Women’s Own Adventure embarks on a trekking and wildlife adventure in Nepal.

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Nepal’s acronym of Never Ending Peace And Love, does well to characterize this nation of good natured and accommodating people; a land of majestic Himalayan scenery comprising eight of the world’s ten highest mountains, including Mt Everest: the uppermost place on earth at 29,029ft (8,848m).

Nepal is well endowed with glorious scenery – verdant terraced valleys, rushing rivers and ice-blue lakes that originate in the Himalayas. The uplifting sight of soaring mountains is a magnet for mountaineers and trekkers, offering some of the greatest challenges and most scenic walking opportunities on earth.

The Annapurna Sanctuary is the most intensely scenic short trek in Nepal. The trek starts from Pokhara, a natural jewel in the heart of the Annapurnas and winds through lush, subtropical forests and traditional farming villages. Every ridge boasts a Himalayan panorama while Annapurna South and Huinchuli soar above you. A trek up the narrow Modi Khola valley will bring you almost to the base of Machhapuchhre and into the Sanctuary where you can gaze in awe at the snow-covered peaks above and the beauty of the landscape around. Wherever you stand in the Sanctuary, the 360 degree views are unspeakably beautiful.

Director of Specialist Adventure Travel Company for women only, Women’s Own Adventure, Marika Martinez has tailored her Nepal trips to accommodate the female travelers seeking to incorporate cultural interaction and wildlife experiences with a sense of adventure. “This is why Women’s Own Adventure focuses on packaging the very essence of Nepal’s diverse scenery and culture into our adventure holiday,” she said.

Enjoy trekking in the spectacular mountain scenery through charming villages. April in Nepal and especially around the Annapurna region is the season of the brilliant rhododendron flowers. After the trek, indulge in a day of yoga and meditation in beautiful Pokhara.

Nepal’s Royal Chitwan National Park is among Asia’s most famous national parks, renowned for its dense concentration of wildlife. With images of rhinos emerging from the mists, and elephant safaris cutting across waves of tall grasses an early morning game viewing on elephant back provides the best opportunity of seeing the many animals that reside in Chitwan National Park. You will search for the white horned rhino, tigers, leopards, bears and dear. In the afternoon you can enjoy a river trip in local dug-out canoes while searching for crocodiles and the many bird species along the riverbanks.

Women’s Own Adventure is an Australian company, which specializes in adventure travel for women only.

In the company of other like-minded women there is a sense of freedom to be just ourselves, to laugh, sing, relax and chat. Women want to experience the journey and the friendships along the way, not just to conquer the mountain.

In recent years women have taken on travel experiences in a big way. More women are leaving the men at home. More than 50 percent of adventure travellers are women and most fall between ages 41 and 60, according to a 2006 survey by ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association).

Women’s Own Trekking and Wildlife Adventure in Nepal
– signing off, Marika Martinez – Women’s Own Adventure

Contact: Marika Martinez
Ph: 1300 883 475 or 0449 570 102
E: info@womensownadventure.com.au
W: http://www.womensownadventure,com.au/

Cultural and Historical Adventure in beautiful Sabah, Borneo

If you are a woman who enjoys adventure travel, this Women’s Own Adventure might be for you.

Explore a mystical land on our journey into Sabah, a place teeming with wildlife and natural beauty. Malaysian Borneo is one of nature’s most exciting playgrounds. From rugged mountain tops to idyllic islands, this land is a blueprint for true adventure. Pockets of pristine wilderness cover much of these Malaysian provinces, but there are also some fascinating modern cities and contrasting traditional villages to be explored. We visit remote communities where our local friends introduce us to their traditions and customs. You’ll remember every minute of this unforgettable adventure!

This special trip combines the best elements of a wildlife adventure, cultural interaction with the local people as well as an important moment of our history. This trip is fully escorted by renowned Historian Lynette Silver, author of the internationally acclaimed book ‘Sandakan – A Conspiracy of Silence’.

In 1942-43, over 2,500 Allied prisoners of war were transferred from Singapore to Sandakan, Borneo, to provide slave labour for an airstrip. Three years later, at war’s end, only six were left alive. The fate of the others remained shrouded in uncertainty and mystery until 1998, when Lynette Silver broke the conspiracy of silence which had lasted 53 years. Join her as she unravels the story behind Sandakan’s tragedy – one of world War II’s most deadly secrets.

Australian history and Australians at war in the Far East have been the passion of Sydney-based author Lynette Ramsay Silver for more than 20 years. Lynette, who has published a great deal of her research, has amassed comprehensive archival material on all her specialised subjects, particularly information on the fate of many hundreds of Allied soldiers and prisoners of war who died in Borneo (Sabah) in the Sandakan and Ranau POW Camps, and on one of the infamous death marches. Using data not readily available to the general public. Lynette is able to provide replicas of POW Death Records as well as other relevant information.

Lynette will provide expert historical commentary on the Death Marches of Australian and British POW’s during World War Two. She knows the Sabah region like the back of her hand, having travelled there extensively over many years. Experienced, local English and Malaysian speaking guides also accompany this trip.

The track cut for the death marches soon became completely overgrown and for sixty years defied all efforts to locate it. However, in August 2005, Australian investigative writer and historian, Lynette Silver, and Tham Yau Kong, Sabah’s premier trekking specialist, combined their considerable talents to identify the path taken by the prisoners of war. After sixty years, you too can now walk in the footsteps of the Death March heroes.

This trip offers a unique experience for those who are reasonably fit and with a spirit of adventure. The scenery is fantastic, and the historical and cultural experiences unforgettable.

You will also learn about ancient traditions, Homestay with the Dusun people, Get close and make friends with the amazing Orangutans, Witness sea turtles lay their eggs, Trek the Mt Kinabalu Heritage Walk, Be inspired by incredible views, Stay at the Sabah Tea Plantation, Enjoy scouring the local markets in Kota Kinabalu and spoil yourself with a massage and spa treatment.

Cultural and Historical Adventure in Sabah, Borneo
12days departing 31st July 2009
Price: $2,755 (land content only)
Package Price: $4,490 (including airfares and taxes)

– signing off, Marika Martinez – Women’s Own Adventure

Contact: Marika Martinez
Ph: 1300 883 475 or 0449 570 102
E: info@womensownadventure.com.au
W: http://www.womensownadventure.com.au/

Amazon Jungle, the Final Frontier

Dawn in the Tambopata National Reserve, accessible only by boat, one and a half hours up river from Puerto Maldonado we find ourselves in the heart of one of the best preserved tropical rainforests in the world. The songs of hundreds of birds resonate in the ancient trees and the unique sound of the Howler Monkey reverberates in the jungle. So the peace of the early morning fog lifts in the jungles of the Peruvian Amazon.

P1000963 After a 30 minute boat ride along the Tambopata River from our Eco Lodge we arrive at Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake with the anticipation of seeing for the first time the giant Otter, Caiman, Horned Screamers and an array of birdlife. The elusive Otter remained elusive this morning, however we were treated to a spectacle by the Horned Screamer and the Black Caiman while gently and silently floating across the lake.P1010064

For those with a quick reflex, a spot of fishing saw us catch Piranha from the Lake. These small fish with very sharp teeth turned out to be not quite the man eating fish that Hollywood has been known to portray, but I still would not like to be in the water with them.

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The 3 days spent at the Eco Lodge were amazing, with our comfortable accommodation open to the sights and sounds of the jungle. Our group of women’s own adventure travelers were treated to nature walks through the jungle where we observed the Parrot clay lick from a specially built blind. To our amazement there was a flurry of birds frightened away, and in the blink of an eye we had the absolutely unique sighting of an Ocelot (a large cat related to the Leopard) attempting to pounce on the unsuspecting Parrots and Macaws. It was right there in front of our blind, a mere 15 metres away and in clear view. We held our breath as the sighting lasted about a minute before the Ocelot disappeared back into the jungle.

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That was certainly a once in a lifetime experience for us all. The Amazon Jungle, The Final Frontier was also the final part of our amazing Chile and Peru Adventure.

– signing off, Marika Martinez – Women’s Own Adventure