Top 10 Travellers’ Transports
Chris’ personal picks from places in the world that he has visited.
Hot Air Balloon, Masai Mara: Rising silently into the skies as dawn breaks over the Mara-Serengeti Plain in East Africa, you drift over a primeval landscape teeming with wildlife. Time it right, as we did, and you can take in the immensity of the annual wildebeest migration: nearly two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles moving as one.
Helicopter, New Zealand: From the lush rainforests at the edge of the Tasman Sea on New Zealand’s South Island, to the gigantic expanse of the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier snowfields in just a few minutes…We landed on the glacier at around 7000 feet to explore the glacier’s surface before skimming back over the crevasses.
Concorde, Transatlantic: I am so pleased that I had the opportunity to fly this iconic plane before its retirement in 2003. I flew across the Atlantic from the UK to Washington at up to twice the speed of sound in a little over 3 hours, arriving almost 2 hours before I departed, local time. The ultimate flying experience!
Train, South America: I love train travel anywhere I go, but my experiences on the trains in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia remain my most vivid. Reaching heights of almost 16,000 feet, zig-zagging up sheer mountain walls, sometimes riding on top of the carriages to take in the incredible scenery…Wonderful!
Camel, Egypt: The Valley of the Kings near Luxor in Egypt is a wadi on the west bank of the Nile where for nearly 500 years from the 16th to the 11th century BC, the kings constructed their tombs. To approach this archaeological treasure-trove on the back of a camel is an appropriate way to get in the mind-set to fully appreciate this marvel.
Canoe, Algonquin: OK, I wouldn’t be Canadian if I didn’t include the canoe in this list. And why not? It’s the perfect way to see so much of our country. My most memorable canoe trip to date was with one of my sons in Algonquin Park: days of steaming dawn waters, mirror like days, tough portaging and tranquil camps.
Catamaran, Tobago Cays: We recently sailed on a Moorings catamaran in St. Vincent’s Grenadine Islands from Union Island to Canouan Island through the Tobago Cays Marine Park, a 1,400 acre sand-bottom lagoon which encompasses four uninhabited cays and the 4 km Horseshoe Reef. A total escape from reality.
Gondola, Whistler BC: Canada’s latest engineering marvel, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, whisks hikers in summer and skiers in winter from Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb Mountain: 4.4 kilometres long and 1427 feet above Fitzsimmons Creek in just 11 minutes. It’s the world’s highest and longest gondola – and it feels like it too!
Walkabout, Australia: I was privileged to experience a day in the desert north of Alice Springs in central Australia with an Aboriginal family who shared with me their lifestyle and beliefs for a glimpse into their lives. During our walkabout through the desert bush I learnt how to throw a boomerang and to eat witchetty grubs…live.
Horseback, Jordan: I was brought up on a riding stable in the UK, so I have ridden horses all over the world, but when I entered the narrow cleft in the rock called the Siq that is the entrance to Petra, the fabled ‘rose-red city half as old as time’, on horseback and swaddling my baby son, I was transported not only through space but time as well.