Tag hikes

THREE GREAT HIKES IN ALTA BADIA IN THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES

[ALTA BADIA, TRENTINO] — After a four hour hike down the mountain, it was finally time for a late lunch. Stanky and sweaty, I rolled into this cute little rifugio out in the woods, accessible only by foot or the brave souls driving up the narrow less-than-one-lane path — so tight the cars forced the hikers to lean their butts and packs over the wood rail fence lining the lane as they passed. I was hangry by then 👹 so hearty venison medallions in a juniper sauce, grilled mushrooms and rustic polenta seemed just perfect. And a couple of glasses of Lagrein to wash it all down.  About as good of a meal as it gets, especially in a place so inaccessible. The sun casting

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HIKING IN THE HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS OF MOROCCO

[HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS, MOROCCO] — I didn’t know there’d be a donkey involved. Actually, I didn’t really know what all would be involved. But there he was, on a foot bridge spanning a roaring river. Staring at me like “Really?”. It would be hard to be a donkey, actually. Getting all the shit jobs that man doesn’t want to do, in this case, carrying my pack and our lunch for the day. And the flies. Man, the flies. A constant swarm of pesky varmints, always, poking your eyes, biting your knees, and just all-around being annoying. 24/7. I hate flies and if I was a donkey, I’d really hate flies. A constant shake of the head to shake them away. My tail in continuous motion to

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AT 14,000 FEET, YOU CAN SEE THE EARTH FORMING, RIGHT BEFORE YOUR EYES

[EL TATIO GEYSERS, ATACAMA DESERT, CHILE ] — You get up early in the morning, when it is still dark and head out for the long drive up, the dawn sun gently rising behind the silhouettes of jagged mountains. You go from the warm desert to the early morning chill of 14,000 and just as the sun crests above the mountains, the rays open up a great, steaming, boiling field of geysers — El Tatio, the third largest geyser field in the world, and certainly the highest. It is breathtaking. You spend hours just wandering between each bubbling hole into the earth, each with its own signature look and formation, some in pools, some in heaps of calcified earth, built up like anthills. Steam surrounding you

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HIKING THROUGH THE DRIEST PLACE ON EARTH

[ATACAMA DESERT, CHILE] — I am seriously months (and many countries) behind on posts; damn work keeps getting in the way. So forgive me, dear reader, as I try to catch up….. The Atacama Desert. Good lord. I’ve read about it, saw films about it, including this remarkable one, and was just totally consumed with getting there.  So I combined it with a Fire & Ice Tour of both the Atacama and Patagonia, with layovers in Santiago. Nestled in the upper right corner of Chile, one of the longest and skinniest countries in the world, is this freak of nature — the driest place on our planet, only  few hundred miles from the Pacific, where some places have no registered rainfall since they started measuring such things,

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A trek into a secret hidden civilization in the Sardinian mountains

(Tiscali, Sardinia)  — If you’ve ever seen the old movie Lost Horizon, you’d think hidden ancient civilizations are a thing of fiction. But the long-abandoned Tiscali nuraghi settlement is just such a magical place.  Invisible from the rest of the world for hundreds of years until it was rediscovered in the 1900s, this ancient civilization was a whole village tucked into a deep caldera that sinks into the ground on top of a mouton ridge, accessible only by a hidden crevasse that cuts through the rock, then descends hundreds of feet into the caldera.  Protected there, a whole community thrived, with animals, orchards, olive trees and a totally isolated prehistoric society. It is just indescribable. And once you cut down through the trails, see the

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