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Tanzania to Tajikistan

From Tanzania to Tajikistan, from North Wales to South Africa, GoNOMAD offers a wide range of travel ideas this month. Some are perfect for intrepid solo travelers and others are just the thing for families or laid-back vacationers.
A hayrick in Tajikistan
A hayrick in Tajikistan - photo by David Rich
Ed Wetschler overcomes his claustrophobia to crawl through narrow passages to the crypt of an Egyptian pharoah, and Roman Skaskiw climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain.

Carly Blatt goes caving in Oudtshoorn, South Arica, and Shelley Rotner takes a cable car to the summit of Mt. Blanc.

GoNOMAD Editor Max Hartshorne takes an ecotour of Cancun, Mexico and visits charming small towns in Alabama, and Senior Travel Editor Kent St. John enjoys the splendid coutryside in Wallonia, Belgium, as well as the world-famous beer and chocolate.

Steve Flahive stays in one of the tiny 'railway-inspired' rooms at The Pod Hotel in New York City, and Isadora Dunne attends the opening of the new air and space museum in Concord, New Hamsphire.

Abbey Stirling
takes us rock climbing in North Wales and Alexandra Regan finds lots of fun activities for her kids in Strabourg, France.

David Rich takes us hiking in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan, and John M. Edwards describes his three- month stay in Gascony.

All in all it's just another month of top-notch travel writing on!

New stories recently published on GoNOMAD:

A elderly gent in Foley, Alabama Alabama: Charming Small Towns and Downtowns
On my trip to Alabama I found towns like Fairhope, Foley and Monroeville that are as charming to me as my home village, South Deerfield, Massachusetts... a little burg with everything you need: pharmacy, video store, hardware store, general store and of course, our own GoNOMAD Cafe. And I found downtown Mobile equally charming with its shady lanes and pocket parks, beautiful historic architecture and friendly, upbeat people...

A war memorial in Bastogne, Belgium Belgium: Wandering Through Wallonia
After a bit in Brussels it was time to traverse the French-speaking Walloon Region, packed with more castles and breweries than any man could wish for, one castle every 25 kilometers. Through history, right up to WWII, major decisive battles raged, yet today it is a peaceful, picturesque place. Wallonia is the lungs of Belgium with more than 80% of the country's forests. It borders France, Luxembourg and Germany while maintaining its own style and traditions...

A woman in Tajikistan Tajikistan: Following the Ancient Silk Road
Though it cost a sizeable personal fortune, I persevered, discovering the world’s most scenic 300-mile highway, a vast region chocked with sparkling glaciers stretching from Tajikistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan, the safe parts of the latter two oft-time problematical countries. The Pamirs are entered from the Silk Road through Osh, Kyrgyzstan, south to Sary Tash where the Pamirs slash a curtain of ice across the entire southern horizon...


Children on a carousel in Strasbourg, France Strasbourg, France: A City to Enjoy with the Kids
Strasbourg doesn’t hide its goodies; the picturesque river with its many bridges, its breathtakingly beautiful cathedral, and its fairytale houses are all there to be enjoyed by the wandering visitor. There is an appealing coziness to old Strasbourg, whether you are strolling through its winding streets amidst the leaning wattle and daub houses, or enjoying a meal in one of the weinstubs decorated in wood and warm Alsatian fabrics. Winter is a fabulous time to enjoy Strasbourg’s coziness...

Caving in Cancun, Mexico Ecotourism in Cancun: Wilder Than We Expected!
We flew into Cancun, that man-made destination that was born in the early ‘70s in the vast and lightly populated Yucatan Peninsula. The planned tourist city was created with filled in sand.Here you can visit ruins from the glorious Mayan civilizations, and even meet with Mayans who live in the region today. There are also many chances to get some adrenaline going, and view deep dark places that you’ll never forget!

A cable car in the French Alps Experiencing the French Alps With All Five Senses
I started in Megeve, a small Alpine village whose name means village surrounded by water. I saw a landscape dotted with farmhouses and chalets, streams and forests. I heard horse’s hooves on the cobblestones, tasted artisinal cheeses and local honey, and smelled fresh baked goods. At the Hotel Les Fermes de Marie, I had a “pure altitude” facial with products that used the native sweet-smelling flower, edelweiss, known for its medicinal properties...

A chef at the Culinary Institute of America Learning About Fine Food and Wine in California's Napa Valley
California's Napa Valley is famous around the world for its fine wines, and the area is also known as a center for the culinary arts. Visitors to the valley can learn all about the cultivation and preparation of fine food and wine at a local campus of the nation's most prestigious culinary institute. The Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus in St. Helena, California, is offering a series of short classes to non-enrolled guests....



A unique feature of the WHL network is that each destination booking site is owned and operated by locals. You deal directly with local people in the destination you are travelling to and unlike other global booking sites, the people you book with will be there when you get there.

They not only know the destination intimately, but they have been selected to become part of the growing WHL family because they care about their local community, about their culture and about the local environment.

Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania Kilimanjaro: Climbing Africa's Tallest Mountain
The hardest part came just before Stella Point -- again the guidebook was right. There’s a steep fifty-or-so meters of loose gravel sliding down beneath you with every step. I felt like an engine, knowing nothing but the movements of my legs and lungs. Suddenly, the ground was firm and flat beneath me. We’d reached Stella Point. I raised my arms in victory. The hard part was over. We walked a gentle incline to Uhuru Peak, stumbling and catching our balance like a bunch of drunks...

A statue of D'Artagnan The Gers in Gascony: Birthplace of Armagnac and D'Artagnan
The region’s main magnet, though, is its cuisine. When the farmers aren’t protesting for unpasteurized Camembert, they are to be found with forks in their mitts, meandering over multi-course meals that last two hours or more.One of the joys of the Gers, we found, was driving or cycling around aimlessly, stopping at historic family-run inns to enjoy four-course Gascon fare with regional VDQS Cote de St. Mont wine (fill ‘er up in plastic jerrycans at local vineyards), all for about twenty dollars...

A pod hotel in New York City

Micro-Hotels Let You Visit New York on a Budget
Located in Midtown Manhattan, The Pod offers an uncommon and impressive blend of bare-bones pragmatism and purposefully stylish character. The “bare-bones” relates to the hotel’s tiny rooms, its shared bathrooms, and its correspondingly low prices; the “character” relates to the design and décor. The words “shoestring-chic” seem unavoidable when describing The Pod’s lobby and rooms. The hotel offers all the essentials like a full-time staff and team of housekeepers...

Exploring the Amazon Jungle

The Future of Women's Travel: More Adventure, Less Shopping
"After many years of organizing women's travel," says Yolanta Barnes, "One of the things I notice is that very few people are surprised by the idea of women traveling by themselves, and the women are more adventurous than ever. Girlfriends’ getaways are no longer synonymous with a spa or shopping weekend. It could be an African safari, trekking in the Himalayas or the Amazon expedition," (a new trip that kicked off the year for Sights and Soul to tremendous success)...

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More Recently Posted Travel Articles

A rock climber in Wales North Wales: From Snowdonia’s Peaks to the Seaside Spa
This is a unique area of eerie beauty with immense mountain ranges, fascinating rock formations, untouched coastline, medieval castles and warm Welsh hospitality. The journey for me was not just one of physical endurance, but of personal triumph. On climbing one of Snowdonia’s peaks I faced my greatest fear, and as I left the tranquillity of Wales I took with me not only a great respect for nature, but a greater respect for myself...
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Caving in South Africa Caving and Quad Biking in Oudtshoorn, South Africa
Explorers intrigued by centuries-old cave formations and the opportunity to investigate the world below ground will find activities to suit their subterranean tastes in the town of Oudtshoorn in South Africa. Nestled in the Little Karoo region of the Western Cape and about 260 miles from Cape Town, Oudtshoorn is the ideal base for travelers headed to the world-famous Cango Caves. It also boasts opportunities to explore smaller local caves and discover the area near the Swartberg Mountains via quad bike...
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The dome of the New Hampshire State House Concord, New Hampshire: A Capital Destination
Often passed over by skiers headed up north, Concord has been undergoing a revival of sorts; the expansion of what was originally the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium, along with a downtown full of thriving boutiques and cafes has made Concord a charming and unique New England destination city. Downtown Concord has the feel of a bustling village center. One can window shop at quaint specialty stores just across the street from the beautiful State House with its gold plated dome....
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The mask of Tutankhamen Inside Egypt: The Mummy, the Pyramids and Me
I found the prospect of visiting Egypt daunting, but not because I feared terrorism. (Don’t let the February ’09 bomb in downtown Cairo mislead you; Egypt’s Tourist Police have not permitted a single such incident at the country’s archaeological sites since 1997.) Nor did I fear the famously searing heat. (There’s a simple solution: Go in winter). No, what scared me, simply, was claustrophobia. To see Egypt’s greatest ancient wonders, you first have to get through narrow passageways...
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