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Travel Adventure of the Year – The Ultimate Train Challenge 2013

Want to join the greatest Travel Adventure of the Year? Over 15,000 miles from Europe to Asia! Then sign up for The Ultimate Train Challenge 2013.

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If you are looking for the ultimate adventure for 2013 then we think that we might just have the challenge for you. It’s called The Ultimate Train Challenge 2013 (UTC 2013).

The concept was thought up in late 2011 when three travel bloggers completed an epic train journey from Lisbon to Saigon in just 31 days. And we are super excited to tell you that they have developed it so that now anyone can do it this year.

The Ultimate Train Challenge 2013

Ultimate Train Challenge 2013

YOU make your own schedule. YOU choose your own route. YOU decide how far you are going to push yourself. YOU decide where, when and how many places you are going to visit.

All within 31 days of crazy overland travel by train only.

Although it is about 15,000 miles (25,000 kilometers) to navigate, you will still have enough time to stop and explore outside of the train carriages. Your options are endless. Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Prague, Venice, Moscow, Beijing, Hanoi. Just some of the great cities to hit up along the way.

What do you get for your entry fee?

Apart from endless memories, experiences and one heck of a travel adventure, you get a crazy amount of extra goodies!

In short, you can blog your trip on the UTC 2013 website to keep your family and friends up to date with your journey. Including a live-mapping feature on the site, so you can everyone can keep up with you in real time. But that is the boring part…

There are lots of prizes and sponsors onboard (pun intended) who want to reward you for taking part.

Intrepid Travel is offering two fabulous 15-day tours to the first ones to cross the finish line in each direction. Intrepid Travel are also throwing a fun pre-launch party from both starting points. Eurail is offering up at least four of their Global Passes that they will be raffling off and giving away as prizes. And HostelWorld is offering two free nights’ stay in each city beforehand.

And that is just the starting point. You can check out all the goodies here.

But wait, that’s not all. In order to keep up with the latest developments on new sponsors, prizes and other news, you can sign up for their free newsletter via this link also. As an extra bonus, they will be giving away a new Samsung Galaxy SIII to one lucky subscriber from all the newsletter subscribers in February.

  • If you register by February 15th, the entry fee is $295 US (approx. £183 / €223).
  • If you register from February 16th to April 30th, the entry fee is $395 US (approx. £245 / €298).
  • And because you are entering from this post, you will get $30 off your entry fee. All you need to do is enter the code “FJ13UTC ” on the “Referral” line on the entry page to get the $30 discount.

enter UTC12

Ultimately this trip is not about the prizes or pre-event party being thrown in both cities for everyone.

It is about having a travel adventure you are going to talk about for years. It is about challenging your limits and doing something that very few other people have done.

From one corner of Europe to the far flung corner of Asia…. all by the best mode of transportation you can use to experience the vastness and wonder of the planet we live on. TRAIN.

And it’s all about Charity

The UTC 2013 team has also partnered up with Blue Dragon’s Children Foundation in Vietnam to raise some needed funds to help out their cause. We are asking each participant to raise $500, and Intrepid Travel has been generous enough to agree to match each donation dollar for dollar, up to a $10,000 total.

So not only are you doing this whole adventure to challenge yourself, the entire group is going to do a small part to make the world a better place.

Your World. No Rules. Logo

 

How to take part

On the Your World, No Rules website, they explain everything you need to know about this event. They have also put together some travel resource pages for you to help decide on your route and work through your visas.

What are you waiting for? Grab some friends or just do it on your own. Live your life with no regrets.

This will be the adventure that will change your life. And don’t forget… on that sign up page please input FJ13UTC in the “Referral” box to get $30 off your entry fee and tell them that you found the Ultimate Train Challenge 2013 from Four Jandals!

enter UTC12

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Nico

    January 16, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    Sounds like a really great experience, but I’m not sure if my boss will give me a month off work

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      It is a lot of time to take off but with the right amount of planning then I am sure you can manage Nico 😉

  2. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    January 16, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Sounds like a great trip. I always prefer to travel overland (not just because I hate to fly) but because you see so much of the countryside that way. Have fun!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      Just got back from going on the Eurostar from the French Alps and it was brilliant! In between doing work and watching movies I got to just gaze out the window. Much better than being squeezed into a plane 🙂

  3. Michael Hodson

    January 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Cole, many thanks for the support. If any of your readers have any questions about the UTC, they can feel free to email me. Would love to get some of them out on the rails for massive fun (and some great prizes up for grabs).

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      Hopefully we get a few signing up soon Michael!

  4. Peter Lee

    January 17, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Wow, this journey seems awesome. This train covers ultimate cities like Berlin, Paris, Prague, Venice etc. The Ultimate Train Challenge is good but I think time duration is too long for this. Glad to read about charity through this long trip and you offer good advise. One should try this challenge if he has time. This adventure is not only to challenge to oneself but also for charity.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      Agree with you Peter. It is a really tough call to make because while the train journey is really long, you will end up on the other side of the world! Perfect if you want to head in either direction though 🙂

  5. Curious Nomad

    January 21, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    This looks like an epic adventure if you love trains! I saw @hobonora’s YouTube video and it inspired me to add it to my bucket list. If I can get time off work and the entire budget for the trip is reasonable, I’d be in. What do you think the estimate budget for the entire journey flying from the U.S. would be?

    • Cole Burmester

      January 22, 2013 at 9:12 AM

      Hmmm tough call with the extra flight thrown in. We have estimated that it would be about $2000 – $2,500 with no sponsorship for the journey itself. But with the sponsors on board there is a high chance you could get discounted, or free, accommodation and train travel.

      • Curious Nomad

        January 25, 2013 at 7:53 AM

        Thank you! I’m going to do the research and prep just in case my life plans change.

        • Cole Burmester

          January 25, 2013 at 8:28 AM

          Good luck with it! Lots of extra info on the Ultimate Train Challenge website too regarding costs, visas, etc

  6. laura

    February 12, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    A train adventure sounds fun i would do it for sure

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Adventure Travel

Explore Auckland’s Coasts With One Exquisite Walking Hike

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There is a wonderful place found in the far southwest of the Pacific Ocean. It is a place called Auckland, and it is found in the amazing terrain of New Zealand. It is a place that commands the attention of over 1 million people who prefer to live and reside in this majestic city.

Did you know that Auckland claims the top spot in New Zealand with its wide range of people and the most concentrated number of people within a city in New Zealand?

But why do so many people come to Auckland, New Zealand, and live there? What do they appreciate the most?

The truth is that the answer may vary, and it may differ from person to person, but it is hard to deny that nature is not a crucial part of their decision making. The beautiful city has fantastic places that offer great adventure and recreational activity.

You can take advantage of the diverse coasts, hidden coves, and more of the northern area in the North Island. It is known for its various boats, and some believe that it has more ships than any other city in the entire world.

It is a city that resides between two large fantastic natural harbors.

Let us find out more about how you can explore this majestic city with one fantastic walking hike.

The Auckland Coast

For those who want to stay near to Auckland’s city and travel well, it is necessary to start your journey with the Auckland Coast’s breathtaking area.

Did you know that Auckland’s coast ranges over 15km, will take over four hours to traverse, and is somewhat challenging to navigate? But the truth is that it is worth it. Why is it worth it? Well, you can seemingly walk the length of an entire nation within the span of a few hours. If you wake up early in the morning and go on this journey, you can finish your hike by noon or an hour past noon.

But in that brief timeframe, you can experience several oceans, notice a slew of volcanoes, and have a glimpse into people’s regular lives in the New Zealand area.

This fantastic walk is excellent because of its duration and because you are able to experience lush greenery and park settings over 30% of the time. It is a great way to clear your head, get to know more about the people you are traveling with, and experience the refreshing Auckland air.

Experts suggest beginning your journey at the less intriguing Onehunga area and then moving forward with public transportation at the Britomart stop. You will find that you can travel east to take in the water sights with a bit of work.

When your walk is over, you can grab a fresh beverage at the Waitemata Harbour, a premium harbor.

You will want to make sure to bring some healthy snacks along for the walk because you may not notice different places to eat as you go on this part of the hike.

It is best to ensure that you understand that you must input the Ferry Building into your mobile device or ensure to use the local municipal iSITE for further guidance.

If you are limited on time, I would suggest that you go on this route because it lets you take in the entire area and understand this excellent place.

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Adventure Travel

Hiking Adventures in Bryce Canyon National Park

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If you are on the lookout for the perfect environment for an adventurous and challenging hike, look no further. Located in the Southern Utah region is the best park that is most suitable for your hiking adventure, the Bryce Canyon National Park. This is a great option to relaxed after you are through playing in $5 minimum deposit casinos.

This park hosts hike lovers from time to time and people even come from other countries in the world to experience the wonder of this park. The landscape and beautiful trails make this a choice venue. There is a rental service at this location if you love to stay behind.

You can enjoy the priceless glimpse of the sunrise and sunset from the different landscape. The part also permits visitors to create traditional camps at different locations for a more adventurous experience.

There are a couple of trails that you can choose from for your hiking adventure, and no matter your level of experience in hiking, you will find a track that matches your taste. Even if you are totally new to hiking, there is something for you at the Bryce Canyon National Park . Below is a list of some of the trails to try when you take a trip to this park.

The Rim Trail

This is the most accessible trail at Bryce Canyon National Park. It is suitable for those who just want to have a good time walking around and savoring the magnificent scenery of the park. From any part of the park, you can connect to this trail as it goes all the way around the park.

When lodging at the Bryce Canyon Lodge, it is a good idea to start your hike from the place known as the sunrise point. Just as the name implies, if you wake up early to start your walk, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise. If you have a camera with you, you’ll take some fantastic pictures.

Also, you’ll get a clear view of the Bryce amphitheater from this point. Just like in an adventure movie, you have to find a way to link up to boat Mesa, and on your way, you walk through some sites like the Mormon temple and Queen garden. This hiking trail is easy, and all you have to deal with is a total of approximately 200 feet elevation. You will surely have a nice time on this trail.

Navajo Loop Trail

On the order of difficulty, this trail comes next after the rim trail. The starting point of this trail begins from the sunset point around the southern area of the Bryce Canyon Lodge. Just like for the rim trail, the trail presents a nice view of the sunset, and with a good camera, you’ll be able to take exciting photo shoots.

Walking this route involves a visit to the Silent City, which is an aesthetic combination of limestone and urban expansion. During the hike, you will also walk through Wall Street, which happens to be a distinctive attraction at the Bryce Canyon park. You won’t ever want to miss the narrow walls. From this point, you may decide to go back to the sunset point or take other shorter hikes like the Peekaboo loop trail and Queen garden trail. Both routes are challenging and adventurous, but you will enjoy every bit of the challenge. After you have done this, you can then go ahead to have some fun in a $5 minimum deposit casino.

Mossy Cave Trail

This Trail presents an entirely different sight than the one that we have previously mentioned. From this trail, you will be able to catch the view of the towers in the park nearby without descending to the amphitheater. This hiking course begins at approximately 4 miles from the entrance to the Bryce Canyon park. However, if you visit this park and would like to enjoy something completely different from the other common tracks, then this is an exciting hiking trail for you to try.

Hiking is more than a walk, it is a fun and adventurous experience. All trails at the Bryce Canyon National Park are worth trying on your next visit. Whether you seek to have some fun or you just want to catch some beautiful scenery and feel close to nature, you will find the right place that suits you. Get ready to have an amazing hiking experience.

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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