For all of you recreation and adventure junkies who love to add an sports or recreation component to your travels, check out these amazing adventure sports or recreation from top journalist who share their favorite experiences . Each have something special that they would love to share about their not to be missed adventure trip to a destination. It’s time to break out and plan some of these thrill seeking adventure experiences around the world.
Top adventure destinations around the world
Adventure experiences in the United States
Skydiving on Oahu
One of the most adventurous things I ever did was skydiving on Oahu, Hawaii. I wanted to do a skydive for a long time, and after researching about the best places for this experience in the world, I decided to give it a go in Hawaii.
Obviously, I was super nervous and excited before my jump. However, my tandem partner was able to calm me down by telling me that he did more than 2000 jumps so far – and survived all of them! After a quick safety briefing, our tiny plane took off and I had the first glance on Oahu from above.
Finally, everything happened so fast – the plane opened the door, and I was the first one to jump! My pilot just pushed us out of the plane before I even realized what was happening. The feeling was crazy as I was falling from the sky! After a few seconds, we got into a stable position and I could actually enjoy the incredible views of Oahu from above. I was able to see almost the whole island, with its beaches, its coastline and its mountains – the view was incredible. After 60 seconds of free fall, the parachute opened, and it took another 15 minutes of slowly gliding through the air until we landed safely on the ground.
For the rest of the day, I was so full of adrenaline – an absolute unique and crazy feeling. While it was certainly scary, it’s been an experience I will never forget and an adventure everyone should try at least ones in their lives!
Patrick with The German Backpacker
Glacier helicopter and dog sledding in Juneau, Alaska
While visiting Juneau, Alaska, we embarked on the adventure of a lifetime, catching a helicopter to the top of the Norris Glacier and visiting the dog sledding camp interned there for the summer. The top of the glacier is still a dense blanket of snow, even in the summer, making it perfect training conditions for the dogs, who are training for the annual Iditarod race, through some of the harshest conditions on Earth.
The helicopter ride flies over calving glaciers, giving a bird’s-eye view of the spectacular mountains and ice, as well as the effects of climate change.
On the glacier, we were met by the dedicated dog trainers, living in sparse conditions while training the dogs. The dogs used for racing are Alaskan huskies, a mixed breed with dogs bred for particular skills such as speed and endurance.
While Alaskan huskies are a slight-looking dog, they are strong and have a double-coat bred to keep them warm in sub zero temperatures.
Visitors like us to the dog training camp not only help fund the camps, but also assist in socialising the dogs, which is important when they attend the dog races. The dogs need to get used to being handled and in the presence of unfamiliar people. As a result, their socialisation starts as puppies, being held and pet by visitors to the dog training camps. Some camps even breed the puppies to coincide with the summer visitors for this very reason.
After getting to know some of the beautiful sled dogs, we are given training in how to operate the sleds and hop aboard for a ride through the icy wonderland. Rushing through the snowy landscape to the sound of excited dogs is an experience we will not soon forget.
Check out Christine’s post on dog sledding in Juneau with Adventure Baby
Ziplining experience in Hawaii
When we travel we love to go a little out of our comfort zone and try something new. Hawaii has some great zip lines over waterfalls, so we decided lets head to Hawaii to zip line! The zip line we chose was on the Big Island of Hawaii near Hilo. The road up the mountain was through rugged trails and little bumpy, but the views were beautiful.
Once we reached our Zip Line base we were given our gear and instruction on who to fit into the harness. Next, we were given details on what to expect and safety precautions. I actually felt pretty confident and not scared. That is until I had to stand on a box, I have no idea why my legs shook standing on a 2ft box! But as we were informed, the box saved you from receiving a wedgie. Camera in hand I waited anxiously for them to say let go.
Wow! Zooming through the air over the gorgeous waterfalls surrounded in lush green was just amazing! I loved every moment. It was exhilarating and peaceful at the same time. My husband and I both decided that we would continue to zip line whenever we can when we travel. The views you get are some you would not be able to see unless you zip line them!
Sherri with Travel by A Sherri Affair
Hiking the Knife Edge in Maine
One of the top adventures in New England has to be hiking Knife Edge in Baxter State Park, Maine. This iconic trail leads to the summit of Mt. Katahdin (terminus for the Appalachian Trail), which is the finishing point for hikers who have made the monumental journey of over 2,200 miles, starting in Georgia.
What Makes Knife Edge So Special?
Although reaching the summit of Mt. Katahdin is amazing, Knife Edge is the real epic adventure. This awe-inspiring ledge is a rock scramble over 1.1 miles long. When you first step out of the tree line to see Knife Edge for the first time, there are no words. It is overwhelming to see and very intimidating to faint of heart with fear of heights (like me).
Knife Edge is not Just a Name
Knife Edge earns its name from the narrow rocky trail, which at times becomes very intimidating with steep drop offs on both sides of the trail. This trail is not easy and should only be attempted in optimal weather conditions with the proper hiking equipment. Injuries from slipping on the rock that becomes very slick when wet is common.
Beyond the narrow ledges and slippery rocks, Knife Edge has another challenge to overcome. The Chimney is steep rock climb down followed by another steep rock climb up. Be sure to stay focused on the rock in front of you and save your sightseeing for after you get past this part.
For those who choose to meet the Knife Edge challenge, you will be treated to fantastic views. The adrenaline fueled hike is an amazing accomplishment and surely one to provide fond memories of an epic adventure.
Check out Frank’s post on best hikes in New Hampshire with Nothing but New England
Hiking adventures at Zion National Park
Adventure experiences in Canada
Be Fearless and Walk on the Edge of CN Tower
Want to test how brave you are? Try CN Tower EdgeWalk – the World’s Highest Outdoor Walk on a Building.
On top of Canada’s most iconic urban structure, thrill seekers are invited to walk around the CN Tower ledge, hands free. Standing 356m above the ground – at the highest point in the city – the activity promises to set your adrenaline pumping. The best part is seeing the city stretch out in every direction at your feet!
The activity starts with a safety check at the base camp. A breathalyzer test will be administered, personal articles are stowed away, and harness securely strapped on. Then, a short elevator ride takes you all the way up to where the Edgewalk begins.
The first few steps might seem unreal and scary – don’t worry, that’s because you’re not used to the height yet. With each step you make, you will feel more comfortable with the height. The thrill doesn’t stop there though. As you walk around the pod, the guide will challenge you to stick your toes over the edge. If that sounds too easy, try leaning backward with only your feet touching the ledge. That will for sure give you an extra adrenaline boost!
CN Tower EdgeWalk (https://fortwoplz.com/2016/06/09/cn-tower-edgewalk/) is the most memorable and daring way to experience Toronto. Are you ready to test your limits? Sign up for the challenge the next time you visit Toronto!
Cat with ForTwoplz.com
A polar bear safari in Manitoba
The first time I saw a polar bear in the wild I was mesmerized. She was resting on a rare patch of flat ice on Hudson Bay, her large clawed paw tucked sweetly under her chin. Surrounding her was an otherworldly landscape of frosty peaks formed by the tide still raging under the lake’s frozen surface. She looked more slumbering house cat than a dangerous predator known for being easily annoyed. I was on a very special week-long sojourn with Churchill Wild in northern Manitoba, owner of three lodges along the bears’ migration routes. Unlike other tours which relegate travelers to tundra vehicles, Churchill Wild offers the only walking polar bear safaris in Canada. Twice a day, led by experienced guides, I walked two to three miles in search of wildlife in the ice and snow. To my delight, each outing was met with success, not only for the polar bears we saw—one venturing 30 feet from me in an exhilarating encounter—but for the thrill of also photographing the wolves, arctic foxes and hares we found along the way.
Adventure experiences in Oceania
Swimming with whales in Tonga
Tonga is one of those places that few people visit or know about but the small Pacific Island has a lot to offer and is one of the few places in the world where it is legal to swim with humpback whales. That’s right, this is not whale watching. This is getting in the water and swimming with whales that weigh up to 36,000 kgs.
I flew to the small island of Ha’apai to swim with the whales and stayed at a resort where they offered swimming with the whales for $120/day. I found this to be a great deal as most people head to island of Va’vau to swim with the whales and it is really touristy and you don’t spend as much time in the water with the animals. The boats I went on to swim with the whales were small which was great because you can only have four people in the water at a time.
One of my favourite experiences from the week was a two hour hang with a mother and calf. The mother was just chilling at the bottom of the sea floor while the calf would come up to the top for a breath and then come check us out before returning back to its mother. You are in the water thinking the calf is huge and then its been 30 minutes and the mother needs to come up for a breath and then you really see just how big she is compared to the calf. Definitely a must do experience.
Nicole from Travelgal Nicole
Hiking the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand
Fox Glacier Tour: A New Zealand Adventure
Our helihike on Fox Glacier on the wild west coast of New Zealand’s South Island was an epic experience. It’s less famous than Franz Glacier a few miles north and less crowded as a result.
We arrived in town a few weeks after a hurricane swept through stranding tourists and locals alike for a whole week in tiny Fox! The weather on the South Island is capricious; it changes throughout the day so we felt lucky to summit at all.
(Tip: Plan two days near Fox so if your summit gets canceled due to weather, you can visit nearby Lake Mattheson and try again the next day.)
First, we took a six-minute helicopter straight up from the valley floor to the glacier summit. Then our glacier guide instructed us on how to strap on crampons to our hiking boots. We followed her as she chopped out ice steps for us with her pickaxe and explained how glacier crevices are formed and why glaciers are blue (from the glacier’s crystalline structure). After drinking from a glacier stream, a squall rolled, in cutting our adventure 30 minutes short. But all in all, it was an experience we’ll never forget.
Read the complete review of our Fox Glacier helihike here, including details on our glacier guide, how we stayed on a deer farm, and where to find the best meal in Fox.
Chris with Explore Now or Never
Extreme adventure sport in Australia – White Water Rafting
Cairns is known as the adventure capital of Australia and for very good reason. It’s the only place down under where you can bungy jump, you can also scuba dive, swing through the rainforest on a Minjin Swing or zipline over a crocodile! One of the most adventurous things to do is to take on the rapids when you try White Water Rafting down the Tully or the Barron River.
It’s a full day adventure and you’ll spend the morning and afternoon speeding down the greade 3-4 level rapids in an inflatable boat through heritage listed rainforest – with a small team of thrill seekers and an experienced guide.
The Tully river is classes as Australia’s number one site for white water rafting – and it has just been announced as the location for the IRF International Rafting Championships – meaning that you’re getting a world class experience.
Not for the faint hearted – you can reach high speeds and rafters are often thrown into the swirling waters – thank goodness it’s located in Tropical North Queensland where it always stays warm enough to dry off quickly.
White water rafting is Cairns is a year round activity with guaranteed water levels – bring along a change of clothes and enclosed shoes to wear on the day – and don’t forget your sunscreen!
Bryony with CoastingAustralia.com
Road trip and camping the Australian outback
If you’re looking for an adventure experience, then I can highly recommend a camping trip deep into the Australian outback. I actually spent a year doing just this – driving around the most remote parts of this massive country in a four wheel drive, often going for weeks without seeing another person, and sleeping under the stars.
My suggestion if you don’t have the luxury of a year but still want an epic adventure, is to head to either the north of Western Australia, or the Northern Territory. These two areas of the country are some of the wildest landscape on earth, where you can truly get away from, well, pretty much everything. A four wheel drive adventure along the Gibb River Road in Western Australia for example, is a fantastic way to spend a week or two, exploring incredible landscapes, gazing at the stars, and finding crocodile free watering holes to swim in.
These parts of Australia are truly for adventure seekers though, and you do need to be prepared – either with the right vehicle, knowledge and equipment yourself, or you should look into doing a dedicated tour so you can hand over the responsibility to someone else, and you can just focus on enjoying the experience. Which is sure to be an adventure you will never forget!
Laurence with Finding the Universe
Adventure Travel Experience: Hiking the Milford Track in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Some years ago, my husband assigned me the task of planning our trip to New Zealand. Coincidentally, that morning, an article in our local newspaper’s travel section caught my eye. It was titled, “The Finest Walk in the World”. It was about the Milford Track in Fiordland National Park on New Zealand’s South Island. Our “walk” turned out to be more of an adventure travel experience than the title of the newspaper article suggested.
The “walk” was, in fact, a multi-day, 35 mile guided hike from Lake Te Anau to the ethereal Milford Sound. We carried 40 liter packs and traversed a breathtaking (in more ways than one) mountain pass. We were warned about avalanches and heard some during our hike. Although the suspended, swaying pedestrian bridges tested my fear of heights, I was proud I never became unhinged by them as did one member of our group.
The Milford Track was what we would call a “trail”. It was inaccessible except on foot or by an emergency helicopter evacuation. I resolved to avoid any broken bones at all costs. Our last day on the trail was 13 miles through a temperate rain forest — and rain it did, making us happy we heeded the advice to carry the recommended waterproof gear.
We arrived at the aptly named Sandfly Point tired, but exhilarated. Hiking the Milford Trackin New Zealand, ranks as one of our favorite adventure travel experiences.
Suzanne Fluhr with Boomeresque2
Black Water Rafting in New Zealand
Whanganui River Journey – A memorable adventure in New Zealand
Adventure is to get out of your comfort zone, and for me, any activity in open water classifies as an adventure. Whanganui River Journey is one of the great walks of New Zealand and a perfect opportunity to push your limits, in case you prefer terra-firma like me. Whanganui river is revered as an ancestor by the local Māori tribe and has been granted the same legal rights as a human being on March 15, 2017.
There are three launching points, giving you an option to fit this paddling adventure into your time budget. We started our journey from second access point, Ohinepane and ventured right into the heart of magical land. The land surrounding the river is only about one million years old sandstone and mudstone. Sharp ridges, deep gorges, sheer papa cliffs, and waterfalls are handicraft of water erosion. Diverse, lush green, oversaturated trees cling to its steep banks, and tree ferns stand out to be most beautiful and distinctive. There were many rapids and eddies albeit smaller to practice our newly acquired skill.
From Whakahoro, there is “no turning back”, which means no road access till Pipiriki – a true wilderness, will only option to keep paddling down the water.
The river enters a thick mist filled gorge, where myth and legends still work. Legend tells Whanganui is water flowing through the deep scar made by defeated volcano brother Taranaki. He fought a fierce battle with his volcano brother Tongariro over their common lady love volcano Pihanga. Journey becomes multi-layered – rock facades on both sides get steeper topped with tree-ferns and streaming waterfalls, while river keeps challenging your skills. John Coull Hut, the night stop for the day, is a modern, comfortable hut, which we chose instead of camping in rain.
The section between John Coull Hut and Tīeke Kāinga has the most stunning scenery and exciting with plenty of rapids and deceptive eddies. A spur trail to much-famed “Bridge to Nowhere” is an extra bonus. Bridge To Nowhere is exactly that – a bridge that goes nowhere! A poignant reminder of the Mangapurua Valley farm settlement carved out of the bush and then abandoned between the two World Wars. This sturdy concrete bridge was built in 1935 giving road access to the valley, but it was too late. Most of the settlers were gone and a few years later the government closed off the valley. Nature reclaimed the Mangapurua, leaving the bridge isolated in the middle of the wilderness.
Tīeke Kāinga is a Māori sacred place and visitors are expected to follow tikanga (protocol). Calls of brown kiwi and morepork kept punctuating the silence of the night and delighting us a with special New Zealand treat.
Last day of the journey is sort of final exam of your paddling skills, where you are expected to negotiate three big rapids. Still water was like a mirror showing a stunning view of upside down gorge. We cleared first rapid with ease but second one took us high up and threw back upside down. Paparoa, the final rapid was uneventful and we made it to the boat ramp. With mixed emotions we waved goodbye to Whanganui and got in the minibus for Pīpīriki village. A journey which started out as a pure adventure ended as a profound experience – a blend of adventure of paddling down the river and a inward journey down into the deeper recesses of the heart.
Helpful Information, for those who are inspired to take this journey down the river:
- There are direct buses between Auckland airport and Taumarunui.
- The Whanganui River Journey is a five to three-day canoe/kayak trip, up to 145km.
- There are several DOC huts and campsites available along the river which must be booked in advance. http://www.doc.govt.nz/whanganuijourney
- Based in Taumarunui, Karen and Jono of Taumarunui Canoe Hire take care of everything for your excellent river experience. They offer guided river tour options, accommodation, pickup from the bus station, car parking and all the gear. You can also hire canoes, kayaks, lifejackets and waterproof barrels. www.taumarunuicanoehire.co.n
Check out Binny’s post on the Whanganui River with A Speck in Time
Heli Hike on the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand
Ocean Helmet Dive in Vanuatu
The highlight of my Port Vila trip was the Ocean Helmet Dive.
Though I was hearing about it for the first time, I got quite excited about it after reading the online reviews. All I knew was it is more like diving but with no real diving!
The tour operators took us on a ferry from the Port Vila cruise terminal. A short ride of around 15 mins in a small boat took us to the spot. The set up is quite simple. From the boat, there is a ramp leading to the ocean bed. While you descend, the PADI trained instructors fits the helmet which keeps supplying ample oxygen for you to walk in the Ocean. Then, you walk down the trail marked by a rope while enjoying the marine life!
I loved the experience. The interesting fact was that this is a great alternate for people who are scared of water or have no swimming skills as this adventure allows you to experience the ocean bed, aquatic life & the colourful coral reefs all under the safety of an Oxygen mask. How cool is that!
I recommend it as a perfect adventure activity to discover Vanuatu’s amazing underwater world.
Rohini with Why you wander
Adventure activities in Mexico & Central America
Climbing Volcano Acatenango in Guatemala
Adventure Savvy Kayaking the Sea of Cortez
Launching kayaks near the quaint Mexican Baja town of Loreto our adventure savvy crew glides into virtually untouched wilderness. Completely off the grid, the lack of internet, cellular service and power balances with pristine, empty beaches and stunning star filled nights. Snorkeling with wild sea lion pups who know no fear of humans, their curious eyes lock with ours as they tilt their heads in puppy like expressions. Mobula rays leap skyward from sea as if giant sea creatures are playing a game of catch.
The guided adventure thrills even the most experienced explorers of the group. Moving from one pristine island to the next the kayaks are small enough to explore hidden sea caves and mangrove swamps. When the paddling ends for the day the beach camp provides a home base for hiking, swimming, fishing or relaxing and soaking up the peace of this paradise. With the guides providing everything from happy hour to delicious meals for the week all one needs to do is breathe in the fresh air and smile into the sunshine.
When is the best time to kayak the Sea of Cortez? In October and November the Sea of Cortez waters bath tub warm and the day time temperatures less sizzling than those of the summer months. Should you have your heart set on seeing the migration of the Pacific Gray whales on the Pacific Ocean side of the Baja peninsula, then late January to mid March are best.
Cenote diving in Mexico’s Riviera Maya
Epic Adventure at Semuc Champey, Guatemala
Deep in the Guatemalan jungle lies Semuc Champey, a paradise for the adventure seekers and nature lovers. The remote town of Lanquin makes for a good base from where you must travel a rough road for about 11 km. Your efforts will then be rewarded with waterfalls, turquoise pools, natural water slides and an epic cave adventure.
The natural monument of Semuc Champey is made up of a natural limestone bridge and six, crystal clear, tiered pools perfect for playing and relaxing in. If you’re up for more activity the tiers also provide some fun in the form of natural water slides which drop you from one pool to the next. Love to hike? There is a 45 minute jungle trail up to El Mirador, a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the idyllic pools and dense green foliage all around.
If you’re up for more serious adrenaline pumping adventure join a tour through the Kanba Cave. Your guides will lead you into a dark cave system, lit only by candles you hold, where you will wade in waist to chest deep water, clamber over rocks, climb up ropes, and scale water falls before dropping through a small hole into a black pool below. Sound scary? Well it is a little, but it will also be one of the most fun and rewarding things you’ve ever done.
Night diving with crocodiles in Mexico
Night diving with crocodiles in Tulum, Mexico, was probably one of the scariest things I’ve done, although it turned out to be perfectly fine! Most of my fears were in anticipation of getting into the water, and as I was floating around on the surface of a dark lake my imagination was running wild. My guide Paco scanned the edges of the water, looking for the tell-tale gleam of a pair of eyes reflecting in his torchlight. For while we saw nothing, then suddenly there was a flash of green light. We descended into the water, leaving the moonlight on the surface. I did my best to keep up with Paco and followed the light from his torch until we got closer to our quarry. From the bottom of the lake, Paco shone his light upwards to see if he could find the crocodile he had spotted from the surface. Among the mangroves, there she was. A medium sized female crocodile, her pale belly an eerie green through the water. We were careful not to disturb her, just watching her for a while, until with a swish of her tail she was gone. Now I couldn’t’ see her any more the fear rose in me once again – had she spotted us? Would she attack? But the crocodiles here are looking for smaller prey, frogs and fish close to the surface. I felt privileged to have observed these animals in their natural habitat and realised that I wasn’t that scared after all! Keeping quiet is the key to this experience, so you don’t spook the animals. The crocodiles will move away from loud noises and splashes, so keep your movements and speech as quiet as possible to not disturb them, and to get the best possible chance of seeing these fascinating creatures.
Check out Claire’s post of a night dive with crocodiles at Tales of a Backpacker
Oaxaca’s coastal interior through horseback
Adventures in the Huasteca Potosina
The Huasteca Potosina is a mountainous region located north east of Mexico City, famous for its blue rivers and majestic waterfalls.
You would need at least 5 days to see and fully experience all its natural beauties. I did it, and explored every corner of it. Among all the beautiful waterfalls, the one that was the most fascinating to me, and fun to explore, was Tamul. To reach the entrance, I hitchhiked with a new friend that I met in the hostel. We got lucky and some bickers coming from California picked us up on our way there and we did the tour together. It was fun. Once we arrived at the river we rented a boat all for us, with two guides. (1200 pesos/60 USD) for the entire tour of about 2 hours. The fun part is that you need to row (if you can of course) as well. You are not just being taken. At the end of the day I couldn’t feel my arms anymore but I loved it. During the 45 minutes ride you have an amazing scenery around you with small waterfalls coming down from the side hills flowing through the limestone rocks and pouring into the light blue river and the tropical green vegetation. We could get to a certain point of the river where we climbed on a rock to see the majestic waterfall from a distance. On the way back, as it was downstream, while the guides followed us on the boat, we could float back down to our starting point, passing through some mild rapids but most of the time just nicely and peacefully floating. It was a fun interactive experience.
Check out Isabella’s post on Huasteca – Potosina with Boundless Roads
Experiencing the death road in Bolivia
La Carretera de la Muerte (the Death Road) in Bolivia is one of the most adventurous things I have done in the past. This infamous road links La Paz to the region of Los Yungas, in the Amazonian forest, with a slope of -3600 m. This road got its name because of its many fatal accidents to the point to be considered by some as “the most dangerous road in the world”.
La Carretera de la Muerte is a very popular attraction amongst mountain biking enthusiasts looking for new thrills. To be honest, I did not plan to visit the Death Road but I was traveling with a group of people who wanted absolutely to do it so I just followed the flow and booked a guided tour with them.
The day started very early, with a very awful weather. The starting point is at more than 4.000m and it was very cold and rainy, with a very poor visibility. The ride was totally crazy, and every second of it I had the feeling I would lose my life right there. I could not see much of what was happening around because it was foggy and my glasses were full of water but perhaps was it better like this? After an hour or so we stopped for breakfast in a posada located along on the road. We were entering the Amazonian region so the weather was nicer and we could take some layers off. The second part of the ride was definitely nicer even if I never moved my hands away from the breaks! The tour ended in a nice hotel with swimming pool and a nice lunch. In the end, I had fun and somehow I am proud of myself but this is the kind of experience that I will never ever repeat again.
Elisa from World in Paris
Adventure experiences in Europe
Exploring Europe’s largest glacier
Getting to the base of the glacier via road is an adventure in and of itself. We spent more than half an hour driving over horrendous roads, bouncing out of our seats and joking that we should’ve put our snowmobiling helmets on for the van ride. Once we finally made it, we were paired up and hopped on our snowmobiles. I’d never ridden one before, and zooming across the snowy landscape was incredible. We climbed high into the ice-covered mountains before switching drivers and turning around to head back down to the base.
Once we parked, we got to head into an ice cave nearby. Walking through the blue ice was gorgeous and we were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves for a while. During warmer months, rivers of water flow under the glacier, carving out the caves and leaving beautiful patterns in the face of the ice. You can also see black patches contrasting with the blue ice where layers of volcanic ash dating back hundreds of years have been exposed. These tours are definitely not cheap, but they’re an amazing splurge that shouldn’t be missed.
Check out Chris’ post on Vatnajokull Glacier
Climbing the O2 in London
Did you know you can climb over The O2 Arena in London? The Up at The O2 Experience allows visitors to walk on a path suspended 2 meters above The O2. Your guide will provide you with all the gear you need including a safety harness. At the beginning of the climb, you are going up at a 28-degree incline, then it levels off as you approach the top.
On the viewing platform at the top, 52 meters high, you have time to take in 360-degree views of London and even enjoy a glass of bubbly if you like. Going down, in a way was more difficult than going up. The incline was slightly steeper at 30 degrees and I didn’t like the thought of looking down. Luckily, my guide suggested that I go down backwards. I took it slow and completed the climb!
I had never done anything like climbing The O2. The only other attraction in the world that compares is climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge, which I might have to try on my next trip there. The O2 climb was definitely outside my comfort zone, I am not that great with heights or adventure experiences. I was nervous, but with the harness, I knew it was completely safe. Physically it was demanding too, as the beginning and the end of the climb were steep, but to me, it was more of a mental challenge. After the climb, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment!
Anisa with Two Traveling Texans
Surfing Experience under the Sunset in Madeira
My greatest adventure experience was surfing on the large waves in Madeira. It was my second time surfing. As I’m not a fan of lazy vacation on the beach, and the island cannot offer greatest beaches, I wanted to try some adventurous activities and sports there.
After that, I’ve been surfing numerous times, but this case was different because it was an entire experience, not only short instructions and some failed attempts to stand up on the board. I contacted the surf school in advance, asked them when the best day to surf is. They kept me up to date on best places and time to go surfing.
Although their surf school was located in the town of Porto da Cruz, we went to Machico, as the waves were better there. They picked me up at the hotel early in the morning, brought me to the place, provided with really good instructions on best techniques to surf, and already in the water they had a very personalized approach (as they were 3 instructors for 8 students), holding the board and telling when to paddle and stand up.
The experience didn’t finish on surfing. Later, they took us to their surf school, showed the city and took to the best restaurant with a great view and outstanding and fresh cuisine. One of the surfing instructors also recommended to do paragliding there, and the paragliding instructor was sitting next to us in half an hour. In another half an hour, we were already in the sky.
It was the best adventurous experience in my life so far…
Learn more about Roman’s experiences during his 10-day trip to Madeira here
Action and adventure at Zip World in Bethesda, Wales
Wildwater rafting over one of the bluest rivers in Slovenia
Hiking in Bulgaria to see the Seven Rila Lakes
Bulgaria is an amazing country to visit if you’re craving some adventure travel! The amount and diversity of experiences you can have in the country are almost infinite. When we got the opportunity to choose our first Balkan country to visit, we were very unsure on which one to visit. After doing some research and seeing an image of the Seven Rila Lakes, we knew it had to be Bulgaria.
Rila is the name of the highest mountain range in all of the Balkans, located in southwestern Bulgaria. The area has many glacial lakes, but the Seven Rila Lakes are certainly the most famous. If you are looking for adventure and beautiful scenery but, like us, are just starting out and still far from experienced-hiker-level, this is the perfect choice for you. You can see the seven lakes in one day, and although the highest parts of the hike are a bit challenging, the staggering views absolutely pay for your efforts. It is certainly breathtaking in more ways than one.
We visited from the capital, but if you have the time, don’t just do it as a daytrip from Sofia. Try to spend more time in the area, choose a more challenging hike trail, or even consider spending a few days in Sapareva Baya, a nearby town located at the north foot of the Rila Mountain.
Maria & Rui with Two Find a Way
Cycling around the Isle of Skye
Cycling around an island is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Scotland. Most people go for the Scottish castles or Harry Potter trails. But if you wish to make an adventurous experience out of it, why not rent a bicycle and see the island from behind the handlebars?
The Isle of Skye is probably one of the most popular islands on the West coast of Scotland and it completely deserves to be one. Within two days you can easily cycle through the main landmarks if you start from Portree and go up North passing through the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and the majestic Quiraing coming back to Portree through Uig. This is the loop we have completed during a 2-day cycling trip in Scottish Highlands. Give another two days and you can go all the way to the Dunvegan Castle (see? you can still include a Scottish castle in your cycling route) and the Neist point, the most westerly point of the island and one of the most picture famous lighthouses in entire Scotland. Be ready to encounter plenty of sheep and maybe even some Scottish Highlander bulls with their fashionable long bangs.
What makes this adventure experience even better is that you can set up camp anywhere on the island, meaning you can go wild 100% and sleep under the stars. I must warn you, though, that the weather on the Isle of Skye is not always favorable to the travelers, so you have to pick your travel season wisely. The smallest chances of rain are between July and August.
Hiking the Caminito del Rey, Spain
Hiking Meteora in Greece
Meteora wasn’t in my bucket list until my brother mentioned it to me. The moment I read about it, I knew I had to go. From Athens, Meteora is an easy train ride, a lot even go for a day or overnight but in my case, I wanted to experience a lot in Meteora so I stayed for several days. Meteora is like an adventure seeker playground—there are endless rocks to climb, mountains to hike and different monasteries to visit. One of my favorite activity is the Rock Scrambling tour I did where we scrambled over thin edges with a guide to get a marvelous view of the city. The experience was surreal, the inclines were quite steep and we were passing places over cliff’s edge but the views from the top will make you remember why you are doing this.
Apart from this, Meteora is also awesome for Mountain biking but since I am not yet skilled for this, I opted for hikes, rock climbing and rock scrambling instead. Along the way, you meet people who are constantly challenging themselves to go for more difficult like the Great Saint Via Ferrata. Seriously, this is one place I would go back to for more adventures. This is a climber’s paradise.
Year-Round Adventure in Sweden: Åre Mountain, Jämtland-Härjedalen
Visiting the town of Åre in northwestern Sweden at any time of year is only going to make you want to return for another, different, season of adventure.
In winter, the mountain takes center stage for sports including alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding (yes, try it!), snowshoeing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling. Åre will be the site of the 2019 Alpine World Ski Championships, but there’s no reason to be intimidated. Families and all levels of experience are welcome, and it’s a thrill to take a lesson, for example, on the same ski trails used by Olympians.
Even those less inclined to play in the snow will love the scenery, want to ride the gondola to the mountain top for a fika of hot chocolate with a cinnamon roll, or relax at the specular spa accommodations at Copperhill Mountain Lodge.
The town of Åre was originally established as a summer retreat due to its extraordinary clean air. In summer, adventure travelers flock to Åre and greater Jämtland to experience the beautiful strings of lakes, forests, and rolling alpine meadows. The ski mountain becomes a mountain biking mecca. The surrounding area is dotted with lodges and cabins that are part of the Swedish Tourist Association (STF) network, which promises to encourage exploration of the natural world and offer protection to hikers.
And after all the adventure? Check out the night sky–northern lights are frequent here–and the excellent restaurant scene, including the world famous Fäviken restaurant. A great selection of outstanding restaurants serve locally-sourced cuisine, yes, year-round.
Arrive easily by train from Trondheim, Norway, or from Östersund, Sweden. The quick flight from Stockholm to Östersund runs several times per day.
Kristin Henning and Tom Bartel recently spent a month in Sweden and are planning on a return visit in 2019. Read about their March adventures in Sweden here.
Kristin and Tom with TravelPast50
Join an Offshore Sailing Regatta in Spain
Sailing itself is already a beautiful and sustainable way to travel. But if you’re looking for a real adventure, and the idea of steering a fifty foot yacht through darkness and against the clock, far away from the safety of shore doesn’t scare you off, joining an offshore sailing regatta might just be the thing you’re looking for.
I joined a team of nine on a 47 foot catamaran for the Ruta de la Sal regatta, one of the Mediterranean’s most popular regattas in which 200 boats race from 3 different ports – our starting point was Port Ginesta near Barcelona – to Ibiza. With a distance of 140 miles, the race takes between one and two days depending on the winds, which can be somewhat unpredictable. When you’re sailing, especially offshore, one of your challenges is to manage whatever nature throws at you!
Life on board is a great mix of exhilarating adventure and relaxation: Isolated from everyday life, offshore sailing is a beautiful way to detox, enjoy nature and watch sunsets and dolphins, if you’re lucky. Learning the ropes, steering the boat and racing against the clock and your competitors all add a kick of adrenaline and can be a true challenge at times. It’s definitely worth it though, just for the journey itself – and when your destination is one like Ibiza, that’s a bonus that will motivate you to make it there just a little bit faster. We added a side trip to Ibiza’s stunning neighboring island Formentera to make it a five day holiday of a lifetime.
If you’re looking to replicate this trip, check with the Barcelona based sailing schools: many of them offer spots on their boats to newbies within the “training” category of the regatta.
Check out Edwina’s post on Offshore sailing regatta adventure with Traveling German
Hiking on a Glacier in Iceland
Iceland keeps climbing up the charts for the best Adventure and Luxury vacation. The landscape here changes every 30 minutes when you are driving around the island on the well paved Ring Road. There are a gamut of adventures to be had – yes you can climb inside a volcano, heli-ski from the top of a glacier cap, dive between the continents on crystal clear waters…, but there is plenty to do for the average Traveler who can’t do any of those. The most adventurous activity we did was our snow mobile ride on top a glacier that sits on a volcano. From Waterfall chasing, watching a Geyser spout water into the air, hiking on Glaciers to visiting Volcanoes and smelling the bubbling mud pots to walking between the tectonic Plates – there are plenty of easy adventures in Iceland – ‘Soft Adventures’ as I like to call them, without having to get too adventurous. One of our family favorites was the Glacier Hike on Vatnajökull, which is an 8,100 sqkm dome of ice, about one twelfth of Iceland’s surface and up to 800m thick. To explore this gigantic glacier, we hired a mountain guide, who provided the gear and steered us safely through the many crevasses and pinnacles – one missed step and we could be stuck in the blue ice. We spent a couple of hours with our guide from Icelandic Mountain Guides, as we walked with crampons, exploring the landscape of glacier ice, deep crevasses, and water cauldrons on Vatnajökull Glacier in Skaftafell National Park.
Priya with Outside Suburbia
Chasing the Northern Lights in Iceland
One of the coolest and most unique adventures you can do is to chase the northern lights in Iceland. Chasing the northern lights you have to be both spontaneous, be a night owl, and be brave enough to drive along the pitch dark roads of Iceland (there are no street lights outside the cities).
You’ll find out the same day if it’s possible to see it, and where the activity will be the strongest – this you can do through http://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora/, which is the website I used to find a spot to see the aurora borealis.
I chased it for over 3 hours one night which was pretty tiring, but once I got to see it I understood why so many people travel to Iceland every year to try to get a glimpse of it. That specific night it was a strong aurora borealis activity. It danced all over the sky in both green and purple colors, which gave me a magical feeling in my whole body that I can’t even describe with words.
It’s simply an adventure you have to experience on your own! Just remember that the sky has to be clear, you can’t see the northern lights if it’s too cloudy.
Christine with Alien Chris
Adventure experiences in the Eastern Mediterranean region & Middle East
Abseiling and Rock Climbing in Oman on Jabal Akhdar
Oman is a stunning sultanate in the Middle East full of opportunities for adventure. Our favorite adrenaline-pumping experience was rock climbing and abseiling down Jabal Akhdar, part of the Hajar Mountain range, from an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. This mind-blowing adventure is available at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort from a location so beautiful that it will take your breath away. The Jabal Activity Wall is one of the highest climbing locations in Oman and even in all the mountains in the Middle East. It is a must-do adventure activity in Oman, even for beginners like us who have never done rock climbing or abseiling.
The activity started with a via ferrata course over to the edge of the mountain, where we captured the jaw-dropping photo above. We were perfectly safe since we were attached to the mountain with steel cables, but it was still spine-tingling. Then we abseiled down the rocky facade of the mountain. We were both scared just before leaning back and trusting that the equipment would keep us from falling to our deaths, but pushed past our fears and made our way down safely. We thought that would be the scariest part but rock climbing up and then back down the mountainside was even more terrifying, at least for Alexis who is short and had less reach. Bertaut, who has long legs and arms, was like a mountain goat making his way quickly and easily. We were so proud of ourselves after our accomplishment. Make sure to bring along a GoPro camera so you can record your thrilling experience. You can read more about our rock climbing adventure including photos and videos here.
Check out Bertaut’s post on rock climbing in Oman with World Travel Adventurers
Hiking the Jesus Trail
Paragliding off Babadag mountain & landing in the Blue Lagoon: Turkey
I first visited the seaside Turkish village of Oludeniz in 2006, as a kid I never knew anything about paragliding, seeing the endless stream of people floating over the beach I was mesmerised and terrified all at the same time. I vowed that one day I would come back and I would do it! Fast forward 10 years later and we found ourselves stood back on that stunning beach, the warm Mediterranean sea lapping up against its shore. But we were there for something else, as people in the village put it, we were here to jump off the mountain!
A rocky, steep and painfully slow accent up the mountain in one of the local Dolmus buses with our guides lead to the purpose built take off. The clouds had rolled in and we were unsure if this dream would finally become a reality today. But our guides were actually friends, having family living here now we pulled some strings (literally!) to jump outside of the usual slots! Flying at speed as we ran off the edge of the path and into thin air we broke through the thin layer of cloud! That incredible view of the world famous Blue lagoon was finally there, 7000ft below us! It took an unbelievable 45 minutes to reach the beach, floating effortlessly between the rocky mountainside and the shimmering azure sea. A truly unforgettable adventure in one of the most wonderfully stunning places in the world!
If you would like to do it, head to the town of Oludeniz, a short bus ride away from the small city of Fethiye on the southern Turkish Coast. The nearest airport is Dalaman and the cost of the paragliding is around £50-60 plus extra for photo and video!
Nic and Paul from The Roaming Renegades
Sunrise balloon experience and hike in Cappadocia
Love waking up for sunrise and hikes at sunset? Then a trip to Cappadocia in Turkey is for you. This region of Turkey is known for its colourful hot air balloons which take flight just before sunrise every day (weather permitting) with baskets full of tourists with wonder on their faces. It truly is a lovely experience. The flight experience is the top thing to do in Cappadocia and starts with a buffet breakfast, short bus ride then the flame fills the balloon.
Once you are up, up and away, the pilot points out the important landmarks below such as Pigeon, White and Lovely Valley. The peaceful flight halts to an end with a small bump then a champagne reception! Grab a nap then set off in the afternoon for a hike through the unusual valleys of Pigeon, White and Love. What gives Love Valley its title? Well, the phallically shaped rocks erecting from the ground might have something to do with it! Not a fan of hiking, why not check out a quad bike ride, an activity for the adventure travel lover!
Gemma with Two Scots abroad
Horse trekking in Kyrgyzstan, one of the top adventure experiences in the world
From endless horses grazing over dreamy meadows, filled with blankets of colorful flowers, to local nomads riding them on their eccentric traditional hats; Kyrgyzstan, one of the most underrated countries in the world, is the real land of horses and the best place where to do some of the most epic horse trekking ever.
You can ride a horse all over the country but we decided to do it in the Naryn region, along the ancient Silk Road route of Tash Rabat.
Riding our horse among those green-velvet, rolling hills while thinking that, for hundreds of years, these trails had been transited by many different civilizations and religious figures, looking for knowledge and trading goods, was such an inspiring adventure.
We trekked all the way to Chatyr Lake, a massive alpine lake bordering China. For this, we had to go over a 4,000-meter, very steep, mountain pass, but this was not a problem for the healthy Kyrgyz horses, as they are some of the strongest I have ever seen.
Typically, in Kyrgyzstan, horse trekking costs around 10-15USD a day, including the nomad guide. They don’t require any previous experience and you just need to follow the guide, even though they can also give you freedom, as long as as you know what you are doing.
Trekking the Fann Mountains in Tajikistan
The Fann Mountains in northwestern Tajikistan are probably the most scenic mountains in Central Asia. Due to its remoteness, very few people venture here. However, those who do are surprised by its sheer beauty: turquoise lakes which seem to change color every hour, snow-capped peaks and green valleys. There are several both trekking possibilities, both short and long, which you can do on your own of with a tour company. One of the most well known trekkings is the 3-4 day Allaudin Lake trek, taking you past the high Allaudin pass (3860 meters) and the stunning Kulikalon bowl. You need to have a good level of fitness and some previous trekking experience is definitely an advantage. You may meet some of the welcoming locals on your way and at both Allaudin Lake and Kulikalon bowl there is a small wooden tea house. The Seven Lakes are also a popular trekking destination, but I found them less interesting in terms of surroundings and beauty. If you’re looking for a remote mountain adventure: Fann Mountains is the place to go!
Manouk with Bunch of Backpackers
Bog-shoeing in Estonia
Molnar Janos Cave Diving in Budapest
Adventure experiences in Africa
Swimming with oceanic black tip sharks in South Africa
Overlanding Africa in a 4×4 with young kids
White water rafting down the Nile river
Did you know that you can go white water rafting down the world famous Nile River? Right in Jinja, Uganda, conveniently dubbed the “adventure capital of East Africa,” one can have some fun along the worlds longest river.
The river Nile starts in Jinja making it a hotspot for tourists. There are many adventure activities to do, but one of the most popular is white water rafting down the river.
I had been white water rafting four times before my time in Uganda, but nothing could prepare me for the Nile. Before we started our trip our guide went over the proper safety measures. We even had to mock flip over the raft. I thought the whole safety briefing was unnecessary as I had never flipped or fell out of a raft, but boy was I wrong.
During the course of the two hour trip our raft, and everyone else’s raft flipped four times. I thought I was going to drown at least two of those times. Seriously, this trip isn’t for the faint of heart, even the strong swimmers were sick of being in the water by the end.
Nevertheless, everyone survived and we can now say we white water rafted in Africa down the famous Nile. No hippos or crocs were spotted, but I’m almost positive they were there too.
Check out Natasha’s post on a self drive to Uganda with The World Pursuit.
Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Jessica with Independent Travel Cats
Hiking Adventure in Ethiopia – Climbing Erta Ale volcano
Erta Ale is a highly active volcano in the Danakil Depression in Northern Ethiopia. Its crater is constantly filled with boiling lava. In order to get to the base of the volcano, we first had to cross the Danakil Depression region. Due to shifts in tectonic plates, much of the area lies at an elevation below sea level and is considered the hottest inhabited place on earth. And the drive wasn’t easy either. The last hours of the eight hour drive to the base camp from the nearest city leads over unpaved volcanic terrain.
Due to the extreme heat, it is only possible to do the three hour climb to the crater after sunset. So after a filling dinner at the basecamp we turned on our headlights and started off into the dark. After a couple of minutes, we could already see the red light of the lava lake reflecting in the night sky. A great motivational booster to keep us going through the windy and hot dry air.
But as soon as we reached the rim of the crater we knew it was all worth the effort. The strong winds were blowing the smoke of the volcano away from us so we could enjoy some great views of the lava boiling and bubbling – wow! We spent about an hour on the crater rim to enjoy the natural spectacle before moving to our night camp a couple of meters from the crater. We spent a short night on thin mattresses under the open sky before getting back up at 5am. We had to get back down to the base camp before sunrise. What an experience.
By Mike of 197 Travel Stamps
Taking a Microlight over Victoria Falls
One of the top adventure experiences that everyone should experience is to fly over Victoria Falls in a microlight. A microlight flight is a super-light aircraft that looks like a hand glider with a motor and is particularly unique way to view Victoria Falls. Not only do you experience the falls up close while flying like a bird through “the smoke that thunders” but you get unobstructed views of Victoria Falls and mighty Zambezi River. Although I don’t have a fear of small airplanes or heights, I have to admit the experience was a bit scary because the microlight is open and I did not want to fall out! But mostly the flight was exhilarating. Not only is this a thrilling and exciting experience but it is a great way to see the magnitude of the falls. While Victoria Falls is located at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, microlight flights are only available from the Zambia side. Depending on your budget, you can sign up for either a 15 minute flight over Victoria Falls and the Zambezi River or you can splurge for a 30 minute flight that also swoops over Mosi-oa-Tunya Zoological Park for some game viewing. While the experience is a bit pricey, it is definitely worth it.
Adventure activities in South America
Sandboarding Thrills in Concón, Chile
Concón, Chile is known for the beaches and the coastal views of the South Pacific Ocean. It’s a quick 30 minute bus ride from Valparaíso, which makes it an easy day trip. Amazing sand dunes overlook the ocean and has your next thrilling adventure – sandboarding in Concón.
What is sandboarding? It’s similar to snowboarding where your feet are strapped to a wooden board, and you down the dunes. A few people brought their own makeshift boards made out of cardboard or a thin piece of metal. If you’ve snowboarded before, sandboarding is a breeze.
The best part about sandboarding is the opportunity to carve into the sand and create your own path. The sand is clean and has various gradients depending on your abilities. You’ll love the feeling of the wind in your hair and the fast speed going down the dunes. It’s a good stress reliever too. We had newbie skill level so we fell a lot. We laughed and screamed our way down when increasing speed. It felt victorious making it down the dunes. Climbing up the sand dunes was challenging but there weren’t any lifts here!
If you want to go sandboarding in Concón, get off the bus stop (dunes on the left), walk across the street, and rent a board. The rental for one hour is cheap at less than $2 USD and you’ll get a few pieces of wax. Visit the dunes in the morning to avoid the crowds. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting sand all over the place or don’t wear shoes when walking in the sand or boarding. Have fun sandboarding!
Contributors: Jackie Szeto & Justin Huynh from Life Of Doing
Social Media: Instagram
A Top Adventure Experience in Machu Picchu
When planning my trip to the iconic Machu Picchu, I wanted to add some adventure.
There are two mountains that you can climb when visiting Machu Picchu: Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. Machu Picchu Mountain is the highest, towering 3,061 m (10,042 ft) above sea level and providing unparalleled views of the Inca sanctuary and surrounding mountains. It seemed that it would be a top adventure experience to hike this mountain.
The hike takes at least 3h (1h30min each way) and the trail is well-marked, laid out with stones and earth and relatively easy to follow. But even though it may not be difficult, the high altitude makes it an arduous journey. After 10min I was already struggling to breathe. On top of that, the hike is continuously uphill, with almost no flat parts anywhere.
I was sweating profusely and stopping every now and again to catch my breath. The good thing was that I wasn’t the only one – it seems everyone on this top adventure experience were feeling the same. Then it got even harder. The trail became narrower, steeper and more dangerous. Hikers were stumbling, stopping and cursing but also supporting each other.
After 1h15min, I reached the summit, out of breath and very tired, but the reward was awe-inspiring! The panoramic view consisted of a bright blue sky, delicate clouds and the glittering Urubamba River snaking around colossal mountains covered with lush vegetation. The Inca ruins, Huayna Picchu and Putucusi Mountain looked so small in the distance, they seemed almost unreal. What an incredible sight!
Machu Picchu Mountain Hike is the hardest hike I’ve ever done but definitely one of the top adventures around the world. Be careful because you can easily injure yourself and don’t forget to bring water, sunscreen and food. But most of all, enjoy the amazing view!
Check out more of Pericle’s Machu Picchu mountain hike from 7 Continents 1 Passport.
A Treehouse Adventure in the Amazon Jungle
Waking up in a treehouse 67ft up in the tree canopy of the Amazon Jungle is an experience I won’t forget in a hurry. As the sun rose behind the trees each morning the nocturnal creatures clocked-off and the sounds of the jungle changed. The scratching, cooing and croaking of the night was replaced by a new cacophony. Squawking birds and screeches accompanied the rustle of leaves as monkeys thrashed through the branches and the jungle began to kick into daytime mode.
To get to breakfast and the main lodge we’d cross two hanging bridges strung between the trees and then climb down a staircase spiraling round the massive trunk of a Ficus. Sometimes we’d have company; something scampering above us on the roof of the walkway or, one day, a tarantula sitting quietly on the path.
After breakfast we’d head out on wildlife spotting adventures with our guide, Marden. We’d go on walks through the jungle or take a skiff up the waterways. We discovered many different creatures; pink river dolphins wallowing in the waters, a giant river otter and different types of fish. We saw packs of squirrel monkeys, a woolly monkey and sloths hanging out in the trees. We watched Hawks, Toucans, Kingfishers and bright yellow Flycatchers all in their natural habitat.
In the evenings we’d take the boat out to watch the sun dip below the horizon on the Amazon River. Egrets flew past to roost for the night and the Amazon animals settled as dusk fell. We’d head back to our nest in the trees, shut the trap hatch and lie in the pitch black listening as the night time sounds of the jungle enveloped us.
Suzanne Jones is a serial traveller and creator of The Travelbunny.
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