T h e s p e c t a t o r
Even in a time of national austerity, the last thing most people are willing to forego is a holiday. The more stressful life is, the more we need to escape from time to time, whether it’s to a monastery in Bali or a B&B in Bournemouth.
For this new-look Spectator travel supplement, our theme is adventure. By that we don’t necessarily mean bungee jumping over Victoria Falls or climbing Kilimanjaro, but the simpler thrill that comes from discovering somewhere new. All travel should embody a spirit of discovery — the fly-and-flop holiday has its time and place, but the sophisticated traveller is always searching for something more.
With that in mind, Victoria Mather — the queen of British travel writing — explores a different side of Cape Town and takes us inside its townships; Peter Hitchens and Jeremy Clarke take us off the beaten track in Burma and Rajasthan, and Gail Simmons walks through the Jordanian desert to Petra, meeting Bedouin and sleeping under the stars along the way. Seeing the world’s wildest wildlife in its natural habitat is always an adventure. Brendan O’Neill braves high seas in Iceland to catch a glimpse of Moby Dick. Tom Adair goes canoeing at dawn in search of Australia’s elusive duck-billed platypus. Guy Adams, L.A. correspondent for the Independent, leaves the glitz of Hollywood behind for a honeymoon in the Alaskan wilderness — no tropical beaches and spa treatments for the new Mrs Adams, but bears and salmon fishing in raging thigh-high waters instead. And if you still hanker after the kind of exhilaration only pure fear can provide, then follow Jonny Beardsall as he hurls himself down the Olympic bobsleigh track in Norway. He is this issue’s action hero, a label usually reserved for Bear Grylls, who reveals to Mark Greaves that his ideal holiday is in a cosy cottage on the Welsh coast — without a crocodile or a zip-wire in sight. Lucinda Baring