Adventure travel can be physically challenging but it’s not all about summiting mountain tops or exploring remote areas. Even the most challenging of adventures usually offers the opportunity to learn more about a region’s culture, people and food. Started in 1973, Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com) has gone on to print over 120 million books in nine languages to almost every destination on the planet.
It explores the worlds best spicy food in a new book which shows you where to find and how to make some of the fieriest foods from around the globe. The Worlds Best Spicy Food (£14.99) explores 100 of the world’s must-eat dishes for hungry heat lovers and takes the reader on a tour of the culinary hotspots which are loved by locals and travellers alike.
In this follow up title to 2012’s The Worlds Best Street Food, Lonely Planet authors’ destination expertise is accompanied by great photography and local knowledge, showcasing culinary creativity from every corner of the world.
Incorporating a mixture of best-loved dishes (Thai Green Curry) alongside new favourites (Tunisian Shakshouka), each delicacy in the book is given two dedicated pages detailing the history and culture behind the food, alongside the recipe to recreate the dish at home.
Other recipes include:
Devil’s Curry from Singapore
Doro Wat from Ethiopia
Pica Pau from Portugal
Saliva Chicken from China
Piccalilli from England
The book’s foreword is presented by renowned foodie Tom Parker-Bowles, who talks passionately about his love of spicy foods. “This book is not about chillies alone, rather ‘spicy’ food in its every guise; the pungent, nose-clearing honk of wasabi, mustard and horseradish; pepper’s pep and paprika’s punch; the warming allure of cinnamon and mace, the bracing crunch of piccalilli. These are dishes to make the taste buds punch the air with elation, flavours that kick-start the palate and infuse every sense with joy”.
Lifeventue Wash Cells are the new funky coloured toiletry bags that everybody is talking about. Gone are the days of the drab old black and brown wash kits . The bright colours of the Lifeventure Wash Cells give your face a gentle wake-up slap on dull mornings, and may even get teenagers washing when camping (although this is still a big ask).
These Wash Cells are available in three colours: electric green, electric blue and purple.
Coast To Coast new John Muir Way is close to opening.
This new 134-mile lowlands trail will officially open on 21st April 2014, during the first ever Scottish John Muir Festival, to mark both the conservationist’s birthday and the centenary of his death. The new trail which runs between Dunbar and Helensburgh echoes John Muir’s own personal journey growing up in Scotland’s east coast town of Dunbar before travelling to the west coast, where he set sail for life in America. The route has been designed to take in castles, historic towns and villages, stunning coastal scenery as well as Scotland’s first national park, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
The John Muir Way has much to offer and some may wish to undertake the challenge of walking or cycling the whole 215km route. The route is designed to be accessible for everyone and the terrain is easy-to-moderate and can be done end-to-end on foot or by bike.
For cyclists, it is recommended that hybrid or sturdy touring bikes are used to tackle some of the steeper and bumpier sections, although a few parallel lines or braids give smoother and flatter options. It is estimated that cycling the route will usually take about four days.
The hard work involved in developing the route is being carried out by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). Ron McCraw of SNH, said, “We hope the John Muir Way will inspire people to both explore and protect Scotland’s countryside. John Muir was inspired by the wildlife and beautiful scenery in Scotland as a young boy, and as an adult in the U.S. he inspired people around the world with his writing. We’re hoping plenty of other people – from both inside and outside of Scotland – will enjoy this new coast-to-coast route and learn more about Muir’s beliefs.”
To get updates about the John Muir Way route, visit ‘John Muir Way – Slighe Iain Muir’ Facebook page, and to find out more about the John Muir Festival visit ‘The John Muir Festival 2014’ Facebook page. For further information about the John Muir Way, visit www.johnmuirway.org – a new dedicated website for the 134-mile route with key information to help people plan their trip. Features include an interactive map and section descriptions, nearby attractions, accommodation, food and drink providers and details on accessibility.
Photo caption: On the John Muir Way by Linlithgow Palace
Lifesystems Emergency Survival Blankets And Bags have been updated for 2014. These popular survival products now have a high visibility orange outer colour for signalling and general mountain safety.
A new addition to the range is the Lifesystems Light & Dry Mountain Bivi, aimed at providing simple but important emergency shelter when hiking, winter walking or mountaineering. The design is very similar to the Lifesystems Survival Bag but is more than 50% lighter.
Win £200 of vouchers by entering Sub Zero Stores March 2014 competition. All you need to do is follow this link or click on the image. You will be taken to the competition page where all you need to do is add your email address. The winner will be drawn on April 2nd 2014. Good luck everyone!
Carabiner Mugs are possibly the coolest camping and trekking mugs around. They are compact and virtually indestructible, holding 200ml of liquid that they will keep cool or warm thanks to there insulating double-walled construction. The bonus of having a tough karabiner handle compared to a normal closed handle on a normal camping mug is that it allows you to clip it onto your belt or pack when you’re on the move for quick and easy access.
Sub Zero Store are giving one of these great stainless steel mugs away on all orders over £100 – there are even four bright coloured handles to choose from.
South West Coast Path National Trail – www.southwestcoastpath.com – has been voted the best British walking route by Walk magazine for the second time in a row and the timing couldn’t be more apt. In the past months, the UK has suffered some of the most severe weather ever to hit these shores and the South West has taken the biggest battering.
Those images of wild storms sweeping the south-west earlier this year were a reminder that you don’t need to be on exposed mountain tops to need the benefit of a top performing layered clothing system that offers comfort, protection and flexibility. Combining a good thermal baselayer, such as a Sub Zero Factor 1 Plus, with an insulating mid layer and an outer for weather protection is the answer; not forgetting a hat and gloves.
What the award and the weather have highlighted is just how well-managed the coastline is for walkers. Mark Owen, the National Trail Officer for the South West Coast Path, said,
“The storms have put enormous pressure on those that maintain the Coast Path on a day to day basis with the Highways Agencies and National Trust coastal rangers out in force trying to keep the Coast Path accessible wherever possible – and they’re doing a fantastic job!”
“Relatively few areas have had to close and where there are problems that can’t be solved immediately, due to a landslide or unstable cliffs, short diversions have been put in place to re-route walkers along an alternative public right of way. While walkers need to take care when walking along the more rural routes that are harder to reach and may take longer to repair, the majority is still safe, especially in the more urban areas.”
The award was voted for by readers of the magazine, published by the Ramblers’ Association, and the editor Dominic Bates agrees that it was a well-deserved win, “With management of national trails now devolved to local trail partnerships and cutbacks beginning to bite, the organisations behind the South West Coast Path have been hugely successful at raising money through public and private funds to invest in improvement projects along the route. It’s proof positive of the public’s appetite for coastal walking and will be grist to the mill for our continuing campaign to get the England Coast Path completed.”
If you’re planning to walk more than a couple of miles along the SWCP, then it pays to be prepared. Whilst not an expedition, the ups and downs of the route plus its remote sections mean that you should be packing your rucksack carefully. A map and guidebook are useful for reasons beyond navigation – transport, food, drink, local interest, for instance. When wet, walking on sections of the path can be demanding so decent footwear is important, particularly socks – pack a spare pair.
Though well populated with pubs and cafes, carrying some food and drink is a sensible precaution. Anyway, you may prefer to avoid the hurly burly on a quiet headland. A first aid kit for tackling scrapes and blisters plus sunscreen (sea breezes can disguise the power of the sun). The sea-breeze can easily mask the strength of the sun, and if the weather is bright and you don’t want to end up pink and sore at the end of the day, don’t forget to slap on some sun screen.
Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival (Saturday 3rd – Sunday 11th May) is offering a choice of over 50 free, varied walks in and around the stunning Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site, where the Industrial Revolution began over 300 years ago.
From challenging all-day hikes for the more experienced walker to family friendly trails and short informative walks, this year’s Festival has something to whet the appetite of all ages and abilities. With the newly acquired Walkers are Welcome, status a warm welcome is guaranteed in the town.
As well as nearly 20 new walks, the 2014 Festival will be introducing the first 100 Mile Ironbridge Challenge. Those taking part must finish seven specified walks on seven different days with the combined mileage topping over 100 miles. Walkers completing the challenge will receive a certificate and woven badge for their rucksack.
New walks include an early evening family outing on 7th May to explore the nature and wildlife in the enchanting woods at Loamhole Dingle, Coalbrookdale with a surprise for all and an opportunity to learn about the variety of wild flowers in Lodge Field under the guidance of an expert from Shropshire Wildlife Trust. There will also be additional nature walks with information to help identify trees and birds and an early evening ‘quiz walk’ around Coalbrookdale finishing at a local inn.
Popular tried and tested walks being repeated explore historic trails and the part played by The Gorge in the Industrial Revolution. There’s also a gentle two-hour family treasure hunt suitable for pushchair and wheelchair users, alternatively experienced walkers can join a strenuous 15 mile circular hike over the Wrekin, ideal for walkers happy with steep climbs and rough terrain.
For those wanting to discover more about the heritage of the area there is a walk that take in the history of the river bridges and a 15 mile circular walk skirting the edge of the World Heritage Site. Three walks explore the many churches and other places of worship in and around The Gorge on 6th and 9th May.
All walks are free however pre-booking is essential; well-behaved dogs on a lead are welcome on most walks but check before booking. To reserve a place or request a copy of the programme contact the Ironbridge Visitor Information Centre by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; details at www.visitironbridge.co.uk/walkingfestival.