I’ve never been much good at creating lists of things I want to do, or places I want to go; though there has always been a few things at the back of my mind. The last few years, the phrase “bucket list” has been popping up quite a bit, and indeed, a couple of folk have talked about posting their bucket lists for #blogjune. As near as I can tell, a bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die or kick the bucket. With travel I s’pose there’s long been a tradition of items to tick off and places to go, whether it be cruising through The Three Gorges in China, visiting Big Ben in London or clmbing Ayers Rock – the last is a childhood memory and I eventually learnt that its native name is Uluru and climbing is discouraged out of respect.
I love travelling and getting out and away from the day-to-day; I like the bubble of travel – whereby for a period of time, the trip is all, a bubble of escape. Bushwalking captures a bit of that sense, the focus is on the walk and the next meal..not to mention the landscape. A reduction of sorts to the basic stuff. In putting together my own bucket list, or at least the beginnings of one, I notice that several of the entries involve long walks and time in the bubble.
- South America – the general idea is to spend 6 months backpacking south including Peru (want to try eating guinea pigs) and Patagonia. Along the way: visiting Machu Picchu, Inca Trail, glaciers, The Galapagos Islands and so forth, eventually ending up in Ushuaia in time to get a boat to Antarctica.
- Annapurna Circuit (Nepal) – the trek takes about 3 weeks and takes in some magnificent country and passes through Buddhist villages and Hindu holy sites. Even better, you don’t need a tent, being able to stay in teahouses every night.
- Probably as part of the above trip, I would love to hike to Everest Base Camp.
- Cambodia – Angkor Wat is often featured in movies and TV and computer games and it looks amazing. I would love to visit and explore and spend a bit of time there.
- New Zealand’s Great Walks – I completed the Routeburn Track last year and hope to tramp the Kepler Track later this year. Eventually I’d like to complete all the Great Walks in NZ.
- The Pennine Way – I think this is the first big walk I came across and it takes about 18 days to complete, strolling through the north of England and finishing just inside the Scottish border. You’re basically hiking from town to town and staying in a pub each night.
- Camino de Santiago (The Way of St James) – this one is in Spain and takes about 2.5 months of walking to complete. I’ve read a book or two on it and it sounds fascinating, though the feet take a beating.
- The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) – I’ve wanted to see these since I was little. From what I recall, their prominence goes through an 11 year cycle which peaks this year I think. The coming European winter at the end of the year would be viewing season. Of course, being there at the right time is no guarantee that you will actually see them.
- Canoe/kayak down the Franklin River – early in my teens, there was a huge nationwide controversy with regard to building a dam on the Franklin River. As a keen bushwalker, I signed petitions and went on protest marches. It’s been my dream ever since to visit this world heritage area and canoe down the river. I did get into canoeing and kayaking a few years later but never made it then.
- Shipping graveyard – I don’t recall where I read of this one but supposedly there’s a great shipping graveyard on the north coast of Russia.
It goes without saying that this list needs additions, no doubt of a few things that I’ve forgotten and things I haven’t heard of yet. It’s a start at least.