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A Year of Adventures: A Guide to What, Where and When to Do It    by Lonely Planet order for
Year of Adventures
by Lonely Planet
Order:  USA  Can
Lonely Planet, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

You've got to love the cover which shows two hands gripping a rock high above the clouds on a mountaintop - been there, done that (at least the high altitude hiking variety), but there are plenty of other adrenaline raising forays to choose from in Lonely Planet's A Year of Adventures. Just pick your preferred week to travel, then open this travel guide to see where you can go and what challenge you can take on there.

The folk at Lonely Planet tell us that 'Choosing the right time of year can often turn a great trip into an incredible one.' They've organized their diverse and exciting offerings by week and month, interspersed every three months by a special 7's section, covering cross-Continent trips (like the London-Kathmandu one I took in the 70s); Summits; Natural Wonders; and Heavenly Objects (UFO and crop circle sightings). Country and Activity indexes also help you zero in on a preferred destination.

The trips themselves start the first week of January with Queenstown, New Zealand - for a range of activities from hiking and mountain biking to bungy jumping or whitewater sledging - and Lake Placid, USA for bobsledding. They end in December with opportunities like a visit to Santa's backyard in Lapland, or a Norway reindeer safari. There's something for every passion. I've already done some adventures outlined here (like the Kilimanjaro climb, trekking in Ladakh/Zanskar and Bhutan) but there are tons to choose from.

If I had my druthers, here are some I'd like to try ... Gorilla Tracking at Bwindi, Uganda; a flight to the South Pole; a trip to Galapagos; the Inca Trail in Peru; and kayaking in Fiji. Personally, I'd give a miss to mudwalking, zorbing, swimming with sharks, cave diving, volcano boarding, serious climbing (Everest is not for me!), and space tourism ('Large wallet required'), but if you're up for any of them, good on yer, mate!

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