World Travel: Economical Trip Explorations Of The World

MOTHER's "tours that teach" are economical trip explorations of the world, including Alaska's Tatshenshini river rafting trip, biking through China, France and Hawaii's alternative energy tours, South Seas ecology, travel to Nepal and Japanese botony tour.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Editors
July/August 1982
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Palms frame Bora Bora peaks.
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF


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MOTHER's "tours that teach" provide MOTHER readers with a chance to experience economical trip explorations of the world. 

This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle..." (Thomas Carlyle) 

Our aim, in arranging MOTHER's "tours that teach", is to offer the chance to visit some of the planet's most beautiful and intriguing areas . . . provideing travelers with experiences they couldn't easily seek out on their own through economical trip explorations of the world. Well, we think that our two latest trip additions—an Energy Tour of Hawaii and a Tour of the Plants and Gardens of Japan—achieve this goal, in spades! Here, then, in chronological order are short descriptions of these and our other future adventures . . . all of which are designed to enhance the participant's appreciation of this wonderful, inscrutable, magical, and miraculous Spaceship Earth.

A TATSHENSHINI RAFT TRIP

Dante wrote: "Nature is the art of God." Few of us, though, get a chance to see the earth's masterpieces in their pristine, unsullied state. However, our upcoming raft trip to Alaska (August 15 to 26, 1982) will allow you to do just that. From the time we put our rafts into the "Tat" at Dalton Post until we take them out ten days later at Dry Bay, we'll be surrounded by one of nature's few remaining unspoiled panoramas.

Weaving through one of Alaska's most inaccessible regions, the 150-mile Tatshenshini river system encounters the planet's highest range of coastal mountains (including Mt. Logan, which—at almost 20,000 feet—rivals Mt. McKinley). In fact, the whole trip (coordinated by Sobek Expeditions, which is among the world's foremost river-running outfitters) is rich with attractions. The area has the highest concentration of bald eagles on earth . . . the world's largest non-polar glacier system . . . a series of waterfalls that would be jam-packed with tourists anywhere else in the country . . . and—at the time of year we'll be going—summer nights enriched with the flashing, colorful lights of the aurora borealis. All in all, this trip should be a scenic wildlife spectacular that'll dazzle the mind and lift the spirit.

However, if you'd like to experience Mother Nature at her best, you'll have to act almost immediately, since by the time you read this, we'll be completing our preparations for this superb expedition. We'll need your full payment of $1,490 (which covers the cost from Haines, Alaska and back to Haines) just as soon as possible.

BIKING THROUGH ANCIENT CHINA

Rather than limiting our travelers to peering out at the people and sights of China from the windows of a bus, we decided to let them view this ancient and intriguing land from the saddles of its primary form of transportation . . . bicycles. From September 30 to October 20, 1982, we'll pedal from Shanghai through the string of ancient cities—Suzhou, Wuxi, Zhenjiang, Yangzhou, and Nanjing —that first introduced silk, porcelain, and jade to the world beyond.

The trip also includes a cruise on the Grand Imperial Canal, which was built 1,400 years ago by a labor force that numbered ten million and is still—at 1,100 miles—the world's longest man-made waterway. This engineering marvel rivals the Great Wall (which we'll also see on our final stop in Beijing).

The cost, from San Francisco, is $2,978, all-inclusive. But send in your $300 deposit soon, because the fall trip is already half full.

FRANCE WITH AN ENERGY BONUS

In 1947, Dr. Felix Trombe (who, as many of you know, developed the Trombe wall solar collector) convinced the French government to build a large parabolic collector in the French Pyrenees, and—since that time—the country has been a world leader in the development and use of renewable power sources.

To explore the various technologies being developed in this area, MOTHER and Jordan College are cosponsoring an alternative energy tour (from October 14 to 24, 1982). This excursion will begin in Luxembourg, and then we'll be visiting Paris, Poitiers, Limoges, Toulouse, Perpignan on the Costa Brava, Montpellier, and Lyon. The tiny country of Andorra, high in the Pyrenees, is also on our itinerary, and our adventure will end in Geneva.

Naturally, in addition to seeing private and commercial energy installations and talking with leading French engineers, manufacturers, and scientists, we'll have plenty of time to enjoy historical and cultural points of interest.

The cost—$1,395 (deposit $200)—includes round-trip airfare from New York, hotels, breakfasts, land transportation, and more.

A HAWAIIAN ENERGY TOUR

Our excursion to France will be followed by a similar tour to the islands of Oahu and Hawaii (December 4 to 12, 1982), which is also cosponsored by Jordan College and MOTHER. Being, at present, totally dependent on imported oil, the Hawaiian Islands are dead serious about exploring their energy options. And that search has resulted in numerous successful alternative energy experiments, which include work with wind power . . . aquaculture . . . passive solar architecture . . . hydropower . . . ocean thermal energy conversion . . . and biomass and ethanol production.

You can see all these—plus, of course, plenty of sand, surf, and tropical sunsets—for only $883, including round-trip airfare from Chicago. Or, if alternative energy research doesn't stir your interest, but you'd still like an inexpensive Hawaiian vacation, you can take advantage of our low group rates and join the trip— without the energy installation tours—for $783. (A $200 deposit is required in either case.)

THE ECOLOGY OF THE SOUTH SEAS

Even folks who've never snorkeled before will soon feel at home in the silky, warm, crystal-clear waters of French Polynesia's most beautiful islands . . . which we'll visit for our second South Seas Seminar (January 23 to February 6, 1983) with Anne and Paul Ehrlich and John and Cheryl Holdren. Under the guidance of these fine scientists, you'll become well acquainted with the beautiful life forms that inhabit the colorful coral reefs of Bora Bora, Huahine, Rangiroa, and Tahiti. In addition, each evening our tour leaders will conduct lectures on environmental subjects of world importance.

This exquisite, relaxing, and educational island interlude is priced at $2,740, and a $200 deposit is required.

SPRING IN THE HIMALAYAS

The only danger in traveling to Nepal is that most visitors find they want to stay in the exotic and friendly kingdom. At least, that urge was shared by our group at the end of our 1982 trek . . . and the March 12 to April 1, 1983 Himalayan Spring Spectacular we've planned-which offers hiking in the Annapurna region (when the 60-foot-tall rhododendrons are in bloom), rafting on the Trisuli River, and taking elephant rides in search of wildlife in the Royal Chitwan National Park—should prove to be even more enchanting.

This challenging adventure is offered at $2,750 (deposit, $300) . . . the price includes round-trip airfare from New York and almost all expenses . . . and the tour is limited to 15 participants.

THE BEST OF JAPANESE BOTANY

Just as the human touch can often spoil the beauty of nature, it can—on rare occasions—enhance it . . . and the gardens of Japan are probably among the world's loveliest examples of the grower's art. When at their best, that country's azaleas and cherry and peach blossoms provide a profusely colorful background for the gaiety of "Golden Week", a joyful celebration of new life in a land of unparalleled grace and beauty . . . and our Study Tour of the Plants and Gardens of Japan (from April 29 to May 20, 1983) is timed to allow us to take part in this delightful Japanese holiday.

This tour was designed (and will be led) by Dr. John L. Creech, one of the leading plant explorers of contemporary times. Under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he has introduced over 2,500 plant collections from Japan to this country, and—during his tenure as Director of the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.—he was responsible for the care of the National Bonsai Collection presented by the Japanese people in honor of the American Bicentennial.

We're acquainted with Dr. Creech because he chose MOM's hometown of Hendersonville for his home, too. We're sure that his botanical knowledge and friendship with Japan's top gardeners will make this a unique, delightful, and very personal experience.

The all-inclusive cost is $3,595 from San Francisco . . . and a $300 deposit will reserve your place on what is sure to be a very popular tour.

For reservations on any of our expeditions, send your deposit—by certified check or money order—to Mother's Tours, Hendersonville, North Carolina . . . or write to the same address for more information. 


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