Post reply

Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 300 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic.

Note: this post will not display until it's been approved by a moderator.

Message icon:

Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image

Type the letters shown in the picture:
What is Nacho's Twitter handle? (e.g. @xxxx - this is case sensitive)):

shortcuts: hit alt+s to submit/post or alt+p to preview

Topic Summary

Posted by: nacho
« on: December 01, 2017, 09:19:25 AM »

This site's full of fun stuff.

Not an adventurer, per se, but still interesting.
Posted by: monkey!
« on: June 03, 2015, 05:31:37 PM »

That's me!
Posted by: nacho
« on: June 02, 2015, 03:11:19 PM »

Posted by: nacho
« on: July 21, 2011, 11:01:13 AM »

There's always been a debate about the whole Stanley and Livingston meeting, and the famous greeting. They both destroyed the relevant portions of their journals and subscribed to Stanley's version of events in the book.

So I read deeper today... Stanley made a staggering 50,000 pounds off of the initial book deal. That's equivalent to a 4-5 million pound deal today. And, of course, he continued to make tons of money on the lecture circuit, and exploring other parts of Africa, and, ultimately, in 1885, securing an area larger than France, England, and Germany combined (what would become the country of Congo) for King Leopold of Belgium. Leopold turned the country into a privately owned corporatocracy, where his personal rubber company ruled over 30 million inhabitants, all of whom were forced to work the rubber trees and vines. His was the only colony in Africa that was not tied to a country -- he established the Congo as a "private colony" and as a citizen, not a reigning monarch, to dodge the laws back home.

Leopold's company had a special police force given carte blanche to enforce the company's rules. For every bullet they fired, they were obligated to take a human hand to "pay" for the bullet.

It's estimated that 50% of the population had been wiped out by the time Leopold was forced to surrender his control of the colony over to the state in 1908.

And, of course, Stanley was hip deep in the atrocities.  Burton (of Burton and Speke, contemporary explorers) had been laughed down by the media and the government when he condemned Stanley of being a genocidal maniac shortly after the meeting with Livingston. And Stanley still managed to scrape by the whole Congo venture with little trouble.
Posted by: nacho
« on: July 19, 2011, 11:11:06 AM »

I was going to create an "Age of Exploration" thread, but then I figured the contents already exist spread through the History's Mysteries thread, and the Footnotes thread, and bleeding into the What You're Reading thread...

So I figured I'd hijack this sleepy thread with adventurers past.

I'm currently reading: Crossing the Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure

Where the author retraces the steps of this guy:

And this follows a read a few months ago about Percy Fawcett:,340.msg131778.html#msg131778

So now I'm lost in a Wikipedia hole reading about crazy late 19th century and early 20th century explorers...

There's this guy, who mapped the Libyan desert:

Really, all paths lead to a larger study of the absolutely insane and inhumane "scramble for Africa":

The fallout of which we're still very much dealing with today (a lesson not lost in Crossing the Heart of Africa).

And, of course, no study of colonialism is complete without getting deep into the life of diamond merchant and de facto emperor of Africa, Cecil Rhodes:

A brutal, genocidal fuckhead, Rhodes was obsessed with connecting Cape Town with Cairo via telegraph and train:

For some reason, Wikipedia (and history, generally) dodges most of the facts. Rhodes is pretty much single-handedly responsible for wiping out half a dozen tribes and activities of that ilk.

Of course, during the conception phase of the railroad, Rhodes was also the bankroll behind countless explorers and adventurers who wandered off into festering swamps and into headhunter country to map potential rail routes.

Posted by: nacho
« on: February 24, 2011, 02:30:34 PM »

Always a sucker for stuff like this:

From South Africa to Sudan -- 4500 miles. I can't imagine doing it now, but this guy followed in the footsteps of a guy who did it in 1900!
Posted by: nacho
« on: February 21, 2011, 12:35:04 PM »

The Green Way Up:

Four Aussie men are preparing to make an epic road trip that will see them drive from their home in Australia all the way to Norway. That, in and of itself, should make for quite an adventure, but they'll also make the journey without stopping at a single gas station along the way. Instead, they'll use biodiesel to power their vehicle and they'll gas up by collecting cooking oil and animal fat from restaurants and pubs, which they'll convert into fuel instead.
Posted by: monkey!
« on: December 06, 2010, 03:47:06 PM »

I'd apply for that if I hadn't defected to the French.
Posted by: nacho
« on: December 04, 2010, 01:04:32 PM »

British polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott is amongst the most tragic of all 20th century historical figures. In an era where exploration was a matter of national pride, he spent a significant portion of his life attempting to become the first person to reach the South Pole. And when he did finally make it to that place, he found that he had been beaten, by just a few weeks, by his Norwegian rival Roald Amundsen. With that bitter defeat in his mouth, he and his men turned for home, crossing the desolate and frigid antarctic expanse. Eventually, they all met their end on that long, cold, march, with Scott, along with his two remaining companions, freezing to death in a tent while a storm raged outside for ten days. They were just 11 miles from a life saving cache of supplies.

Despite his failure in Antarctica however, Scott remains a popular hero in the U.K. and next year, an expedition is being planned to memorialize his adventurous spirit. Dubbed the International Scott Centenary Expedition, the plan is for a team of adventurers to travel on skis to the final resting spot of the famous explorer and his crew, a place that hasn't been visited in 100 years.

There will actually be two teams that will arrive at location of where Scott met his end. In addition to the team that will travel overland another group will be flown in to attend a memorial service in honor of the explorer and his comrades. Both groups will converge on the site where Scott's tent was discovered on November 12, 2012, precisely 100 years to the day that his remains were found. The second team will be made up of descendants of Scott and the men who made the journey with him.

While the expedition is already well into the planning stages, with experienced explorers handling the logistics and preparation, there is actually room for one more person to join this adventure. With that in mind, the British newspaper the Telegraph is searching for a young man or woman with an adventurous spirit who would like to tag along on this 290 mile journey across the open expanse of Antarctica. The person selected must be a resident of the U.K. and be between the ages of 18-30. You can read all the details here, including other stipulations for selection and how to submit your application.

This is going to be a truly challenging adventure following in the footsteps of a legendary explorer. I would personally love to be selected to join this team, but since I don't live in the U.K., not to mention being well above 30, I'm not eligible. Still, this is a great opportunity for someone to experience a true adventure of a lifetime.
Posted by: Cassander
« on: November 16, 2010, 12:46:56 PM »

Christ.  I'm impressed, but at a certain point it ceases to be adventure and becomes an attempt to turn your mind into an endurance machine. 
Posted by: nacho
« on: November 16, 2010, 12:25:51 PM »

British adventurer Chris Foot is currently in Punta Arenas, Chile, preparing to set out on a long and difficult journey that will see him traveling on skis to the South Pole. That, in and of itself, is an impressive feat, but one that has done plenty of times in the past. But upon arrival at the Pole Chris intends to separate himself from the explorers who have gone before him, by turning around and skiing back to where he started, something that has never been done before.

The entire journey will cover more than 1392 miles through one of the most desolate and remote regions on the planet. To add to the challenge, Foot intends to make the trip solo and unsupported, which means he will be completely alone and won't receive any supply drops or outside assistance for the length of the expedition. Instead, he'll pull a sled behind him that will carry all of his food, equipment, and other supplies for the length of the journey, which could last for upwards of three months.

The expedition will begin and end at the new Union Glacier Antarctic base that we told you about last week, and could get underway as soon as today. Weather has delayed the start of Chris' journey, as high winds and heavy snow have prevented planes from landing at the new base, but according to the latest dispatches from the former British commando, his gear has all been packed and weighed, and he is awaiting a clear weather window to allow him to get start the long, slow march to 90ºS.

Chris will be one of the first adventurers to hit the ice this year, but his arrival will mark the beginning of the Antarctic expedition season that will see other expeditions heading to the South Pole as well. Additionally, mountaineers will challenge themselves on several cold and remote peaks in the region and adventure travelers will get the opportunity to visit a place that few ever experience.
Posted by: nacho
« on: August 24, 2010, 10:42:48 AM »

84-year old British adventurer Anthony Smith has big plans for 2011. In January of next year, he and three other men, will attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean aboard a raft made out of plastic gas pipes. Setting out from the Canary islands, they'll cover more than 2800 miles, in 60 days, finishing up in the Bahamas sometime in March. If successful, it'll be the culmination of a dream that Smith has waited nearly 60 years to see realized.

The former RAF pilot has led quite a life of adventure. Back in 1963 he became the first Briton to cross the Alps in a hot air balloon and he has explored east Africa by balloon as well. He is also an accomplished filmmaker and the author of more than 30 books. The ocean crossing has been his goal for most of his life however, and five years ago he took a big step towards making it a reality when he took out an advertisement in the Telegraph, a popular paper in the U.K. That ad simply read: "Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires 3 crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only."

From that advertisement, Smith found his crew, and he'll now be joined on the voyage by 57-year old yachtsman David Hildred, 61-year old hot air balloonist Robin Batchelor, and Andy Bainbridge, who at 56, is the young man of the group. Bainbridge is an experienced sailor and long time friend of Smith.

The raft is being built out of 13-yard sections of pipe that will have both ends sealed, trapping the air inside and making the craft buoyant. There will also be two small shelters, built from pig huts, that will provide the crew a respite from the elements, and a small fence will line the outside of the boat to prevent them from falling overboard. The simple boat has been dubbed the An-Tiki, a nod to Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki, and will have an "elderly crossing" sign on the sail.

Smith and his team hope to take advantage of the strong trade winds that arrive in January so that they can avoid the Atlantic storm season and finish the voyage on schedule.
Posted by: nacho
« on: July 06, 2010, 02:17:04 PM »

British adventurer Ripley Davenport is in the middle of a spectacular solo journey. One that if he finishes, will put him the record books for the longest solo and unsupported trek in history. But before he's done, he'll face harsh weather conditions, inhospitable terrain, and one of the most demanding routes ever undertaken by man.

Ripley's adventure is dubbed the Mongolia 2010 Expedition. His plan is to travel alone for 1700 miles across the vast, open wilderness of Mongolia, a country that boasts one of the lowest population densities on Earth. Along the way, he'll travel on foot across the Eastern Mongolian Steppe, through the Gobi Desert, and over the Altai Mountains, while pulling all of his gear and supplies behind him in a specially designed cart that is the lifeline for his trek.

The expedition initially began back in April, but just three days in, the cart broke down on the harsh terrain. Undaunted however, Ripley returned home, made some important modifications to the design, and returned to the trail once again in late May. Since that time, he has completed the trek over the Mongolian Steppe, and is now nearing the end of the Gobi. According to his latest blog posts, Ripley has entered the foothills of the Altai Mountains, which will present an entirely new set of impediments to his progress.

At the moment, the former British Army officer is roughly halfway through his expedition, with plenty of challenges yet to overcome. But his spirits are high, he is focused and determined, and after more than 40 days on the trail, he is confident in his skills and equipment. The redesigned cart is working well, and is vital to Ripley achieving his goal of going solo and unsupported. Traveling by himself, he has the solo part well covered, but in order to achieve "unsupported" status he needs to finish the expedition without resupply or outside aid of any kind. His cart not only carries his gear, but also his food and water too, and without it, the journey wouldn't be possible at all.

Check in on Ripley's blog for regular updates from the field as he shares his adventure with the rest of us.
Posted by: nacho
« on: April 05, 2010, 04:04:48 PM »

Balloon to the North Pole.  Making 60's Disney adventure movies come true!
Posted by: nacho
« on: March 29, 2010, 10:24:36 AM »

When I was 15 years old I thought the most important thing in the world was making the JV field hockey team and not getting any bad grades on my report card. But apparently 15 year old Parker Liautaud has better things to do, like being one of the youngest kids ever to ski the Last Degree of the North Pole. Parker will attempt the mega-expedition all in an effort to engage young adults to take a stand for the planet.

On March 31, 15 year old Parker Liautaud will attempt to be one of the youngest kids ever to ski the Last Degree of the North Pole. While a 12 year old and 14 year old did ski the last 51 km leg of the journey with their parents in 2007, Parker will go the full 110 km accompanied by only a guide. The expedition takes between 13 and 14 days depending on the shifting of the ice. The ice is constantly shifting and adjusting. In fact, at times they may set up camp and then wake up in the morning on the same piece of ice, but miles from where they set up camp due to the shift. Additionally, Parker and his seasoned guide and trainer, Doug Stoup, will at times, have to get into immersion suits and actually swim across freezing waters. The ice plates can often collide and create large walls of ice, hindering their initial route and forcing the two to find an alternate route. Parker decided to attempt the expedition in an effort to inform the next generation of change makers about global climate change and the issues associated with the arctic.

He's been training vigorously in preparation for the trip, working extra hard to add weight to his teenage frame. His strength training has consisted of wearing a 25 pound weighted vest while dragging a weighted sled around a track in his native country of England. And that's a good thing because come March 31, Parker will have only his training and the aid of Doug Stoup to help him on his journey. Parker has very limited experience in this arena, having only been to the North Pole on one other occasion for an eco-tour.

And (unrelated)

It has been more than a year since we mentioned David de Rothschild and his Plastiki Expedition. At the time, he was putting the finishing touches on his ship, the Plastiki,  which is made out of more than 12,000 recycled bottles, and preparing to set sale from San Francisco to Australia. Unfortunately, due to a series of setbacks, that journey didn't get underway as scheduled, but with those obstacles out of the way, de Rothschild and his crew set out last week on their voyage at last.

The journey is expected to take roughly 100 days to complete, finishing up in Sydney, with a stop over at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch while en route. This patch is a huge area of accumulated garbage, much of it made out of plastic, that is believed to be at least the size of Texas. One of the goals of the project is to raise awareness of the amount of plastic trash we are accumulating and what it is doing to the environment, and to that end, de Rothschild and his crew are hoping that by visiting the Garbage Patch, they'll help to maker others aware of its existence.

The environmentally friendly expedition doesn't end with the design and con remarkable ship. On board the Pastiki, the crew uses wind and trailing propeller turbines, bicycle generators and solar panels to create electricity to power an array of technological devices, including computers, GPS navigation systems, and satellite communications devices.

You can follow along with the journey on the Plastiki website and track the progress of the catamaran itself. As of this writing, they have traveled approximately 750 nautical miles, but with more than 10,000 more to go, there is plenty of adventure ahead. You can also follow the voyage on Twitter at @Plastiki.