The best video of rafting trip crash and burns

When picking a rafting trip like one down the Grand Canyon, whether it’s the day long or several days version, make sure that the trip is a good fit for you. How much excitement are you after? How does the thought of dumping out of the raft grab you? Are you up for a crash and burn experience or is a leisurely float more your style?

For a rollicking look at what dumping out of a raft in white water rapids looks like, check out this video. The footage is strung together vignettes over eight years of rafting trips. Amazingly, according to what I’ve read in the comments, no one was hurt with any of these dump and tumbles. If you have never figured out why a life vest is important even if you know how to swim, here’s your answer. Plus, a helmet is your friend.

The rivers featured are: Gauley River in West Virginia, Zambezi River in Africa, the Moose River in New York and the Black River, also in New York. Click on each river for a link to a raft company that runs trips down it. The music for this video is a perfect fit.

No Europe trip this summer? Check out today’s Euro 2008 final.

Between several other vacations, high summer airline prices and the ridiculous Euro/Dollar exchange rate, I am sadly not heading to Europe this summer. But even though I haven’t been able to make it “across the pond,” I have been vicariously soaking up some European culture through this year’s Euro 2008 soccer championships. Today marks the final between Spain and Germany of what has been another tournament of surprising upsets and nail-biting finishes.

Pish-posh, what’s this about “soccer” you say? Actually, I don’t know a whole lot about European soccer either. Yes, I know a few of the popular club teams like FC Barcelona and Manchester United, but I’m fairly clueless about the day-to-day standings and players. Why then, should anyone bother watching? Because European soccer is more than just a simple sporting event – it’s a defining aspect of European cultural identity. Ask your typical European citizen to tell you about their favorite team or best soccer experience and you’re bound to get an enthusiastic answer.

So if you’re near a television today, crack open a nice cold Hefeweizen and switch over to ABC around 2:30 EST for the big event. Next summer when you’re in Munich you’ll be swapping Euro 2008 stories with the locals in no time.

Truly Explosive Holidays

This week’s the anniversary of the eruption of Pompei. On August 24 AD 79, Mount Vesuvius near Naples erupted to destroy the towns of Pompei and Herculaneum creating a legend that scared a young Kiwi at bedtime for longer than he’d like to admit. (It didn’t really matter that the mountain I grew up under in Rotorua, New Zealand was actually extinct).

A recent post on Forbes Traveler listed the top ten volcanic adventures for the intrepid globetrotter. Here’s their top three.

  1. Kilauea in Hawaii. Since 1983 the 4091 foot peak has been putting on a spectacular show.
  2. Mount Liamuiga in St Kitts. You’ll need to travel for six hours through rainforest to reach the summit.
  3. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania . Technically it’s not an active volcano, but you can spy hot magma at 1300 beneath the summit. Count on a 5 day hike to conquer Africa’s highest peak.

Here’s three more I’ve been lucky enough to experience.

  1. Mount Kelimutu on the Indonesian island of Flores. There are 3 different crater lakes, all a different colour.
  2. Mount Cotopaxi in Ecuador. The most fun you’ll have mountain biking from the snowline to a temperate forest.
  3. Mount Yasur on Tanna island in Vanuatu. The most fun you’ll have mountain biking on a South Pacific island.

Thanks to Matthew Winterburn on Flickr for the pic of Kelimutu.