The adventurer: the appeal of small towns

franz-josef-beaucoup-nature-glacierWhen the holidays are confirmed, that the airfare pulls its weight on the credit card, the journey often begins with a minimum of preparation. The Lonely Planet, Ulysses, Backpacker and other full of suggestions to spend several days in The big cities.

The travel guides recommend us also common, small quiet towns that nobody has ever heard … except million readers who buy or rent these books each year. While full chapters are devoted to the capitals, the cities and their attractions, smaller communities sometimes enjoy only a short paragraph like that, or even a single word in bold type: “On the Road between A and B, it is possible that you crossed C. ”

Poor C.

It’s still very human to say that on two weeks vacation, where we will spend eight days and five days to A to B, there will not be much time to give a chance to C, if that time to a break to buy a bag of peanuts.

Yet, yet, yet it is often here that will flow to both feet in concrete and we refuse to move. My theory is that we will always digs as the unexpected. When you described in two sentences, it is certain that does not make you justice.

My first real experience of the kind occurred in Franz Josef, New Zealand. This is precisely the kind of place where it is said that there is nothing to do other than to go on an expedition on a glacier that promises to disappear in less time than it takes to say ” climate change “.

The bus dropped us there, we immediately reserve our expedition before planning to leave. Except … Then I saw the bus away, it told me that it was not possible to climb on the glacier, “today or tomorrow”.

Franz Josef can accommodate some 2,000 tourists every day, but just over 300 people living there. The museums, monuments and shops are nonexistent. Not sure we can find a café, even to land and watch time pass.

Waiting to put on my crampons and play the adventurers in the glass, I explored the forest and I have dwelt on the rocks caught in cold water of a river which rises at the foot of the glacier. There was this intense current, the smooth stones eaten up by a flood that seems to accelerate with time. And nobody else to testify to such beauty.

I saw the sky turn pink; the sun goes to bed without a cloud to cover. I saw the sun falling along the blackness to the sound of waves mesmerizing chanting a sort of lullaby.

I liked Franz Josef before you even see the glacier which, however, afforded the only reference to the place in my book of adventurer.

The same sort of cachet embraced me a long hug in Wilderness, South Africa. Already, the poetic name announced calm and abandonment. There is the beach, a highway along the coast and a village in the South African Nature.

Wilderness, it was a hostel which we did not want to go out with a huge dining table where everyone ate in community. There was the small lounge pavilion without walls, for social activities, and lots of quiet corners to tickle silence.

You could grab a kayak, walk a hundred meters and explore a river. You could take a bike and browse the deserted roads of the surrounding countryside, or let someone else do all the work while walking on horseback.

Although the South African harbors wild places all more beautiful than each other, the unexpected Wilderness completely seduced me.

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