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STA Travel Blog

Spotlight: Southern Cross in South America

As epic adventures go, the Southern Cross journey across South America is right up there. Within 45 days, it manages to crunch through more icons than you ever thought existed, and cram in more adventures than most people would experience in an entire lifetime.

I’m talking sand boarding on the Ica Desert; marching your way along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu; observing the ancient Nazca Lines; tracking wild condors; white-water rafting, horseback riding and mountain biking; visit a working silver mine; wetlands of the Pantanal; the incredible Iguassu Falls; party on Copacabana; and did I mention the dinosaur tracks?

But hey, what do I know; I haven’t journeyed along the Southern Cross, but I know a couple of people who have. STA Travel Southampton‘s Assistant Manager, Ben Hendry, and Travel Expert, Meranda Boldy from our Oxford Road store in Manchester have both been lucky enough to journey from Lima, on the continent’s west coast, right the way across the Andes and beyond to the heady world of Brazil’s party capital, Rio de Janeiro.

I caught up with them both this week, to gain a little more information about their own experience along one STA Travel’s most popular adventure tours.
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14 Awesome Places to Sleep Beneath the Stars

“Twinkle twinkle little STA(r), how we wonder what… you… are.” All together now! “Up above [Ant: one second, just popping over to Google]… the world… so high; like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle twinkle…”

That’s right, folks. From a very early age, we’re instilled with a beautiful sense of allure towards inky night skies, generously speckled with stars.

workcampers :P

Did you know, more than half of Mongolians live in felt-lined tents, called gers. But can you name them all? | Photo by laihiu

But with street lights creeping across the lands and staining the darkness with an eerie orange glow, are there any accessible places left on earth where you can still kip under a thick night blanket? You can bet your bottom twinkle there are, and ode to your year of travel, I’m about to share with you some of my darkest secrets.
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Lauren Pegg’s Inca Trail Adventures

One minute you’re clicking through Facebook, looking at pictures of weekends gone by and ruing the day you ever agreed to strike that pose.

The next, you get a phone call from STA Travel HQ, telling you that you’ve just won a trip to Peru, that includes return flights plus a 12 day tour that will take you via the Amazon rainforest to Machu Picchu, and the heights of the Inca Trail.

And the best thing about it? You get to take along a friend!

That’s what happened for Lauren Pegg who entereed our Like It & Land It competition and won a place for her and a lucky chosen one to on the Amazon to the Andes tour plus return flights for the two them.

Lauren and her friend are not what you would call camera shy! | Photo by Lauren

We caught up with Lauren recently, to ask her how her trip was and to see if there was anything she wanted to let people know about her journey through some of South America’s most enigmatic landscapes.

If there’s anything you’d like to know about Lauren’s journey, feel free to ask a question in the comment thread below this post.

Here’s our interview, with the lovely Lauren…

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The Destinations in ‘MOVE’

Fancy taking a walk? How about taking a walk through 10 countries in 44 days, covering 38,000 miles and soaring through the skies on no less than 18 flights. Throw in some manly arms, and some trendy sunglasses. Split it all up into 200 frames, lob on some catchy music and splice into one neat 60 second clip. You’re on the MOVE.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’ve managed to escape the brilliant piece of travel movie making that’s got everyone talking. Whether you’ve seen it or not, take a minute to watch our man, Andy, bring you up to speed.

Get a MOVE on, and get your #YearofTravel nailed!

MOVE pays homage to inspirational attributes of travel, the act of seizing the moment, by making 2012 your year of travel. We’re thrilled with the result, and we hope you like it, too.

Aside from the visual spectacle that is MOVE, let’s dig a little deeper into the creative and discover where exactly we sent Andy and his film crew, on their epic journey. Let me know in the comments which frames stood out for you, or if you’re inspired to visit any of the destinations featured.
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21 Amazing Travel Experiences

We’re not getting any younger. In the time it took you to read this opening couple of lines, you’re already two seconds older. Three, two, one. Now you’re five seconds older. In five seconds time, you’ll be ten seconds older, and in an hours time you’ll be one hour and eleven seconds older than you are right now (I added on a second in case you were a slow reader).

So, with life whizzing by at such a pace, it’s time to make some plans. The kind of plans that will act like rungs on a ladder, allowing you to clamber through the world with a kick in your step.
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