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Best Day Hikes of Europe 10: – Giant insects in Speulderbos - Holland
This is the last of the 10 x 10 x 10 walks and it will end with a big bang party on the Saturday night. The general plan for this weekend is to take the 17:31 Eurostar train from St Pancreas to Amsterdam, arriving in 22:10 . We plan to stay at a small village, around 20 minutes from Amsterdam Central, called Hoevelakan . A coach will pick us up from the station and take us there. Next morning we go for a 10 mile hike in this forest called Speulderbos. “Speulderbos forest is one of Holland’s most beautiful and ancient forests. During this long walk in the ‘forest of dancing trees’, be sure to keep an eye on what’s ahead as well as overhead, because the 10-meter-high trunks of certain trees have been carved into huge insects! These carvings were made by sculptor Harry Leurink, and are a tribute to insects as the ‘garbage men’ of the forest. “ The walk will be 6-7 hours and then we will return back to the hotel well within time for our “end of walks “ party. The Party will be an awards dinner, followed by DJ and Dancing Sunday we will have a leisurely start and return to Amsterdam Transport Outgoing: Eurostar train departing at 17:31 from St Pancreas. non stop to Amsterdam or you can take one of the many flight options Return: Is better and cheaper by air. There are many reasonable options to get back from Amsterdam, back to Luton. City Airport. Gatwick or Heathrow. You can pick any that departs after 16:00 Costs The cost for transport , as of 16th July is between £142-£220 depending on which Airport you would like to fly out of. Accommodation and local transport will be £100 on a twin share basis In addition, you should budget £50 for the dinner and dance party. Confirming your place: • RSVP for the event on the meet-up site. , • In addition to the RSVP, you also need to send a message with your email if and phone number. • Wait for me to confirm your place before making any train/flight bookings. • There is no maximum number for this trip all are welcome.

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What we're about

This is an adventure travel group for men and women who have been there, done that, but their lust has still not been satiated and they want more. You have probably already been to see the Midnight Sun, swam with the dolphins in California , done the tour around Cambodia or Lebanon, climbed Kilimanjaro, been to the Everest base camp or even done the Machu Picchu and are now wondering what next?

Ekzoitika is Esperanto for exotic, the main objective of this group is to seek out unique travel experiences, far from the madding crowds, in places that are not on the popular tourist circuit.

There will be one or two featured trips ever year for small groups of 6-8 people, in far flung places, in relatively unexplored areas. The trips may be hiking, four-wheel driving, motorcycle trips, trains, ships or any other mode of transport. The only thing common about these places would be that there will not be hordes of tour companies taking bus load of people to these areas every week.

Eight of us have just returned from a trip to the flooded forest in the Brazilian Amazon, 420 miles from Manaus, spending most of our times in canoes going deep into the jungle.

Other trips that are on the cards include:

• The unexplored Himalayas: Walking to the source of the Ganges

• To the top of the world : From Kathmandu to Lhasa by Road

• The explosive experience : Exploring the Volcanoes of Java

• The Simple Life : Papua New Guinea 

• Meeting our Ancestors : See the Gorillas before they disappear 

• The Silk Road : Through the Heart of Asia to Mongolia 

• The untamed world : To the vast expanse of the Gobi Desert 

• To the end of the World : A is for Antarctica

These trips will be mostly self-guided tours, with a lot of prior, pre-planning. We will use local tour companies and tour guides where appropriate but will avoid the more commercial ones like Exodus or similar, with the objective of making these a little easier on the pocket.

Over the next 4-5 years we hope to cover many of the ones listed above. People interested would need to commit to the trips 6-12 months in advance.

In addition to the featured trips, the group will provide a forum to exchange information, find travel partners and for people to share experiences. Members of the group will be encouraged to set-up their own meet-ups, which may include talks, exhibitions, book launches, or social evenings all broadly related to the groups travel objectives. Members interested in organising their own trips will also be welcome to do that, provided they are consistent with the objectives and guidelines of the group.

While anyone is welcome to join the group, featured trips will be designed for active people who can handle a little rough travel in the wilderness, the target age group is 30 to 55, younger or older people who are comfortable with people in this age group will also be welcome.

The trips will be mid-budget range and the not the rock bottom, low budget, sleeping in park bench type. Accommodation will vary from basic hotels or even camping with a day of two of luxury thrown into the mix. It will depend on the nature of the trip.

Please note, this group is not associated with any tours or travel company. It is a social, community group set-up to bring together like minded people to plan trips together.

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