Feel like you’re in need of some space to think about how you’re going achieve all those new year’s resolutions? These five remote locations I’ve chosen would probably give you plenty of thinking room …
1. Palmerston: The Island at the End of the Earth
A journalist for the BBC recently did a fascinating travel feature on his recent visit to the island…
It is one of the most isolated island communities in the world. The tiny Pacific island of Palmerston is visited by a supply ship twice a year – at most – and the long and hazardous journey deters all but the most intrepid visitors. What’s more, most of its 62 inhabitants are descended from one man – an Englishman who settled there 150 years ago.
One of only three families on the island … compete for the handful of yachts which pass every year, and the winners of this race cater for the needs of the visitors. The islanders pride themselves on their kindness and revel in the extra company.
Approaching the beach, the revs of Bob Marsters’ small craft drop and we drift quietly towards the white sand. It is absurdly beautiful. Fish in their hundreds swim below the boat and, as the clear water ripples, a shark glides past with stingrays in tow…
2. Snowdonia Manor: Accessible by a private Mountain Railway
Plas y Dduallt, literally the “house on the black hillside”, is steeped in history and folklore– it would also probably be the ideal place for a Hollywood film writer to hide away for a few months and write a new Sleepy Hollow-esque movie for Johnny Depp.
Set high up in Snowdonia National Park, this Grade II listed building borders the Ffestiniog Mountain Railway and the Maentwrog Nature Reserve. It is one of the oldest inhabited houses in Wales, dating back to the 15th century, and access until the 1960s was either on foot or by train. Now, guests can use a steep tarmac drive that winds its way for half a mile, climbing 500 ft through ancient woodlands, although old habits die slowly and train access is preferred.
3. A Portuguese Windmill
Nespereira is a privately owned estate set high in the Alentejo region of Portugal, a National Ecological Reserve and a rural escape 15km inland. This traditional Portuguese windmill, restored to the highest degree of luxury will set you back just €150 a night.
Can’t you just see yourself writing a novel here?!
Surrounded by 240 hectares of cork forest, you can also explore the ancient villages, markets and secret beaches at leisure.
4. The Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia
There is perhaps no travel destination more off-beat than Mongolia and waiting for you is one of world’s most remote hotels, The Three Camel Lodge.
A two-hour flight to Ulaanbaatar from Beijing, followed by an hours propellor plane flight to Dalanzadgad, the provincial capital of the South Gobi, and a 90-minute drive along a dirt road will ensure you feel far away enough from the rest of the world.
Guests stay in one of 45 hand-made traditional nomadic tents, each equipped with its own wood-burning stove, felt carpets, indigenous furnishings, hand-painted wooden beds, and ceilings that open to the stars. As for what the heck there is to do in the middle of Mongolia? You can try your hand at camel trekking, horseback riding and picking up a few tips on the nomad lifestyle from … well, the local nomads.
5. Supai, Arizona: Where the Mail arrives via Donkeys
Supai is a beautiful and terribly difficult to reach town hiding in the middle of the continental U.S of A, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The problem is, there are no roads going to Supai and it’s the last place in America where mail is still delivered by donkeys. At the start of the millenium, the US census missed the town entirely and recorded the population at zero. In reality, there are about 500 residents making a life for themselves in the peaceful town. Perhaps you’d be interesting in making it 501!
Photograph by Auphu.com
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