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Day 7: Drakensberg Mountains

By Andrew Skurka / May 8, 2008 /

The breakfast buffet spread at the Cathedral Peak Hotel was a perfect pre-day-hike meal: eggs, sausage, home fries and hash browns, yogurt and granola, and a better selection of fresh fruit than you’ll find at a Whole Foods: kiwi, guava, mango, pineapple, honeydew melon, apricots, litchi, etc.—I found myself passing over the grapes, bananas, and…

Day 6: Durban & the Drakensberg Mountains

By Andrew Skurka / May 7, 2008 /

The combination of warm shark-infested waters and throngs of scantily clad beach-goers prompted the installation of shark nets off the coastline in the 1940’s. A tour of the nets is available, but that aspect of the boat ride is its least redeeming—instead, it’s enjoyable for its views of an orange sun rising above the Indian…

Day 5: Durban

By Andrew Skurka / May 6, 2008 /

Durban is South Africa’s version of Miami Beach (beautiful beach, towering ocean-front hotels, and nighttime techno beats), minus some of the bling, most of the plastic, and all of the Latin food. It sits on the bath-water-warm Indian Ocean, and unless you are from the Southeast or unless you visit during their winter you may…

Day 4: Cradle of Mankind

By Andrew Skurka / May 5, 2008 /

 A 60-minute drive from our hotel (the Melrose Arch, a swanky place with the feel of a night club and with creative touches like rubber ducks in the bathtub) took us out of Jo-burg, beyond its sprawling townships and dilapidated shanty towns, past enormous mine dumps, and into a landscape that looked more National Geographic-like…

Day 3: Johannesburg and Soweto

By Andrew Skurka / May 4, 2008 /

It is difficult—actually, I’d say impossible—to understand modern-day South Africa without understanding apartheid. And so today I spent the day learning about it: I visited the Museum of Africa (disappointing), Apartheid Museum (excellent), and the Hector Pieterson Memorial (sadly unmaintained), and took a tour of Soweto, a Jo-burg township where violent uprisings against apartheid occurred…

Day 1 & 2: Welcome to South Africa

By Andrew Skurka / May 3, 2008 /

“Can you please sign your passport?” the TSA official asked, handing it back to me with a pen. I chuckled, thinking that it was an appropriate start to this trip—I had not even left New York before I’d made it very clear that I was a newbie to international travel. Yes, I’ve been to all…

Adventurer of the Year

By Andrew Skurka / November 21, 2007 /

Last week my parents and I went down to Washington DC for an evening at the National Geographic Society headquarters, where I was named National Geographic Adventure magazine’s Adventurer of the Year. This is a HUGE honor, and I’m frankly humbled by the flattering 5-page article (in the Dec/Jan issue, now available at newstands) and…

How to hike a “fast” thru-hike

By Andrew Skurka / October 20, 2006 /

The secret is not hiking at a faster speed, but hiking for more hours. This article is reprinted here with permission from Backpacking Light Magazine. Fall 2006 During the summer before my senior year of college, when I probably should have had an internship that could be leveraged into a “real” job after graduation, I…

Return to Seekonk

By Andrew Skurka / July 25, 2005 /

Andy here. I finished up the hike on July 10 and have been back home in Seekonk for the last week and a half, after vacationing for a few days in Port Angeles, WA, and then catching up with some friends in NYC, where I also had a live interview on FOX News Channel. The…

Port Townsend, WA

By karenskurka / July 2, 2005 /

JULY 2, 2005 — PORT TOWNSEND, WA Andrew has hiked 7,582 miles, 97.4% of his 7,778-mile hike across the continent Andrew arrived in Oroville, WA on Saturday, June 18th. Ellie Bramin, a member of the PNT association had arranged a nice dinner with local trail members. Andrew always enjoys the opportunity to meet with new…