From an ant’s perspective, it was a tsunami — a frothy thundering wave, curling and crushing sea anemones in its path. As it approached me, I paddled furiously with my tiny T. rex arms feeling the wave rise beneath me.
(photo credit: Vince Alongi)
Dubbed the St. Tropez of Uruguay, Punta del Este draws an upscale crowd of models and millionaires, looking to escape the sweltering heat of summer — which begins in December and ends in March — and hit the beautiful beaches in style. On the Southern tip of this underrated South American country, this coastal resort town is where the Buenos Aires elite go to see and be seen. In La Barra, Punta’s trendiest neighborhood, a glamorous crowd flirts and flits from beachside chaise lounges at upscale resorts, to yachts, chic casinos and nightclubs complete with velvet ropes. Here at the sexy seaside playground of Punta del Este, there’s a unique beach vibe for every kind of traveler. From the fashionable Bikini beach, where you’ll find sun-kissed, bronzed bodies dressed in the latest swimwear, to Jose Ignacio Beach, where international DJ’s set up turn tables and tiki torches for “chill-out” sessions in the sand.
(photo credit: Corey Taratuta)
In its 38th year, the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw and Festival draws a crowd of some 40,000 people, eager to launch dried cow manure paddies as far as they can throw. Yup…dried shit tossing. The current record in the Chip Chuckin’ competition is an impressive 248 ft, but contestants are encouraged to warm up their pitching arms and toss up a new record breaker. This annual feces-flinging fest takes place every Labor Day weekend in Prairie du Sac, a village half-an-hour’s drive from Madison. This year’s theme is Pirates of the Cowwibean with steel drum bands, the Cow Chip Classic 5k Run/Walk and a parade displaying a 13-foot animatronic Trojan Cow called Cowabunga. If sling poop is your kind of sport, head to Wisconsin next week.
Fore more weird festivals check out my article recently published on MSN Local
Mom always said you shouldn’t play with your food…unless, that is, you’re at La Tomatina, a saucy tomato-throwing event that takes place the last Wednesday in August. It’s coming up, so book that ticket to Spain and run naked in the red heirloom tomato river. A tradition since 1945, an estimated 30,000 descend on the tiny town of Buñol to join the world’s largest food fight! This giant tomato-tossing fiesta is part of a week long festival honoring their patron saint. Here are a few tips about participating in La Tomatina http://www.latomatina.org/tips/
(photo credit: The Adventurists)
Most commonly used to navigate congested city streets in Asia, these seven-horsepower, three-wheeled conveyances are an unlikely ride for a 2,000-mile race. Yet every year, teams of courageous travelers gather to complete the Rickshaw Run, a two-week-long race and charity fund-raiser across the Indian subcontinent. The experience is organized by The Adventurists, a U.K.-based tour operator offering three seasonal race routes around the towns of Jaisalmer, Cochin and Shillong. Rickshaws are pimped out with zebra stripes, decorated with bubble-gum-pink garlands and given clever names like “We Break for Ghandi.”
This ranks as one of the most bad ass races of all time. A race that boasts extreme distances in extreme weather. Held each July in California, the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon takes athletes nonstop from the scorching Badwater Basin in Death Valley – the lowest point in the U.S., at 282 feet below sea level – to an elevation of nearly 8,300 feet on Mount Whitney. Crossing the Devil’s Golf Course, past Mushroom Rock and Furnace Creek, participants must endure intense desert temperatures and drastic changes in altitude across a grueling distance. You have to be an insane person to do this marathon…respect. For more extreme races, check out my article recently published on MSN Travel http://binged.it/LF3C27
(photo credit: the Telegraph UK)
Who’s faster: humans or horses? Finally there’s an answer to this age-old question. The Man Versus Horse Marathon, an event held in the Welsh countryside each June, is a 22-mile race in which runners and horseback riders compete for speed titles and ultimate bragging rights. Nearly 300 runners competed against 44 horses in this year’s race. The winner, a horse name Sly Dai, ridden by Llinos Jones, completed the course in two hours, 17 minutes – 10 minutes faster than the closest human competitor. Humans have managed to beat their equine competitors only twice in 32 years – not surprising, since the course crosses a variety of challenging terrain and, well, horses are just a heck of a lot faster. Next summer, head to the town of Llanwrtyd Wells to give Sea Biscuit a run for his money.
Break out that white rhinestone jumpsuit, cause it’s that time of year again….Elvis Week. Celebrate the King at this weeklong Elvis-themed festival, starting tomorrow Aug. 10 through 18 in Memphis. The event kicks off with a block party in downtown Memphis, followed by an Elvis Luau dance party and the Hound Dog Rugby Championship, a rough-and-tumble match that has been taking place in the city since 1987. VIPs get a private welcome from Priscilla and Lisa Marie Presley, and with a little luck, all general-admission attendees will walk away with their very own limited-edition Elvis the Pelvis bobblehead. While the Graceland Mansion is a must-see, the festival’s main event is the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, where the best look-alikes from around the world battle for the coveted title and a cash prize of $20,000. Long live the King! For more quirky summer events like this one, check out the complete article that recently ran on MSN Local Edition.