Sunday, November 23, 2014

My top 10 destinations for Sandboarding in 2014

Hello, Internet!

I want to keep posts fresh and brand new so in order to keep the posts as they are, today's post will be based on a list not on a 'topic' but before I start this weeks list, I won't be publishing poll results anymore but I can say that on last weeks poll, 100% voted for 'sandboarding' over the other terms so that was shocking to see but I understand your point there.

Now back to the post, the method I will use in this post will be my personal opinion and data gathered regarding the 'Global Peace Index', cost of living in the country (even if you don't intend to emigrate to your select country), homicide rate and the most welcoming countries; I do this so if anyone does have a holiday or sandboarding excursion, it can be the best experience possible, yet again the holiday destination is ultimately up to you! I will now begin my Top 10 list and recommendations. Please note that I have only been to 2 countries outside of my own native country of the UK and they are Spain and Germany. Don't forget that temperatures will vary, check the laws before travelling, check the customs laws, learn a bit of the language if you don't know any, be polite, respect the citizens, take out good insurance and most of all, have fun!


10. Chile

 

Courtesy of: Smcmurtrey License: CC BY-SA 3.0
 At the bottom of this Top 10 list is Chile. This country does have a well known sandboarding scene but predominantly in the Atacama desert where most if not all the sand dunes are. With the rural escape from Santiago in this amazing desert, some parts of the Atacama have not seen rain in over 200,000 years. It has a low homicide rate, the costs of living are also quite low but purchasing power is high and even though the country is very peaceful and liberal, the landscape and thin shape of the country could be difficult to move around and that temperatures widely vary; so that's why I put it at number 10.



9. Algeria

 

Courtesy of: Holger Reineccius License: CC BY-SA 3.0

In this big Arab nation, Algeria holds a large portion of the Sahara desert (the biggest desert in the world). The conflicts and uprisings in the Arab world may give you the impression that these regions are hostile but the more rural in the nation you are, the less likely you will be targeted. Costs of living are relatively low but these dunes are formed of very old sand and have been as they are for millennia. It is always hot and dry and may be worse due to the 'Harmattan' which is a wind that is blown in the Sahara desert. Algeria is a challenging location for thrill seekers so that's why I've put it at number 9.


8. Germany 

 

Courtesy of: Zonk43 License: Public Domain
In a European country with temperatures that vary significantly, 'Monte Kaolino' in Bavaria is distinctly known for being the only sand dune in the world with its own lift; so you don't have to suffer with climbing up the dune every time. Using the chair lift for the sand dune will come at a cost so if you are strapped for cash then I'm afraid you'll have to walk up the dune like everyone else. This might be the only sign of a sand dune in the region but the World Sandboarding Championships were held as late as 2007. I put Germany at number 8 because it is a very safe, peaceful and cheap country to be in; but the lack of dunes is what made me put Deutschland at this low position. As mentioned, I have travelled to Germany but I didn't go to Bavaria at all so I can't really speak for Monte Kaolino at this time.


7. United Kingdom (Great Britain)

 

Courtesy of: Nilfanion License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Now in a land full of castles and ancient British history, my home country doesn't have any deserts or major dune complexes but in a lot of beach areas preferably on the South coast, there is a lot of sand dunes waiting to be rode by sandboarders. The UK is a very safe, welcoming and peaceful country; the price of foods and goods is average but even if you don't necessarily come to this country for sand dunes or surfing on the beach then London is a massive tourist city where you can see our castles, mansions, towers and bridges! I put this at number 7 (not because I'm being unpatriotic) because like Germany it has a lack of dunes but is good for beginners.


6. Namibia

Courtesy of: Thomas Schoch License: CC BY-SA 3.0
With its really popular destinations of 'Walvis Bay', 'Swakopmund' and 'Sossusvlei'; Namibia has got to be the most well known place amongst young sandboarders who are keen to go to the Kalahari Desert. The country has a vintage German feeling as 'German South West Africa' was once a colony belonging to the German Empire, hence why most place names there sound German, i.e. "Windhoek". The country can be violent at times but is very cheap for living and quite welcoming and relaxing. Namibia only got to number 6 in my list because of the safety aspect.



5. United Arab Emirates

 

Courtesy of: Zamir License: Public Domain
Coming into a really welcoming nation, the United Arab Emirates has a spectacular desert landscape perfect for sandboarding. This nation is friendly and welcoming and also has a very peaceful stance unlike its Arabian peninsula neighbours. The UAE laws which are very strict are the main reason why position 5 is the highest this place can go, maybe the city of Dubai is also a very prosperous place and is very expensive but the dunes are excellent here!



4. Morocco


Courtesy of: TRDS License: CC BY-SA 3.0
The Kingdom of Morocco is a small but mighty country. Morocco is the only African nation to withdraw its membership from the African Union; but politics aside, this country has a low cost of living, it's moderately safe and peaceful. A portion of the Sahara desert lives here and some North African sand dunes live here too. Morocco is very welcoming and is friendly to its tourists. I put Morocco at a higher position than the UAE because of its close proximity to Europe, especially Spain which is coming up...


3. Spain

Courtesy of: serdio (no link) License: CC BY 3.0
Now! Spain is a hot and arid tourist destination, with its welcoming and friendly attitude to tourists, easy to pick up language and overall peace and safety with limited violence; Spain has been given my Bronze medal for the best sandboarding location. It might be a full package of peace, safety and friendliness; Spain also has an extremely low cost of living. This couldn't progress any higher on this list because I've seen Spain to be a bit like Chile or Great Britain, lovely place but not many dunes. If you do see a sand dune in Spain, just ride it because the chances are that the sand dunes are high like the one in the left of this picture. I have been to Spain and it felt like I was in the mid-west of the USA. Beautiful country.



2. Egypt


Courtesy of: Trekkingsinai License: CC BY-SA 3.0
At number 2 is Egypt! The picture says it all, there is someone sandboarding in this photo so that automatically gives me the impression that people sandboard in this place. Egypt does have uprisings and crime is quite previlent; However, this place can be similar to Algeria as if you're in a rural part of Egypt (i.e. Sinai Desert, West of the Nile or even near the Libyan border); what I'm trying to say is that if you're away from the cities, you would be safe. Egypt also is very welcoming to visitors and a very cheap place to buy stuff. Even if you don't intend to sandboard here; the history, pharaohs and even the pyramids will make you fall in love with this country.




1. Australia



Courtesy of: User:Orderinchaos License: CC BY-SA 3.0
The number 1 country in this list goes to a country with a slogan in their tourism advert, "There's nothing like Australia!". A big country with a big legacy, maybe not with sandboarding as a whole but its multiple sand dunes gives the game away. We are coming to a very friendly, welcoming, peaceful, safe and quiet country. The cost of living is really expensive but if you planned to live here, you would be receiving the highest minimum wage in the world at $17.39 (US dollars) per hour. This picture suggests that sandboarding places like this one can be found even in the deserts because of the amount of drops and curves in the 'bowl' of the dune, that is the reason I put the land 'down under' at the top spot.




Conclusion


Before I end this post, I want to personally thank Wikimedia Commons for their large bank of Creative Commons and Public domain images, the users who uploaded the photos so I can legally share them on my site, you for reading my blog and of course my friend who motivate me and say that I'm doing well! Thank you very much. Join me next week where I will be blogging about sandboarding tricks and cool stuff you can do whilst going down a tall sand dune. I won't be posting previous poll results anymore but the poll question will close every Sunday at 12pm (GMT/BST) so you can vote before a blog post is automatically posted at 12pm every sunday (In case you didn't know). The question concerns about the top 10 countries in my list, please vote and remember to view my blog next week, comment, follow the blog and thank you for viewing! Take care of yourself!

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