We all crave that sweet serendipity of being in the right place at the right time: When the Northern Lights are most likely to dance; when that sleepy scruff-bucket town transforms for its once-a-year fabulous fiesta; or, when a mass mob of whales gathers at the nearby reef. That's why our book, The Best Place to Be Today, exists -- to help zoom in on precise dates or periods to ensure the very best experiences, be they wildlife migrations, active escapades, raucous festivals or cultural showstoppers. Each month we'll pick two of these timely experiences right from the book and share them here.
If you want to find out the best place to be on any day of the year -- today, tomorrow, your birthday or wedding anniversary -- check out our interactive calendar.
This summer, we invite you to get adventurous: motorbike on the highest road in the world and run with the bulls.
Motorbike the Himalaya
Make the most of the short snow-free season to motorbike at 5600m
Late June to August
Winding into the Himalaya from the Ladakhi city of Leh, the road to Khardung La (5602m) is the highest motorable road in the world. The pass itself is nondescript, occupied by a grubby military camp. But none of this detracts from the distant vistas and the thrill of biking there. Nor will it influence the altitude-induced dizziness.
It's worth braving the breathlessness to ride here, though. This is the 'roof of the world,' a land of awesome scenery, secluded monasteries, and a rich diversity of people.
Roads can be poor and weather changeable so make sure that you can handle a motorbike well.
Run with the bulls
To watch the drunken gore-fest that is the Fiesta de San Fermin
Plaza de Toros, Pamplona, Navarra
Pamplona's Running of the Bulls is an unbridled outpouring of Spanish passion. As part of the festivities dedicated to the town's patron saint, San Fermin, hundreds of "runners" sprint in front of a six-pack of raging bulls. Every year there are injuries and even the odd fatality.
The encierro(bull run) begins at Corrales del Gas. The dash through central Pamplona is swift, taking about three minutes. With the bulls charging at up to 55km/h, it's impossible to outrun them for the whole course, so runners tackle sections before jumping out of the way. The two scariest bits are Estafeta, the stone alley with only doorways to take refuge in, and the narrow entrance to Plaza del Toros. It's a regular bottleneck for fear-crazed runners and their snorting pursuers. Pile-ups, where runners fall over and create a human barrier for the poor sods behind them, are a big danger.
Before the rocket is fired, signalling the bulls' release, stewards circulate to persuade the inebriated not to run -- the fiesta's other big aspect is the primal all-out partying. --www.sanfermin.com
Excerpted from The Best Place to be Today, 365 things to do and the perfect day to do them.
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