What happened off the beaten track … by Clare Davissen

Sunrise over the famous Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala


I’m not sure about you but when I’m on holiday I like to get a little lost in a city to find some hidden gems – something off the tourist path. Exploring the world on foot has really allowed me to see some ‘less seen’ places.

As much as I love to check out the main sites and take that all-important selfie on top of the Eiffel Tower or at Everest Base Camp, it’s been these moments off the beaten that have been those ‘WOW’ holiday experiences. Here are my five favourites:



I was lucky enough to travel for two months throughout Norway and really fell in love with the spectacular wilderness and medieval architecture.

One morning, staying in a small village on the edge of some fjords, I decided to follow a path whilst waiting for the ferry.  This is what I found at the top …



Whilst travelling through Guatemala I decided to do a three-day hike to Lago de Atitlan. I trekked through cloud forests, corn fields, coffee plantations, and small pueblos to watch an incredible sunrise over the famous Lago de Atitlán. It has stayed with me (that’s the sunrise in the main pic).




I was lucky enough to be part of our 2012 Everest & Gokyo Lakes trek and wow, I’m now a Nepal convert.

We diverted off the main Everest trail into the Gokyo Valley, and trekked past the sparkling glacial lakes before summiting Gokyo Ri to see the sun come up behind the tip of Everest.

This was one of the hardest treks I have ever done but the rewards … well, see for yourself!






I took a team to discover and conquer Mongolia in July 2013!

We headed to the Olgii province in the far west of Mongolia to climb the Altai Mountains.  Unfortunately we couldn’t make it over the top of the Altai’s as there was too much snow, however, as with every day of this trek, something fabulously unexpected lay in wait for us.

Together with our local crew, we were able to join in a local Naadam festival and get up close and personal with the local nomadic families and their wrestling competition.




JAPAN 2016

A last minute change of plan left me and my trekking buddy meeting up in Japan to walk along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route in the World Heritage UNESCO area of the Kii Peninsula.

This was a very different trekking experience – walking through the stunning autumn leaves of the pristine forests and spending our nights in the traditional ryokans with the soothing nightly onsens.




Trek with Clare (pictured below): Clare Davissen is a trek leader & Sales Manager for Back Track Adventures. When’s she not booking trips for clients, she’s taking them! Check out our treks online now, and call drop in or email Clare to discover her next adventure and trek with her.