Find love or lone­li­ness

Ul­ti­mate getaways to marry – or bol­ster a break-up

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

FROM THE giddy heights of ro­mance and com­mit­ment to the best places to be mis­er­able and lonely, Lonely Planet has com­piled them in all in one list:

From Leh in the north­ern In­dian re­gion of Ladakh you can de­part for a two-day trip, from mid-July to midSeptem­ber only, across the “roof of the world”. Get mar­ried at the end of day one and test your bond on Day 2. This stren­u­ous pass will take your breath away at 5 600m as you cross per­ilous swing bridges be­tween canyons. Bud­dhist monas­ter­ies dot the serene land­scape: pay a visit for first-hand in­struc­tion in kind­ness and tol­er­ance.

Why not make the wed­ding just as mem­o­rable for your friends as for you? Hire the main villa for you and your mates, and a se­ries of con­nected cot­tages nearby for both sets of fam­ily. Get ev­ery­one to ar­rive the night be­fore and meet up in the lo­cal pizze­ria. The next day, be mar­ried in the lit­tle fresco-painted chapel on the prop­erty. Hold an evening re­cep­tion on the lawns, sur­rounded by fire­flies and cater­ers with home­made red wine.

Make an in­stant friend ev­ery night in one of Manch­ester’s myr­iad dance clubs, to as­suage that break-up. You’ll im­me­di­ately know you’ve found one of your kind at Pop­tas­tic or the North­ern Mon­key Mu­sic Club. In­tel­lec­tu­als can be found at the Best In­die Night in the World… Ever!, while sim­pler types bust a move at Gig­gle & Funk.

Say your vows (and prayers) in a shark cage off Gans­baai. Great white sharks are now on the IUCN Red List of Threat­ened Species, al­though crit­ics main­tain that hu­mans are more en­dan­gered since shark-cage div­ing started, as the preda­tors are en­cour­aged to as­so­ci­ate us with bait.

Join your life part­ner on the good ship Aurora to the fifth-largest con­ti­nent on Earth. Eco­tourism hon­ey­moon ex­pe­di­tions can in­clude po­lar ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties such as sea- kayak­ing, scuba div­ing and camp­ing, and there’s the po­ten­tial for in­ter­ac­tion with whales.

Marry at dawn some­where along a line in the In­dian Ocean where the sun creeps first on to hun­dreds of tiny is­lands, islets and rocks in the idyl­lic Ni­co­bar Is­lands, a union ter­ri­tory of In­dia, lo­cated in the In­dian Ocean. Iso­la­tion has pre­served lush for­est cover and flour­ish­ing fauna.

The World Tango Fes­ti­val, held in venues all over Buenos Aires, is a per- fect op­por­tu­nity to find a new part­ner. Work­shops are run by the Great Masters of Tango, mi­longueros. Held in the best dance halls and sports clubs and cul­mi­nat­ing in the grand­est ball­room in the city, the Palais Rouge, the work­shops are ac­com­pa­nied by six “orches­tras”.

Just over an hour from Toronto, this rus­tic sand­stone mill town pre­serves the pi­ous ways of the old world, when cou­ples hud­dled to­gether through fierce Cana­dian bliz­zards. The lo­cal Men­non­ite com­mu­nity will teach you how to cook and sew. You’ll learn to sur­vive with­out TV, take­aways, com­puter games, shoe ther­apy, hair­cuts or coun­sel­lors. Date your new prospect in a horse-drawn buggy.

Chaotic, salt-stained, yet free – stare out at the wild waves and con­tem­plate how you got dumped or muse over the no­to­ri­ous his­tory of this coast: ships have been sink­ing here since the Mid­dle Ages. Then jump into an ap­pro­pri­ately Scan­di­na­vian car and head down the At­lantic Road to­wards the wester n fjords and the fish­ing vil­lage of Kris­tian­sund.

Nom­i­nated as the world’s most beau­ti­ful is­land by Lonely Planet’s founder, Tony Wheeler, it’s a way to es­cape the ex. Just an hour’s flight north from the Cook Is­lands’ Raro­tonga, join in­hab­i­tants who dance ev­ery night at al­ter­nat­ing beach­side restau­rants or hire a moped for a cir­cuit of the is­land and feel the breeze in your free-flow­ing, newly sin­gle hair. – Reuters


WED­DING GUEST: A great white shark at cage div­ing in Gans­baai.

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