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No way you’ll be kicking back

From sailing the South Pacific to scaling the Cascades, these adrenaline-pumping adventures will test muscle or mettle — and sometimes both.

Sailing in French Polynesia

When you ply these crystalline waters, you can snorkel over colorful coral reefs at Huahine, bask in the sun on Bora Bora, or explore archaeological sites on Raiatea. The Moorings Tahiti offers a fleet of catamarans and monohulls stretching up to 51 feet. A 41-foot monohull with three cabins, for example, rents from $470 per day, $3,290 per week. Complete an online form to find out which craft you're qualified to captain. Don't know your port side from your starboard? Captains can be hired in Tahiti for an additional $150 per day, plus tip. Info:, 1-888-952-8420.

Mongolian explorations

Make like Indiana Jones, discovering Buddhist temples, ancient ruins, burial mounds, and the dormant Khorgo volcano while traversing Mongolia in a four-wheel drive, off-road vehicle. With Nomadic Expeditions' 15-day Epic Mongolian Overland Adventure, you can also saddle up for horseback rides, bunk down in felt-and-canvas-covered gers (yurts), and visit nomads, all amid a jaw-dropping landscape of forests, steppes, and the Gobi's golden dunes. Bullwhip and brown fedora optional.

June 13-27 and Aug. 22-Sept. 5. From $4,070 per person double occupancy.

Info:, 1-800-998-6634.

Safari in South Africa

From eZulu Game Reserve's riverbanks and bushveld - home to herds of buffalo, rhino, and kudu - to Winterberg Mountain's cliffs and gorges and the sweeping coast of the Indian Ocean, Swartkei Safaris offers the chance to hunt in some of South Africa's wildest and most dramatic countryside. This fifth-generation operation offers five-star accommodations. Fishing, horseback riding, and visits to tribal villages can also be arranged. From $550 per night for hunters, $300 for observers. Info:,

011 27 40 845 1100.

For those who prefer to aim a camera, Singita Game Reserves hosts photographic safaris in South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe with renowned photographer Adrian Steirn, from $5,700 per person, including safari and accommodations. Info:, 011 27 21 683 3424.

Golf in Scotland

Where do you go for some of the fairest fairways in the world? Scotland, laddie, which boasts 550 courses, including St. Andrews' celebrated Old Course. To secure a tee time on these legendary links, some golfers apply as much as two years ahead. But the Old Course Experience guarantees a round on the Old Course with its luxury packages. These deals, which should be booked well in advance, also include additional courses, meals, and accommodations. Note: To play on the Old Course, golfers must present a certificate showing a handicap of 24 or lower for men and 36 or lower for women.

Old Course Experience two-night package from $2,060 per golfer, $430 per non-golfer. Longer programs available.

Info:, 704-896-2223;,

High times in Washington

Strap on those crampons and head for the hills - actually, the mountains - of Washington state. Mount Baker, the highest peak in the snow-capped North Cascades, pierces the clouds at more than 10,700 feet. Alpine Adventures leads a three-day ascent (including a day of training) up the dormant volcano via the Easton glacier. Novice climbers are welcome, but those who hope to summit this imposing peak should be in top physical condition, have experience camping and backpacking, and be prepared to tote 60 pounds or more. (Sherpas are for wimps!) $800 per person.

Info:, 206-378-1927. I