In May 2018, I travelled to Georgia on a small group tour to explore everything Georgia has to offer. Georgia is home to Caucasus Mountain villages and Black Sea beaches. It’s famous for Vardzia, a sprawling cave Monastery dating back to the 12th century, and the ancient wine-growing region Kakheti. Being located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Georgia is a country that was part of the former USSR and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 regained its independence.
The tour was a combination of sightseeing of cultural towns and cities, walks in stunning picturesque countryside along with exploration of historical sites. We experienced Georgian hospitality eating delicious traditional home-cooked food with local families washed down with plenty of fantastic Georgian wine.
As I stand deep in the Valley of Kings in Tutankhamun’s tomb, drinking in the colourful motifs and complex hieroglyphics adorning the cool walls of the Necropolis, in what is considered the most famous archaeological site in the world, goosebumps ripple up my arms and the guides words float in my head – “Today, after visiting the famous Pyramids of Giza you have seen why people come to Egypt, but now we will show you why people fall in love with Egypt”. The next two weeks we were very fortunate to be taken on a spellbinding journey throughout the main highlights of Egypt.
In June 2017 I embarked on a journey to South Korea, a place that has always been of interest to me and it did not disappoint. From sumptuous nature to rich culture, South Korea has so much to offer and more. It is a beautiful country full of amazing natural reserves and luscious greenery that makes for fantastic active holidays.
If you have EVER dreamed of going to Antarctica, fulfill your dream.
In December I returned from an expedition and it’s incredibly difficult to put into words the sights, the sounds, the smells and the emotions that I experienced. A fellow traveller said that she wasn’t sure what to expect, but her expectations were certainly exceeded – I would have to agree.
I am flying over the sparkling expanse of the Mozambique Channel to one of the most exotic, forgotten and ecologically diverse islands on the planet, Madagascar. My first glimpse of this fabled island was not really as I imagined as what I saw, initially horrified me – smoke and fire. Not one or two fires, but dozens, burning the land and sending dirty grey plumes spiralling upwards into the skies like mini tornadoes. Little did I know that my first impression of the island would be totally reversed when meeting its warm people, seeing its unique wildlife and spectacular landscapes which would takes us on a spell bounding journey.
Colombia has long been recommended to me as the best destination in South America, being less visited by other tourists; and for many years, I have been thinking of taking ‘my travellers’ to this country. I was hesitant up until recently, due to the political unrest and reputation of the drug lords etc. Over the years the country has seen a long internal conflict compounded by rampant drug production. However, Colombia is now entering a new era of peace and a consequential growth in tourism. Tourism is increasing at an annual rate of about 12%. A couple of years ago, Thor Travel consultants, Sandra Worsfold and Nieccia Miller, visited Colombia on two separate occasions, returning with rave reviews.
About 10 years ago, I first heard of a journey in northern Spain that Pilgrims have been walking since the Middle Ages. Known as the Way of St James, Camino de Santiago de Compostela, or simply The Camino, the route was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1987. Since then, the popularity of this journey as a Pilgrimage slowly increased until, in 2010, the movie, “The Way”, starring Martin Sheen and son, Emilio Estevez, put this journey onto the radars of those who walk for sport and leisure.
Having organised this trip for so many clients over the past few years, I felt it was time I went and had a look at what it was all about for myself.
On a recent trip to India I embarked on a Private Organised Tour for just myself and my husband. This meant that we had our own Private Car and Driver and Private guides in the many different cities that we visited and we stayed in many Heritage Palaces and Forts which have now been converted into Hotels.
In July I travelled to Central Australia for a short break. We arrived in Alice Springs to unseasonal warm weather – 27 degrees, and after collecting a 4WD at the airport we headed through “The Gap” to the town proper. A number of years ago I lived in Alice Springs for 6 months over the summer, so the first thing that struck me was how green it is. The contrast with the red landscape and blue sky is stunning and the view of the MacDonnell Ranges from Anzac Hill quite spectacular.
Colombia has a, perhaps, colourful history – cocaine trafficking, drug cartels, kidnappings, guerrilla armies to name a few, however I didn’t ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe in the towns/cities we visited (Bogota, Salento, the coffee estansia, Medellin, Cartagena).