Senior tour leader Laura Rudderforth hard at work in Iceland this summer. Tour codes, IC3, IC4, ©Laura Rudderforth
Click on their name below to see what your favourite tour leader has been up to or where they are going next! If you have stories or images of our tour leaders we should include in our next newsletter, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we use it, you can get $100 off your next tour!
CLICK HERE FOR A MESSAGE FROM LAURA RUDDERFORTH
The Icelandic Nobel prize winner Halldor Laxness once wrote: “Where the glacier meets the sky, the land ceases to be earthly, and the earth becomes one with the heavens; no sorrows live there anymore, and therefore joy is not necessary; beauty alone reigns there, beyond all demands.” After driving along the stunning south coast of the Island, visiting surreal waterfalls and dramatic landscapes we came to the area of the ice caps. Passing Eyjafjallajokull (that troublesome volcano from 2010) we arrived at Myrdalsjokull where we boarded our ‘superjeeps’ for an adventuresome drive up the mountain and onto the glacier. At over 1000m up, rewarded with the magical evening light, we had an almost endless panoramic view of the glaciers, the mountains and the sea. It was here that we truly understood the meaning of Laxness’ quote.
Gulifoss “Golden Fall” Iceland ©Laura Rudderforth
CLICK HERE FOR A MESSAGE FROM JAMES KAGGIA
Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya is fast turning out to be one the best game viewing areas in East Africa. Its a private game ranch, well known for a being a safe haven for rhinos where a big population is thriving. In July this year we stayed here for two days and having seen lions, elephants, reticulated Giraffes, Oryx and Rhino, we would not have asked for more, this being our first game viewing area amongst many in the tour. Then on our way out of the conservancy, early in the morning, right there in the middle of the road was a pack of more than twenty wild dogs. Now this is exciting! Seeing one or two wild dogs is hard enough and here, right in the middle of the road, is this big pack! Not in a hurry to go any where. I have seen them before, but not so many together and not so close to the vehicle. I had to make my clients understand that I am also allowed some excitement sometimes.
CLICK HERE FOR A MESSAGE FROM LORNA LISSNER
Every day offers something new. On today’s journey we travel towards Addis Ababa and meet a group of market-bound travellers. We may be travelling in deluxe four-wheel drive jeeps, but they are happy to share the time with each other in open carts and buggies… all in a days work. The group asks for a quick photo stop and are rewarded with the biggest and most genuine smiles. I cannot tell whose smiles are bigger, those of my group or the market bound Oromo people of southern Ethiopia. At the end of the photo stop, two hats were bought, a few hundred hand shakes were exchanged and both groups of people carried on…. enriched from a quick moment in time. Nothing was planned.. moments like this just happen.
For information on what tours your favourite tour leaders are doing this fall, please contact us.
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Jonathan Hodgson and his group on tour in Vanuatu, tour code MSCP. ©Jonathan Hodgson
Coco-de-mer (Lodoicea maldivica)
The coco-de-mer (Lodoicea maldivica) is the most interesting species of the six endemic palms in the Seychelles as it is the only true case of gigantism among Seychelles flowering plants. It is one of the most universally well-known plants and holds three botanical records: the largest fruit so far recorded; the mature seeds weighing up to 17.6 kg (38.8 lb) are the world’s heaviest; and the female flowers are the largest of any palm. The fruit, which requires 6-7 years to mature and a further two years to germinate, is sometimes also referred to as the ‘sea coconut,’ ‘double coconut,’ ‘coco fesse,’ or ‘Seychelles nut’. It was once believed to be a sea-bean or drift seed, designed to be dispersed by the sea; however, it is now known that the viable nut is too heavy to float, and only rotted out nuts can be found on the sea surface. Until the true source of nut was discovered in 1768, it was believed by many to grow on a mythical tree at the bottom of the sea! European nobles in the sixteenth century would often have the shells of these nuts cleaned and decorated with valuable jewels as collectibles for their private galleries. Visit the Valle de Mai, home of the coco-de-mer on the Seychellois island of Praslin, on tour MCIO, The Indian Ocean Islands—next departure May 2015.