Cuba – La Isla Grande
When we visited, Cuba was just starting to loosen up its regime under Fidel Castro’s brother. It’s a beautiful island with friendly people, live music everywhere, cigars and the classic cars. The old colonialism (with corruption and slavery) contrasted with Castro’s communist regime.
|Danube Winter Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary
The Danube in Winter can be combined with The Danube in Summer
Travelling along the Danube in December was quite magical with the snow and Christmas markets. Among the cities visited were Salzburg, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest in addition to smaller towns, including a trip to Cesky Krumlov, a World Heritage site in the Czech Republic.
|Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala
Central American Journey
These countries all have a colonial past and are struggling with poverty and corruption. Despite this we saw volcanoes, beautiful lake and sea islands, and mayan ruins with a few animals and birds along the way.
|Sri Lanka & Maldives
Sri Lanka – Buddhas Island - and The Maldives – Sri Lanka can be done separately
In Sri Lanka, Harry and Jean saw ancient statues, rock carvings and gilded temples including the rock fortress of Sigiriya and the Temple of Buddhas Tooth. In contrast we saw tea plantations, and the after effects of the 2004 Tsunami.
In The Maldives, we travelled by traditional boat, seeing the scattered low lying islands.
|Bangladesh, Darjeeling & Sikkim, Bhutan
The Hidden Kingdoms of Bangladesh, India and Bhutan
Three countries with contrasting cultures and religions – Muslim Bangladesh, Hindu and colonial Darjeeling and Sikkim, and Buddhist Bhutan – one of our most interesting trips. Highlights included the Darjeeling Toy Train and a visit to The Tigers Nest Monastery.
|India - The Golden Triangle and Ladakh
India’s Golden Triangle and India’s Little Tibet – can be done together or separately
India’s Golden Triangle encompasses not only Delhi, Agra with the Taj Mahal, and Jaipur but also ancient ruined cities and national parks. This contrasted with the Buddhist festival in Ladakh, the rugged terrain and scary drives (not for those who suffer from vertigo), the home of the Dalai Lama and the Golden Temple of Amritsar.
|Kruger, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia
Glimpses of Four African Countries - their Wildlife and Scenery
In addition to the contrasting countries in terms of wealth and scenery we saw a wide range of wildlife in the national parks. The trip’s grand finale was a helicopter ride over the magnificent Victoria Falls. We travelled in land cruisers and camped in small tents.
This talk covers our journey from Hanoi in the North to Ho Chi Minh City in the South, by rail, air, boat and minibus. We also visited small villages, rode on elephants, saw the Vietcong tunnels and had boat trips in Halong Bay and on the Mekong.
|Ecuador & Galapagos
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands – or
The Galapagos Islands separately
In the two weeks exploring Ecuador we saw the jungle, volcanoes, local markets, an Easter procession in Riobamba and a trip on the Devil’s Nose railway.
During the week on the Galapagos we visited different islands everyday with their diverse wildlife – iguanas, tortoises including Lonesome George, boobies - red and blue footed, frigate birds, and waved albatross - an amazing experience.
|Nepal and Tibet
Journey across Tibet
Starting and finishing in Kathmandu, Nepal we travelled across Tibet always being aware of the looming Chinese presence and the changes to the traditional ways of life. A mixture of camping and hotels, with amazing scenery, monasteries and pilgrims, yaks and sacred lakes. One of the highlights (albeit freezing) was camping at Everest Basecamp and seeing Everest.
Music Festivals in Mali
This was one of the toughest trips Harry and Jean have done, but even so the trip was full of amazing experiences in a country of contrasts – Tuareg and Dogon cultures, river and deserts, mud mosques, and ancient rock paintings. Two music festivals – one near the Algerian border, and one near Timbuctu celebrating Malian culture including camel races..
Land of the Incas
This talk covers not only the many Inca sites visited including walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and flying over the Nazca Lines, but also the jungle, condors in Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca with reed boats and floating islands and the Ballesteros Islands.
The Ancient and Modern World of Japan
Travelling from Tokyo south through Kyoto at Cherry Blossom time, Jean and Harry were amazed at the contrast between traditional Japan and the modern technological world. Their trip covered two of the main islands of Japan and included visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and views of Mount Fuji and Himeji Castle with the cherry blossom.
The Isolated Island of Madagascar
Talk covers the unique flora, fauna and colonial and traditional culture of this isolated island, a former French colony, with its dramatic scenery, jungles, coasts, Isalo National Park and of course the different species of lemurs.
|Mexico, Guatemala and Belize
Contrasts of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula
Talk covers Aztec and Mayan sites plus colonial cities, jungles, wildlife including manatees and manta rays and traditional villages. Mexico is a country of surprises quite different to the images seen on the news. Guatemala and Belize provided additional contrasts.
|Namibia & Botswana
Namibia and Botswana Safari
Overland truck camping safari in small tents, from the enormous sand dunes, deserts and Skeleton Coast of Namibia to the lusher areas of the Okavango Delta and through the edge of the Kalahari Desert. Rock paintings, and an enormous variety of wildlife.