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  • Worldwide Quest - Blog
    northern portion of our trip was the Pygmy Stump tailed Chameleon one of the smallest known reptiles in the world However the slow deliberate movements of the larger more colourful chameleons captivated us too It was akin to watching a movie in slow motion even as their eyes worked independently to return the stares of our group Another highlight in Périnet was the bizarre Giraffe necked Weevil and equally amazing the way it used strange extension to its neck Other insects resembled small white flowers that could walk along branches or stems when disturbed And of course a multitude of colourful butterflies would flutter by as we walked through the forests where Golden Orb spiders hung enormous webs that might catch the butterflies We enjoyed a number of evening hikes and it was hard to pick a single highlight although finding a Madagascar Kingfisher sleeping in a ball filled me with wonder Other nocturnal findings included various owls chameleons arachnids frogs and lemurs One of the most enjoyable experiences was our visit to Lemur Island a rehabilitation centre run by one of the local hotels in Périnet After seeing these species in the wild we were able to enjoy seeing several species right in front of us some even climbing about on our shoulders unafraid as they customarily are The diversity of the bird life was also very interesting Several families of birds are found only in Madagascar One such family is the vanga family which must have diversified much like the so called Darwin s Finches of the Galapagos In their island isolation the ancestors of the vangas evolved to fill a variety of specific niches For example the Sickle billed Vanga probes crevices in trees with its long curved bill while the small Ward s Vanga acts like a flycatcher high in the trees Many of the bird species in Madagascar resemble mainland African species but are considered Mad species Birds such as Madagascar Hoopoe Madagascar Kestrel Malagasy Pond heron look much like their counterparts that you might see elsewhere but they are endemic to the island Many species are rare or endangered and so we fervently wished for the continued survival of these birds we were so fortunate to observe It was fun to challenge our observation skills to find all the Mad blue birds in Périnet the Blue Vanga Blue Pigeon and Blue Coua Baobobs are just one of the more interesting plant species found in Madagascar but they certainly held our interest Their giant tubby smooth skinned trunks and broad raised branches are lasting testament to the tenacity of all life here especially in the drier areas of the country These ancient trees resist fire and deforestation practices and whenever we met one whether a species in the forest or in the desert we greeted each behemoth and sometimes gave it a hug or crowded at the base for a group photo with this wondrous tree Other interesting plant life included tree ferns orchids and

    Original URL path: http://worldwidequest.com/?page=lets_travel&id=124 (2016-04-24)
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  • Worldwide Quest - Blog
    the most valuable cultural contributions to world history and still influence the way we tell and read stories But the Sagas mean much more to Icelanders They remain an intrinsic part of their national identity Virtually all Icelanders can literally trace their roots to the Vikings of the 10th century And because contemporary Icelandic is largely unchanged from the Old Norse of the Vikings Icelanders need no translation to read their direct ancestors epic accounts of settlement and exploits abroad While Icelanders share a traditional liberal Nordic outlook with Scandinavian countries the distinctive literary legacy of the Sagas on the Icelandic character might be said to be the high importance they place on the traits of independence and self sufficiency We certainly experienced the value placed on these qualities in Halldór Laxenss s The Fish Can Sing Those in our group who have read his Nobel Prize winning Independent People concur Kinship Icelanders have a sense of belonging that is extremely rare They are all essentially related and can trace their ancestors back to the first settlers It seems that having Viking blood in their veins is a point of personal and national pride In addition to making Iceland a unique experimental setting to mine the gene pool of an entire country in search of the root causes of and potential cures for some of the world s worst diseases the genetic homogeneity of the population creates a sense of close knit family among the citizenry In a country of cousins informality characterizes personal relationships The entire country is on a first name basis even the head of state Trust is also likely to be higher among those with shared experience and values resulting in an environment where it is easier than elsewhere to make things happen There is always someone nearby to lend a hand or offer support This can do attitude creates confidence and optimism Trust also means that Iceland is safe Babies are regularly left outside shops and restaurants in their prams or strollers A shared gene pool and a shared literary and political history certainly give Iceland a long leg up over other countries in the establishment of national identity And it seems probable that the adoption of Lutheranism as the state religion in the mid 16th century injected a booster shot of the Protestant Work Ethic into the arms already hard working Icelanders GEOGRAPHY On the face of it Iceland has nearly all geographical cards stacked against it It is an island It is remote It is cold And very windy Only 21 of the land can handle vegetation It is prone to natural disasters i e earthquakes and a ton of volcanic activity as we experienced with Bardarbunga But Icelanders have the ingenuity to turn threats into opportunities They take advantage of seismic activity for energy production They use the earth s underground heat to warm homes and to create electricity Although active volcanoes can and do create problems for the people of Iceland

    Original URL path: http://worldwidequest.com/?page=lets_travel&id=123 (2016-04-24)
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  • Worldwide Quest - Blog
    Snowy Owls any amount of gulls and a plethora of other seabirds In any case wildlife is not the high Arctic s only attraction The landscape alone is worth the trip mysterious bleak and haunting with islands stripped of any signs of life save for the thinnest strands of vegetation clinging to the gale swept ground and crumbling Hudson Bay trading stations abandoned decades ago In the 19th century hundreds of men died here trying to find a northwest passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific the expedition of Sir John Franklin which disappeared in 1845 being the grimmest but by no means only example Today global warming is melting the Arctic s summer ice and ships with strengthened hulls can sail the passage with ease for several weeks a year Hence our decision to abandon Europe s summer to experience this land of ice and snow as it is transformed by climate change at a speed unmatched in any another other region on Earth It was a deeply satisfying but surprisingly busy experience There were constant lectures and talks and with the exception of our two day voyage across Baffin Bay we had at least one shore trip a day to Beechey Island where three of Franklin s men are buried below bleached wooden grave markers to Prince Leopold Island whose soaring cliffs provide sanctuary for tens of thousands of kittiwakes fulmars and guillemots and to the Inuit towns of Sisimiut and Pond Inlet These journeys involved the donning of thermal underwear woollen shirts and heavy duty waterproof gear which might seem surprising given that temperatures rarely dropped below zero However if you don t have proper clothing long journeys in open Zodiacs in fierce cutting winds can seriously chill the blood It was by no means an arduous holiday The food on our ship the Akademik Sergey Vavilov was lavish there was a cocktail of the day and a happy hour a hot tub on deck and yes bars of chocolate were left on our newly made beds every evening My wife Sarah and I did have two main worries before setting off rough seas and fellow passengers We got well informed amusing and articulate shipmates Some were the best travelled individuals I have ever encountered Others had spent their savings just to make this journey to see a land in melting transition It was a humbling experience As to the high seas they didn t materialise either From our trip s starting point at Kangerlussuaq in Greenland across Baffin Bay s ice floes and icebergs into Lancaster Sound and south through Victoria Strait before reaching our 2 000km journey s end at Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island the seas were calm Even our journey through the Bellot Strait which separates the most northerly point of mainland America from Canada s Arctic islands and is rated one of the world s most formidable sea passages was smooth and restful Indeed that trip on a glorious August evening was

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  • Worldwide Quest - Our Team
    careers in secondary education and archaeological and ethnographic research among Nuu chah nulth peoples on the west coast of Vancouver Island particularly Tseshaht Toquaht and Huu ay aht peoples of Barkley Sound More UPCOMING TOURS Pacific Rim NP with UBC alumnus Russ Markel Diane and Doug Clement Diane Doug Clement are both former Olympians in track and field and are highly regarded in their athletic and culinary professions Diane Clement was a sprinter on the 1956 Canadian Olympic team and a bronze medalist at the 1958 Commonwealth Games Dr Doug Clement is a former Olympic and Commonwealth athlete and coach and a Member of the Order of Canada More UPCOMING TOURS Camino de Santiago with UBC alumni The Clements Dr Martyn Obbard Martyn Obbard is a research scientist and the resident bear biologist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and adjunct professor at Trent University Peterborough Ontario His field work focuses on Polar Bears and Black Bears and he has published many papers detailing the demographics genetics and movements of these species More NO UPCOMING TOURS AT THIS TIME Dr Michael Treschow Dr Michael Treschow is an Associate Professor at UBC Okanagan s Department of Critical Studies which he headed from 2007 to 2009 Michael received his Ph D from the University of Toronto where he attended the Centre for Medieval Studies He also received the Mediaeval Studies Licentiate from the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in 1990 More UPCOMING TOURS Siena Florence with Assoc Prof Michael Treschow Duncan MacLeod Duncan MacLeod is the curator for the Vancouver Maritime Museum More UPCOMING TOURS Across the Top of the World The Quest for the NWP Elion Gunawardena Elion is passionate about his native Sri Lanka where he is involved in conservation projects involving wildlife and cultural sites Buddhism meditation and the multi ethnicity of Sri Lanka s people are areas of particular interest He is currently writing a book on the Dutch Colonial Period and Galle Fort More UPCOMING TOURS Sri Lanka Eyob Awraris Eyob Awraris travelled with our director to set up our tour to Ethiopia We ve drawn extensively on his vast experience with the culture and history of the country to design this tour A native of the Harar region Eyob brings his considerable expertise and warm open attitude to our tour More UPCOMING TOURS Classic Ethiopia Fernando Polanco Anthropologist economist farmer by chance and lover of nature and good energies Fernando Polanco is the General Manager and CEO of Hacienda Zuleta He is an enthusiast of conservation sustainable production socially responsible progress and keeper of his family history and is always eager to share his knowledge of his beloved Ecuador and his family s farm Fernando fell in love with Western Canada during a 5 month specialized course on Trout Hatchery Management at Vancouver Island University when it was Malaspina College More UPCOMING TOURS Andean Ecuador with alumni UBC Gail Hall Gail is a food maven culinary personality and owner of Seasoned Solution s Loft Cooking School which focuses on the use of local and regional Alberta ingredients Gail hosts our Food Wine Tours on our food adventures worldwide More UPCOMING TOURS Culinary Vietnam Gary Lewis UBC alumnus Gary Lewis is the owner of Phoenix Perennials a cutting edge retail nursery in Vancouver and an expert on perennials and horticulture He holds two degrees from UBC in Conservation Biology and Plant Ecology More UPCOMING TOURS New Zealand Gardens with UBC alumnus Gary Lewis Gary Schoepfel Gary has led and taught folks for the last 25 years how to lead book discussion groups He has worked in the theatre for 10 years as an actor director acting coach and producer A founding member of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival he received a Joseph Jefferson Citation for performance More UPCOMING TOURS The Caminho Português de Santiago Gavan Watson Gavan Watson is a third generation naturalist and a second generation Quest tour leader While completing his PhD at York University he developed and taught a popular experiential natural history course Now at the University of Guelph he works to enhance the quality of teaching and learning on campus More UPCOMING TOURS Yukon Alaska Land of the Midnight Sun 18 Geoff Carpentier Geoff Carpentier is a veteran expedition leader with Worldwide Quest is an itinerant student of nature who has been involved with wildlife his entire life with a particular interest in the movements interactions and behaviour of animals worldwide He is a past President of the Ontario Field Ornithologists a seasoned naturalist and prolific author More UPCOMING TOURS Tanzania Safari The Great Serengeti Migration Best of Cuba Nov 16 Geoff Henderson Retired from teaching outdoor education and natural science Geoff Henderson continues to work on botanical surveys Kiwi monitoring and an on going native plants re vegetation project More UPCOMING TOURS New Zealand Glenn Barrett Past President of the Hamilton Naturalists Club Glenn Barrett has a degree in Wildlife Biology and has worked extensively in outdoor education programming for educational institutions and as a Wildlife Technician for Environment Canada since 1994 More UPCOMING TOURS Trinidad Tobago A Tropical Birding Hotspot Cuba s East Greg Henry Professor Greg Henry University of British Columbia is a geographer whose research focusses on the impacts of rapid climate change in Canada s North He is the Editor of Arctic Science a Member of the Science and Technology Management Committee for the Canadian High Arctic Research Station and past Chair of the International Tundra Experiment 2003 2012 More NO UPCOMING TOURS AT THIS TIME Greg Sharam Greg Sharam is a wildlife biologist spending his summers in the Canadian Arctic working on large mammals grizzly bears muskox and caribou He completed graduate work at UBC with a PhD Zoology in Serengeti National Park Tanzania and an MSc Botany in the Yukon Territory His interests in wildlife biology and conservation and his role as technical director at Environmental Resource Management have taken him around the world He is an avid photographer More UPCOMING TOURS Tanzania with UBC alumnus Greg Sharam Ian Shanahan Ian Shanahan recently completed a stint as the Senior Naturalist at Ontario s Algonquin Provincial Park where he has previously worked as a Seasonal Park Naturalist His love for natural history anything that flies takes him to many countries where he enjoys watching photographing and sketching More UPCOMING TOURS In Search of Whoopers Iceland Land of Fire Ice 16 Copper Canyon Mexico Jaymie Matthews UBC Professor Jaymie Matthews Department of Physics Astronomy calls himself an astro paparazzo who unveils the hidden lifestyles of stars by eavesdropping on the music of the spheres More UPCOMING TOURS Chile with UBC Prof Jaymie Matthews Jean Iron A past president of the Ontario Field Ornithologists and retired school principal Jean Iron is active writing for nature publications and participating in Wildlife Surveys for the Ministry of Natural Resources More UPCOMING TOURS Iceland Circumnavigation Expedition Cruise Antarctica the Falklands South Georgia Safari Costa Rica the Panama Canal Highlights of Southern Peru Iceland Land of Fire Ice 17 Jeff de Jong Jeff de Jong is a horticulturalist garden writer and photographer based in Victoria BC He is the host of Gardening 101 a weekly radio show on CFAX 1070 More UPCOMING TOURS New Zealand Gardens with UBC alumnus Gary Lewis Jessica Linton Jessica Linton is a consulting biologist who specializes in butterflies Based in Ontario her work has a heavy focus on species at risk including butterflies the wildlife group about which Jessica is most passionate She has over 10 years of experience conducting butterfly surveys behavioral monitoring and migration studies More UPCOMING TOURS Monarchs of Mexico Josh Vandermeulen Josh Vandermeulen is a professional Field Biologist and is an active and well known member of Ontario s naturalist community He regularly travels the province in pursuit of his two core interests field herpetology and ornithology More UPCOMING TOURS Best of Cuba Feb 17 Julian Whippy Julian Whippy is our accompanying military historian He has a military background having served with the Royal Anglian Regiment as a member of the Territorial Army A badged member and validator within the Guild of Battlefield Guides Julian lectures on military history widely including in Whitehall for the Royal United Services Institute He is the author of The Greater Game sporting Icons that fell in the Great War a work that combines his passion for military history and sport More UPCOMING TOURS WWII Canadian Battlefields Paris to Berlin Justin Peter Justin Peter is Quest Nature Tours Director of Programs and senior naturalist Justin was most recently the senior naturalist at Ontario s world renowned Algonquin Park where he coordinated the park s interpretive program and acted as lead howler for the celebrated Public Wolf Howl events More UPCOMING TOURS Galapagos Islands Darwin s Enchanted Isles Feb 17 Central Europe Justin s Essential India The Great Northwest Ken Burton Ken Burton is the Executive Director at the Vancouver Maritime Museum More UPCOMING TOURS Across the Top of the World The Quest for the NWP Kevin Fisher Archaeologist lecturer and writer Kevin Fisher is an Assistant Professor of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology at UBC His research interests range from the use of digital and spatial technologies in archaeology to the social dynamics of urban landscapes Kevin will be taking us to UBC s archaeological field school at Kalavasos and to sites where he is conducting research More UPCOMING TOURS Greece Cyprus with UBC Prof Kevin Fisher Laureen Morris Laureen Morris has been travelling steadily since 2006 After a long corporate career she s active in politics and on the move as an avid photographer Her enthusiasm for life and great people skills ensure you ll make the most of your travel experience More NO UPCOMING TOURS AT THIS TIME Laurielle Penny Laurielle is one of the principals of Worldwide Quest managing director designer of new programs and planner of Signature Moments She works principally with our Cultural Explorations portfolio and with customized travel programs for cultural institutions and affinity groups More UPCOMING TOURS Classic Morocco Lewie Gonsalves Lewie our peripatetic president has over 35 years experience researching and organizing trips throughout the world As well as designing and leading our President s Tours Lewie is also chief designer of our Private Journey collection of tailored tours More UPCOMING TOURS Magical Himalayan Kingdoms Treasures of Ancient Persia Lori Dalton Lori Dalton is an enthusiastic tour leader personal life coach and gifted speaker She uses her excellent people skills to ensure that everyone is enjoying learning and growing while on tour with her Her joie de vivre makes every journey with her fun filled and stress free More UPCOMING TOURS Peru Iceland Adventure Maggie Broda Maggie is a member of the Ontario College of Art and Design University s Board of Governors currently serving as President of its Alumni Association A contemporary artist and instructor Maggie is represented in Toronto by the Elaine Fleck Gallery More NO UPCOMING TOURS AT THIS TIME Malcolm O Reilly Malcolm is a zoologist who has made a career of field education and leadership including work for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for over sixteen years In his own words he is fascinated by anything that flies swims crawls slithers or walks Able on land and at sea he s also adept at graphic design and is a fan of science fiction More UPCOMING TOURS Scotland Wildlife of the Highlands the Islands Mark Cwik Mark Cwik is the director of Great Books Great Discussions a new nonprofit promoting lifelong liberal learning among adults Mark is a long time leader of discussions of great literature and a lover of epic tales More UPCOMING TOURS Literary Iceland Mark Nuttall Professor Mark Nuttall is a social anthropologist and holds the Henry Marshall Tory Chair in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta His work in the Arctic North Atlantic and western and northern Canada is concerned with environmental change and resource use issue More NO UPCOMING TOURS AT THIS TIME Mary Bird Mary Bird has been listening to stories all her life She was entranced by the Irish stories her aunt told her at bedtime She has studied storytellers ever since Mary has attended many Classical Pursuits and led two She has found that the shared inquiry approach to discussion yields very satisfying results More NO UPCOMING TOURS AT THIS TIME Melanie Blake Melanie Blake is a writer and editor who developed a deep interest in fiction from Asia during a three year stint in India She has canoed kayaked sailed trekked and cycled down or along rivers ranging from the Hudson to the Dordogne to the Indus More UPCOMING TOURS South India Temples Traders Tamarind The Pity of War English Poets of WWI Michael Gervers Michael Gervers is a medieval historian who has taught at the University of Toronto for the past 40 years He has travelled and researched extensively throughout Ethiopia and is particularly familiar with the sites along the historic route to the north More UPCOMING TOURS Ethiopia Nancy Hermiston UBC Opera Ensemble Director Nancy Hermiston s operatic career has taken her throughout Canada the United States and Europe The consummate opera expert Nancy is as knowledgeable as she is congenial More NO UPCOMING TOURS AT THIS TIME Nanette Snel Nanette Snel is a seasoned and passionate traveller Born in Venezuela raised in Holland with ties to Portugal Brazil and South Africa travel is in her blood Nanette will make sure your tour is memorable and that every need is taken care of with a smile More UPCOMING TOURS Japan South India Exquisite Temples Landscapes Nella Cotrupi Nella Cotrupi is an Italian born lawyer and educator whose work has focused on the social and ethical engagements of literature More UPCOMING TOURS The Ferrante Phenomenon in Naples Ischia Nina Stavlund Nina Stavlund is a graduate of the Bilder Nordic School of Photography in Oslo her award winning work appears in magazines and catalogues worldwide More UPCOMING TOURS Patagonia Photo Tour Page Burt Page Burt is the staff naturalist at Bathurst Inlet Lodge She has worked with the Inuit of Bathurst Inlet since 1972 She has also lived in Rankin Inlet and Yellowknife where she worked as an environmental scientist More UPCOMING TOURS Bathurst Inlet Nunavut An Arctic Oasis Patricia Sands Patricia Sands has written two novels set in the south of France The Promise of Provence was a USA Best Book 2013 Finalist Women s Fiction With a focus on travel women s issues and ageing her stories celebrate the feminine spirit and the power of friendship More NO UPCOMING TOURS AT THIS TIME Paula Swart Paula Swart is a museum curator and expert on Asian culture and history Paula has degrees in Sinology Asian art history Chinese history and archaeology and has published several books and numerous articles on the art and architecture of Asian cultures More UPCOMING TOURS Vietnam Angkor Pete Read Pete travels the world on the lookout for amazing landscapes of the most remote kind A well known naturalist Pete brings a special focus on wildlife and wild places to our tours More UPCOMING TOURS Mongolia Galapagos Islands Darwin s Enchanted Isles Nov 16 Yukon Alaska Land of the Midnight Sun 16 Brazil Pantanal Atlantic Forest Cerrado South Africa The Best of the Cape Madagascar Evolution Gone Wild South Africa The Best of the Cape 17 Prof Henry Yu Professor Henry Yu is currently the Principal of St John s Graduate College UBC s international graduate college and is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at UBC More UPCOMING TOURS Japan South Korea with UBC Prof Henry Yu Rick Phillips Rick was the Host and Producer of SOUND ADVICE the weekly guide to classical music and recordings heard across Canada on CBC He s often a juror in the classical music categories for the Juno Awards Rick holds a B Mus from McGill University and a M Mus from the University of Toronto More NO UPCOMING TOURS AT THIS TIME Russell Markel Russell Markel has spent his life and career as a marine ecologist and mariner studying and sailing the BC coast During his PhD in the Department of Zoology at UBC and as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute for Resources Environment and Sustainability UBC Russell focused his research on the relationship between changing ocean climate and marine fish population dynamics and more More UPCOMING TOURS Pacific Rim NP with UBC alumnus Russ Markel Ruthi Segal Ruthi Segal was born in South Africa has lived in Toronto for over 35 years and has travelled extensively all her life A consummate people person her positive attitude sense of humour and infectious spirit of adventure ensures your trip experience will be exceptional More UPCOMING TOURS Spain Amalfi Coast Sandy Girvan Sandy Girvan is an avid traveller and has always infused her sense of humour with a responsible side wherever she goes She has travelled widely and lived abroad for short periods Sandy has often gone on solo travels and has had to be aware of every detail to make sure the adventure was calculated More UPCOMING TOURS Newfoundland Costa Rica Sean Forester Sean Forester is a San Francisco based artist and lecturer He lived in Italy for ten years and trained as a classical painter at the Florence Academy of Art Sean is Director of Art History Humanities and Composition at the Golden Gate Atelier More UPCOMING TOURS Everyday Beauty Japanese Art Culture Shannon Violo Shannon Violo practices law as a paralegal when not travelling Her passion for culture cooking and photography has taken her to many places around the world including a four month stay in Central Italy where she perfected her Italian A safe intuitive confident tour leader Shannon offers a warm energy that guides travellers through a variety of wonderful experiences More UPCOMING TOURS Tuscany Tuscany 17 Sherry Kirkvold Sherry brings a deep love of nature along with her more than 30 years of experience as a naturalist geographer and expedition leader She has

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  • Worldwide Quest - Explorers Club
    We are proud that over 70 of our trips are filled with past clients or travellers referred by past clients We think this is the best endorsement that we are doing things right And to thank our loyal clients we have our Worldwide Explorers Club Travel twice with us and we ll say a special thank you with a 5 discount on your third trip The discount applies to our group tours only and you ll find lots there to choose from Because we know it s what you like to do we reward travel by making it a little easier to travel More About Us The WQ Experience Our Team Explorers Club Questions Ready to book Call 1 800 387 1483 or email us Visit us at 491 King Street East Toronto Ontario Canada M5A 1L9 View Map TICO Reg 2667946 Sign Up for our Newsletter Great travel articles and specials all sent directly to your inbox Sign up today Order Your Catalogues Here All our greatest adventures in one place Request our catalogue Worldwide Quest operates custom designed tours in natural history culture and the arts on all seven continents Worldwide Quest offers a series of small group

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  • Worldwide Quest - 404
    still having trouble getting to the page you want please contact us and we will direct you Questions Ready to book Call 1 800 387 1483 or email us Visit us at 491 King Street East Toronto Ontario Canada M5A 1L9 View Map TICO Reg 2667946 Sign Up for our Newsletter Great travel articles and specials all sent directly to your inbox Sign up today Order Your Catalogues Here All

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  • Worldwide Quest - Blog
    sound of it expelling air from its blowhole catching us all off guard and pumping us full of adrenalin Our expedition s program co ordinator Eva Westerholm is our zodiac guide and the look on her face clearly shows she s exhilarated as the rest of us The next day in the popular whale spot Wilhelmina Bay we are treated to another close encounter when a humpback approaches our zodiac and swims underneath us It s hard to see just where the whale is in the waters below and I have a GoPro in the water filming and hoping I might catch something on tape Then I feel the GoPro shudder a moment before the water around my hand fills with bubbles the whale has sent up our way This is closer than I ever expected to be and then the whale lifts its head out of the water directly beside our zodiac looks at us all with what looks for all the world like a whale smile and gracefully swims away Between the soaring mountains the ice the whales the penguins the seabirds including albatrosses and the seals from crabeater to leopard and elephant there s a lot to see in Antarctica If you want to go for a particular reason you should plan ahead to time your trip just right If penguins are top of your list it s best to go towards the start of the season when you can sit amongst them in pristine snow and avoid the smellier side of penguin life that comes with the build of up guano as the season goes on If you dream of whale encounters you re more likely to see them at the end of the season in February and March For me I wanted to see as much of the ice and the Antarctic continent as I could and so I chose One Ocean s Antarctic Circle Voyage which took us down to 66 52 S 66 38 W and included 14 days and 13 nights on the Russian icebreaker Akademik Ioffe While the Ioffe is comfortable and became a very happy home for me and my fellow travellers this is not a cruise ship Instead it s a working research vessel built for polar exploration Cabins are spread out over three decks and include triple shares and twin shares up to superior cabins and suites There s a comfortable dining room lounge and bar a library and as a special treat for those who love ships the Akademik Ioffe has an open bridge policy so passengers can join the captain and navigator at any time The Ioffe and her sister ship the Akademik Sergey Vavilov take a maximum of 98 passengers which is an important number in Antarctic tourism Under the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators IAATO rules only 100 passengers may go ashore from a vessel at any one time which means every passenger on a One Ocean expedition has the chance to take

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  • Worldwide Quest - Blog
    Shan facilitated a conversation between the two of us last Sept that made a deep and lasting impression on me We have returned to Myanmar November 2014 and Shan helped us to find her once again Her name is Daw Kjin Hla and her nickname is Big Bean In hopes of finding Daw Khin Hla I brought two gifts from Canada for her I brought her maple syrup and a box of maple cookies Shan is translating and explaining what the significance of the maple leaf is on the box Shan is telling me that she would like my address and that next time I come to visit I am invited to stay at her home I love this woman s smile Although I do not understand a word she is saying I can feel the warmth and kindness of her spirit Big Bean s nickname comes from the fact that she sells beans at the market She remembered us and shared the warmth of her smile as I remembered from our visit with her in 2013 The faces of humanity touch me deeply You can see how tiny Big Bean is Shan tells us that we will be the topic of conversation for days to come of our visit and gifts that we brought her from Canada A lovely moment in time that I am grateful for Thanks for all your help in providing us with your services in creating memorable trips for us Cheers Lynette Roger Recent Articles Lynette Husum on Why would you ever want to go to India Hotels in South India You May Never Want to Leave Quest will be at the Festival of Birds From Vegas to the Copper Canyon on the Wings of a Small Reddish brown Bird Private Journey Testimonials Secrets of

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