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The Festival au Desert takes place in Essakane, Mali each year. It showcases traditional Tuareg music as well as music from around the world. In January 2008, I was very lucky to have the opportunity to travel to Mali and be a part of this amazing and surreal festival. You may be asking why I found it ‘surreal’. Close your eyes and try to imagine…
As keen walkers we decided to choose Imaginative Traveller’s Alpujarra & Sierra Nevada 8 day walking tour for our holiday last September. The transfer to our village destination of Trevelez from Malaga only took around 3 hours, heading inland towards the mountains. The higher we went the more spectacular the views became.
Football is king in Argentina and as we were in Buenos Aires the day that ‘Team River Plate’ were playing for the cup we felt we couldn’t miss the opportunity to witness the event. As we walked towards the “Monumental” stadium, a sea of white and red football jerseys appeared all around us. The atmosphere was electric with chants of “Vamos, Vamos, Vamos River Plate” rose from the surrounding crowds.
Inti Raymi was the most important celebration of the Incan empire. It was celebrated on 24th June each year which marked the winter solstice and honoured the sun god Inti to ensure that the sun would be generous and allow a good crop in the new year. The Spanish banned this celebration in 1572 calling it pagan and contrary to Catholic beliefs.
India - the ‘Marmite Effect’! By Matt West
I know it’s a cliché, and I’m almost embarrassed to say it, but Madagascar really is like no other place I’ve visited. In the short time that I’ve been here, this island has baffled me, astounded me, frustrated me and charmed me. But I’ve fallen in love with it.
I have just got back from our 16 day ‘Egypt & Jordan Caravan’ tour.
This trip took my breath away and went beyond my already high expectations! On Day 1 we saw the Great Pyramids & Sphinx at Giza. Now when you are standing in front of one of the great wonders of the world on the first day of your tour, you can’t help but think to yourself – ‘wow there goes the highlight of the trip on Day 1!’ … Yet each day that went by simply surpassed itself - you need to do this trip to believe it!
I wake up at 7am to the sound of my phone's alarm and after fumbling around for my glasses I remember where I am - in the Elephant Nature Park near Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. I am on Imaginative Traveller's "Elephants & Adventure" volunteering trip, and am doing my week of volunteering.
Istanbul 2008 - Matt West
May 19th saw me off to Istanbul, a place I have been to many times before but hardly had a chance to really explore the place. This time was to be different.
I was to meet up with Yavuz Salataci our Destination Manager for Turkey, Syria, Iran and Eastern Europe. Yavuz organises all our tours and tour leaders himself. He has been with the company since it began in 1991 and is highly regarded by all who deal with him. He works from a 2-room office (with an office cat that really needs to go on a diet..)
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