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The Gambia with Venture Force, Part 1

Mountain Experience were delighted to accompany Venture Force volunteers on the first of this year’s trips to Gunjur in The Gambia. Away from the hurly burly of the tourist areas, The Gambia is still a very traditional society. The people there are overwhelmingly friendly and keen to learn about you as they show you their home.

 

There are some huge trees in the area.

Colourful fishing boats in the rural beachside town of Gunjur

Local women in their best outfits for a wedding

 

During the trip, the adult volunteers visited local homes, community representatives and locations selected for future charity work. They undertook building and renovation work to a community centre that will be the base for Part 2, which will involve a group of young adults working on developing a Fair Trade orchard for mangoes.

Laying a floor for our future accommodation.

 

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Sultry Sumatra. Our first overseas trip for 2018

Mountain Experience, together with Venture Force, were joined by staff and students from Catmose College for a fantastic expedition to Sumatra in Indonesia.

Food for thought.

 

On our way to the waterfalls.

The students undertook educational visits to learn about the impact of palm oil on the rainforest and how that impinges on the wildlife living there. Having seen the impact, the students worked especially hard when replanting indigenous trees in an area that had been recovered from illegal palm oil plantations.

 

Orangutan usually stay up in the trees, but this BIG guy decided to come down and get a closer look at us!

The students undertook a mixture of education and adventure travel.

The elephants particularly like a good scrub with a hard brush!

Nadolig Llawen – Merry Christmas!

Nadolig Llawen, Merry Christmas!
Have a great Christmas and we’ll see you in 2018 for more adventures off the beaten track!

Arrivederci Amalfi. See you next year!

The beautiful view from high above the Bay of Naples. You can see Ravello, Maiori and of course Amalfi.
Stunning mountain scenery and the Med below.

Well it’s time to say goodbye to Amalfi for 2017, but we will definitely be returning in 2018.

Although the dates are not yet confirmed, we can say that Mountain Experience will team up with Mont Blanc Adventures and Explore! to lead on their justifiable bestseller, Amalfi Coast Walks. We will be there for three or four weeks sometime between mid April and the end of May and would love to see some of our readers there.

Cake for breakfast, incredibly priced organic wine and calorie free gelato! (One of those things isn’t actually true). What’s not to get excited about!

Valentino preparing to serve just one of the courses from an evening meal.

Looking back to the mainland from Capri

Mountain Experience now working in Switzerland.

We recently broadened our area of operations and spent a week trekking in Switzerland with HF Holidays.

Head of Lauterbrunnen Valley

Our group spent a week walking under the Eiger in the Lauterbrunnen Valley before moving on to Kandersteg and the beautiful Ochinensee before finishing at Zermatt, beneath the stunning Matterhorn.

Stunning views, great food and great company. For most people the highlight was a visit to the Trift Hut and an ascent of the Wisshorn a 2,936 metre high peak above the hut.

One customer had this to say, “The guide – Nigel Lewis – was superb and an excellent mountain leader.

The Ochinensee above Kandersteg.

The iconic Matterhorn or Il Cervino as it’s known in Italy.

Malaysia with Venture Force and Kendrick School

Just a few of the Hindu Gods at Temple

Nigel Lewis taking a water break in the Cameron Highlands.
Photo by Martha Case.

Mountain Experience were delighted to work with Venture Force for the first time this year. Together with co-leader Lucie Clewer, we joined staff and pupils from Kendrick School on their expedition to Malaysia. The team undertook work with homeless and disadvantaged people in Kuala Lumpur before moving on to the Cameron Highlands. There they visited a number of Temples and a Tea Plantation, before undertaking a tough four day jungle trek in quite testing conditions.

Guiding the hatchling to the sea.

 

Another day was spent white water rafting before the team returned to hard work with The Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia. Hatchlings were released into the sea, nests were examined and details recorded, beaches were cleaned and even the Visitor Centre had a make over with some gardening. The students also designed and painted an excellent educational mural onto furniture at the hatchery.

 

Nigel Lewis with co-leader Lucie Clewer.
Photo by Martha Case.

A great bunch of students, an excellent co-leader and two really supportive and switched on teachers. A trip worth repeating!

 

Kenya with Camps International and Bishopbriggs School

28 days in Kenya with 22 students and 2 great teachers. What’s not to enjoy!

The central peaks of Batian and Nelion, with Point Lenana to the left.

The team from Bishopbriggs School spent time carrying out environmental and humanitarian projects that support the people of Kenya. They dug ditches, laid floors, treated livestock and made bricks. Amazingly, they almost completed a whole new house from scratch on a greenfield site!

Part of a family group that we saw in the National Park.

They relaxed with some time at the beach and wildlife watching in the world famous Tsavo National Park and surrounding ranches.

Early morning sun over the peaks of Terere and Sendeyo

Our route up the valley toward the peaks.

The high point, quite literally, was an ascent of Point Lenana on Mount Kenya. At 4, , it stands higher than anything in the European Alps. The whole team was successful in gaining the summit and can be really proud of everything they achieved on the trip.

Teacher, Mr Duncan said, “I couldn’t recommend Nigel Lewis and his company highly enough. One month with 22 teenagers in Kenya; including a trek up mount Kenya and a number of projects. You can imagine the challenges. One of the most intelligent and trustworthy human beings I have ever met.”

An excellent trip, an excellent team!