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What better way to kick off the 2019 overseas season than to return to our second home here on the Amalfi Coast?
The Chestnut wood is being harvested, giving us the chance to see the hard working mules making it all possible.
The wild flowers and herbs are simply stunning and grow wherever you look.
We’ve experienced some wet weather, but even that has a silver lining with the appearance of several Fire Salamanders that are usually so secretive. There are lots of smaller creatures too, if you can spot them.
And of course, what better way to finish the day than to eat a freshly cooked, wood fired, handmade pizza and some fantastic organic wine?
A great summer of expeditions drew to a close this month. Mountain Experience together with Explore! enjoyed three weeks of walking around Lake Como in Lombardy, Italy.
40 clients over three weeks enjoyed great food, fantastic views and for most of the time, great weather.
“We were particularly pleased, once again, to have Nigel as our leader! His combination of local knowledge, historical data and great sense of humour made the walks all the more entertaining. However, this did not detract from the fact that he was very professional in all aspects of safety, organising great ‘continental’ picnics, and seemingly effortlessly booking a different restaurant for every evening. This certainly helped the group to bond well together and I think we all felt quite spoilt! He even managed to fix the weather!” said Marianne from Hove.
Great feedback, but even Nigel can’t take credit for the weather!
Mountain Experience were privileged to join Marlborough Brandt Group and Venture Force for their summer expedition to Gunjur in The Gambia.
Together with local volunteers, the team started the first steps in what will be an excellent resource for the community. Mangoes grow in abundance in the season, but there are so many, that a significant proportion end up rotting on the floor. The community want to use this fantastic resource all year round and want to earn “Fair Trade” status for their orchard and future products.
The team took down an old broken fence, which they then replaced with new posts and fencing. Future work is planned to instal a toilet block, solar powered bore hole pumps and infrastructure to make jams, chutney and dried fruit throughout the year.
The team also undertook cultural visits to the local elders, and visited other parts of the country, learning about their history and current wildlife.
Of course, at this time of the year, it’s rainy season in Gunjur. The team didn’t let this stop their work though, and they embraced the rain, using it as part of their washing routine!
As a finale for the early summer’s tours with Explore and Mont Blanc Adventures, Mountain Experience seized the opportunity for a short notice walking tour based in Dobbiaco, Sud Tyrol.
This fascinating region was previously part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was ceded to Italy following the bitter trench warfare across the mountains during the first World War. Although it is now proudly part of Italy, the area still retains a much more “Austrian” feel with a more northern cuisine and most people speaking German as their lingua franca. Just about everywhere has got two names, one in Italian and one in German.
The scenery is absolutely stunning with breathtaking views in every direction.
11 clients undertook journeys on foot, by bus, train and cable car, thus ensuring the maximum time could be spent on the trails that criss cross the area, even strolling back and forth into Austria on one day. Walks took us below the iconic peaks of the Tre Cime and culminated with ascents of Monte Elmo (2,443m) and Monte Arnese (2,550m) on the Italian Austrian border. Several of the team enjoyed themselves so much that they are already planning a return visit for next year!
Mountain Experience took advantage of a short stop over in Venice whilst waiting for the latest batch of clients to arrive. Between repacking kit and shopping for the next day’s picnic, Nigel was able to make a lightening quick dash in to Venice and see the main sights. Top Tip? Buy the coffee away from St Mark’s Square!
What a fantastic month in Amalfi this year. We’ve experienced some of the clearest views ever, some of the wettest most torrential rain and some of the best food and wine Italy has to offer!
60 clients this month have enjoyed trekking the coastline and surrounding area, with trips to the jewel of Capri, stunning Ravello and Pompeii thrown in for good measure.
As usual, the Valle Delle Ferrier was a favourite for most walkers, and of course the world famous Walk of the Gods continues to impress even on cloudy and wet days.
After a month of superb walks, it was great to kick back on the hot beach with a cold swim and a colder beer! See you next year!
As ever, Mountain Experience are absolutely delighted to be back in Amalfi. This year’s trip has seen some bad weather, but that hasn’t deterred us in the slightest.
Fantastic food, excellent walks, good company and organic wines. The Amalfi coast keeps on delivering! There’s plenty of sun forecast for next week, so roll on the good times.
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.
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.
Mountain Experience, together with Venture Force, were joined by staff and students from Catmose College for a fantastic expedition to Sumatra in Indonesia.
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.