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The 2019 Expeditions have started!

What better way to kick off the 2019 overseas season than to return to our second home here on the Amalfi Coast?

Positano is secreted in the bowl of cloud, with the peninsula stretching away toward Capri.

The Chestnut wood is being harvested, giving us the chance to see the hard working mules making it all possible.

Mules are still an integral part of the harvest process for the Chestnut woods, reaching areas that motorised vehicles can’t.

 

The wild flowers and herbs are simply stunning and grow wherever you look.

Wild Garlic is flowering alongside many of the walks, with a subtle but alluring smell!

A beautiful (and poisonous!) Fire Salamanader. They are usually nocturnal, but will come out on a rainy day.

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.

This is a “Scarabaeus Sacer” or Sacred Scarab beetle. It’s a dung roller that can shift many times it’s own body weight.

 

 

 

Pasquale catching a pizza he’s just spun.

 

 

 

 

 

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?

 

Autumn brings a close to the summer expeditions with Mountain Experience.

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.

The view from a walk high above the lake.

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!

A dip in the “solar heated” pool was as good as an ice bath for tired legs!

Every village had fabulous views over the lake.

That’s it for Amalfi this year

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.

Brilliant blue sky isn’t always needed.

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.

This view never fails to impress.

Some times it’s nice to just relax at the end of a month’s walking!

 

 

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!

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.

 

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!

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!