Speaking this month we have:
1st. Laura Kennington – Taking the Leap
If there’s one thing that Laura’s certain of, it’s that we are all capable of much more than we realise – all it takes is a little self-belief and a hearty pinch of perseverance. Having quite literally leapt out of her comfort zone a few years ago whilst cliff-diving in America, she now enthusiastically encourage others through to think big, be brave and to start now.
Laura’s talks are about the importance of mindset when it comes to challenges of any kind. From the planning and logistics that go on behind the scenes, to the endurance capability of the human body and how to deal with the unexpected!
Laura Kennington is a British adventure athlete with a passion for the endurance capability of the human body. Previous adventures include solo cycling the world’s longest coastal route in Ireland, solo cycling Scotland’s North Coast 500 route, running the length of Fuerteventura (100 miles) in 4 days and circumnavigating three of the Channel Islands using three different sporting disciplines as part of a rather extreme triathlon! She has most recently returned from solo cycling 3700 miles along the North Sea-facing coasts of 8 countries, from Scotland to Norway!
A strong believer in the positive impact that adventure and sport can have on children and adults alike, Laura uses her human powered journeys as a platform to inspire and encourage others to get outside.
2nd. Russell Maddicks – Surprising El Salvador: Volcanic Peaks, Pacific Beaches, and Delicious Pupusas in Central America’s Tiny Treasure
In this talk, travel writer and guide book author Russell Maddicks goes beyond the media stereotypes to show the other side of El Salvador: a country of sleepy colonial towns with cobblestone streets; cloud-forest coffee haciendas producing the best beans in the world; isolated beaches sought out by surfers for their world class breakers; and unusual Mayan ruins giving unique insights into this mysterious Meso-American civilization.
A two-week trip around Central America’s smallest nation, gave him the chance to climb an active volcano and whiff the sulphur, try the local moonshine chaparro straight out of the copper still, enjoy an impromptu cooking class in how to make the nation’s favourite dish pupusas, and marvel at the country’s wildlife during an encounter with an endangered turtle.
He also visited the shrine of the Salvadoran human rights advocate and martyr Oscar Romero, a Catholic Archbishop tragically shot dead at the altar in 1980 who was recently made a Saint by the Pope, and interviewed a cheery ex-guerrilla who fought in the civil war during the 1990s and who now works as a park ranger to protect the country’s forests.
Every day of the trip brought a new surprise, whether it was learning that El Salvador produces the best natural indigo dye in the world, or trying a craft beer named Suegra (Mother-in-Law), because it’s dulcemente amarga (sweetly bitter).The lasting impressions he took with him are of fire-in-the-sky Pacific sunsets, the warm and welcoming smiles of the people he met along the way, and a nostalgic craving for Salvadoran street food.
About the Speaker
Russell Maddicks is a BBC-trained journalist and travel writer who has spent the last 20 years exploring the countries of Latin America and publishing his experiences in print, online and in social media. A graduate in Economic and Social History from the University of Hull, England, he is fluent in Spanish and loves nothing better than mastering the country-specific slang of the Latin American countries he visits.
He has worked as a reporter and editor at the Daily Journal newspaper in Caracas, the editor of a webzine aimed at the Latin American youth market called Loquesea! (Whatever!), and for 10 years worked as a regional specialist at the BBC covering political developments and general news across Latin America.
He is the author of travel guides to Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua and Venezuela, and has written articles for numerous international publications, including BBC Travel, National Geographic Traveller, the Mexico News Daily, Latino Life Magazine, ArtNews, and Songlines.
In 2015, his book Culture Smart! Ecuador was awarded the Gold Prize at the Pearl of the Pacific International Travel Journalism Awards at the Ecuadorian International Tourism Fair (FITE) in Guayaquil.
An accomplished public speaker, he has given illustrated talks on Latin American travel destinations at the World Travel Market in London, the Globetrotter’s Club, the Telegraph Outdoor and Adventure Travel Show, Destinations: The Holiday and Travel Show, and at UK colleges and universities.
You can follow his Latin American travels on Twitter and Instagram
London branch meetings are held at The Church of Scotland, Crown Court, behind the Fortune Theatre in Covent Garden the first Saturday of each month, unless there is a UK public holiday that weekend.
Admission costs, we charge a small cash fee of £3 for Globetrotters members and £6 for non-members on the door to cover our expenses, tea/coffee and biscuits are included free in the interval between the talks.
You do not need to be a member to attend, and we do not sell advanced tickets, please just come on the day, the doors open at 2:15pm and the program starts around 2:30pm with each talk lasting between 45 – 60 minutes.
There is no London meeting in August, but we start afresh each September. If you would like to keep up to date with what’s happening at the Globetrotters London meetings and to be sent email reminders prior to the meeting, please sign up here