Saturday, Oct 1, 2011

This month our two speakers are:

  • Russell Maddicks — Exploring Venezuela: A Land of Natural Wonders

    Russell Maddicks, the author of the Bradt Guide to Venezuela will highlight some of the most fascinating areas of Venezuela to visit and what you can expect to see and do. Drawing on his experience of adventuring in Venezuela for more than 20 years, the Russell will take you to:

    • The “Lost World” mountain of Roraima and the unique ecosystem of its summit
    • The unique thunderless lightning phenomenon in the south of Lake Maracaibo known as Catatumbo Lightning
    • The magical mountain of Sorte where devotees of Maria Lionza practice a syncretic religion unique to the country
    • The record-breaking and awe-inspiring waterfall of Angel Falls, known as Kerepacupai-meru to the local Pemon people.

    One of the 17 most megadiverse countries in the world, Venezuela is home to Caribbean beaches, dense rainforests, high Andean valleys, mysterious table-top tepui mountains, and seasonally-flooded plains that are literally teeming with birds, beasts and creepy-crawlies.

    Venezuela is also alive with the sound of folk music, from the Afro-Venezuelan tambores of the coast, to the harp-driven Joropo songs of Los Llanos and during his talk Russell will present several examples of the music to be found in the regions he discusses.

    For more information see:


  • Rona Cant — Just do it – become the best you can be!

    Once an unexceptional, single parent she took part in the BT Global Challenge Round the World Yacht Race (the toughest yacht race in the world); two days later she embarked on the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island (one of the world’s toughest), encountering bears and cougars. Rona helped organise and was on The Nordkapp Expedition, dogsledding in the Arctic Circle to the northernmost tip of Europe, a trail thought to be impossible.

    Rona tells how she has achieved her goals using stories from her childhood, her marriage, how she entered into a life of adventure, her diverse adventures and what she has accomplished.

    For more information see:

London branch meetings are held at The Church of Scotland, Crown Court, behind the Fortune Theatre in Covent Garden at 2.30pm the first Saturday of each month, unless there is a UK public holiday that weekend.

There is no London meeting in August, but we start afresh each September.

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