Tag Archives: March 2012

World of travel

Sent to The Ant:-

Dear Editor, we are a unique cooking school based in Brittany France.  We wondered whether your membership might enjoy the opportunity to cook and enjoy some great food and wine with us. We specialise in French and modern European cuisine and offer full board and excellent facilities during our gourmet cooking and wine courses. We offer some amazing deals which are well worth exploring. More information is available on our website but do contact me should you have any specific questions.

With best wishes

Poul Jensen

French Dining School
22330 St Goueno

FranceTel 0033296344381
Email info@frenchdiningschool.com
Web www.frenchdiningschool.com

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Write in (1) …Bishkek to Beijing with Gavin Fernandes

Long term club member, traveller extraordinaire and beer connoisseur Gavin has done it again with his latest adventure !  Whilst at the Travel Adventure show in London, Gavin entered Oasis Overland’s competition to win a place on their 40 day Silk Road expedition and won !  Congratulations Gavin and as he says in his own words… 🙂

The Ant

So here’s the story so far…

It all started with the Adventure Travel Show 2012 for which I volunteered as an Independent Travel Advisor as I have done every year if I’m in London and The Globetrotters Club has a stand there…

Shortly after getting details of the venue from Dick, I discovered the Show’s Facebook page and clicked-on so I got their updates. One of the first tweets was news that Oasis Overland were offering places on their Silk Road Expedition at half price for a limited time as a Show Offer. It was to be an “Exploratory” trip and would be followed by a Japanese film crew documenting the journey and one of their travelling countrymen as he made this 15 week overland trip. Apparently they’d filmed a couple of overland trips before on other continents, also featuring Japanese passengers as part of a series to introduce this relatively unknown method of travel to their viewers.

I had a quick look at the website and then emailed the company to check if the offer details were true and express my interest in the trip. I got a reply confirming that it was an offer for the duration of the travel shows and responded that I would come and chat to them there…

When I did, I discovered that they were also running a raffle to win a place on the trip; one winner from a prize draw at this show, another from the Destinations Show a week later. Each would win half the trip: either Istanbul to Bishkek or Bishkek to Beijing.

I was still mulling over the idea of doing the trip when I arrived at Destinations to discover that a winner had been drawn for the first leg – and it wasn’t me… but I could enter the second draw now..!

I was somewhat taken aback to receive a phone call the following week to tell me that my name had been picked out of the box and I’d won a place on the trip from Bishkek to Beijing!

In the days that followed, the question was “How do I get to Bishkek?” Do I now buy the first leg of the trip from Istanbul or fly to Kyrgyzstan? I considered all sorts of options including a route through Georgia and Armenia, transiting Azerbaijan and crossing the Caspian before coming down through Turkmenistan to meet the truck in Ashgabat!

My current plan is to join the trip in eastern Turkey before the drive across Iran. I’ve travelled around Turkey twice before (once on another truck on a similar route) so I’ll take the chance visit some new places in the country instead.

And at the end of the trip, I end up in north-east China, where I was based for a year in 2007 studying for a Master’s in photography. Might be a few friends and colleagues to look up…

This is the full trip as advertised on their website at full price


and I’ve attached an image of the route map.

Bishkek to Beijing
Bishkek to Beijing

Any other questions, please do ask…!


Meeting news from the Ontario, Canada branch

Future Presentations on & Possible topics:

  • Friday, May 25, 2012 – Northern Argentina by Eduardo Barnett and Svatka Hermanek
  • Saturday, July ? – Greece and Turkey by Jay Wopperer and Linda Schmieder
  • Friday, Sept. 21 – Cycling in Cuba/Nicaragua by Mark Franklin, Practice Leader,
  • Friday, Nov. 16 – Career Cycles Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand with Friendship Force by Mort Sider and Marilyn Weber

Ontario meetings are held at 8.00pm on the third Friday of January, March, May (4th Friday), September and November, at OLD YORK TOWER, 85 The Esplanade, Toronto; corner of Church St. and The Esplanade;  2 blocks east of Union Station.  Public parking garage beside Old York Tower at the foot of Church St.)

Everyone welcome especially visiting travellers J 

For more information contact Svatka Hermanek at hermanek@yahoo.ca, Bruce Weber at bruceaweber@hotmail.com / on tel. 416 203-0911 or Paul Webb on tel. 416 694-8259.

March meeting news from the Chester, UK branch by Hanna, Angela & Eve

Hallo to everyone again

We had a really great meeting again, with 2 fantastic speakers!  If you couldn’t make it we have written a short review of the talks so you get the gist of what went on!

Hope to see you for our next meeting again, Saturday May 19th and the talks are as follows:-

  • My time in Australia  speaker: Matthew Proe
  • From Kathmandu to Tibet  speaker: Dominique Schickele

See you on the 19th of May

Kind Regards

Hanna, Angela and Eve

Chester Globetrotters meeting on Saturday 17th of March 2012

The first talk was by Madeleine Anderson who had made a journey to South Africa to do the Garden Route by bike.  Madeleine has been a Globetrotter for many years and loves to travel off the beaten track.

Having arrived in Port Elizabeth, via Johannesburg, they transferred to Tsisikama National Park to commence the cycle ride, via Knysna to Mossel Bay.  The roads were well off the beaten track and bumpy at times but they had good mountain bikes which carried the small group further on to Cape Agulhas, the most southerly point of the African continent, next stop: Antarctica!

Back on the bike sharing the terrain with the local wildlife along the coast, over Chapman’s Peak onto Haut Bay where the cyclists shared an amazing sense of achievement to have arrived at their end point. On the way they stopped to include a whale watching trip but no whales to be seen at that time, they were rewarded later on in the trip off the coast in Simons Town where they saw whales and porpoise frolicking in the sea.

A visit was made to the Langa Township where a tour of the place gave some insight into the way of life there.  Madeleine felt that it could be seen as voyeuristic and different opinions exist on this subject.

The whole journey was a wonderful success and Madeleine met up with a friend who lived locally and together they had a helicopter flight over Cape Town before the moment that she had to return back to Blighty !

The second talk was by John Sunter about Lisbon, the cheapest city in Europe – John travels as much as he can and loves a good bargain trip!

John had £150 to spend and the first thing he did was going on the website Moneysaving flychecker to find the cheapest deal available to him, he managed to get a  flight and hotel for 3 nights for under £150.Planning is important for John and he visited the more important sights such as Baixa,  Avenida , Alfama in the morning so that gets the most out the trip. Mornings are cooler and you have more energy! John found that wherever  you are it always pays off to ask a builder for cheap places to eat so look out for a building site!

Baixa and Avenida are in the centre of Lisbon and close to the water, there is a lovely atmosphere with the old buildings and some of the time of the Moors. You can sit by the water and relax, there is always something going on there.

Alfama is the very old area with all the alleyways, very steep and many houses still with the blue/white tiling as decoration.  The top of the hill houses  Castle Sao Jorge, which was build originally in 1147 and rebuild a few times over the years, the latest rebuild in 1938.

John talked about the history of the city, the spice trade and ships sailing from there to the Cape of Good Hope, which is a link with Madeleine’s talk. He managed to visit the maritime museum which was worth it and enjoyed every minute of his stay in Lisbon!

The info he got from one of the builders in the city paid off, Burger and Chips £ 2.80, Pizza enough for 3 people £8 and a Chinese Buffet £ 3 each, so a lot of good advice and tips to spend a great time in Lisbon.

We had a good turn out again and lots of stories to share in the tea break. We went to the Golden Eagle afterwards where we shared a pint and more stories and friendships were made.  Chester Globetrotters gets better every time!

Chester meetings are held at The Grosvenor Museum, 25 – 27 Grosvener Street, Chester, CH1 2DD.

Tickets £3 including refreshments.

For more information contact Angela, Hanna or Eve for further information of this & future events at Chester via email at chesterbranch@globetrotters.co.uk

February meeting news from the London, UK branch by The Ant

As I’m way behind on eNewsletters and there have been a number of London meetings since my last edition, I thought I’d just highlight February’s meeting, as both talks were fascinating from different perspectives:-

  • Neil Harris – “Ethiopia: A country of two halves; history in the north, tribal Africa in the south.”

Neil Harris is a keen photographer and since retirement an avid traveller. He talked about and showed photographs of Ethiopia. A country of two halves. The north contains many historic monuments, it was one of the first countries to embrace Christianity, while in the south tribal peoples live a lifestyle largely unchanged since before the arrival of Europeans. The building of a large dam across the Omo River threatens this way of life, this, along with ongoing extensive improvement to the road system throughout the country means Ethiopia is about to change forever.

  • Sarah Murray – From the Magnificent to the Macabre: Send-Offs for the Dead.

Sarah Murray, author of Making an Exit, travelled the world in search of the best send offs. She described her encounters with everything
from a spectacular Balinese royal cremation and a chandelier in the Czech Republic made entirely from human bones to the American death
care industry’s biggest road show and a ghoulish Sicilian crypt where mummified corpses line the walls.  We joined Sarah for an engaging and
highly personal discussion in which she talked about some of the extraordinary rites and monuments she found on her travels (she might
even tell you about the plans for her own eventual send off).

See http://makinganexit.net/sarah-murray-biography/ for more details of Sarah’s remarkable interests !

The London branch’s future meetings are detailed at http://globetrotters.co.uk/local-meetings/london-meetings/lm-schedule.html.  


London 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 – then the meeting rolls forward to the next weekend.

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

For more information, contact the Globetrotters Info line on +44 (0) 20 7193 2586, or visit the web site: http://globetrotters.co.uk/local-meetings.html

Welcome to eNewsletter March 2012

Hello all 🙂 ,

Welcome to this very late, first edition of 2012 !  I’ve been too caught up in family life & working and so now I’m trying to catch up with many a missed travelling tale/Globetrotter story !!

In this edition we’ve got plenty of club news, including a fantastic trip by long term Globie Gavin Fernandes and plenty of news from Chester & Toronto branches.

Hopefully you’ll find the wait on my slow editorial efforts worth it.  In the meantime I will endeavour to get back to a more regular output, so keep those stories & news items coming,

The Ant

What is happening across the wider travel world ?

  • October 2011 travel award winner Nick Hunt’s,  “…exploration in the footsteps of Patrick Leigh Fermor…across Europe from Holland to Istanbul.” http://afterthewoodsandthewater.wordpress.com/
  • Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition and World Photo London.  Marking the 5th Anniversary of the Sony World Photography Awards, the winners’ exhibitions will be on show inside the Embankment Galleries. In this vast photographic exhibition, you will find some of the best contemporary images taken by photographers from across the globe. Mixed media installations will include traditional print, video, moving image and 3D, with subjects spanning all genres, including fine art, fashion, portraiture, sport and photojournalism.Alongside the exhibition at Somerset House, World Photo London (27-29 April) is returning for its annual weekend of events. The programme is for anyone who enjoys photography, from photography fans to practicing enthusiasts, including; City Project Workshops, Business of Photography Seminar, Blurb Drop-In Workshops, Critique Sessions and Winners Tours.

    Many events are free and students receive 20% discount on most ticketed events.

  • Frommer’s publish a list of global events that have plenty of ideas for travellers – enjoy at http://events.frommers.com/sisp/index.htm
  • follow the progress of the “It’s on the meter team” and their round the world journey by London taxi at http://www.itsonthemeter.com/
  • follow the progress of Sarah Outen’s “London2London” adventure at http://www.sarahouten.com

That’s all for now, enjoy the read and keep sending me more of your stories, adventures and articles 🙂  Happy 2012 to you all…
The Ant     theant@globetrotters.co.uk

Write in (2)…GTs and social media !

Club member Agata Zborowska has spent time & effort trying to raise GT’s profile and wants to tell you about:-

Globetrotters Club finally has an active Facebook Page and Group.

Globetrotters Facebook Page

Globetrotters Page is there for anyone from general public who can ‘Like’ our Club if they find it interesting and enjoy our talks. It is regularly updated with upcoming talks, news and links for our speakers. If you are on Facebook you can like it as well and invite your friends to do the same. The more of us the better!


 Globetrotters Club Group

Globetrotters Club Group is there for all current members who can share links, experiences and thoughts. This is only accessible for Globies with active membership


GT Travel Award

What is the award ?

Are you inspired by all this talk of travel ?

Are you ready for you own independent adventure ?

Or do you know someone who could benefit from a helping hand into the wider world ?

Each year the club offers up to two £1,000awards to give out for the best independent travel plan, as judged by the club’s Committee.

The deadline to receive applications for the next award is 31 May 2012, but the club’s Committee are yet confirm that deadline.

See the legacy page on the club’s web site for more details, where you can review previous winners’ trips and/or apply with your plans for a totally independent, travel trip.

If your idea catches our eye we’ll take a closer look at what you’re proposing and give you feedback & maybe a helping hand on your journey of a lifetime !!

Other travel clubs

Other travel clubs that might have a similar ethos to Globetrotters 🙂

  • www.bootsnall.com – online travel guide, trip planning resource, and network for the independent traveller
  • Women Traveling Together –
    membership organization specializing in small group travel for women. Also offers assistance in locating travel companions.
  • Camper Clubs of America is designed to help web surfers find the best outdoor sporting equipment online
  • World Travelers of America (WTA) offers newsletter, several discount programs, travel advisory and safety brochures, and more.
  • South American Explorers – looks like a treasure trove of South American information
  • Women Welcome Women World Wide; fondly referred to as 5W.  This is a club for women (mates and children are usually welcomed) who are interested in meeting and greeting new friends from different cultural backgrounds. Founded and headquartered in United Kingdom.  Has lots of international European Union members.  All the particulars can be found on the internet.
  • The Affordable Travel Club is based in Washington, USA.  Host/Hostesses provide overnight or more lodging and breakfast for visitors.  Can be more if guest clear in advance with host/hostess. Particulars can be found at internet address provided.
  • The Evengreen Club: is very similar to the affordable Travel Club.
  • CouchSurfing.  This group tends to on the young side and into roughing it if necessary in order to have a place to sleep and bathing accommodations.
  • http://www.travellerclub.org/ – Austrian travel club has been a travel community since at least 1996
  • http://www.dzg.com/ – German Globetrotters club, has been holding active meetings since publishing the “Trotter” magazine since 1974
  • http://www.swisstravelclub.ch/ – venerable Swiss Travel Club

Keep those suggestions coming… The Ant

Write for the eNewsletter

If you enjoy writing & travelling, why not write for the free Globetrotters eNewsletter !  The Ant would love to hear from you: your travel stories, anecdotes, jokes, questions, hints and tips, or your hometown or somewhere of special interest to you. Over 15,000 people currently subscribe to the Globetrotter eNewsletter.

Email The Ant at  theant@globetrotters.co.uk with your travel experiences / hints & tips / questions. Your article should be approximately 1000 words, feature up to 3 or 4 jpeg photos and introduce yourself with a couple of sentences and a contact e-mail address.