Travel Stories

Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago ……. My Journey….

It’s still dark, 7-30 in the morning, I stop and turn around to look at the now distant lights of the small Spanish village who’s cold empty streets I left behind me almost an hour ago. It’s now the very end of September and the night frosts of Northern Spain lie clearly in the fields and hedge bottoms. My fingers are cold; my feet still a little stiff, and my mind not yet fully functioning on the day ahead of me. Its beginning to get light and I can now just make out the outline of the church and by its side the pilgrims hostel where I spent the previous night. Soon it will be sunrise, a glowing ball of fire rising out of the valley,

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Rebekka's Story

Rebekka was a 23 year old girl full of life who went back packing for the first time in 2001. She travelled and worked for 8 months but unfortunately her time was cut short on 02/02/02. After arriving with a friend in Australia, they travelled for 3 days on a train from Sydney to Cairns, where they met 2 Kiwi cowboys who had work in the outback. These later became their knights in shining armour finding them work also in the outback as Nannies on cattle stations.

They both worked on separate cattle stations, knowing nothing about the outback and their potential dangers, with no previous knowledge or information.They were at least 7 hours drive apart. After leaving work and meeting for a break of travelling to see New Zealand, Rebekka returned to the cattle station.

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Terrifying Ordeal

Heather Recounts a Terrifying Ordeal

The trip to Nepal was something we'd been planning for nearly a year. Myself and three friends had booked a ten day trek around the Annapurnas in the Himalayas, followed by five weeks in India.

The trip was exactly what we needed. We'd just finished our exams and felt revived amongst the wonderful scenery and mountain air. Although the air grew a bit thin at the top, we made it over the Thorong La Pass at 5416m with only mild mountain sickness, and no sign of the Maoist rebels. The trek ended in Pokhora, Nepal's second city. We spent the first day relaxing, shopping and getting our clothes washed! before having a farewell dinner with our guide.

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I was kidnapped - Anick-Marie Bouchard

On February 24 2008, around 1pm, I was kidnapped.

More than three years have passed since this unfortunate event. Luckily, nothing tragic then happened to me. I was neither raped nor stabbed, sequestrated nor assaulted; I was only threatened.

Still, this incident marked the first test of my mental preparation, a giant leap out of my comfort zone, a jump with both feet, almost unconscious, into a danger zone. It marked the end of seven years of quiet, undisturbed hitchhiking. The fly in the ointment but also the beginning of a new era. The end of innocence and the beginning of an intense mental preparation. The dawn of my real career as a hitchhiker.

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Accident in Vietnam

The Financial Services Ombudsman has found Boots’ travel insurance, provider, AIG/Chartis, guilty of unreasonably using small print to avoid a claim and ordered them to pay in full.

James Pinnington fell off a scooter/moped in Vietnam in 2008 and injured himself badly, needing an air ambulance back to intensive care in the UK. Boots’ insurers used a clause in the 50 page small print of the policy which stated that James needed to have a “UK Class A motorcycle licence” to be covered for riding any kind of moped/scooter to refuse the claim. Their local agents informed James that he wasn’t covered while he lay in a village hospital in agony less than 48 hours after the accident.

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Quest Overseas

In 2002 a group of gap year volunteers went with Quest Overseas to work with hundreds of children in a shanty town in Villa Maria, Peru. This project provides a program of cultural and recreational activities for the children during their summer holidays, helping to prevent them from becoming victims of poverty and drug abuse.

A very popular activity for both volunteers and children is swimming in one of the two Olympic size swimming pools situated in the middle of the shanty town. For the rest of the year the children are unable to afford the entrance fee and so it is a real treat and very exciting for them. The Quest students will typically spend an entire afternoon playing with the kids in the pool.

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Streetwise in Vietnam

At the age of 32 I kinda thought I was really street wise and at 'one' with surroundings! I have lived in various cities around the world and have learnt how to conduct myself as a adult – or so I thought!

So when my best friend and I decided enough was enough of the boring 9 to 5 life style and with the sale of my house so I had some money behind me we decided to go travelling......It was and still is one of the best decisions of my life........but stupidity got me into a situation that so easily could have been avoided. I have learnt from it, the hard way but I have defiantly learnt from it.

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