Back in April last year I went of a solo trip to Florence & Pisa. I’ve been meaning to write a blog for ages, but never seemed to get round to it and I just found my travel journal and … Continue reading
On Saturday evening I headed off to Wildmoor Heath in the hope to capture a sunset over the heath with all the heather in bloom. Unfortunately when I got there it was rather cloudy but I was blessed with seeing … Continue reading
On the weekend of 20th & 21st January 2018 I attended the Adventure Travel Show for the first time. Now, I’d never actually heard of the show before considering its been running for 22 years! I booked tickets for the weekend after hearing about it Wanderlust Magazine (or it may have been their email newsletter – I can’t remember), I’ve been reading the magazine for a while now and daydreaming about travel for months, getting itchy feet and such so I thought why not?
The event is held at Olympia in London not going to lie I usually come here for Olympia Horse Show so it was quite a transformation! If you haven’t heard of the Adventure Travel Show either its the UK’s only event dedicated to discovering the world off the beaten track.
I attended a number of talks over the Saturday & Sunday which I have listed below:
- Exploring Canada’s Wilderness – Richard Harpham
- Quintessential Canadian Paddling Trips in Algonquin and Killarney Provincial Parks – Ted East & Randy Mitson, Destination Ontario.
- Kit Lists Unpacked – Ann Foules, trekMountains.
- Get off the beaten track – Andy Jennings, Moto Aventures.
There were two other talks I was interested in attending on the Saturday (the times clashed a bit) but I ended up down in first aid for a few hours so unfortunately missed out on Ocean Giants: close encounters in out Blue Planet and Justine Gosling’s talk on exploring the Arctic.
On the Saturday I also attended a seminar which was Improving your travel photography hosted by Keith Wilson.
- Adventures in Sudan – Simon Grove, Explore Worldwide
- Epic paddling adventures into the wilds of Canada – Harlan Schwartz & Jake O’Flaherty, Destination Ontario.
- How to start your adventure (Panel) – Dave Cornthwaite & Friends
- How to get to the start line of an adventure despite other people’s doubts – Lindsey Cole
- Things I wish I knew before travelling – Duncan Milligan
- Things no one tells you about travel – but should – Pip Stewart
- Brilliant Baja – Helen Bryon, Wildlife Worldwide
- Things to consider when choosing a volunteering project abroad – Tom Gore, Kaya Responsible Travel.
As you can see I attended a number of talks, there was an array of talks to choose from and sometimes it was difficult to choose which one to attend if the times clashed!
I enjoyed all the talks I went to, but I must say I have four favourites which I loved hearing and they were;
Things no one tells you about travel – but should – Pip Stewart
Got those little voices that try and stop you doing things? We all do! In this talk, adventurer Pip Stewart will suggest how to stop them through sharing her own experiences, from the highs and lows of her 16,000km cycle ride from Malaysia to London (including nearly being blown up by unexploded mortars) as well as what it was like living with indigenous communities in the remote Amazon. Warning: monkey heads and termites for breakfast may be featured.
How to get to the start line of an adventure despite other people’s doubts – Lindsey Cole
One of the hardest things about an adventure is getting to the start line. There’s a lot of planning, wondering if it’s possible and other people can put you off. I explain how I use negative responses I’ve received during planning to not just get to the start line but also to the end. Examples of adventures: walking the Rabbit Proof Fence, Circumnavigating Australia with truck drivers, roller skating to Bude and running with Kenyans.
Things I wish I knew before travelling – Duncan Milligan
How do you stop yourself getting into situations that aren’t quite what you were expecting? What sort of mind-set allows for the best travel experiences? How do you avoid the normal pitfalls of travelling through the developing world? Learn from the mistakes of one man who has made them all and survived to tell the tale.
How to start your adventure (Panel) – Dave Cornthwaite & Friends
Dave Cornthwaite and guests share a feast of tips about how to come up with amazing adventures, the best ways to plan and how to make sure your first big adventure goes without (much of) a hitch.
So, here’s 5 things I took away from the talks I attended and yes, they are probably from the four talks listed above!
- “Be a bit careful – travel with change you in unexpected ways. Don’t chose happiness, chase adventure” – Pip Stewart
Pip’s talk is one of my top 2, it was a really interesting and engaging talk it was another I found made me chuckle and I loved seeing the little clips shown throughout the talk.
- “All these people will try to put you off. It’s easier not to do it then it is to do it.” – Lindsey Cole. Lindsey’s talk is defiantly in my top 2, not going to lie. It was so relatable but it was also really funny and she had us all chuckling away in the audience. Some of the messages Lindsey shared with us that she had received from people were shocking but her responses made me cry of laughter. And hey, why not? Adventure is addictive after all.
- “Say yes more – nudge towards adventure. Adventures can start anywhere” – Dave Cornthwaite & Friends
- “Don’t take the same pictures that you have already seen in magazines, online or postcards. Why repeat it? Is it really your photo?” – Keith Wilson
- “Travel can show you your superpower. It will strip you to your essence” – Pip Stewart.
Of course, there wasn’t just the talks at the event there was tons of stands to walk around and loads of brochures to pick up! All in all I had a great weekend and will defiantly be back next year and I might even pluck up the courage to speak to people!
Have you been ? Plan to go next year ?
I feel like keeping a journal is becoming a chore. It’s covered with scruffy handwriting, words I can’t even make out due to the hand cramps.
I have no idea where we went today, I took note of a few places we passed, but that’s about it. Bob, Fran and I drove to numerous places to find the wild horses. I got promoted to the front of the car, so I wouldn’t get left behind again, which is also a bonus as I can see out more of windows.
The majority of the day is spent driving in the car do the different locations. Bob said you could drive the length of the UK all the miles we put in. I can see his point, you can drive for miles and miles out here, not passing any towns or houses, whereas back home you would. I mean we have not passed a single gas station out here. I wonder what happens if they run out of fuel?
Thing is, I don’t mind the long drives, as it is something I have always loved; looking out windows, watching the world pass by and keeping a look out for wildlife of course. Thus, this is what I did on this journey. As soon as we left a whopping great big bird flew over the jeep. Spreading its wings, it soared overhead.
A Bald Eagle. It was huge! And so close, you could see its big menacing beak! It’s a shame I didn’t have my camera out. How unfortunate, as I saw 2 Bald Eagles today and no one will ever believe I’ve seen one now.
En route we saw loads of wolf tracks and when I say loads, I mean loads; I would love to see a pack of wolves out here!
In actual fact we saw a number of different tracks today. Because of the recent snowfall it’s easy to spot. Wolves, Moose, Cougar and Pine Martin were the tracks we saw today, along with a Golden Eagle and a Flicker which is a type of woodpecker.
Back to the journey…
Looking out for signs to give an indication to where we are heading, I noticed we passed Bearberry. Not long after, we pull into a forestry area, and spot three horses immediately close to some trees. The bay stallion looked like he’d been in the wars to protect his mares, scars covering his body. We carry on in this area and come across three more horses, all bays again. They were on the edge of the road in a snowy area, which was great, and then it started snowing. Luckily I managed to get some snaps before it got too heavy. As we left, directly opposite we spotted a chestnut stuck in a power line area, so Fran and Bob opened the fence up so he could find his way out.
Moving on we entered this massive forest and didn’t see horses for what felt like hours. We took various paths and eventually found them in a little valley area where the grass was sparse. The strange was we’d driven past areas with loads of grass, yet no horses! In this area we saw 3 young studs. It was a lovely spot for pictures and created a lovely background with beautiful light. I’m glad they played ball and posed as some of my favourite images come from this area.
Considering the amount of miles we put it, we saw very few horses. It’s funny how they are getting culled because ‘there’s too many’. From about 2pm-5pm we saw none. We even went off-roading up this steep hill, (“Hold onto your hats people” was Fran’s Quote), which was a little hairy, but the view was fantastic.
After a long day I was dropped back at the hotel and rang a Sarah whom moved out here 10 years ago from London. It was recommended I get in touch with her by Bob and Fran so I did that this evening and ended up going out to dinner with her and her family. It was a lovely meal and really nice to eat with people instead of alone.
Just a quick update really as I have started working 5 days a week photos and getting out and about is limited. But spotting and seeing wildlife isn’t! Fortunately for me I work outside with horses at the college I went to, it got lots of lovely open spaces, meadows and woods! So whenever I am out an about on the yard or poo picking (glamorous) I am always on the lookout for wildlife. I used to say to my good friend ‘I should have a tv show called Wildlife at work or birding with Louise’ as when I spot something I’m always pointing it out as quite often it goes unseen!
So the wildlife I’ve seen at work this summer includes:
- The swallows nesting in the stables.
- House martins flying around
- Plenty of Red kites!
- Pied wagtail
- Ring necked parakeets
- Green woodpecker
- Collared doves
- Loads of crows and pigeons!
- Fox – spotted at about 10.30am!
- and lastly this week a Little Owl!!!!!
Personally the Little Owl is a highlight for me, I’ve only every caught a glimpse of a Barn Owl hunting at dusk from a car and have always wanted to see a Little Owl. I thought I saw a the owl last Sunday when it flew out in front of me, a bit confused at the strange bird I thought it looked owl like but wasn’t 100% certain. But on Monday I found out indeed it was the little owl. I was casually going into a field to help catch two ponies when on a fence post nearby I saw the little owl! I stopped and just started gobsmacked at how close I was and the face I was staring face to face (well I was more looking down on) the little owl! It bobbed up and down and flew to a tree and watch me from there where I was getting the attention of Goshia I was whispered ‘An owl, an owl there is a little owl over here!’. As Goshia was walking over, it flew back to the post looked at me once more before going back to the tree and then flying off. I must say I wish I had my camera but I’m very happy just with the encounter!
In the same field again today I was poo picking and must have spooked the owl from its hiding spot as it flew out the trees and across the field!
I think I may take my camera to work on Sunday and sit out in the field at lunch to see if the Little Owl is around!