Naturetrek Presentation: Awful start to an amazing night

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being invited to attend the Naturetrek Presentation night in Cardiff. The event was to showcase the amazing tours the three tour leaders there had to offer as well as enabling us to ask questions and view images from the tours. When I say I had an awful start, this has nothing to do with the event itself.

I left home at 5:45, Gorseinon to Cardiff is usually an hours drive tops, however, yesterday took me at least an hour and a half before I stopped looking at the clock! There was a four-car pile up near Port Talbot which set me back a few minutes but nothing major. The worse is yet to come, I got into Bridgend and for some unknown reason to me (I don’t listen to the radio) everyone was leaving a junction before, puzzled I continued as planned and immediately found out why, streams on red lights were before me! After an agonising 30 minute wait and moving one car at a time, I finally drove past what was causing the traffic. An oil tanker was spread out across the carriageway, a car was hidden behind some tarpaulin and firefighters were running around shouting, It was a dreadful sight to see and you could only speculate as to what had happened.

Despite all the drama trying to get to the wonderful New Country Hotel in Cardiff only ten minutes late to the event. I sat down next to a friend and watched as the mesmerising and gorgeous photos of the tours appeared on the wall. The three guides would talk about their tours one at a time, first was Ethiopia, followed by South Africa covering Namibia and Botswana and then we paused to have refreshments and talk to the guides about their tours. They were all extremely knowledgeable and brilliant people to chat to. The tours that I have been looking at and were looking forward to hearing about what that of the Galapagos and the Whale watching in California. The guide took his place at the front and on came an image of Scotland, not the tour I was looking forward to but it fueled my want to visit Scotland even more, next up from the same guide was Spain, I have visited Portugal for many years now to see the same species but the images were incredible. Finally the one’s I was looking forward to. First was an Arctic cruise through Svalbard, although I never thought I’d want to visit an area like that since I hate the cold but the images and the tour details were incredible and is definitely now on the cards. My absolute dream destination and the biggest want of mine: Galapagos was next. The reptiles, the birds, the fauna, the sea lions, everything just looked perfect! I’ve been mesmerised by the island ever since I was a young budding naturalist sitting with my gang of stuffed animals from around the world watching Madagascar and Galapagos DVDs in the living room, the tour is perfect. You enjoy a few days on each island before having the opportunity to swim with sea lions.

Overall, the evening was a great insight into the wonders the world has to offer. The guides were amazing and very knowledgeable about their trips, I would highly recommend doing a Naturetrek tour and am planning on doing so soon!

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