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Newsletter New Years 2014

Dear All

HAPPY NEW YEAR to one and all. We hope you had a wonderful time and that the weather did not upset plans for good festivities. Another year is here: 2014 !! Why it appears no other thing to me than a congregation of numbers that have been doubled and jumbled … or as Pooh would say … “wobbled”.

Do you see where I am coming from?? And also does one say 20 14 or 2014? I noticed two erudite people on the Andrew Marr Show saying both so I’m looking for help here.

We had a great time in Kenya at the end of the year. It was probably the most exciting party we have ever done! It is always difficult to say which of the The Walking Party itineraries we think is the best of all. You just can’t answer that question as they are all fantastic and each one has its particular flavour. Kenya though, which is a fifteen day itinerary is incomparable. There is more hardship involved as you are out in the bush and we sleep in tents for much of the time. The scenery is stunning. The showers are interesting! The safari takes us across the southern part of Kenya near the Tanzanian border. We walked in the forests of the Loita Hills echoing with the barks of Colobus monkeys and Turacos. We are well off the beaten track here. A descent then into the Rift Valley with extraordinary views from Genesis Chapter 1. The bird life is fantastic. Although the golden breasted starling eluded us, there were many stunning kingfishers and hornbills and my first sighting of an Abdim’s stork. Flamingos of course looked fabulous in the setting of Lake Magadi. We finished off at the coast which is always beautiful. This can take place in late August, December and January.

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Also we are looking for a group of five who may like to come to the most beautiful part of Spain in March. Catalunya with the Costa Brava is one of the most wonderful parts of Spain coloured by the works of Gaudi and Dali. I have to say that Gaudi is the most extraordinary and fabulous architect of the twentieth century. Seven of his works are UNESCO protected. One can talk of Frank Gehry and I love his work too but Gaudi uses so many different materials mixing brick, ceramic, wrought iron, glass
and stone to such unbelievably stunning effect. The detail and finesse are breathtaking. If you have not

seen his work this is one of the best ways of doing it and you really do not have to be a connoisseur to appreciate it!! Again food, landscape and culture make up the structure of the week ending in the stunning French port of Collioure. Here we visit the stunning little museum of Gustave Maillol. It is tiny and beautiful. The wine here also is extraordinary and comes from the narrowest and most unworkable terraces. Look out for Domaine Pietri Geraud and Domaine La Rectorie. This is the best way of spending some time away from home in March!

But now we want to talk of one of our flagship walks in the Dordogne Quercy. This walk takes you through stunning scenery and with fabulous flowers in May starting on the 10th. We can come across some thirty different species of orchid in the Dordogne Quercy. May is a fabulous time to be in France. It is so rich in flowers. Carpets of meadow clary and poppies predominate and then of course the orchids. Medieval ‘bastide’ villages are literally scattered over the stunning countryside and we visit one of the most beautiful. There are two dramatic gardens to visit and the prehistoric cave of Lascaux II to see. Food is fantastic and the wine is French and carefully selected. Need I say more.

Get in touch with us soon! With love from us all (Coco in Seville, Louis in London)

James, Diana, Coco, Louis and Choco-oioi