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Sep 2017

A Good Read

Posted by / in Tavistock Travel Agents, Blog, Traveller's Tales, Africa, South America, Featured Posts, frontpage /

There’s nothing like a good read to get the travel muscles twitching: here is a selection of the best, 3 from India, 3 from South America and 4 from Africa: Africa gets an extra just because “The State of Africa” is such a remarkable piece of research:-


Title Author Country of inspiration Continent
Famished Road Ben Okri


Nigeria Africa
Blood River Tim Butler Zaire/DRC Africa
The State of Africa Martin Meredith Africa Africa
One Day I will write about this place Binyavanga Wainaina Kenya Africa
Shantaram Gregory Roberts India India
The Impressionist Hari Kunzru India India
The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy India India
100 Years of Solitude Gabriel Marques Colombia S America
Tschiffely’s Ride Aime Tschiffely South America S America
Innes of My Soul Isabel Allende Chile & Peru S America


The best from Africa is Ben Okri’s “Famished Road” – just because it’s pure imagination. The best from India is Gregory Roberts “Shantaram” – just because it’s a true story. And the best from South America is “Innes of my Soul” because it’s so utterly moving.

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Sep 2017

Chaps – best of the bunch

Posted by / in Horse Riding Holidays, Tavistock Travel Agents, Blog, Traveller's Tales, South America, Featured Posts, frontpage /

Chaps come in all shapes and sizes, rather like human chaps! Here are the pick of the bunch from South America: let’s begin with the ‘modest and functional’ as seen on the cattle roundup in Argentina:


Very practical, but check-out the stirrup! Just a leather-bound ring of iron; I bet that gives you sore souls! Talking of stirrups, how’s this?

Riding holiday Chile

Carved from a single block of wood, a “shoe” for your shoe.

Back to chaps: here’s a line-up from the Grand Traversee  in Patagonia; I like the practical rawhide:-

Riding holiday Chile, Argentina and Patagonia

The baqueros in Chile and Argentina.

And there’s the fairly flamboyant:-


Riding holiday Chile and Patagonia

Chaps sporting chaps – 2 goats in this case!

And the absolutely flamboyant (Brazil)

Horse riding holiday, Brazil

Outrageous chaps! Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul ride

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Sep 2017

Special Offer: Inca Trail

Posted by / in Tavistock Travel Agents, Blog, Traveller's Tales, South America, Featured Posts, frontpage /

Best foot forward, Inca Trail offer

The Inca Trail is Peru’s most famous trek: follow the footsteps of the ancient civilisation that created the ‘lost city’ Machu Picchu.

The trail can be accomplished in 4 or 5 days and we employ local people to guide trekkers along the way and camp in hidden-away campsites, away from the crowds. We first organised a trek along the Inca Trail in 1999 and have gathered privileged local knowledge every year since. Here are 6 reasons to trek with Venture Co:-

1. Local knowledge
Our team of guides and porters all live in the Sacred Valley area, between Cusco and Pueblo Machu Picchu. They are locals and know the area like the back of their hand. They can tell you the tales that the guidebooks don’t and use their experience to avoid the crowds.

2. Top guides
Our trek leaders are well versed in safety procedures and mountain first aid. They also know the plants, animals and birds that you’ll see along the way and can add a dimension to your trekking experience. They know how to introduce you to the altitude gradually so you’ll get the most out of your time in the Andes. Our guides carry satellite phones in case of an emergency.

3. Top equipment
Wilderness camping requires knowledge of what equipment works in the mountains and what doesn’t. There’s no substitute for experience and we have loads. Whatever the weather does we know your tent will do what it’s supposed to do and a hot meal will be ready on time, every evening. You take in the view and the experience, our team take care of you.

4. Delicious camp cooking
Anyone can rough it in the wilderness; the trick is to get the details right and trek like a king/queen! Our camp cooks will prepare delicious meals using locally-farmed vegetables, plus snacks and hot drinks, which will provide you with the energy you need for your trek.

5. Giving back
Apart from recruiting from local villages and buying fresh produce from them, we support the work of Ecoan,  a high-altitude reforestation programme, and have done since 1999. Needless to say, we abide by the strict Inca Trail guidelines that regulate porters’ working conditions, the care of the trail and the surrounding communities.

6. Special offer
200 permits per day are issue for the Inca Trail: and the permit system is closely controlled (quite rightly). Permits sell out quickly. We are offering a FREE PERMIT, saving you £125, for all itineraries that include the Inca Trail, that are booked before the end of September 2017. But hurry – permits sell out fast.

Ride to Machu Picchu

Local people met along the trail to Machu Picchu

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