After hours of climbing up over a mountain, we came to the family group of Gorillas. We spent 45 minutes with them, watching as they grazed feeding off the vegetation. An amazing experience.
If you have a passion for flora and fauna, there is no place in the world like Madagascar. This island has life, both plant and animal varieties, which are ONLY found here. And this makes it very special. This country surprised us, since the African people did not resemble those found on the main continent (much more South Pacific features) and the French language and cuisine were not what we had expected (baguettes instead of rice and maize). Here are some of the photos we took on our trip in 2007, as we moved from one National Park to the next.
I can't tell you how many times I felt like wearing a shirt with this slogan, especially as we pacified our children with whatever they wanted... ipads, games, junk food.. whatever it takes to make them happy as we rushed through airports, waited for hours at gates, took trains, buses, taxis, to get to our new destination. We basically travel around the world every year, so spend lots of time packing and re-packing, moving from place to place.
I remember when Eva was only a couple months old, and I was traveling back to Canada to visit my family for the summer weeks, that I saw a mother give her child McDonald's french fries, and I thought I would never do that! Ha ha. Jokes on me, as I will now get my daughter whatever she desires (including McDonald's), if it is a travel day..... No judgement.
Our stability and home base? Working here in the UK for 5 months a year, where we make our money which enables our 7 months of travel. My husband, Stuart, has traveled to over 100 countries and I have been to 70+, and we still have loads of places where we want to go. But while we are here, our focus changes from the outer world to our inner world.... running a business, getting the kids school, creating a social environment based around the kids, and my addiction... EBay. (That's a topic for another time).
We have been here for one week now and we are slowly getting ourselves sorted. Stuart's been on BBC Radio 4 Saturday morning talk show, kids have returned to full time school (yeah! a big relief from having to home school everyday), and I have been trying to get the 'office' straightened out. Stu officially starts the show circuit this week, which means he will be driving around the country doing his demonstrations....so it will be bye bye daddy, hello solo mummy. Big adjustments.
As this is all new to me, I will try and be more proactive and pay more attention to this blog in the future, bringing in more photos and stories as the days progress, but for now, I am signing off with one of my favorite sayings: Live, Love & Laugh.
It all began in Vietnam, January 2000. This is where Stuart Barnes, an adventurous New Zealander, met Chantal Rankin, an adventurous Canadian. An incredible bond was formed and a new and exciting way of life presented itself for the two of us, a path that continues to allow us to discover the world over and over, year after year.
We are passionate about wildlife. We are both dive masters and love to be blowing bubbles along side all marine life, especially the whale sharks and manta rays of Mozambique. To give you a sense of our travels, for our honeymoon, we traveled from Canada to Fiji to New Zealand, then crossed over to Australia, hopped over to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique, finishing in Kruger Park in South Africa, before returning to the UK for another work season. In all these spots, we'd explore the local parks and sanctuaries, trying to find the animals of the area, either on land or in the water, taking thousands of photos along the way.
On this blog, I want to share some of the tales of our travels, bringing back the memories of a lifetime.