Dear Walkabout Walkers and Friends,
Before Christmas arrives, we would like to give you a quick update on our upcoming 2016 Brochure and final tours of the 2015 season.
Our brochure is hot off the press and for this special 30th edition, we have organised an express "Father Christmas" delivery!
You can preview (15 pages) and order the brochure if you haven't shared your postal address with us before.
While you are waiting for the hard copy, please visit our online calendar - all the dates and tours are already there!
Food will play a major part in Walkabout's 30th year to celebrate the humble beginnings when all those imaginative breakfasts, French picnic style lunches, and delicious dinners were prepared by Gabriela and Graeme. The so long promised Walkabout Cookbook has made some progress and we will try and finish it by the end of next year! During the 30th year of Walkabout we are excited to share our passion for food during our new Flavours of India tour in March as well as Flavours of Bavaria, Flavours of Provence, Flavours of Italy in the Piedmont and Flavours of Italy in Lazio. All itineraries for these walking/cooking tours are now available.
Our Information Evenings will be held at the beginning of February and invitations sent out when our office reopens on the 4th January.
Graeme's last European tour for the season was the Eastern Circuit Walk, which travelled through Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. The first stop on this tour was Karlovy Vary, which is always an unexpected highlight - the outstanding architecture of the town and the beautiful Bohemian Forests which surround are a real delight, a great start to our 14 day tour! We were blessed with lovely autumn weather and by the time we reached the High Tatra Mountains in Poland and Slovakia the leaves were beginning to turn. For the group being able to put one foot in Poland and one foot in Slovakia on top of the Tatra's was very memorable.
Croatia and Slovenia
Autumn is always a brilliant time to visit Slovenia where we stay at Lake Bohinj. It is Slovenia's largest glacial lake and one of the most beautiful places in the country. The Alps dominate the scenery and on a clear, sunny, calm day the water looks like a piece of glass reflecting everything perfectly.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the highlights during our time in Croatia and Gabriela always looks forward to returning to this amazing region, especially when the autumn colours kick in – a photographer's dream!
The park consists of 300 sq km's of protected area and the lakes are a result of the confluence of several small rivers and subterranean karst rivers. They create 16 blue and green lakes on different levels, all flowing into one another with foaming cascades and pounding waterfalls to create the most beautiful natural spectacle. They are separated by natural dams of travertine, which is deposited by the action of moss, algae, and bacteria. The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colours, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colours change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight.
Provence and Drome
Autumn is also the time for the famous Provence light, so much sought after by artists. While Southern Provence has always been high on the traveller's agenda, Northern Provence is different. During our stay in the Drome in October we had perfect walking weather. The grapes had been picked and the vines were ablaze with colours as well as many of the trees.
We also returned to the charming village of Nyons, famous for its unique black olives. We walked through beautiful autumn scenery and enjoyed the history of this region, which has produced a rich culture and wealth of regional specialties – the name of the tour could not have been better chosen – it is indeed the Gastronomic Trail through hidden France.
Graeme is now back in Australia where he has just completed two of our Australian Walking Holidays - the Grampians and the Great Ocean Road and Wilson's Promontory National Park. It was great to see so many familiar faces on the Australian Walks - Graeme particularly enjoyed showing the group his little "patch" of Victoria.
Even after all the other beautiful places we see each year "The Prom" is still very dear to our hearts. Those of you who have never experienced the southernmost point of mainland Australia should make a note to visit it one day!
Talk to you again before Christmas.
Gabriela, Graeme and the WGA team
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Soline Mljet Island, Croatia
Ucka Mountain, Croatia
Hanging valley of Voje, Slovenia
Ucka Mountain, Opatija Croatia
Faucon in the Vaucluse, France
Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory
Flat Rock, Northern Grampians