It’s had a break for a couple of weeks, but the Travel Gauntlet is back for another week of putting some clued up travellers through the mill. One of our loyal Blog readers will go head to head with a member of our staff in a travel cross-examination that’ll have you quaking in your flip flops.
Reckon you’re brave enough to run the Travel Gauntlet? Then email us, and we’ll get back to you with five travel questions to answer.
Running The Gauntlet this week, it’s…
Traveller Alexandra Baxter from the Wirral! Here she is in Tajikistan, where she’s been working recently.
Who knew there were so many watermelons in Tajikistan?!
Up against Alexandra is our very own Helen from STA Travel in Leeds Vicar Lane! Here’s Helen getting friendly with the local wildlife in, err, Las Vegas, with her best friend Kirsty.
Helen (that's her on the left) makes some feathered friends
Step into The Gauntlet
Alexandra, Helen – prepare yourselves to step into the Travel Gauntlet…
|Helen Wheat, Travel Expert at Leeds Vicar Lane||Travel lover Alexandra Baxter|
|Where’s next on your travel wishlist?||Botswana to do the Okavango delta. I travelled around South Africa in November last year and everyone was talking about this area! It really made me want to visit and see the amazing wildlife.||I’m spending some time living in Russia at the moment, so the next places on my wishlist are in that part of the world. I’ve wanted to do a combined trip to Armenia and Georgia for a long time, so that’s a possibility. However, my next adventure is likely to be flying out to Irkutsk when the weather is better to take in the stunning scenery of Lake Baikal and southern Siberia!|
|Where’s your perfect weekend destination?||Morocco for amazing souks: easy and quick to get to from the UK and a totally different culture! Amazing for silver jewellery, leather bags and home decorations. I usually need to take an empty suitcase with me just to bring things back home!||If you’re a Brit like me, nowhere can beat Paris for the weekend. There are so many ways to get there from the UK so you can make a proper two-night weekend of it, and there’s something for everyone there, whether your idea of fun is burning out the credit card in the rue de Faubourg Saint Honore or roughing it in the Rive Gauche. You don’t even have to be a city boy or girl to appreciate it – the train connections out of the city mean you can make the most of France’s amazing countryside. And let’s face it, who doesn’t like croissants?|
|Backpacker or flashpacker?||Definitly a backpacker – I love using local hostels and transport, meeting people along the way and swapping stories. Although, if someone does offer me a 5* resort I wouldn’t turn it down!||Flashpacker. I don’t go anywhere without my camera, iPod and laptop. Although, I strongly believe that budget doesn’t have to mean skimping on luxury – you just need to look in the right places. When I visited Marrakech for the first time, for example, my £10-a-night riad was a mosaiced Moorish beauty!|
|Which stamp in your passport is your favourite?||South Africa, probably because it is my most recent one. I went there in November – we went to Kruger, saw amazing wildlife, cage dived with great white sharks, did the world’s highest bungee jump and eventually made it up Table Mountain in my flip flops!||My work visa for Tajikistan, because it’s a bit unusual and it has a story behind it. I spent just under a month volunteering at an NGO in the capital Dushanbe and it was a wonderful experience. I met some great people and had the opportunity to see some places which are off the beaten track. I would recommend Tajikistan to anyone.|
|Flying solo, as a two, or a crew?||As a two, with my lovely travelling partner and best friend, Kristy. After spending a whole 8 months together none stop and only 2 arguements over a DVD I think she is the perfect travel buddy and I hope we have many more adventures together!||I normally hate being alone anywhere, but I can make an exception for travel. At the end of a fairly intense period which I spent as a live-in au pair, I had a great trip where I picked out random places in Europe that I hadn’t been and effectively did a dot-to-dot trip on various budget airlines. Sometimes I was by myself, sometimes I met up with friends and family at the destinations and it was just what I needed. That trip stands out among my travelling experiences.|
Thanks for taking part, guys! You can walk away with your head held high and your travel cred firmly in tact.