The tour ran from February 19, 2017 until March 7. The southern extension kicked off the next day and finished on the 13th.
The leaders were Uthai Treesucon and Keith Valentine and they were excellent.
The itinerary and accommodation were well chosen, transport was handled well. The food was good.
A group size of twelve could present problems but Rockjumper briefs participants on etiquette and on this occasion things ran very smoothly. How the organisation might have handled a crisis was never put to the test.
It is a hardcore birding tour, if your spouse is not a keen birder it would be tough for them. There is no associates program, days are long, the focus is intense. And for the birder very productive. The final tally for the tour was over 500 species, I saw 471 different birds and some good mammals. If you carry a camera you will bring back some very nice photos but it’s not the tour for the dedicated bird photographer the tempo is quite different from their requirements. One of the group has put a very large collection of their photos up <HERE>. If you’re preparing for a trip you could test your diagnostic skills on them.
Most were repeat Rockjumper clients which says something about the company. The guys were gentlemen bird watchers, always polite, tolerant and cooperative. The girls on the other hand … I don’t know how many times I found myself examining the backs of their head through my binoculars. No, I exaggerate the group was remarkably congenial. There were tales of other trips and a lot of good humour. We were occasionally entertained by the sayings of Polly’s Mum one of which was …
If you’re looking for sympathy you’ll find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis …
which is well worth remembering.
It is axiomatic that …
- There is an arsehole in every group and
- They are totally unconscious of the fact.
So it follows that if you can’t identify the arsehole it must be you.
I therefore tender my apologies to the fine men and women that I traveled with. I enjoyed it.