Are you seeking a unique and inspiring travel experience? Travel Enriched is an independent provider of small group tours to Spain, Portugal and Latin America.
Come with us on an unforgettable journey that:
In Spain join us along roads less travelled to explore how the rich tapestry of present day life has been influenced by former civilisations over 3,000 years.
In Portugal & Spain walk with us along 1,000 year old, pilgrim pathways via villages where time has stood still, and by vehicle to more distant places of interest.
In South America immerse yourself in an authentic journey that provides a window into ancient civilisations and contemporary life in Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina.
In Cuba experience the rich cultural diversity and hear about the turbulent history of this Caribbean paradise.
TRAVEL ENRICHED Tour Leaders 2013 & 2014
Diane McDonald (Director) has worked for over 30 years in experiential and cross-cultural adult education, community development and social science research. She has travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, the Pacific Islands and South America. In 2012, Diane designed and led the inaugural three week ‘Camino with a Difference’ tour. This followed the Camino Portugues and the Camino del Norte, with side trips to Finisterre and the Picos de Europa.
Christine Gawne is a Creative Artist with a solid background in Art history. She has worked for over 30 years as a Teacher of Art and Design in Victorian secondary schools. Christine and her husband own a “renovators' delight" in the South of France. She has travelled extensively throughout Europe and in the past three years has led small group tours in France, Spain, Porugal and Italy. Her strengths in tour facilitaton and warm personality are highly regarded by travel companions.
Heather Wearne is an experienced Teacher of Creative Writing. She has taught both Writing and Literature at Australian Universities for more than 20 years and is a former Head of Writing at Southern Cross University in NSW. Heather has a PhD in Writing and has published work in Australia and internationally. She has also provided Life-Writing and Journal Writing courses at Community Centres in Victoria and Queensland.
Heather O'Brien has a Teaching degree in Art and Design with post-graduate qualifications in Interior Design. For the past 30 years she has pursued a teaching career as well as applying her skills to a wide range of artistic projects in homes, gardens, schools and churches. Heather has a strong personal interest in classical and contemporary architecture as well as European and Islamic art. An avid family historian for more than three decades, Heather has unearthed some fascinating stories that had been lost in time. She enjoys sharing what she has learned with learning with others.
Come with us on this unforgettable journey!
For all bookings and further information contact:
Mobile: Australia +61 (0)404 417 485
Today, more and more people are becoming aware of the time-honoured walking trails to Santiago de Compostela, situated in north-west Spain. Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage site - the final resting place of the relics of St James the Apostle. The vast majority of those who follow this route (which is commonly called ‘The Way’) travel up to 800kms along the Camino Frances, which commences in St Jean de Port in the Pyrenees mountains . However, for more than ten centuries countless thousands of people have walked to Santiago via many different pilgrim routes.
Our upcoming tours will again follow some of these earliest and less travelled pathways: the Camino Mozarabe, in the southern Spanish province of Andalusia; the Camino Portugues in the north west; and the Camino Finisterre along the Atlantic coast of Spain. Each tour (of between 10-14 days) combines both walking and traveling by vehicle to nearby places of interest. In each of our tours, daily options are provided to allow participants to walk short or longer distances in response to individual needs and personal goals. Accommodation is in comfortable 2-3 star hotels and some days are reserved for side trips, with little walking at all. Luggage is transported between hotels, enabling participants to enjoy the day’s walk carrying only a small back pack containing the essentials such as a water bottle and light lunch, a camera and sun-cream. Luggage is transferred daily between hotels. The high level of satisfaction of previous tour members has reinforced the value of this approach. After all, our tours are both a journey and a well-deserved vacation!
Travel to intriguing South American destinations. Visit fascinating archaeological and cultural sites that provide a window into ancient civilisations that, as from the 16th century A.D. were conquered and largely destroyed. Explore the way of life of the early inhabitants; investigate the impact of the Spanish conquest; the subsequent unfolding of the colonial enterprise; and observe how local communities have recovered and continue to recreate themselves today in both rural and urban areas.
In Cuba experience the rich cultural diversity and hear about the turbulent history of this Caribbean paradise. Visit the atmospheric city of Havana where legends of Che Guevara, revolution and the Cold-War abound. Travel across the island to the tiny, traditional agricultural town of Vinales in the west and the equally small, isolated settlement of Baracoa situated on the Atlantic coast. Attractions include French influenced Cienfuegos, the well-preserved colonial city of Trinidad, and the cosmopolitan city of Santiago de Cuba, once home to Fidel Castro. Soulful, vibrant music and dance that unites the best of Spanish and African rhythm and movement are a daily encounter.
Ground transport on these tours is by minibus and local taxi. Accommodation comprises a mix of casas particulares (home stays) and small family run hotels.
THE ANDES, CUBA AND BEYOND!
ALL TRAVEL ENRICHED TOURS INCLUDE:
Selected Travel Enriched tours offer you an opportunity to create a written expression of your Camino experience. Long after the journey is over, your Journal will keep the experience alive. You will return to it often because it will contain more than a simple record of events or a summary of how you spent your days as you moved across a landscape. Your Journal will be a place in which you make sense of what you have encountered along ‘The Way’: the people, places and emotions, the past and the present. Participants will be provided with preparatory writing activities prior to the commencement of the tour. Where feasible this will be in the form of an introductory Journal Writing Workshop. Those who are not able to attend this session will have access to relevant resource materials. During the tour further Workshops will be conducted. Following the completion of the tour, additional support will be provided to help you to finalise your manuscript. The basic framework for this Journal Writing component includes four elements:
In 2012 Travel Enriched conducted a highly successful tour along two of these lesser known pilgrim pathways: the Camino Portugues, commencing in northern Portugal and the Camino del Norte along the northern coast of Spain. This also included a side trip along the rugged Atlantic coast following the Camino Finisterre. To find out more about what happened on this journey have a look at our BLOG dmtravelenriched.
This inaugural tour was designed to cater for participants who wanted an authentic cultural experience along ‘The Way’ and were attracted to the idea of being within the company of a small group. Being independent minded travellers they wanted some flexibility in terms of the distance walked each day and preferred a reasonable level of comfort. Most did not see themselves as intrepid walkers and were keen to visit historic and scenic places of interest along the route.
IN THE WORDS OF PREVIOUS TOUR PARTICIPANTS
“We are very pleased to write a few lines to commend you (Travel Enriched) on the organization of our recent 'Portuguese Camino'. We were impressed with the flexibility you offered to the participants - those who wanted to walk longer distances, those who chose a lesser distance and even those who didn't want to walk at all on a particular day. Accommodation was excellent. We had a great time.” A&C, Nth N.S.W. June 2013
“I can’t believe I have been home one month already, so just wanted to let you know how much I really enjoyed my first Camino walking experience with you & your Travel Enriched Tour Company… The daily walks were interesting, varied & well thought out, following the ancient Pilgrim route I found really fascinating. The scenery was spectacular and surprised me daily with the changing landscape, from cobblestone roads, small medieval villages to winding stone riverbeds, woodland paths & farming tracks.
“The journey was more than just a walk for me. Diane you should be congratulated for your organisational skills. Christine’s cheerful & happy disposition made my journey, & your flexibility made the tour all the more enjoyable. Finally the accommodation & breakfasts far exceeded my expectations. I would highly recommend anyone to try this refreshing modern day Pilgrimage “The Portuguese Way” to Santiago. Step out of their maybe chaotic life & comfort zone, take a walk down the ancient route & soak up the wonderful views & ambience of these magical countries of Portugal & Spain” GH, Mornington Peninsula, Vic. July 2013
‘My wife and I really enjoyed our tour with Travel Enriched. We wanted an active holiday that allowed us to see parts of Spain and Portugal away from the main cities, and a walk along part of the historic Portuguese Camino was a bonus. The greatest thing in this holiday was the flexibility that allowed participants to walk for either a full day or a half day, and in a couple of instances to "do your own thing" in the towns we stayed. With good accommodation, some great meals and a "customer first" approach made this a great holiday.’ M&S, Snowy Mountains, N.S.W. August 2013.
“I have just completed the 15 day walking tour to Santiago de Compostela and on to Finisterra in a small group conducted by Travel Enriched. The Tour Leader, Diane was very flexible about arrangements and supportive of each member of the group and our disparate needs and expectations. The organisation of the trip was seamless, luggage was always there when we arrived and taxis and minibuses were always on hand and on time. Highlights, apart from the walk itself and the many interesting people we met along 'The Way' include the wonderful side trip to Baiona Bay and A Guardia, with a very special lunch at a truly lovely restaurant, and time spent in Finisterra and Muxia. The scenery over the two weeks was often breathtaking, the food was wonderful, and the whole experience is one I will never forget.” AK, Melbourne Vic. October 2103
“The ‘Camino with a Difference!’ Tour run by Travel Enriched offered me a wonderful opportunity for some much needed timeout. Every aspect of the walk was so perfectly planned with a range of comfortable accommodation from small hotels to bed and breakfasts in beautiful family homes. Apart from the magnificent scenery, it was fun to come across walkers from other countries during our journey and bump into them again and again as we progressed. I also enjoyed our catchup over dinner where we could discuss the highlights or ‘disasters’ of the day.” SM, Melbourne, Vic. October 2103
“Diane, I enjoyed the ‘Camino with a Difference!’ trip and the friendship of all my travelling companions including your good self. The tour was very well organised, there were no glitches with luggage transportation and the accommodation was clean, comfortable and generally the hotel staff were friendly. The burden of organising tours, accommodation, some meals, taxis for participants on the walk meant that we were free to relax, get a feel for Portugal and Spain, meet interesting people wherever we went and enjoy ourselves, despite the blisters and the heat.” LN, Northern NSW. November 2013
“Thank you Diane for a wonderful Camino experience!! From Oporto to Santiago, the walk with you was amazing. The route could not have been prettier or more scenic. The pace was perfect and I'm very proud that I never had to get the alternative transport!! The meals were outstanding, as were the Hotels in which we stayed. I enjoyed every moment of the Way Less Traveled!! Thank you Diane!” LH, Sydney, NSW. November 2013."Walking sections of the Camino Portuguese and the Camino del Norte in Spain with Travel Enriched in 2012 was an amazing adventure! I came back to Australia four weeks later not only having been immersed in beautiful and diverse landscapes, but also with a great sense of personal achievement" CB, Western District, Victoria
“Before starting on the ‘Camino with a Difference’, despite a few months of training, I was a bit worried about my ability to keep up the pace and walk as far as the plans suggested we could, and about how the group members would get on together. More importantly I was interested to find out whether the long walk would “clear my head” and give me a few insights on my life so far and my future.
In retrospect, there was nothing at all to worry about. After walking nearly 200km over 3 weeks, I felt I could have walked twice as much, and am certainly very keen to walk again, whenever I can. Over 3 weeks, we shared laughs, stories and insights and managed successfully with our different predilections. And while I didn’t have any dramatic insights about “my life”, I did end the trip feeling much fitter and with a lighter and clearer head. I experienced a sense of personal achievement that felt very different from professional achievements and a sense of calmness from having had the chance to put elements of my life in perspective – appreciating the extraordinary opportunity to experience the wonders of other cultures and to understand the world’s history a little better”. DR, Gisborne, Victoria, Australia
“The sensory experiences in Portugal and Spain remain vivid, a delicate taste of Portuguese custard tarts, the musty smell of ancient churches and historical buildings, the whispering sound of spring breezes in forests alongside our walking paths, the whistles of European birds, the gentle crunching sound of consistent footsteps on gravel or paved pathways and of course the diverse and wonderful sights of pretty rural villages, ancient cobbled streets, dramatic mountain vistas, modern infrastructure (bridges and the Guggenheim Gallery), colorful markets and diverse seascapes. Overall, I have memories of meandering pathways and yellow arrows or shell symbols, that make me smile and make me want to get back out there right now and walk and walk and walk.”
“This trip didn’t turn out as I had imagined due to a foot injury (tripping on an uneven footpath in Oporto before we even started the Camino) which left me unable to walk much at all – on this WALKING holiday! Despite this, Diane made sure I still had lots to enjoy: the range of country we traveled through, the towns we stayed in and the times we shared over meals. While the others walked the Camino, I had a safe place to spend a few hours. The well-chosen hotels and houses were comfortable and often situated with interesting places within my short shuffling/walking range. Traveling with a small group (on this occasion, all women) was one of the attractions for me and the trip allowed for enjoyable time together as well as opportunities for individuals to pursue their own interests.” RS, Eltham, Victoria
More photos from the "Camino with a Difference" tour can be found in the Gallery above.
Sample photos from previous tours in Andalusia are below.
“In my view it is great for people who enjoy travelling in other countries but not necessarily on their own, and who enjoy the pure pleasure of walking, with:
Inclusion of other experiences such as a daytrip to Guimares and the nearby Citiana de Briteros archeological site, wandering around village markets, visiting the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and extended time in Oporto and San Sebastian.
- 2012 Participant