Greetings from Gatineau, Quebec!
I'm here visiting friends on the last leg of this visit to Canada, before heading back to Thailand next week to release some new trips for '23 and '24, and begin preparing for our France programs in the fall.
We still have a few programs to release for Fall 2023, one of which is our Caucasus Explorer trip through Georgia and Armenia that I'm pleased to release this week.
Way, way back in October of 2018 BCE (Before C*vid Era), I brought one of our first Wheel & Anchor groups to the Caucasus region. It was fitting as one of our first trips as it reflects much of the vision of Wheel & Anchor - a small group of real travellers exploring an off-the-beaten track region with incredible wine, food, and vistas.
If it's never crossed your radar, you're not alone; such is the nature of the less-travelled regions of the planet. There are however a number of reasons it is well worth your consideration.
For one there's the winemaking, which in Georgia dates back thousands of years and is both inexpensive and of good quality. Georgian wines have a unique flavour profile for our Canadian palates, and generally are not so easy to find at home.
And the food...my God, the food. As we learned on our last visit there, in Soviet times the country was too poor to afford the pesticides that became popular in many parts of the rest of the world. The result is that the surge in 'organic' food and farm-to-table experiences that grew as a response to pesticides everywhere else, is more or less what food is in Georgia.
You'll also experience the warm hospitality traditions of the Georgians, including the unique and delightful toasting done while feasting on course after course of culinary delights. I can assure you that you leave these things feeling as stuffed and as blessed as you've ever been.
And while Georgia gets most of the hype, Armenia is not in this program as a throwaway. The Armenian people are lovely, in spite of a history full of trials and tribulations; they too have some of the oldest Christian heritage in the world, and their own food and drink culture that deserves exploring.
(And if you're the type of traveller who only gets a souvenir when it's really worth it, you'll definitely want to check out the famous Armenian carpet and rug weavers...I picked up a rug myself in 2018.)
Perhaps most of all, though, this trip is a real adventure. You could argue all trips are adventures of one kind or another, but some feel more like an adventure than others. We're going to drink wine and go exploring high in the mountains of a region most people can't place on a map...how exciting!
All in all, it's a spectacular trip through a spectacular region, and one that is optimally experienced as part of a small group. You can find the itinerary here should you find your curiosity piqued.
Next week I'm excited to be releasing another destination we haven't visited in years, and another that is a proper adventure - our return to northern India, happening in September 2023. Join us for the webinar on Tuesday for some banter and the full rundown.
Lots more to come once I get back to the other side of the world...be well and do reach out should you have any comments or questions.