It’s finally happening! And how appropriate too as this year will be the 10th Anniversary of the death of our great New Zealander, Sir Peter Blake.

We have now firmed up our itinerary and beaten down the costs to get a pretty good deal.

The journer in uncommon and has been specifically tailored to our requirement. There is a maximum limit of 12-14 spaces and it is intended that every one has an aim/project to complete whilst on the journey.

Worldwise Expeditions will select companions for the available spaces based on sense of character, project/aim and commitment.

At this stage the itinerary is mildly flexible so we are open to looking at incorporating your project requirements and situation.

We are really excited about this one!!! Please pass on to any family and friends that may be interested.

 

 

Contact Clare: clareshaw@worldwise.co.nz for more details

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST

Sought from those interested in a month long intrepid expedition to Brazil in memory of

Sir Peter Blake on the 10th Anniversary of his death in Amazonas

Typical River housing - Near Manaus

“I was with Sir Peter Blake in 2001. I am going back to personally commemorate the journey I took with him 10 years ago. I hope that others will join me as I again explore the region and conduct various  research and artistic endeavours on the journey” Marc Shaw

EXPEDITION OUTLINE

  • A month long journey entirely by river boat from Manaus, up the Rio Negro towards a memorial site at the junction of the  Cassiquiari and Orinoco. This is an exciting adventure with limited spaces!
  • The expedition will travel through changing landscapes, small river populations, explore the beautiful wide spaces of the Amazonas region, and the people living on this most majestic of rivers
  • Extraordinary flora and fauna, animals and insects
  • Various aquatic species, fishing opportunities
  • An additional adventure includes venturing up to Rio Araca and Rio Demeni towards the spectacular ‘waterfalls region’. This is an area rarely seen by travellers which houses an impressive waterfall known as Cachoeira do El Dorado. Only recently discovered, this is a wild and remote area with little known about it and the expedition offers an option of trekking, forest survival camping and training
  • From Sao Gabriel, the last major town in Brazil, we transverse rapids into Cucuy and then into Venezuela, travelling through San Carlos, then up the legendary Casiquiare tributary to the Orinoco River – at the junction of which there is a Memorial to Sir Peter Blake

A unique outdoor adventure / Nature, Travel and Tropical Medicine at its best!

PLEASE REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN THE PROJECT TO RECEIVE MORE INFORMATION

info@worldwise.co.nz

Marc Shaw with colleague Dr Monkey during his last venture to the Amazonas region

With ‘The Prof’ now safety back from Afghanistan, he is now contemplating his next journey. This one will be rather more isolated; deep in the jungles of the Amazonas in Brazil.

Marc Shaw was the Team Doctor on the ‘Sir Peter Blake Expedition’ to Amazonas in 2001. This was a voyage that had personal significance to Marc as it involved travel to a region long dreamt about – about since childhood, when he first recalled the romantic term ‘Amazonas’ and all that its images conjured. Sir Peter was tragically and shockingly murdered on this journey 10 years ago. Marc Shaw and his team is going back to the region, with some family and friends, to acknowledge the occasion and salute a great New Zealander. The Group will be called WORLDWISE EXPEDITIONS.

Francisco de Orellana was the Spanish adventurer who in 1541 accomplished the first descent of the River Amazon. Since this time, adventures and expeditioners have been intrigued by the Amazonas region of Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia and Peru. So much so that many have tried in many various ways to explore the River Amazon and its tributaries. The attraction is the largest river in the world; one accounting for approximately 1/5 of total world’s river flow.

Over the last 30 years there have been two significant expeditions into the region: firstly, in 1982 Jean Michael Cousteau led a large scale scientific exploration of the Amazon from its mouth to its origin. The “Cousteau Amazon Expedition” gave insights into the biology, environment and geology of the largest river system on earth. Secondly in 2001, New Zealander Sir Peter Blake went with a crew of 26 upon his yacht, Seamaster, into the Amazon basin. This journey was to be one of exploration and of education on what living was like in the region.

WORLDWISE EXPEDITIONS are going back into the region to investigate and research it, explore it and learn from their experiences. As Jules Crevaux, French Naval Surgeon in the Amazon, said “A rushed journey is a waste of time; you can see nothing. I am here by the grace of God; I must take advantage of it and examine nature carefully, for I shall never return to these waters again. Instinct tells me to let myself drift with the swift current. Reason stops me: for an explorer, hurrying through an unknown land is like running away from the enemy”.

WORLDWISE EXPEDITIONS is planning a journey to the Amazonas regions of Brazil and Venezuela, to visit the region explored with intrigue and fascination by early explorers such as: Alexander von Humboldt, AR Wallace, and also recently by the 1968 Geographical Magazine Hovercraft Expedition.

The Amazonas Region is exciting and mesmerizing: new images, new experiences, new animals and plants, and new cultures.  Going into this beautiful and remote region, Marc Shaw learned much about human nature in the Amazonas environment, about compassion and about himself and his medicine. ‘Completing such a journey made me so much richer than ever I could otherwise have dreamed of’, he writes.

Read more about this, on a regular basis until the Expedition commences and then join us from your computer here in New Zealand to explore the hinterlands of Brazil and Venezuela.

Back home in New Zealand

February 20, 2011

Home! The first thing that I notice is ‘the green of the pastures’ as I travel down to the Waikato. Great contrast to the brown and white of the Afghan earth with its snow, in winter. The trip south to my beloved Hamilton and family gave me time to reflect upon where I had been and what I had just done. Afghanistan as a doctor with the New Zealand Defence Forces. A year ago I would never have thought it possible that I would be ministering medicine in a war affected region, and in a country that has known centuries old conflict through the battles of Genghis Khan, Muhammad Babur and both the English and Russian Armies in the last one hundred years.

 

I had left Bamyan city in Bamyan Province on the 12th of January, and come via the military transport system in Afghanistan to the Middle East and then via a long flight back to Auckland. I can’t really remember what the flight home was like for I was still energised by the experiences of living at Kiwi Base with a whole bunch of New Zealand men and women with common cause. 18 hours in the air gave me a lot of time to think about those moments that would forever be remembered by me.

Firstly, the countryside that Kiwi Base was in. PT Hill overlooked the military encampment in the immediate distance. Further, was the Hill of Gholghola, where Genghis wrought such terrible violence that it became known as the ‘City of Screams’. Further still were the cliffs that overlooked Bamyan and which were now marked by the empty spaces of the Taliban vandalised Buddhas. I walked between the two of them over my last week in the region. I was showing my replacement Medical Officer, Jordan Baker, around the region. Showing him some of the sights for which the region is famous. On the way we had a pleasant guide who spoke little English, though through our interpreter he filled in the details of the history of Buddhism in the region and how important the region was as a crossroads to and from regions east and west. He pointed out another smaller third Buddha and then a fourth, or baby, Buddha – both also destroyed in the violence of early 2001.

Looking out from the cliff-face, snow covers the fields in the rivets of a late autumn ploughing. It has almost gone from most of the fields but does lie quite heavily higher up on the higher hills. Jordan is loving his first views of the region, for he has travelled little before and all this ‘newness’ is so energising to him. Me, I love showing him the various sights but at the same time admit to a great sadness that I am about to leave the town and its history.

 

At the small ‘female’ Buddha we are able to walk up and over it by way of steps that remain in the walls. There are three levels to our tour, each higher than the last and each with numerous caverns that housed priests through the ages – even the Taliban, in the early years of their occupation. Some of these caverns were citadels and many have the remains of paintings blackened by the fires of their destruction. Still others had smoke on the ceilings where the insides of the caves had been burnt out. Such destruction. It makes me pause in reflection and in sadness. Un-necessary. Certainly not the way to win ‘hearts and minds’ of the local Hazaran population.

 

Secondly, the people and the village of Bamyan. This was best felt by me when I got a few members of ‘the crew’ together, including Allan, Ra, Steve and a pleasant interpreter called Gee (which was short for some intricate Afghan name that seemed such a waste when ‘Gee’ explained him so much more admirably) and we walked on a ‘dismounted patrol’ into town to wander around the bazaar. Along narrow tracks that the locals use to pass over fields now brown due to the winter, but normally lush and green in the summer. The dust swirls still with every footprint on a dry, still day. In the distance the new snow is on the hills and the locals will be pleased again with the nurturing of the soil. Into town and along the dark side of the street, where the sun never seemed to reach in the winter months. So many shops open today.

It is Friday and the locals are all out doing their shopping – men and women, though never together unless they are family or married. Men sewing away at shoes brought to them for repair. A lot of shoe shops abound, mainly with second hand shoes and not occasionally many that are just single shoes – who wants them, I wonder. Clothes shops, with women inside under burkas doing the dealing with the men owners. Outside other men pushed wagons with sacks of coal. Boys run by with bananas for sale and still others came up to us to ask for ‘baksheesh’.

 

Steve had an endless supply of pens to give out to the kids. Men sitting in chairs or merely crouched beside the gutter partaking in chai, talking and watching folk just wander and meander. Men whose weathered faces, reflecting the harshness of living in this unforgiving land, appear to be carved out of leather: cheeks with valleys and vales, eyes hidden under an overlapping eyebrow bristling with honest hair and mouths often hidden in a bread that spreads with laughter. Their ‘Shemagh (Afghan Scarf)’ wrapped around their necks, over their faces and upon their heads seemingly part of their bodies, whilst around their midriffs were huge rugs to shelter from the cold.

Drifting by were the women also – in white or blue burkas. Still others without the over-face mask but with a scarf over their heads and around their faces, and perhaps an end of it held loosely to mask their mouths. No women were without some facial add-on; unlike the young girls enjoying their freedom whilst they could.

 

Orange sellers. Ever present mobile phone shops – a glut of them, with no one in them but there in all their glitzy glory. Material shops. Hardware shops every 5-6 shops, selling pots and pans and plastic jugs that are used to carry water for ablutions after toileting. We pass a potato naan shop stall. They look delicious and we all decide to buy one of these. This will be lunch – potato cut and placed on a thin pancake wafer. The potato is grated and placed in the middle of the mix, and then the three sided blend is rolled and put into a deep fry. Rather different and rather nice. One was enough and the cost was 10 cents for one.

 

Wander down by the river, and along the stalls in this region – fruit stalls, butchers shops with just the trachea and lungs remaining for sale and hanging from the corner of the shop – outside. A man selling nuts and dried fruit allows me to take his photo. Always photos to snap for the memory bank. Along another side street know locally as Titanic – shoes shops and kids toys, and … shoes. Ra was fixated by the shoes and so we went past many shops only to have him disappear as he would go and have a look. He never decided, he just liked to look at them and chat with the locals at the same time.

 

The sound of young music from stalls by the side of the road and from the nearby shops selling radios, music and all its paraphernalia. People would watch us pass but I do not recall seeing a malignantly disposed grimace – smiles and the right hand (always the right hand) drifting up to the heart with the salutation ‘salaam’… always the men, and young boys practising. Dear Lord, how I just loved to look and to reflect and to just wonder how these folk were living every day… in the rain and snow and bitter cold. Still the gnarled and crusted hands would come forward for me to shake – usually so gently, and with honest feeling. It would be hard not to be touched in some way.

 

Restaurants, up steep ladders and perched atop roofs of shops below, serving their only dish – kebabs, rice, sort-of meat soup, with slices of tomato, onion and a chilly on a side dish… they are dried around the edges indicating to me that they have been cut and prepared many hours before and the alert goes out quite strongly for me… DON’T EAT!!

In the street, cars with no exhaust-system spew out smoke and zoom along the road at a speed that makes the mouth drop in bewilderment. No seat belts and door handles that have been roped to the vehicle main frame indicates further to me DON’T DRIVE IN THIS ONE! Cops in their olive green suits drive by in their ford 4-pers pick-ups faster, for no good reason other than to drive fast and scare the locals. Kamaz truck belch and vomit benzene fumes, as they carry their wears through the distance of tar-seal, men in turbans perched on their roofs, their cargo or riding high in the cab. Small kids don’t even bother watching the sight of such massive movements anymore. They’re more interested in our baksheesh.

 

The third and final image of my deployment is of the men and women that I worked with. What an honour to have been with them. All ranks, high and low, showed me a respect that I was honoured to receive. Their military side as they talked of various missions. There serious side as they talked of their families back home and how much they meant to them. Their ribald side as they shared jokes, some spicy and some not, with me. They are well lead by their CO, Lt Col Fox, and they are well protected by all the various units that accrete to form the Company for this operation known as CRIB 17. I will miss each and every one of them.

 

The Medical team at Christmas From L to R: Leon Frampton-Leigh, The Doc, Kirk Blumers. In Front: Cat Brown

 

 

Finally, salutation to those in the medical team, each of whom needs a mention. Leon (the Nursing Officer) who worked so hard to develop a respectable and respectful RAP for us yet still smiled at the end of it. Blu, what can I not say about him! This guy was amazing. I loved his clear brain and his thinking, and the support he gave me. This gut IS ‘the stuff’. The medics, boy did their knowledge impress me: Cat (a star medic who needs to go to a higher level – poor thing, I have probably STILL spelt her name wrong), Kim (a gentleness with her that expressed her caring spirit), Mike (hardy and military in mind), and Holly (thrown in to so many situations, coming out richer for the experiences).

 

A final image for me and the last entry into my diary: ‘Wonderful autumnal views of the region and have noticed even in the least few days, the lack of leaves on the trees. Way in the distance were the snow capped hills looking down on us. Beautiful views!! Every morning, I see the sun tipping the hills. I take this to be my welcome to my day. This will be the essence of my memory. Now it is time for home and my family. This has been a ‘most great trip’ – and one that I was delighted to have been part of!!

Business travellers have a job to do. Protecting the health and safety of your staff travelling overseas is a responsibility and necessary to getting the job done.

“This includes prior knowledge of the risks an employee is likely to face in particular locations, including health, security precautions, travel vaccinations and medications.” Evan Slade, Department of Labour NZ.

Correctly managing the health risks of travelling employees and their families can significantly reduce productivity loss and avoid disruption to major projects.

WORLDWISE Travellers Health are New Zealand’s travel health specialists offering expertise and services to prevent such problems.

With clinics throughout NZ, WORLDWISE has the flexibility to cater to all individual company requirements.

Contact Rachel to find out how WORLDWISE can assist your business with its travel health needs:

PH: 09 520 5830

info@worldwise.co.nz

www.worldwise.co.nz

August 8, 2010

Cruising – Popularity for this mode of travel has increased dramatically over the years along with potential risk of public health problems. Cruising is generally seen as ‘no health risk’. There are risks for each traveller type from children, pregnant women, young adults to the elderly. Below we provide a few ‘general’ points on your travel health whilst cruising abroad.

Infectious Diarrhoea – there are frequent outbreaks caused by food and water contamination on ships.Novovirus is a very hardy virus capable of surviving on almost all surfaces from door handles, railings to windows. Practice good personal hygiene eg: hand washing. Take an alcohol based hand sanitser with you. Available at WORLDWISE centres

  • Hepatitis A is also a potential risk to cruise travellers through contaminated food and water. We recommend being up to date in your Hepatitis A immunisation.
  • Respiratory illness is the most common health problem on cruises. Spread by passengers, common ventilation systems & special facilities such as spas/buffet misting devices that generate aerosols. We recommend getting the Flu vaccination before departure.
  • Depending on ports you are getting off at around the world, there are specific risks for specific travellers. We recommend a consultation with your WORLDWISE specialist before departure, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions