Geography: Where have my A Levels taken me?
2012 Bede's leaver Maisie Foster emailed the Geography Department recently to report back from her travels, from the Galapagos Islands through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
My 10 days on the Galapagos was like living in a David Attenborough documentary. There were animals everywhere!
Alongside taking part in voluntary work, where I chopped down invasive species of plant, I was able to go to the Giant Tortoise Sanctuary, swim with Sea Lions, Turtles, Hammerhead sharks and Rays and, although not on the Galapagos, I also saw Penguins in the wild. I was so excited!
Although the Galapagos was beautiful it had nothing on Peru. Whilst travelling through Peru, the scenery can change so dramatically from day to day. One moment you will be travelling through sand covered plains, the next snow capped mountains, then lands surrounded by water.
I managed to visit everywhere I wanted to, taking a 45 minute flight over the Nazca Lines in a plane so small it looked like a mini with wings and going to the Nazca Necropolis, located in a valley surrounded by the Andes, which was INCREDIBLE.
That trip left me with no doubt that Archaeology is what I want to do. The Necropolis is a graveyard where shamans and high priests were buried. Whilst at the cemetery, we were taught about the Inca's views on death, which is lovely.
They are buried in a foetal position in a pod-shaped hole in the ground with all their belongings which held specific meaning to them. They do this so that even if there isn't a life after death, they will always be protected, like a baby in the womb (hence the position they are placed in and the shape of the hole) by Pachamama which means mother earth.
After the Nazca lines and the cemetery I really didn't think that my trip could get any better, but it did!
After walking the Inca Trail and arriving at Machu Picchu after 3 days was the greatest feeling ever. We arrived just as the sun rose over the mountains and lit up Machu Picchu, which was incredible.
There was such a sense of accomplishment and pride in our group. (I have attached a photo of me at Machu Picchu, I was so excited I took over 200 photos whilst there, but don't worry I haven't sent them all).
Other highlights of my trip were definitely my home stay on Lake Titicaca, and my stay in the Amazon Jungle.
Geography Student, Class of 2012