Jean-Sebastien got a taste of travelling when he was young. With parents from Sri-Lanka and France, he experienced both countries at an early age. It was inevitable therefore that he would want to see more of the world when the opportunity presented itself.
Jean-Sebastien took his first long trip for one year shortly after university when he visited South East Asia and Australasia. In 2010 he spent 8 months in South America where he embarked on experiencing some truly amazing things: he went to the biggest carnival on Earth in Rio de Janeiro, taught English to Bolivian children, trekked to the awe inspiring Machu Picchu, ate the best steak in the world in Buenos Aires and climbed 6088 metres to reach the summit of the Huayna Potosí mountain near La Paz.
With so many great memories it was little surprise that he joined the Audley team to continue his love affair with the continent.
My Most Memorable Experience
I have always been fascinated by animals but have rarely had the opportunity to see them in the wild until recently. In the Pantanal on my last visit to Brazil I had seen an abundance of caimans, a relation of the alligator, a wonderful variety of birds of all shapes and sizes, as well as mammals such as the capuchin monkey and the giant otter but had not seen the elusive Jaguar.
We were on our way back to our accommodation by boat just as the sun was coming down when we spotted it. It was on the move in search of a meal. It crossed the river and slowly but purposefully approached a lone capybara and pounced only narrowly missing its target. It was so captivating and to think that we nearly witnessed it catching its prey is something that will be with me for a long time to come.
My Favourite Destination
I was blown away by Patagonia's spectacular scenery on my most recent visit to Argentina. I missed the opportunity to go to El Calafate the first time I went to South America; so I was thrilled when Audley included it as part of my first trip with them.
The first time I saw the huge creaking piece of ever changing ice that is the Perito Moreno glacier it really took my breath away. I was amazed how close we got to it; I loved the trek on top using crampons which the guides tied onto our shoes; it gave us the chance to see the ever changing crevasses with beautiful shades of whites and blues that changed with the light. I particularly enjoyed the glass of whisky towards the end of our trek; our guide used his pick axe to cut ice from the glacier!
My Favourite Accommodation
Argentina has a wealth of great places to stay, anything from the grandest hotels in Buenos Aires to working farms called estancias in the countryside where you really get to know the hosts as well as the other guests.
My particular favourite is the Eolo Lodge located thirty kilometres from El Calafate. It's in a stunning location, where you can see beautiful mountains on one side and Lago Argentino on the other. The service is unbelievable as is the food but it's really the peace and quiet that you appreciate, it gives you a chance to really relax after one of the many excursions that are possible.
I went horseriding, which was done at an easy pace, one where I could take in the surroundings. It was just as enjoyable reading my book over a glass of wine in the library room whilst watching the sunset.