As the daughter of a diplomat, Melissa has lived her life on several continents, including three years in Cuba, one year in Chile and six months in Mexico. She went on to study Spanish and French at Cambridge University, specialising in South American Literature and Language with a year spent in Chile.
On a mission to discover the southern cone and to perfect her Spanish, she thoroughly explored the Chilean coast, the countryside and of course neighbouring Argentina. She fell in love with the scenery, steaks and gaucho-style riding, and has revisited her friends in both countries several times.
Since joining Audley after two years in London, Melissa has revisited some of the highlights of the region including the spectacular Iguazu Falls. She has also travelled the length and breadth of Uruguay, which she has fallen head over heels for. She swears by it as one of the most fantastic places in South America for rest, relaxation and sun - relatively undiscovered by the rest of the world.
I'll never forget when…
After one of the most dramatic desert storms of the rainy season, our hotel guide from Tierra Atacama suggested taking a small group out at night to walk by the light of the moon and stars across the lunar landscape of the Atacama Desert. It was warm and still and the lack of vegetation meant a total absence of wildlife - complete silence.
After walking through the beautiful and eerie landscape, marked by lightning far off to the south and under the largest moon I'd ever seen, we sat around a campfire with drinks sharing travel stories with guide and travellers. The exclusivity of the excursion was due to the flexibility and enthusiasm of the guide to give his guests something to remember due to particular weather conditions that week.