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Delegates Reflect on Whiskey, Trains and Night Creatures

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Post by Jenny McBain, a freelance writer from Ullapool, who provided special reports on the daily Summit content.

VisitCairngorms offered up the delegates of the 2010 ATWS three unique cultural experiences for a ‘Night Out in Cairngorms Park,” for the free night option – a first for the Summit. Response from delegates was positive, with many reports of fun evenings that gave a twist to networking, much like the annual Pre-Summit Adventures.

Gerry Moss from Archaeology Magazine attended the whiskey tasting tour, held at Scotland’s highest distillery, Dalwhinnie.   He says, “ We drove through the night  for around half an hour and a beautiful old building popped out of the countryside from amidst the fields of grass and sheep.”  Gerry has now been converted to the joys of the liquor known in Gaelic as uisge beath– the water of life.  A copper tube was dipped into a oak cask so he and the rest of the  party could sample a 19 year old malt.  That did it for Gerry.  He spent over $100 on whisky to share with friends back home.

Pat Johnson and Regina Fraser – of the Grannies on Safari TV fame- dined through the night on the old Scottish Strathspey steam train. Pat remarked, “The ambience was great and so were the staff.  I would love to do this trip by day so I could take in the scenery.”

A Swedish man who is passionate about taking visitors to see elks in the wild, Tomas Bergenfeldt from Stockholm Adventures, was well placed to judge a night time wildlife tour in Scotland.  “We saw badgers and pine martin,” he said, “but in actual fact it was the warm and engaging character of our guide that made the night special.”

So now we know next year’s Summit is going to be in Chiapas, Mexico – what local wonders await us there?

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