Ian and I just wanted you to know personally how much we enjoyed our trip to Iraqi Kurdistan with Steppes.
Apart from the country being so fabulously interesting, what made it for me was the wonderful contribution that both Rebecca and Balin made to the tour. As an Assyriologist myself I really valued Rebecca’s fantastic input and all the work she did on areas of interest some of which were not really within her specialist field. She went out of her way to reveal things in the country which most tourists wouldn’t see - including a visit to the Shanidar Cave with a talk from Tim Reynolds, the palaeo-archaeologist, who had just arrived that day to start work on the cave. She has that amazing quality, so often lacking in guest speakers, of knowing when to give more information and when to lower the tone! I hope you will engage her often as she is truly a worthwhile speaker and very hard-working. Indeed, a lovely person.
Balin too was just terrific; he was kind, helpful and extremelyunderstanding of everyone’s needs and wants. His knowledge of his country’s history and the areas we visited was amazing. He went out of his way to make us all feel at home and never stopped looking after our needs.
I celebrated a birthday while we were away and Rebecca and Balin were extremely thoughtful and kind, decorating the bus with balloons and banners and giving me a lovely party in the evening. They work so well as a team together and one can sense that real appreciation of each other’s contribution to the tour. Brilliant combo!!
The trip was so good, Justin, that I just felt I had to write to you personally and tell you so!
Hope you’re well and enjoying Steppes and the Traveller - a bit different from our time aboard Le Boreal together, but I’m sure immensely pleasurable!
Kindest regards from us both