VIV PALLOT spoke with FIONA FOYLE, Sales Advisor at Dunell’s Premier Wines.

 

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If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
The Galápagos Islands because I love Nature! I’m fascinated by plants and animals and the way everything interacts together. And the Galápagos Islands are an intensified example of that.

Have you ever seen animals in the wild?
We went to Kanha Tiger Reserve in central India but didn’t see any tigers – only footprints. My partner, Andy, and I joked about our tour leader having a gadget on the end of his walking pole making tiger prints! Eventually we saw tigers at Ranthambore National Park in northern India – other people hired private transport and didn’t see any, but we spotted them from a basic government Jeep!

Any other wild animals during your travels?
Yes, we camped overnight at Kruger National Park in South Africa and got quite close to some wildebeest and elephants. In fact, a herd of elephants crossed the track right in front of us and a baby one suddenly started charging towards us, making hooty trumpeting noises!
The zebras let us get really close to them as we were on horseback at the time. And we saw giraffes and lions in the distance.

Was it dangerous at all?
Well, on night safaris you have to sign a disclaimer and list your next-of-kin! The leaders are all armed with rifles, of course.
There were signs everywhere warning, “Beware of the Hippos”. But ostriches are surprisingly dangerous too. Did you know that if he feels threatened, an adult male can raise his hoof and disembowel a person?

Eew! You had no bad encounters, I hope?
Actually, I got up close and personal to a crocodile in Swaziland! It was on a walk from our Backpackers Lodge to the National Park when I suddenly spotted a small croc in the undergrowth ahead. I thought to myself: If that’s a small one then there’s got to be a Mum nearby…
Adrenaline instantly kicked in; it was a real fight-or-flight situation. I shouted to Andy, “RUN!!”  I just wanted to keep on running and running! We spent the rest of the afternoon in a state of shock, sitting in a canteen, completely unable to move. A bit scary!

Just a bit! Moving on, what would it take for you to go to the Galápagos Islands?
A lottery win?