Seraphina’s Arctic Challenge
At the end of last month our ever adventurous Reservations Manager, Seraphina, completed an Arctic marathon on skis to help raise thousands of pounds for a breast cancer charity. Here she is at the end of the epic challenge (pictured centre in a purple jacket).
Organised by Walk the Walk Charity, more normally associated with moon walks in funky pink bras, the marathon took place in the frozen far north of Sweden. Along with her sister and a friend, Seraphina joined a group of 19 women, most of whom had never done any cross country skiing before, let alone a marathon. To prepare for the gruelling event, Seraphina was in training for 6 months and we can attest to her commitment to the gym and daily lunchtime walks up our local Cotswold hills.
Having arrived in northern Sweden, the chilly temperatures ranged from -33 to a relatively balmy -20 degrees centigrade - definitely not the temperatures for wearing funky bras!! From their base in a remote hut, with no running water or electricity, the women spent a day getting used to their skis and the freezing conditions before heading out into the snowy wilderness and skiing for 26 and a bit miles, over two days, to reach the end point near Abisko. The total time to complete the marathon was 16 exhausting hours.
Totally shattered, but thrilled to have successfully completed the challenge, the ladies celebrated with a night at an ice hotel and a ride in a husky sled back to the airport.
Seraphina, along with her sister and friend, raised a very impressive £5,200 for their efforts whilst the group as a whole raised a whopping £47,000, all of which goes towards vital breast cancer causes. Huge congratulations go to Seraphina from all of us at Mountain Kingdoms and we look forward to seeing her competing at the next winter Olympics!
A Message from MD Steve Berry
Mountain Kingdoms has been running holidays across the world for the last 33 years, and now, as ever, the safety and well-being of our clients is our top priority. Since the start of the Corona Virus (Covid-19) outbreak we have been carefully monitoring developments in all the destinations we travel to, keeping in close contact with our partners on the ground and following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice.
The situation is ever-changing and unpredictable but we have weathered many storms in the three decades that I have been at the helm of Mountain Kingdoms, from natural disasters to wars, assassinations and civil unrest. Mountain Kingdoms is a fully bonded company offering complete financial security - land only through ABTOT and air inclusive holidays through ATOL (2973). We are members of AITO and are fully accredited IATA agents. We have a highly experienced team here in the office and superb local partners across our destinations, all working hard to keep you safe and well, and to minimise any potential disruption.
I appreciate many of you may be concerned about what impact Covid-19 could have on your holiday arrangements. Whilst most situations will be covered by our usual booking conditions*, I am trying to be as flexible as possible in response to this unprecedented situation. Hopefully the guidelines below will make our policy clear but do get in touch with us on 01453 844400 if you have any questions at all.
Tourism is critical to many of the countries we travel to, so I do hope that you will continue with your holiday plans, and we will certainly do all we can to ensure that your holiday is a safe and enjoyable one.
At Mountain Kingdoms we are committed to Responsible Tourism and ensuring that all our holidays are undertaken in a way which is socially, environmentally and culturally sound. As part of this commitment we have now joined the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency initiative.
Michael Rutland has over 16 years’ experience leading cultural tours in Bhutan for Mountain Kingdoms. Having retired in 2018, he’s happily decided that he’s not yet ready to give up sharing the magic of Bhutan – his adopted home country - and will once again be leading a departure of our Definitive Cultural Tour of Bhutan this November.