This time last year I went on my first international trip with VICTA and Seable. Today I’ll tell you all about this trip. Plus explain what both these organisations are about. I know it's not safe to travel right now, but by the end of this post you'll learn why you should still check them out. Not to mention why Lanzarote is a great holiday destination. Keep reading to find out how visually impaired people go on holiday semi-independently.
What Is Seable?
Seable is a tour operator that organises holidays abroad for blind and partially sighted individuals, couples, families and group of friends. It’s the only company that has a local chaperone service to provide you with the assistance you need the entire holiday. They will:
Wait for you at the airport upon your arrival
Drive you to your accommodation
Help you check in
Assist during meals
Guide you during excursions
It’s a tourism company that take you on amazing, accessible and inclusive trips abroad. Go to the Seable website to find out more. On my trip, I was lucky enough to meet Damiano and Emma, who founded Seable! Due to the Covid-19 the company need to rebuild. Please donate to Seable's crowd funding page to help them continue providing people with sight loss accessible holidays.
What Is VICTA?
VICTA is a UK national charity that provides support to blind and partially sighted children and young adults aged 0 to 29 and their families. They provide activities, services and grant programmes for people with sight loss. The activities can range from outings across the UK, family events and semi-independent international trips for young adults. Previously I’ve been on a trip to Edinburgh with them.
VICTA is a great charity for you to visit if you want to do something that’s accessible, but also help you become more independent and confident. Visit the VICTA website to see everything they have to offer. On my trip I met their volunteers Holly and Bob and staff members John and Francesca.
I applied for this trip from the VICTA website. VICTA covered most of the cost of the trip and their staff travelled to Lanzarote with us. All I had to do was pay a deposit, pack beforehand and bring money to spend. Plus get to Gatwick airport on time. Seable arranged all the activities we did, the places we would eat and our accommodation. So the next sections are about the most important parts of my 7-day holiday: The activities and the food.
Our days were packed with activities. There was always something different for us to do. If I told you everything we did, we’d be here all day. I loved everything but had to narrow it down to a few that I felt were unique to Lanzarote. So, below are some of the highlights from the trip.
Visiting Los Hervideros:
|IMAGE DESCRIPTION: photo from the cliffs where you see both the clear blue ocean and the waves hitting rocks as they go into the underwater caves.|
Walking Tour of Timanfaya National Park:
|IMAGE DESCRIPTION: an area of the National Park where there is dark grey soil on aIm mountain and green bush plants scattrrd from top to bottom. Below it is the stone path we walked on and different coloured small rocks.|
Kayaking to Papagayo Beach:
Lanzarote Cheese Platter:
Paella and Black Rice with Squid Ink:
Paella is a Spanish dish made of rice, saffron chicken, vegetables and fish. It's cooked and served in a large shallow pan. On our second day we had lunch at a local restaurant near the beach, where they made three types of Paella dishes, vegetarian, sea food and meat. The meat wasn't halal so I had the vegetarian and sea food ones, both of which tasted lovely. As someone who eats rice and curry everyday, I found it interesting to see how other cultures use rice to make their own dishes. As an added bonus, I got to be quite adventurous with eating rice. The restaurant, made black rice from squid ink. For me, this was quite adventurous because I've never had squid ink before, let alone with rice. It tasted great! I highly recommend you try it, if you ever get the chance.
|IMAGE DESCRIPTION: photo of some paella, black rice and a silver fork on a blue plate that has a gold outline. It's placed on a ite table.|
Barbecued Fish Made From A Volcano:
I've saved the best for last! After exploring the National Park we went to the restaurant El Diablo for lunch. Here, they use the heat of the volcano to cook food! Restaurant El Diablo was built around the mouth of a volcano, six feet under the restaurant is a pool of lava. When we arrived, they took us to an area outside the restaurant with rocks and a whole in the ground. One of the workers there, got a long pole and attached a leaf to it, he then placed it into the whole and we could see steam and a fire emerge! I think that was a demonstration of how a fire is made to cook. Also they showed us gazers of water, wholes in the ground where they poured water and it came gushing out high in the sky Once inside the building, we went to a room where they had large grills over the whole to barbecue meat, fish and roast vegetables.
For our starters we had soup with cheese and barbecue as a main. I had some barbecued fish with potatoes, it tasted fantastic! The fish had a nice smoky texture to it from the volcano, which I thought was quite unique. Restaurant El Diablo is a place you should definitely dine in!
|IMAGE DESCRIPTION: photo of a white rectangular plate with roast potatoes, barbecued fish and a salad made up of lettuce and tomatoes. Behind it are different glasses of drinks people had. All of this is on a white table.|
Overall, I really enjoyed my trip to Lanzarote. I met some nice people in my group and got to experience what a trip organised by Seable was like (,without the hefty price). I also got to know Emma and Damiano, the two of them seemed really passionate about the work they do. They do their best to make sure you have a nice time. Plus, they're amazing at sighted guide! Sighted guide, is when you hold onto someone's elbow or shoulder with one arm and they lead you to where you need to go. You're a step behind them, so instead of being pulled or dragged somewhere you naturally follow them. Doing it, does take some getting used to. In the past I've had to explain how it worked to people, but with Emma and Damiano I didn't. Also I learnt the reason why Seable holidays are so pricey is because all that money goes towards the trip itself, like the flights, hotel and activities. Seable arrange everything for you and make sure it's as safe as possible. For updates, on how they'll make sure blind and partially sighted people are safe on future trips visit Seable's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Recently, they did a survey about trips around the UK that they could do in the future, so they're a company that will adapt to any changes Covid 19 has in store for us. If you're visually impaired and enjoy travelling, Seable is a company you should definitely consider. That's all I have to share with you about my trip. I hope you enjoyed my post.