Charli and Leigh in South America

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We are Charli and Leigh and we are off to South America. I know South America is quite a big place but we are going to get around a bit. First off we arrive in Ecuador, brush up on our Spanish, then via our first animal refuge we will travel through Peru to Boliva and our second refuge. All in all we'll be there over 4 months spending more than half the time with the animals and the rest learning Spanish and travelling.

I guess the most revealing question would be why, so I'll start with that. We both like animals (I probably shouldn't say more than people here, no I don't think I will!) not just in an 'oh aren't they cute' kind of way but with a fascination for all the amazing species that have developed and the odd humorous one too. Consequently we'd quite like to see those species survive and have an interest in conservation. I suppose we are quite adventurous by most peoples standards we tend to spend our time off climbing up walls or walking miles up mountains to spend the night in quite cold and basic bunk beds. Charli has form, buggering off to South Africa to play with animals before but that was almost 5 years ago now and you can see she's starting to twitch! I'd quite like to further test Charli's seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of animals, she could of course be making it all up in which case I'm going to look like a right idiot. Neither of us like beach holidays, I don't really like doing nothing for any great length of time so it seemed like the obvious thing to do.

Now I'm sure you're dying to know how, okay that might be a little optimistic but I'm going there anyway so you might as well join me. The essential cost has been covered by our savings but we are attempting to fund-raise in order to increase the voluntary donation to the places we stay. My time off has come virtue of the good people at Wilkinson, where I work, letting long term employees have a career break. Wilko have also helped by selling off lots of thing we take for granted (like pencils and scrubbing brushes) that might be helpful to people in the wilderness of South America, so we acquired them cheaply and space permitting plan to take with us. Charli had carefully planned her post University career to fit around her last good chance to wander off for many months and used her uncanny ability to find employment to help get her savings up to the challenge.

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