Back in 2001, Danielle and me got to know each other through the internet. At that time, Danielle was living in West Yorkshire and me here at the Kyles of Bute where I was born and raised and lived most of my live. When we finally decided to meet each other in person, we arranged a meeting in Glencoe, a place Danielle fell in love with back in 1996 when she went skiing there with her daughter Daisy. It clicked and a few months later, Danielle moved up to Scotland, together with her cat, Amy.
Soon after, we travelled into Switzerland and France for a skiing holiday, followed by a few days in the Belgian Ardennes while visiting her parents.
As she had her own travel agency specialised in tailor-made holidays into Latin America, my first holiday into that lovely part of the world was to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in June 2002. Unknown to anybody but to Danielle’s sister Nelly (who had arranged the papers she needed), we went first to the British and Belgian Embassy in Quito to get the final papers for our marriage which was going to take place just offshore San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos, onboard the Galapagos Explorer II. After a few days Quito, we headed for the Antisana, where we did a high altitude trek for 4 days, before heading to La Runa Runtun close to Banos for a few days rest. Out next destination was the jungle, Kapawi Lodge. The last day in Kapawi, we had our faces painted with a black natural dye which lasts approximately 2 to 3 weeks. Once back in Quito we emailed my brother John and her daughter Daisy stating we were going to get married the next day in the Galapagos. At 8 pm, the judge of San Cristobal married us in the piano bar of the Galapagos Explorer II, with the captain and the hotel manager as our witnesses. After the ceremony all of us went to the restaurant. No need to say that all other passengers were very curious to know who that couple with the painted faces were who entered that late with the captain and shared his table!
Whenever we have the chance, we travel. Be it a day trip or a real holiday here in Scotland, Europe, Latin America, the Western United States, Ontario or British Columbia, we always go in search of beautiful landscapes, mountains, plant and wildlife (especially birds!). Danielle is also interested in the geology which formed the landschapes and mountains as well as the history of the people living in it. Lately, she has been researching both our histories and we included the results on our website.