Talk to the Tour Guide
- The Midgie
- 10 September 2009
Name Stevie Christie
How long have you been working as a tour guide Eight years
Interests The outdoors and adventure travel
What sort of people come on your tours?
We get all sorts of people from all over the world. They all have an interest in adventure travel, which is what brings them to us. It's fascinating to meet so many different people and to see how people interact with each other when they’re on a tour - they always seem to find a common interest and get on very well.
Which place are they most blown away by?
The Scottish Highlands and Islands, probably because it is much more breathtaking than they expect. People don't generally associate Scotland with vast white sandy beaches, sea kayaking through pristine archipelagos and whale watching – but you can do it all here. One of the most rewarding aspects of the job is introducing people to these wonderful experiences and beautiful places.
Where’s your favourite picnic spot and what’s in your dream hamper?
Sandwood Bay in the North West Highlands is one of my favourite spots, reached by a long hike across the moors. It's a two-mile long beach, complete with sea stack, and you can sit there and watch the big rollers come in from the Atlantic. I'm not a big foodie but if I'm camping somewhere wild, I like to take a wee dram of malt whisky to sip under the stars before getting into my sleeping bag.
Describe Scotland in a single sentence?
The most diverse, inspirational and under-rated country in the world.
What can’t you leave home without?
A good book – and the keys for my flat.
What’s your favourite travelling song?
It's hard to beat the theme tune to The Littlest Hobo!
Who’s your favourite Scottish celebrity?
I like people who come across as typically friendly and down to earth – people like sports men Sam Torrance or Chris Hoy.
What’s your favourite global hotspot?
The Gran Sabana region of Venezuela. I guided a well-known celebrity on a trekking trip there a couple of years ago and it is an absolutely amazing landscape. Vast mountains rise from the forest to form islands in the sky, which are home to lots of amazing plant and animal species – many of which are unique to the mountain they are found on. This landscape is where Arthur Conan Doyle got his idea for The Lost World, as he thought that dinosaurs could still live on some of the inaccessible tops. Maybe they do, as not all of the mountains (called tepuis) have been explored.
Haggis: love it or hate it?
Love it. And I've been known to recite the Robert Burns toast before eating it on many occasions.
What will you be dressing up as for Halloween?
I don’t know that I’ll have a costume, not unless you count getting geared up for the mountains as getting dressed up? Halloween is on a Saturday this year, so I'll likely be doing something adventurous up north!
Stevie is director of adventure travel specialists, Wilderness Scotland. For more information call 0131 625 6635 or visit www.wildernessscotland.com