GLOBAL ACCESS NEWS TRAVEL E-ZINE
VOLUME V, NUMBER 5, May 2004
Copyright © 2004, Global Access News

http://www.globalaccessnews.com/

Please note: Any Internet links mentioned in this E-Zine were verified as functioning as of the date on this E-Zine. Websites and e-mail addresses, however, change frequently, so changes may have occurred after that date.

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Welcome to the May 2004 issue of the Global Access News Travel E-Zine. This month, we cover a great sampling of accessible travel options, including several European venues, along with Argentina and New Zealand. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to write us and share your travel experiences.

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CONTENTS

1. ARGENTINA ACCESS: LATITUDE SUR
2. CRETE: ERIA RESORT
3. LONDON BUS UPDATE
4. NEW FRENCH GITES: BRITTANY & LANGUEDOC-ROUSILLON
5. CRUISING: ENCHANTMENT UPDATE & JAMAICA VAN TOUR
6. NEW ZEALAND ADVENTURE
 

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1. ARGENTINA ACCESS: LATITUD SUR


It was a treat to receive an e-mail from Adriana Pereyra at Latitude Sur, which promotes accessible tourism in Argentina. Until now there simply weren’t any good resources for disabled travelers wanting to visit such exotic South American places as Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Puerto Madryn, San Martín de los Andes and San Carlos de Bariloche.

Latitud Sur members have visited the tourist destinations in Argentina to determine their access and have also designed tourist programs suited to the specific needs of various disabilities.
 
Readers can check their site for information on accommodation, dining and transportation, including adapted vehicles and rental cars. There is also information on tango shows, plays, excursions, and recreational activities (museums, workshops, arts centers, ‘estancias', boat trips, etc.).

Their services are available to assist travelers with specific needs, such as translators, sign language interpreters, bilingual guides, traveling companions, nurses, and prosthetic and rental equipment suppliers.
 
To learn more contact Latitud Sur at http://www.latitudsur.org.ar/
Or
Latitud Sur accesible - Asociación Civil
Avda. Santa Fe 830 - Piso 2º
C1059ABP - Buenos Aires - Argentina
Tel: (5411) 4312 5858 - Fax: (5411) 4315 0030

 
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2. CRETE: ERIA RESORT

 
Eria, a new completely accessible resort in Crete Greece, will open in June. Located in the historic village of Maleme, the resort is surrounded by olive groves and offers an unobstructed view of the Cretan sea.
 
The ground level and first-floor rooms encircle the pool and the communal areas while the balconies have a beautiful view of the Cretan sea. All hotel facilities are fully accessible to people with disabilities, including the roof garden, restaurant, bar, gym and pool, which has a ramp for easy access.
 
Wheelchairs (both electric and manual), scooters, hoists, stanchions, and an oxygen compressor are available upon request. Doctors and a physiotherapist are also available. An adapted mini bus is provided to transport visitors from the airport or the harbor. And an excursion program for sightseeing is available.
 
To learn more about Eria, visit http://www.eria-resort.gr/

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3. LONDON BUS UPDATE

 
Juliann, of London, England, sent the following update to our April E-Zine mention of London’s bus changes (see E-Zine Archives). Juliann writes: “London is not dumping All double decker buses! They are just replacing the old ones with new ones that are (mostly) wheelchair accessible. There are still issues with the new ones, but most wheelchair users should be able to get on most of the time -- but only one wheelchair per bus.”
 
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4. NEW FRENCH GITES: BRITTANY & LANGUEDOC-ROUSILLON

 
Rhian van Kemenade shared the news of his accessible gite rental in the Northern French region of Brittany. Rhian writes: “I have a gite in Brittany, suitable for families or groups of friends, which has level-access facilities in the downstairs double bedroom. The adjoining shower room has a completely level-access shower (no shower tray), shower stool, and the WC has a handrail. Suitable for people with limited mobility and wheelchair users who can walk a few paces within the bedroom and shower-room. The large living space with kitchen corner is totally wheelchair accessible. I spent many years working with people with disabilities (in Wales) and I believe the accommodation is well designed for people with restricted mobility. Please see my website at www.brittany-breaks.co.uk

Mary Fitzakerly wrote from Britain to share the news of a newly renovated 17th-century accessible gite in the Languedoc-Rousillon region of Southeastern France. The gite is near Carcassone and many other attractions. Learn more at www.lacoume-gites.com

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5. CRUISING: ENCHANTMENT UPDATE & JAMAICA VAN TOUR

 
Mindy Desen, of Lucky Mindy Adventures, http://www.luckymindy.com/ Sent us the following comments about her recent cruise on the Royal Caribbean Line Enchantment and an accessible van tour in Jamaica. Mindy writes:
 
“I'm on the RCL Enchantment right now, which is pretty good for a six-year-old boat. They've got 14 accessible cabins in a variety of categories, and, in general, the ship is one of the most universally accessible I've yet found during my 10 years or so of escorting groups of people with disabilities.
 
However, the two lifts on the Enchantment (for the pool and Jacuzzi) have a problem. The Jacuzzi lift was removed and is supposedly being replaced (damage from salt water). The pool lift was not functioning; it also has a wrecked part. I spent about a half hour with the manager of Guest Services, Ray Lazure, VERY nice guy, who actually met with the pool manager to find out what was going on with the lifts. He took down my story and is going to personally see that RCL keeps spare parts for all this equipment on board in the future, so it can be fixed immediately when needed. I've had two small groups on this ship this year, and neither were able to use the pool lift for whatever reasons. Actually I'm still very much impressed with RCL in general, compared with some of the other lines I've used...
 
The last time I was in Jamaica (Ocho Rios) with a group, there was no such thing as lift equipment available. Today I found they've got at least two small vans (holds 6) with lifts, and we were able to book one by just getting off the cruise ship and checking with the taxi people at the end of the pier. In 10 minutes, we had a very wonderful driver/guide, named Noel Wilson (Jango, I think he nick named himself), who did a custom trip for $20 each (plus we tipped him). He was with us for about four hours, and we saw lots of nice stuff. The next time I'd recommend that we grab sandwiches from breakfast on the ship, fruit, etc. and have a picnic. He said he's got lots of fantastic places for that. Anyway, one highlight of having our own small group experience was being able to stop wherever...including at a small fruit stand where we sampled about 8 types of fantastic fruit, cocoa beans, allspice, etc. Just gave the farmer a couple bucks tip. Our driver even stopped at one point and climbed a fence to pick some fruit for us.
 
He took us to a straw market, outdoor vendors, but they were a little aggressive. I guess in my old age I just prefer to shop where you aren't hassled. The prices for T-shirts are actually better in the stores. There are three main shopping centers easily reached. We were at "Sony," I think. Noel doesn't recommend using the one closest to the port, as it’s more expensive, he says. But it's newer and I'm guessing is more accessible.
 
With only a few accessible vehicles in Jamaica, it would be preferable to be able to book in advance. "Jango" Wilson's phone number is: 1-876-870-6545. From what I read in my phone book, you don't have to even dial the international access code to reach most Caribbean islands. Just dial like you were dialing out of state. I know I saw a card with his name listed as "Noel," but the card he gave me says George.
 
The inside of the Toyota van was pretty low, my guy had to tip his head a little, but he's in a higher-than-average chair. We were still thrilled to be able to go somewhere with my group, and Jango was a terrific guy. Very helpful, very fun. He sang lots of great Jamaican music during the ride and encouraged us to sing along.
 
He took us to a market where each individual vendor was kind of hard-pressure, and that wasn't (it never is) a great experience. As much as I'd like to buy at outdoor markets, I'm finding that in Ocho Rios it's just easier and cheaper to go to one of the three main shopping centers to buy the regular souvenirs, shirts, etc. The one by the ship is supposed to be the priciest, but it's also the most modern.
 
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6. NEW ZEALAND ADVENTURE

 
Syd and June Burns, of Penrith, England, who have shared their travel diaries many times with Global Access, explore the access of “Kiwi Land” New Zealand in Part One of their latest trek. If you’re headed for this scenic land, their detailed diary is a must read. http://www.globalaccessnews.com/nzealandburns04pt1.htm

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Global Access News welcomes your travel reports, tips and comments at clearpath@cox.net Thanks for sharing!

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