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Could Charlie be the world’s best guide?

April 29, 2014 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Back-Roads Touring guide Charlie Jaques has been nominated as the world’s best guide in the only global award for tour leaders and guides.

Over 2,200 nominations – a record – were received for the ninth Wanderlust World Guide Awards held by UK-based Wanderlust travel magazine.

Back-Roads Touring guide Charlie JaquesCharlie is one of just eight guides to be shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious awards.

Charlie, or CJ as he is known, is a true wandering spirit with 12 fully stamped passports – and counting.

He has spent 15 years driving quite literally to the ends of the earth as an expedition leader, pioneering new routes through Russia, Mongolia and China.

Now based in the UK, Charlie divides his time between guiding for Back-Roads Touring, focusing on France in particular, and training journalists and NGOs before they head out to hostile environments.

Voters lauded Charlie’s vast knowledge of every destination and his “willingness and flexibility” as a guide, including one occasion when he took passengers on an impromptu adventure after coming across a group harvesting grapes in Bordeaux.

Charlie talked to them and sure enough we were soon in there helping with the harvest and trying their grapes. A once-in-a-lifetime experience!” a passenger wrote.

The top trio will be recognised and awarded bursaries – the Gold award winner receiving £5,000 – in a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London on October 21.

“Back-Roads tour leaders are dedicated to delivering a truly authentic, personable experience and Charlie is a wonderful example of this,” Back-Roads Touring general manager Steve Reynolds said.

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