Tour Tale: Our Life-Saving Tour Guide

Hello Rick,

My wife and I returned a week ago from your Best of England in 14 Days tour. It was a wonderful tour (and we plan on submitting our tour evaluation form to so reflect). However, something else happened on our tour which I expect you will find somewhat unique.

As we were traveling in our coach through Wales, our tour guide Tom Hooper was discussing the large flocks of sheep we were observing. He was explaining to our group that sheep required considerable attention at this time of year as prior to shearing, their coats of fleece become quite heavy. As such, if the sheep falls over onto its back it is often unable to right itself and can end up dying.

No sooner did he complete this explanation but one of our group spotted a sheep on its back. Tom asked our wonderful coach driver Louise to find a relatively safe place to pull over and Tom proceeded to go to the aid of the sheep. He worked his way through the field, over the barbed wire and then managed to lift up or right the sheep. You can see in the photos Tom righting the sheep and then the grateful appreciative looks from both the ewe and its lamb.

We later learned that these sheep can die in as quick as a few hours on their backs due to suffocation, so there are reasonable odds that Tom saved its life. Word of this even got around to the appreciative locals in the next village.

Our group was most impressed with Tom’s dedication and heroism. We subsequently awarded him the "Golden Fleece Award" and membership in the "Royal Order of Fleece Flippers" (more commonly known as ROFF).

This was an interesting anecdote and a memorable part of a very enjoyable trip. You are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and wonderful tour guide such as Tom Hooper. This was only one of many great experiences with Tom on this tour. I can honestly say that he is one of, if not the best, tour guides we have ever experienced. His knowledge and English humour are second to none.

We have read your guidebooks, watched your DVDs, and traveled on your tours. It is experiences like these and guides like Tom that make your travel unique.

Best regards,

Gary and Sue in Calgary, Canada