The Veterinary Centre

Henley and Twyford

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Lisa Reading
Qualified Veterinary Nurse
 

I have been working at The Veterinary Centre since late 2007 training to be a veterinary nurse. After a couple of years at college, a couple of infuriating portfolios and several examinations I have finally passed and gained my veterinary nursing qualification! I always knew since a little girl that I would work with animals but could just never decide in what way. It only took me three years at university studying an Animal Behaviour degree and a year travelling the world to decide to train as a veterinary nurse. Surrounded by a great team of vets and nurses it has been rewarding and fulfilling to train, I hope to stay here for many years to come.

I share my home life with my boyfriend and three naughty but very loving cats. We took them on from the TVAW shortly after buying our house as we both felt that it wasn't a home without a friendly, furry face waiting in the window to great you when you get home. They were all very nervous when we first got them home, having spent the past 10 months in a cat run as there are not many people willing to take on three cats at the same time. With time and gentle persuasion with bribes they have turned into the kind of cats we wanted, independent but still content to share their time at the end of the day (or early in the morning wake up calls if they want breakfast).

When I'm not working or caring for my house (I now appreciate my mother even more for her hard work when I was growing up) I enjoy making my own jewellery, photography, reading, walking (with a borrowed dog when possible), travelling and socialising. After a short break from studying I will decide on the next thing to learn.


Photo:


Lisa with Taz and Clive
Taz is Vet Erik's dog.
Clive is Vet Anneli's dog.

Click here for the slideshow of my trip

In April I was lucky to be able to spend three weeks exploring Peru. Along with my brother Andy and my partner Phil I joined a pre-arranged tour group for an experience called Peru Encompassed, and wow it sure lived up to its name!

We began our trip in the capital city, Lima, on the West coast. Our Journey first saw us travelling south along the coast and into the desert. In Nazca we took a flight over the Nazca lines, these are large drawings on the desert floor which can only be seen from above. Nobody quite knows how the ancient people managed to create them from the ground although there are many theories. Next we travelled east to Arequipa where we witnessed part of their holy week celebrations, a two hour play around the main square culminating in Christ’s crucifixion. From here we travelled to the Colca Canyon (twice as deep as the grand canyon in places) in the hopes of seeing a flying display from the Andean Condors who nest there. We were treated to a spectacular display of both juveniles and adults flying, with up to seven in the air at one time. Our guides told us that there are usually no more than four birds in the area. Continuing east we arrived at Lake Titicaca on the Eastern border with Bolivia, the largest lake in South American and the highest navigable lake in the world. We continued North West to Cusco and the Inca Trail and finally to the Amazon Jungle.

I had dreamt of walking the Inca trail since the age of fifteen, this was the main reason Peru was chosen for our holiday destination, it certainly lived up to all I had imagined it to be. It is no longer possible to just turn up and hike the trail alone, the number of people allowed on the trail a day is closely regulated to keep it in good condition for many generations to come. Most tour groups hire porters and ours was no exception. The carried all our camping gear, including a cooking tent, dinner tent and a toilet tent! The welfare standards for the porters are high, they are weighed several times along the trail to ensure their loads are not over regulated weight and are provided with clothing and shoes from their employers. Day one was spent in quite dry conditions, warm with bright sunshine. Went spent eight hours walking with a gain in elevation from 2750m to 3840m, which was not easy at altitude. The second day was my most challenging, we were on the trail for 11 hours, getting into camp after dark. On this day we had take take on not one but two mountain passes, the first being the highest point on the trail at 4200meters, the second slightly lower at 3950meters gave us a stunning view of glaciers on top of other surrounding peaks. Day three was a short day of six hours walking before lunch, after a small climb we descended into cloud forest and just 1500 steps! Our final day started with a 4am wake up call, this allowed the porters to pack up camp and race down the mountain to catch their 5.30am train. We spent our time waiting for the check point to open so as we could start our trek to Machu Picchu at first light. We arrived at the sun gate with about half an hour to spare before the sun came over the mountains and burnt off the mist to give us a clear view of the Inca ruins.

Peru is a hugely varied country, geographically, culturally and socially. Accommodation during my trip was varied. We stayed frequently in locally run bed and breakfasts but at Lake Titicaca we enjoyed a home stay with the local people on the peninsula, we were fortunate enough to be received by the chief of the village. Whilst hiking along the Inca trail we stayed in tents but the porters carry this all the equipment for you and your tent is ready and waiting for you to collapse into at the end of a long day walking. The only way to stay in the Jungle is in one of the Eco Lodges, sharing camp with the wildlife where we were paid a visit by a sloth.

I saw many animals along the way which I had never had the opportunity to see in the wild before, these include Humboldt penguins, Andean Condors, Vicuña (one of the four Andean camelids), Macaws and Piranha. I feel extremely lucky to have been on this adventure.

Click here for the slideshow of my trip

 

 

 

   
Henley Vets and Twyford Vets
The Veterinary Centre: 271 Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1EL - Phone 01491 574490
Also at Twycombe Lodge, Loddon Hall Road, Twyford, RG10 9JA - Phone 0118 934 0259