Dominique LAURENT

Biography

I have always traveled. Graduated from Centrale (One of the top engineering schools in France), from MIT (MBA International finance), and from Sorbonne (PhD Economics), I worked mainly in the oil industry and in real estate mainly in finance. My first exceptionnal trip was in Zanskar in 1977 when it was opened for the first time (I even met the king). My interests in traveling are quite eclectic : discovering other ways of living, old cultures, museums, trekking ... When I go somewhere, I try to cover the region I visit as extensively as I can. I have a special interest in : 1) traditional places and peoples : top on my past travels in this area is Zanskar (1977, winter 2005), Papua New Guinea (Danis 1976, PNG 1982, Korowais 2002), Bhoutan, Nias (1978), Dolpo (2004), Nenets (2008), Himbas (1988), Omo (1990), Tsa-tan (2007) 2)remote places : Antarctica (twice : half circumnavigation, Weddell sea), Peter 1st island, South Sandwich islands, Crozet Kerguelen Amsterdam and St Paul islands, Pitcairn and Henderson, St Helena, North pole, Franz Josef islands, Wrangell, Ellesmere, Glorieuses islands, Wake ... 3) difficult places : Albania during communism, North Korea (2X), Turkmenistan, Iraq ... ; I am quite interested in geopolitics (I went to Berlin when the wall fell, in Moscow May 1st 1989, in Rumania when Ceaucescu fell) 4) trekking : my top places covered are : Everest Base camp, Makalu base camp,Manaslu base camp, Kanchengjunga base camp (both Sikkim & Nepal sides), Mustang, Langtang, Kailash, Dolpo, Tchadar (Zanskar in winter), Cordilleras Blanca & Huayhuash, Kilimandjaro, Moon mountains, Mont Blanc, Pico de Sao Tomé (Sao Tomé & Principe) ... 5) volcanoes : I climbed some 70 active volcanoes all over the world. Indonesia (all of Java), Italy (Etna), Central America, Vanuatu, Ethiopia (Lengai, Erta Ale), Kamtchatka, Japan ...) 6) Carnivals : every year I see one or several carnival ; already : South America (Rio, Oruro, Barranquilla), Carribean (Trinidad, La Vega in Santo Domingo), North America (New Orleans), Belgium (Binche, Malmedy, Eupen, Aalst, Stavelot, La Louvière), Holland (Maastricht), Italy (Venice, Viareggio, St Oyen, Sardinia), Switzerland (Basel, Luzern, Schwytz, Wyler ...), Germany (Köln, Rottweil, Offenburg, Wolfach, Villingen, Elzach with every 7 yrs Burgerreiten, ...), France (Dunkerque, Limoux, Cournonterral, Pezenas ...), Austria (Nassereith, Telfs) Hungary (Mohacs), Spain (Lanz, Cadiz, Tenerife) 7) traditionnal festivals : Belgium (fete des chats -Ypres-, holy week -Lessines-, Lumecon -Mons-, fete de Saint Roch in Thuin ...), Germany (Nikolospiel in Bad Mitterndorf, easter in Bautzen), Switzerland (Beromünster, end of year in Urnasch, Fire chariots in Liestal) Sri Lanka (Perahera), Spain (Fallas in Valencia,Semana Santa in Sevilla, in Lorca, in Murcia), Italy (holy week in Tarante, Easter Madonna che Scappa in Sulmona), many festivals in Japan (a great country for festivals!), Pesola (Sumba), Niger (Guerewol), Mongolia (Naadam and 1000 camels festival), Nepal (Indra Jatha), India (), Ethiopia (Timkat at Lalibela)... I have visited some countries many times ; aside Indonesia where I lived during 4 years, North America and of course neighbouring countrys in Europe near France, the one where I went more than 2x : Nepal (8x), China (incl Tibet)(10x), Japan (5x), Mongolia (3x), Myanmar (3x), India (9x),PNG/Irian Jaya (3x), Ethiopia (4x), Tanzania (3x), Brazil (5x), Peru (3x), Colombia (3x), Argentina (4x), French Polynesia (3x), Russia (6x) My "extreme" points are : North pole, top of Europe (Mont Blanc), top of Africa (Kilimandjaro), top of South East Asia (Mount Kinabalu), base camp of Everest, most remote inhabited island (Pitcairn), some very remote islands (Kerguelen, Iles Eparses, Peter 1st island, South Sandwich islands), farthest point south (English base bottom of Weddell sea Antarctica, intersection of Equator & (1st land)Greenwich meridian (Rolas island)

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