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Massachusetts travelers go global: Linden Ponds Vagabonds return from well-planned trip to Egypt

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December 31st, 2008

Raymond and Ursula Wolfe had been living at Linden Ponds, in Hingham, for just a few days when they popped in on a meeting of the community s travel club, the Linden Ponds Vagabonds. The short walk to the performing arts center eventually led them to Egypt.

Though the Wolfes had traveled much of the world, Mr. Wolfe always wanted to add Egypt to their list. As it happened, that day, Vagabonds leader Marilyn Pula presented a trip there.

"When this came up, it had his name on it," Mrs. Wolfe says.

Memorable moments

Four people who live at Linden Ponds, including the Wolfes, took the 15-day excursion to Egypt, with stops in Cairo, Alexandria, Aswan, and Luxor, among others.

The Linden Ponds travelers joined a group of about 40 people for the trip, which included three-night cruises on the Nile River and Lake Nasser.

Pula conducted extensive research before selecting the trip with Vantage Deluxe World Travel. And she had plenty of tips for the Linden Ponds travelers, since she and her husband went to Egypt just three years ago.

"Marilyn did an absolutely fabulous job of lining everything up and making everything easy for us to understand," says Carole Vickery, who had wanted to visit the country since living in Egypt, Mass., which is now a part of Scituate. "We saw all that you would want to see in Egypt."

For fellow Linden Ponds resident Joanne Gaines, the trip to Egypt was one she had hoped to make since reading Agatha Christie s Death on the Nile. Once there, Gaines especially enjoyed people watching. "Outside of the museum in Cairo, I sat and watched the girls and boys flirting just like kids do around here," she says.

Throughout the trip, the Wolfes say they noticed the stark difference between the primitive Nubian villages and the elaborate dwellings of the wealthy in Cairo and elsewhere.

"It s really a land of contrast," Mrs. Wolfe says.

Getting around

If anything s for sure, Linden Ponds travelers welcome contrast. Last year was a busy one for the Vagabonds, who traveled to Holland, Belgium, the Maritimes, and, of course, Egypt.

In addition, Pula joined 16 others from Linden Ponds on the weeklong cruise this fall to Canada and New England, which left from Boston and stopped in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Maine.

"We had a great time," Pula says. "The price was right, the length of the trip was right, [and] the weather was right."

Pula hasn t wasted any time setting up future trips. This month, she and her husband will travel to Tunisia, while the Vagabonds have ventures planned to Israel in the spring, Bermuda in May, and a transatlantic cruise in the fall.

Pula says people have become increasingly interested in the travel group since it began in late 2007.

"[People are] looking for what appeals to them, and I think that they re trusting of the group and that it works," Pula says.

Adds Gaines: "There are people here who have traveled all over the world, so there s just no telling what will come up next."

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