Testimonials by Participants of MushRoaming LLC Tours
Daniel, I am so glad I followed my dream to take this trip. It was a life-changing adventure I'll never forget. Your knowledge, spontaneity, joy and willingness to share are phenomenal. I learned so much about Tibet, biogeographically, culturally, politically and spiritually. I also learned much about myself in observing everyone around me as well as facing my own challenges. You're a great teacher and an incredibly patient and flexible guide. The beauty of the country and the people will remain with me and continue to inspire me as I return home. Having the opportunity to bond with my fellow travelers and Tibetan guides and drivers added a rich dimension to the whole experience. This trip opened my heart again to experience how we're all connected and how many dimensions of reality there really are, from the microcosmic mushrooms, flowers and insects to the macrocosmic grand sweeping vistas of 20,000 foot glacial peaks and rushing muddy rivers and everything in between.
Thanks for selflessly sharing your love of life with all of us.
Thank you, thank you, Daniel and Larry,
I truly feel very fortunate to have been able to go. It was my first MushRoaming trip, but it definitely won’t be my last. I loved every minute of it!
Apart from having learned so much about the hundreds of fungi we found and experiencing the diverse flora and fauna (including the nibbling fishes), Bolivia itself is an incredibly beautiful country that not many people have a chance to explore, especially with such fun, enthusiastic, knowledgeable (and patient) guides.
I loved wandering through the bustling streets and markets of La Paz, crawling around on the jungle floor (during the daylight!) and everything in between from hiking through the clouds in the mountains to careening down “Death Road,” and having a foot rub on the surreal salt flat in Uyuni. And all while looking for mushrooms!
Your genuine fervor for all things mushroom and love of travel is wonderfully infectious. And I especially loved that our group ranged in ages from people in their 20's to sexagenarians. It was so much fun!
Thank you, again! Nicole Cook
"Daniel's MushRoaming trip to Tibet was the most spectacular, surprising, maddening*, inspiring, and moving trip of my life.
I think about it every day."
Eugenia Bone, veteran food writer, and author of awesome Mycophilia - Revelations form the World of Mushrooms
* Asked why maddening?: "because it was China, so utterly different and their politics in Tibet to say it very diplomatic challenging to make sense of, 11,0000 feet plus, and because it forced me beyond my comfort zone.
Fungal Fellowship at Atisha's Buddha
At the Lhasafood market
It was absolutely spectacular!
You are so much fun to travel with - smart, joyful and spontaneous.
I put my pics on the computer and keep reliving it all.
Also, I'm totally impressed, I must say, with the detailed itinerary that you sent. You captured so many of our finds. This helps a lot in identifying my pictures,
Thank you , dear Daniel, for showing me the flora, fungi, culture, politics, people, food, and all, of Tibet in the very best way.
Past President Missouri Mycological Society
Maxine is cooking freshly collected king boletes over fire in the kitchen of the Tibetan farm house, we stayed in.
Marc on his birthday with cake & Thupten (our guide in 2007)
"To visit Tibet was a life-long goal, and to go there with Daniel Winkler as a guide ensured the trip far exceeded my dreams. With a great sense of humor, and pre-eminent people-skills, Daniel manages to tailor each day to the needs of the group while making sure individual wishes are fulfilled. While covering a wide range of environments, we never felt rushed; there was always plenty of time to sink into each region, absorbing the culture, meeting local families, and immersing ourselves in the landscape. Our local guides and drivers were fantastic, but the real attraction of these custom mushroaming tours is Daniel's expertise and versatility. While every day is planned around a series of rewarding and frequently spectacular events, Daniel stays continually alert for the unexpected opportunities and discoveries that would be completely missed by standard rigidly-scheduled tours. No unusual sight goes by too fast for Daniel to stop the cars and seize the moment. Expect to have a completely unique experience, and memories you can be sure no other tourist package will provide."
Marc Laidlaw, author and game designer, Redmond WA
Link to the opening few paragraphs of "Leng", a great fungal fiction on Cordyceps by Marc inspired by the MushRoaming tour.
Tony and a Tibetan lady, June 2006
"In the spring of 2006, I was fortunate enough to be invited along on a Cordycepsexpedition to Tibet. Daniel's knowledge of all things living, (and geological) makes traveling with him an endlessly educational adventure. From the history and local customs, to the current political environment, Daniel's enthusiasm and passion for Tibet is very evident. There wasn't a question that I could think of that he didn't have a relevant answer for.
In the Fall of 2007, I once again had the good fortune to travel with Daniel. This time it was to the 4th International Medicinal Mushroom Conference, which was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Never one to disappoint, Daniel's knowledge of European flora, mycota and fauna made this trip yet another adventure in education.
I look forward to the next time that I might have the pleasure of traveling with Daniel, knowing that every day will bring even more surprises and opportunities to expand my mycological and horticultural horizons. As well as learning other miscellaneous, interesting tidbits of wisdom. Always a great time!"
2007 President Oregon Mycological Society,
Founder, Fungal Endeavours - Medicinal Mushroom Grower & Landscaper
Jack found Rhizopogon rubescens being sold in Gyalthang (Zhongdian, Shangrila). In East Asia it is an esteemed edible, while in the West it is mostly listed as inedible.
Jack & Diantha States:
We just recently looked at our photos of the Tibet trip with you and we both agreed that of all our travels abroad, that was the best!
Jack States in an email 5 years later
Review from late 2007:
"If your interest is to find and sample a wide diversity of exotic and familiar edible mushrooms then Daniel Winkler's summer Tibet tour is a must do.
There are few places on the planet, if any, that we have found to equal not only the great diversity and abundance of fungi and wildflowers, but also the spectacular montane vistas, awesome valleys and river gorges inhabited by the smiling and welcoming Tibetan people.
Daniel's vast knowledge of the Tibetan customs and Buddhist history is an added pleasure that made our sometimes arduous journey into the backcountry well worth the effort. "
"Stock up on power bars for energy at high elevations."
Diantha States author of "Wildflowers of Wyoming" by Mountain Press.
Jack States is a retired mycology professor and author of "Mushrooms and Truffles of the Southwest"
Joe Ciotti, a great community college science teacher, shared these kind words at the farewell banquet at the end of Betchart's 2008 Silk Road & Solar Eclipse Tour.
Having been flattered so lovely,
I had asked Joe to write his speech down for this testimonial webpage.
Thanks again Joe!
Joe Ciotti with Ejazullah at the Baltit Fort, Karimabad, Hunza, Pakistan, July 27, 2008. Photo: Nancy Heu
Having taught for over 35 years, I can quickly spot a master teacher. Daniel, you certainly rank among the very best of them. You have a special gift for blending your rich expertise of China, Tibet and the Himalayas with a contagious passion and enjoyable boyish excitement. You've inspired, entertained, enlightened and engaged us ... all without the threat of a final exam! For the mind and spirit, that is by far the best homeopathic remedy.
You've impressed me as a true Renaissance man. No one will ever forget your encyclopedic knowledge of fungus and mushrooms ... or your wealth of information about the history, culture, religion, language and geopolitics of China and her neighbors ... as well as the ethnobotany, wildlife and geology of the surrounding countryside.
Total eclipse, August 1st, 2008. Photo taken with my Nikon D80 without any special filter. © Daniel Winkler, near Altay (Aletai), Yili Hasake (Ili Kazakh) Autonomous Prefecture,Xinjiang (East Turkestan) Uygur Autonomous Region.
Nancy Heu in front of a Khunjerab National Park sign. Photo: Joe Ciotti, July 24, 2008, Khunjerab Pass, Pakistan.
Through your storytelling style of teaching, you have the ability to make the slow crawl of a distant glacier seem as exciting as the raging rapids of the Hunza River.
It was a lesson in the true spirit of humanity as I watched your genuine interaction with people of every walk of life whom we met along the way ... be they village hosts, apricot farmers, custom inspectors or military escorts.
You've guided us through what seemed like 8,000 airports and check points ... all without the loss of luggage and people! You were always vigilant to the safety and well-being of each member in our group.
But most importantly, you took 16 individuals, all strangers just three weeks ago, and bonded us into a family ... a community of adventurous nomads on a thrilling journey that will surely last us a lifetime.
What a ride! On behalf of my wife Nancy and me, it was truly a rewarding and awesome experience traveling with you.
Ganden monks blowing their horns,
Ganden Monastery, 3800m, Lhasa Tibet AR © Daniel Winkler
Many thanks for being maybe the best guide I have ever had the pleasure of being guided by. John Jameson
I have wanted to tell you for a long while how many times memories of Tibet come up in my mind, and always there is my great appreciation that this
extraordinary country was shown to me by someone as knowledgeable, sensitive, funny, and insightful as you are.
Your wonderful spirit is intertwined with all of the memories and experiences I had there, and I learned so much. Things that I don't even know yet that I learned.
Of particular significance to me was our hike around the kora at Ganden monastery. The gestalt of you lighting incense in that setting was incredible. I often mentally relive this view of that vast country, from that vantage point, and hear and see the three monks who were sounding their horns that morning on the mountainside. The faces of the Tibetan people are so beautiful.
It occurred to me that I have never properly thanked you for all of that. Some things cannot be expressed adequately in words, so just know that it was all greatly appreciated and never to be forgotten.
I hope that my son Tom will be able to accompany you upon some future trip to Tibet. I would like very much for your wonderful influence to be in his life.
Sincerely, Patti Jameson
PS: My email was really inadequate to describe how amazingly beautiful the trip was, and how consistently kind, supportive, and brilliant you were, but I know you get it, and I am so glad!