"Adventure can be an end in itself."

"Self-discovery is the secret ingredient that fuels daring."

Profile of Marianne Du Toit

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Marianne Du Toit is a South African woman who arrived in Ireland 11 years ago with the sole intention of visiting Fungi the Dolphin in Dingle, Co Kerry. Not only did she fall for a bottle-nosed Dolphin, but this green land and its people had a mesmeric effect! Needless to say, she hasn't departed these shores (yet).

Following graduation in 1992 with a BA degree, majoring in political science and psychology from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Marianne traveled and worked extensively throughout Europe for three years, including in 1995, single-handedly planning and embarking on a three month cycling tour of Europe. Nearly 2,000km and 6 countries later, Marianne intrepidly set out for Dingle, Co Kerry.

Marianne's first job in Ireland was in Danno's Bar in Dingle where she mastered the knack of serving a perfect pint of Guinness. Based in Dingle, she was well situated to explore the surrounding islands, most notable of which was the Blaskets. So smitten was she with the beauty of this group of islands that she managed to secure a live-in job at the Blaskets Café, baking scones and apple crumbles for the tourists by day and sleeping in the tiny attic above the shop at night.

Dublin beckoned the following year and it was here that Marianne took up a post with the Royal College of Physicians where she worked for several years before joining IBEC as Human Resource Officer.

In despite Marianne's affinity with Ireland, she always had a desire to travel further afield, harbouring a dream to ride through North and South America on horseback. Primarily for her own personal fulfillment, TATA - Travels Across The Americas was conceived. As the idea for this latest trip has evolved, Marianne has realised how it could also help others and chose to use the trip to highlight the lack of therapeutic riding facilities in Ireland.

Since returning to Ireland following her trip, Marianne has been very busy. In addition to doing wedding and portrait photography, she has divided her time between writing a book about the TATA Challenge and devoting her energies to the Pegasus Project.

Marianne is also campaigning for animal rights by supporting the DSPCA and drawing attention to the cruelty involved in the production of foie gras where ducks and geese are force fed (by the insertion of metal pipes in their throats) over a twenty one day period. For more information go to www.stopforcefeeding.com