Mar 282014
 

Llamas have a bad reputation for spitting on people. I can tell you with absolute certainty that that’s a lie, at least where the llamas photographed are concerned. We walked all amongst these guys and they barely batted an eye at our presence.

This is another of my old photos taken with a point and shoot ten years ago. If you look close you can see little pink blobs in the background, those are flamingos. It’s the only place I’ve ever seen a flock of wild flamingos.

It wasn’t long after taking this photo that our guide woke us up at 2 in the morning and ordered us to get packed and ready to leave. We were supposed to fly from Sucre to Santa Cruz two days later, but he had heard there were protests scheduled in Sucre that would prevent us from entering Sucre if we didn’t leave Ayuni immediately.

After loading onto the bus, bleary eyed, we careened along the rough mountain roads, clinging to the cliffs, towards Sucre. Despite our early departure we didn’t make it back before the roads into the city were blocked by the haphazardly placed vehicles of angry bus and taxi drivers. Our guide went on ahead to assess the situation and came back to inform us that we’d have to complete the last few miles into the city on foot.

Apparently we were lucky it was drivers striking and not farmers because it was less likely that they’d throw rocks at us as we passed (That’s less likely… i.e., not completely out of the question). We were still told to stick together and keep our eyes up as we walked through the barricade. As it turned out, the protestors were content to get us off our bus and make us walk with our packs into the city, and we passed through without incident.

It was definitely a situation where using a backpack trumped a rolling suitcase.

Llamas eat grass in front of a snow capped mountain in Ayuni, Bolivia

Mar 262014
 

The Italian island of Sardinia is one of the playgrounds of the rich and famous. That is if you go to the beaches, in summer. If you go in the winter and explore the interior you see a completely different picture. Sardinia’s interior is rural, rugged and mountainous. You’ll see more sheep than people, and more interestingly shaped rocks than sheep. The harsh landscape is dotted occasionally by tightly packed villages.

I think I’ve just convinced myself I need to make a return trip. I was there during university and went on this trip specifically to get some practice in with what was, at that time, my brand new Canon Rebel.

tightly packed rooftops in sardinia, italy

Mar 242014
 

Brasov is a beautiful little city. Upon arriving I spotted a Hollywood styled “Brasov” sign up on the hill and decided I wanted to go up there. So I did, and I took today’s picture. After getting back down I spoke to a local who said you should never go up there because the hillside is crawling with bears… oops.

brasov as viewed from the sign on the hill white tower town hall cathedral

 

Mar 232014
 

This is another of my old pics shot with a tiny point and shoot. I’d love to go back here again. We were on our way to the Ayuni salt flats when steam appeared on the horizon. Before we knew it we were stepping out of our jeeps in front of gurgling, churning, stinky wasteland like nothing I’d ever seen. Then, our jeeps drove on, to pick us up on the other side. We were actually allowed to walk right through these geysers, not a safety barrier in sight. It was pretty amazing, but you definitively had to watch your step.

bubbling mud geyser in bolivia

Mar 222014
 

First things first, there’s no evidence of Bram Stoker’s inspiration (Vlad the Impaler) ever setting foot at Bran Castle. That small point aside, it is a beautiful castle shrouded by mist that’s definitely worth a visit.

bran castle, supposed home  of dracula, central courtyard from above in Romania

Mar 212014
 

You may have noticed that I’m scrambling to get backdated posts up. I started running low on new photos and may only have photos of Guatemala left to process. So to keep up the variety I’ve looked back to some of my earlier photos. Today’s picture is from about 10 years ago and was taken on my first adventure where I caught the travel bug and got interested in photography.

This is a Quechuan weaver at work. We’d travelled from Sucre to a native village that was just beginning to open up for tourism. An American man was our guide. He had been living with the community assisting them in developing revenue streams beyond farming. He was fluent in the Quechuan language.

When we arrived at the village they were very excited to have their first group of visitors and put on all sorts of displays for us, including a rather terrifying man dancing around wearing a goat’s face as a mask. The children, in particular, followed us around in a big excited swarm.

This photo was taken on a small point and shoot camera made by Olympus. That little thing was rugged and managed to survive 5 treks, ice climbing, walking through the jungle with a puma, sand dune boarding and numerous drunken nights out.

quechuan lady weaving on a loom kneeling with sandals off and compeleted work on another loom next to her

Mar 202014
 

This water fountain in Rome is right next to the Pantheon. I had set this photo up exactly as it is and was just going to take a picture of the taps. Then, this woman walked up, acting completely oblivious to me, and positioned herself perfectly in the frame.

woman using water fountain in rome to fill her bottle near the pantheon

Mar 192014
 

After a three hour slog up the side of a volcano, this is what you find when you’ve arrived. It’s one of the weirdest stores I’ve ever seen. I can’t figure out what it sells, other than the purses you can see there, and why does it need to advertise a phone number? What possible reason could you have for calling this shop?

lava store on pacaya volcano guatemala