Jan 112017
 

Shortly after exiting the cable car on Sugarloaf mountain, the line of people slowed down. Initially it was hard to tell why. Then, as we moved forward, we discovered this guy was hanging out next to the path entertaining passersby.

marmaset monkey on a tree

Jan 042017
 

Rio de Janeiro is set in an amazing setting as the city seems to drape itself over the mountains that grow out of the ocean. I was only there for a few days during the World Cup so didn’t really get a feel for the city, apart from a couple of interesting nights out in the Samba district. My dad and I also stumbled upon a restaurant for lunch one day in Ipanema that was so good we had to bring the rest of our group back there for dinner the same day.

We worked up our appetite that day by first visiting Sugar Loaf mountain where we got this view back over the Botafogo district, where we were staying.

view of botafogo and christ the redeemer from sugarloaf mountain on a hazy day in rio

Nov 262015
 

While in Brazil for the World Cup we took some time out for a side trip to Ouro Preto in Brazil. It’s an old gold mining town perched atop steep hills. There’s a church with an amazing gilded interior, but you couldn’t take pictures inside. The church in this picture isn’t that same church, but gives you a good idea of what the town looks like.

ouro-preto-brazil

 

 

Jan 142015
 

I took this photo looking down at Botafogo’s busy streets from my hotel balcony one night. I had to wait a while for Christ the Redeemer to show himself from behind the clouds.

I won’t be posting for just over a week as I’m going to London for meetings. First though, I’ve tacked on a long weekend to Marrakesh and will be making a return to Amsterdam once the meetings are finished. It’ll be my first time wandering around Amsterdam’s canals in winter.

view of christ the redeemer lit up at night from an elevated viewpoint in botafogo, Brazil

Jan 072015
 

I didn’t manage to take a lot of pictures while I was in Brazil as there was a pretty sizable distraction on the go… the World Cup.

My Dad and I did make the trip up Sugarloaf Mountain though and I managed to take the following picture, which I’m very happy with. I’ll probably be getting it printed. If you look closely at Copacabana beach, the furthest left, you can see the FIFA Fanzone set up on the sand. Admittedly, you’d probably have to know what you’re looking for to find it.

view from rio's sugarloaf mountain including botafogo and copacabana beaches, christ the redeemer, and a cable car

May 072014
 

If you want to feel like you’re walking through an alien landscape this place has to be top of the list. The thermal vents in the Ayuni Desert really are surreal. When we were there, other than our group, there wasn’t a sign of another soul anywhere.

mud pool at the thermal vents in the ayuni desert, Bolivia.

Apr 302014
 

The most amazing thing about these thermal vents was the total lack of barrier. Ten years on, I wonder if they’re still left completely open for people to wander between with no safety barriers whatsoever. I expect, and hope, they probably are.

If you look to the left, you’ll see a Welshman doing his best fall into boiling water.

people walking though steaming red thermal mud vents in ayuni bolivia

Apr 222014
 

This was one of my favorite photos from Bolivia, taken on my little Olympus point and shoot. I had this photo blown up and hanging on my wall for years.

It’s the view over Sucre, Bolivia taken from within a beautiful old Spanish portico. While there, I committed the ultimate sin of haggling over  the price of an embroidered rug, reaching a price and realizing I’d forgotten my wallet. It was pretty embarrassing, fortunately one of my travel buddies happened to come round the corner and was able to lend me the cash. The rug I got had it’s edges mysteriously burnt while it was in storage at a hostel. A perfectly round hole was burnt through my bag and into the edges of my folded rug. It wasn’t too bad, added character at least, and I actually still have it on display under the glass of my coffee table.

view from an acrhway overlooking Sucre, Bolivia

Apr 162014
 

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

Apr 012014
 

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