Jan 102017
 

When planning my Cinque Terre trip, there was something about Vernazza that made me decide I had to stay there. This was despite the fact that there was a dearth of hotel accommodation in the town, I was only booking a week in advance after all. The end result was that I booked into a two star hotel next to the train track. Upon reading the reviews, it seemed like it was clean enough but that I’d be greeted by a grumpy old lady at the front desk.

Sure enough, after 24 hours of traveling via two planes, a bus, two trains, and my feet, I arrived to meet the grumpy old lady on the front desk. I think the fact that I expected a cold greeting softened the blow a bit as I sat, chuckling to myself, while she finished whatever it was she was doing on a computer. Ten minutes later I was being rushed up the stairs and into my room, where I was shown the light-switch, bathroom, and balcony and was left alone. I was on the top floor – at least if I was in a  crappy hotel, I was in the penthouse of the crappy hotel. I stepped out onto the small balcony and was shocked to discover a family of four sat on the balcony right next to me.

Anyways, I loved Vernazza and want to go back. On my first night I walked down the central port for dinner. I ate, surrounded by locals, under the multi-coloured umbrellas you can see in the shade down there. Pesto and local pasta to start, which was the best I’d ever had followed by veal Milanese. It was fantastic. It was then that I discovered that I was in a restaurant renowned for it’s seafood… naturally I went back the next night to try out the sea bream.

This photo was taken from on top of the small fortification guarding the town. While up there a helicopter with video equipment passed over me a few times. If you spot me on the travel channel, let me know.

panorama of vernazza from on top of the castle

 

 

Jan 092017
 

Watching this sunset from this spot was not part of the agenda. While still in Hanoi, we had booked a ferry/bus combo from Ha Long Bay out to Cat Ba island. We had decided to bi-pass Ha Long Bay for the less trafficked but similar Cat Ba island.

I’m normally pretty good at avoiding getting ripped off when travelling, but this time we fell into a bit of a trap. We were promised a direct boat trip to the island, as we wanted to get there and be able to explore at our own pace. Instead, after getting to the port we discovered that we were being bundled onto a tour boat, which made numerous stops. The hour long trip was going to take us a whopping 8 hours!

We weren’t the only people to fall into this trap as there were about 6 others who were also stuck on this boat unintentionally. The worst part was, as we’d paid for a transport and not a tour, when they gathered everyone together to tell them what the plan was, we discovered that there was going to be food served, but there was none for us. As we thought we were on a 1 hour boat ride, we had no food with us at all, and we were already hungry!

So, when I look at this beautiful sunset I can’t help but feel a little bitter about the fact that I was starving, captive, and miserable.

It got worse though, once we got to the island we needed a bus to take us to the main area. Our bus arrived, we boarded it and it promptly broke down. Cue another hour wait for another bus to arrive!

cat ba island sunset on tour boat with kayak and tour boats in foreground

Jan 072017
 

When I arrived at the Hotel Honegg in Switzerland, I was recovering from a sprained ankle, so naturally I decided the first thing I should do is walk up the mountain behind the hotel. On the way back down, I stopped to take this panorama. This is comprised of six pictures so it took me quite a while to take them all. Once I was finished and packed up, I realized that I’d been stood blocking the view of a man sat on a bench behind me… jumped out my skin when he said “hallo!”.

panorama of hotel honegg and mountains in lucern switzerland

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

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

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

Feb 202014
 

Here’s another dock on Lake Atitlan. This one was pretty flimsy, I had to find a moment when people weren’t walking on it to take this photo as my camera was bouncing up and down when people walked back and forth.

a rickety boat dock on lake atitlan, guatemala

Jan 052014
 

I’ve had this picture sitting around for a year now waiting to find out where exactly I took it. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, and I’m tired of passing it over every time I look for a photo, so I’ve decided to post it tonight. I think it’s the last of my images from South Africa. It was taken after leaving a beach and on my way for a few drinks sat outside a pub, which we departed due to a chip shortage. Then, we had a nice lunch sat outside a well-stocked pub across the street.

cape point cape town south africa

Nov 042013
 

While waiting for my launch to take off, I went down onto the beach to see if there was a good photo of the dock. As I set up, this girl came and sat down and completed my shot nicely.

Adventurous ginger girl's waiting for a ferry on the dock in Lake Atitlan Guatemala with two launches tied up and a volcano in the background