Feb 212013
 

As you drive from Livingstone to the Victoria Falls, there’s a moment, before you get there, where you can see the mist reaching for the sky directly ahead of you. When you enter the park, before you feel the mist, you can hear the falls roaring in the distance. Before you can see the falls, you feel the air get moist and see the mist swirl around you as you pass the gate. Then, you stop, and your jaw drops as you see the massive curtain of water tumbling into the rift stretching ahead of you. But, this is just the beginning. The gorge continues on and on as you continue to walk. Eventually you reach the end of Zambia, totally soaked to the skin, camera gear screaming for mercy, and the curtain of water disappears into a cloud of mist where it crosses the border to Zimbabwe.

It was at this point that I stopped and watched three tourists, far more prepared than me, with a guide and ponchos, gaze upon what is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Four tourists in ponchos view the Victoria Falls waterfall in the Batoka Gorge surrounded by swirling mist

 

Jan 022013
 

I’ve made it to Cape Town with sanity almost intact! I managed about 2 hours sleep on my first overnight flight from London to Bermuda. It was a dreary overcast day in London, just as expected. I summoned up the energy to spend a couple of hours taking photos, despite the rain. Following that I met up with a few friends from London I haven’t seen in a long time, and a couple of friends from Bermuda who I see all the time.

I set out for Heathrow Airport a bit later than I should have. It turns out that the Heathrow Express doesn’t run quite as often as the Gatwick Express. I wasn’t too late for the flight, but didn’t manage to pickup a few bits and pieces I wanted, like extra camera batteries, but I can get on fine without any of it.

The next flight was a long one, 11 hours. I really expected to crash out and sleep through most of it. Unfortunately I woke up about 5 hours before landing feeling refreshed! The last time I did this flight I’d had quite a lot to drink, so did manage to sleep through the whole thing, despite waking up briefly and discovering I was hungover. I spent about 4 hours on this one, watching movies, sat in the darkness, surrounded by sleeping people. I did reach a point where all I could think was please turn on the lights and people start moving around, I’m going insane.

Following that I had one last hop, from Johannesburg to Cape Town. A two hour flight with hardly anyone on the plane. I succeeded in sleeping through that one nicely!

Today’s photo is from my wander around London, I think I’ve got about 5 good pictures out of it, mostly of Tower Bridge. I was trying to find a way to create an image of the bridge that was more interesting than just a photo of the bridge. I fired off a lot of frames, and got lucky with this nicely blurred double-decker bus. In my mind I just wanted to catch the bus on the bridge, I was pleasantly surprised when my +2 exposure came out with the bus looking like this!

One of the towers of tower bridge, London, taken from on the bridge, with a blurred double decker bus on the road in front.

Nov 272012
 

Featured by Suzy Guese

I found out, on Twitter, that a fellow traveler, Suzy Guese, has a weekly competition for travel bloggers. For a week, she views submissions from all over the world and then chooses five of them. I decided to give it a shot by providing a link to one of my earliest posts, from Zambia. Check it out, along with four other exciting travel stories and follow her for a weekly dose of travel writing:

Suzy Stumbles Over Travel: Week of November 26, 2012

Today’s Photo: Svartifoss and Boulders in the Rain, Iceland

This is another photo of Svartifoss from the “nearly falling in the water” series. My travel partner and I clutched onto each other as we teetered on minimal boulder real estate. She held the umbrella, I worked the camera. There were a few errors resulting in half the umbrella breaking into the frame and the tripod inadvertently getting kicked after somebody slipped. I won’t say who. We were in this awkward position when two other photographers turned up with tripods in tow. They didn’t choose to balance themselves in the middle of the river while trying to operate an umbrella, camera, and prevent each-other from falling into the chilly current like we did. I think it was worth it. At the very least, it was good fun.

Svartifoss in the rain, under a grey sky, with the blurred stream flowing around a boulder

 

 

Sep 102012
 

This may be my favorite waterfall in Iceland. It’s isolated in the Skaftafel National Park, about an hours hike from the parking lot. We went there at about midnight, in the rain, and seemed to be the only people about. It’s a trickle compared to the more dramatic torrents at Godafoss and Gullfoss, but there’s something special about the way the thin stream of water spreads out as it plunges into a deep pool. It’s very soft and delicate, but surrounded by harsh decaying hexagonal columns of granite.

Taking this photo was interesting. The stream was about a foot deep but had a few loose rocks strewn about. I found three rocks in positions to accommodate each of my tripods feet and another one I could stand on. Then, I realised that I needed to keep the rain off my lens so had to call my travel buddy into the river with me, with her umbrella. We were stood, teetering on a rock, holding onto each-other for balance, when the only two people we saw the whole time we were there decided to turn up. Fortunately, they were photographers and didn’t seem phased by our odd positioning.

Waterfall in Skaftafel National Park, Iceland with a thin delicate stream of water that spreads out as it plunges into a deep pool surrounded by harsh decaying hexagonal columns of granite.