Jan 062017
 

The morning after the full moon festival things had quietened down quite a lot in Hoi An. We wandered from the Japanese bridge to the market where we had a coffee while a shop owner showed us absolutely everything she had for sale. She must have gone through 20 items ranging from t-shirts to spices before she pulled out a small jar of tiger balm and had hit the nail o the head. I’d pulled a muscle in my back the day before so was quick to make a purchase.

On our wander back I saw this woman leaving the market, with boats moored behind her at the end of the street, and snapped a quick picture with a long lens. The women in Vietnam keep themselves out of the sun as much as possible to avoid a tan. That’s why you’ll often see them covered up with long sleeves and gloves, despite the heat.

vietnamese lady carrying shopping home in hoi an wearing pink hoody conical hat and face mask

 

Jan 062014
 

In Guatemala, just outside Antigua there’s a Macadamia nut farm, owned by a German from California, and named after Viking paradise. It’s called the Valhalla Research Center. I decided this would be an interesting place to visit. When I booked a hike up a volcano, I saw that the tour shop also offered tours to the farm and the surrounding villages. The problem was, the price would vary depending on whether or not the tour was filled up, and two days in advance there was currently nobody booked. After I said I’d have to think about it, the nice lady behind the desk mentioned that her brother was a tuk tuk driver and he could take me on the tour for a very low price. I thought this sounded like a much better solution and quickly booked the tour.

As it turned out, the volcano climb I had booked for the day before the tuk tuk ride was pushed back by a day due to inclement weather. I was in Guatemala at the beginning of the rainy season, and it was coming down harder than any rain I’ve ever seen. As a result, I had an early morning ascent scheduled followed almost immediately by a tuk tuk tour of the surrounding village.

As it turned out, I met another solo traveler from Singapore while climbing Pacaya who was looking for something to do in the afternoon. Once he’d heard my plans, he decided to join me.

The odd thing was, the rain held off all day. It was cloudy and miserable on the ashy slopes, but it wasn’t raining. Five minutes before the tuk tuk was due to pick me up the heavens opened. Luckily, when the three-wheeler arrived, the usually open parts had a nice vision obscuring plastic cover. So, off we went, two guys in a tuk tuk that felt like it was going to get washed backwards down every hill we ascended by the torrent cascading down all around us. There were times when I had to wonder if we were actually floating.

After hopping out in one of the towns and finding a couple of hundred somber looking people standing around, we sidled up to one of the onlookers to ask what was going on. My Spanish isn’t the greatest and all I could pick up was something about a husband and a wife. I interpreted that to mean it was a wedding.

We stood back and watched. Then, two coffins exited the church and were carried up the street followed by a brass band. It turned out my interpretation was incorrect. We decided to make a quick exit, but while on the way back to our trusty stead, I snapped a quick shot of it in front of the silhouetted volcano in the distance. We asked our driver where the cemetery was as the pall bearers were carrying the coffins. He told us it was the cemetery we had passed on the way into the town. It had to be two miles away and uphill, and they were going to carry them all the way there.

tuk tuk and volcano near antigua guatemala

Jun 112013
 

When I got to Guatemala I was surprised to discover that one of the main modes of transport around the cities is the Tuk Tuk, typically synonymous with Thailand. They’re good fun, if not entirely safe, as they bounce over the cobbled roads of Flores and Antigua. I used them to travel around quite a lot and on this occasion, while on my way to el cuevo del serpiente, I decided to catch a cool photo of the view. If you look closely you’ll notice this photo also includes a self portrait.

View from the back of a tuk tuk on the move in Guatemala

 

Apr 192013
 

It was a fairly treacherous drive up this hill as we made our way back to Windhoek to depart for Capetown. We’d completed a long flat drive across desert spying ostriches and jackles along the roadside when all of sudden the land turned vertical. A huge overland truck bore down on us as our little 4×4 trudged up the switchbacks. The road switched, unpredictably, from dirt, to brick, to tarmac over and over again. It was quite a challenge for my travel buddy who was driving. The heights of the cliff edges we were hugging did not help either.

When I asked if we could stop so I could run back down a bit and take this picture, I was met with a shaky, incredulous, “What!?”

After returning to continue on, we asked if she’d like to switch drivers, but no, she said she preferred being in control. If we were going to go over the cliff she wanted to be at the wheel…

The desert of Namibia taken from atop a hill with winding dirt roads in the foreground.

Feb 082013
 

I didn’t plan on taking this photo of a double-decker bus in London. I was inspired to set up my camera when I saw a line of black cabs sat at the traffic lights just under that bridge. Then, this big red behemoth blocked my view. I think it’s kinda cool though…

A big red double decker bus to Peckham in London near London Bridge station in Borough

Jan 232013
 

I’m itching to process more of my photos from my most recent trip to Africa. Alas, I’m at my desk working on a presentation. A beer will be required when we knock off tonight, so here’s one of my ready to go photos from my trip to Iceland in June 2012.

The new lighthouse at Gardur, Iceland with straight path and rocks leading to it.

Jan 042013
 

We came to this bridge and as it wrapped around us, I decided I wanted to try and capture that, so I called for my driver to reverse. We could see a car coming up the single lane road behind us, but it was a distance away. You find you can see cars on the same road as you from a long way away in Iceland pretty often. Still, I felt the pressure as we were blocking the road. So much so, that I took this photo barefoot. The road was freezing. I don’t think I stopped hopping from foot to foot the whole time.

The view as you drive onto a suspension bridge in Iceland

Dec 262012
 

I started this website on Christmas Day last year, purely because I finally had enough time to get a site up and running. It’s already been through a facelift since then, and I hope you all like the new design more. My goal was to post a new travel photo every day of the year. If you follow me regularly you’ll know that it went well for a while, but I started to miss an occasional post, and have been really lazy in the lead up to Christmas!

Since starting the site I’ve posted a total of 304 photos, so 61 short. I’m making it my New Years resolution to hit 365 next year, with a post every day. I can announce that in order to achieve this goal I’ll be spending the first three weeks of this year in Southern Africa again, starting off in Cape Town. I’m not doing a lot of planning for this trip, as I’ll be going with a couple of locals. I’ve been informed today that potential plans include swimming with whale sharks off Mozambique, visiting the Kruger, and a couple days in Malawi. I’m going to enjoy getting to travel and just be told what to do rather than have to figure it out for myself this time!

On top of that trip, I’ve been fortunate enough to negotiate a week off a month, starting in March. So, I’ll be able to visit ten different locations to add to the website. I’m not sure where I’ll be going yet, but Cuba is high on my list, as is a return to Iceland. I’d also like to photograph Angkor Wat in Cambodia. That would be a long trip for a week, but I think it may be worth it. Red rock country in the USA has a strong potential, as does a few days in the Everglades.

I’ve decided to follow today’s photo with what I consider my best shots from 2012, so scroll down and take a look.

Today’s Photo: On the Road, Iceland

This shot was taken in Iceland’s East-fjords. This day we were rushing. We had a long way to go and a tendency to take twice as long as we should to get anywhere. So, my clever travel partner figured out how much time the drive would be, where we’d want to stop for extended time periods, and what was left for impromptu stops for pictures. She had three different timers running and all sorts of alarms. As a result, I was shooting handheld to keep each stop to a minimum. It was bright enough that I didn’t need a tripod to ensure sharp images, and I could align my various exposures in Photoshop. Still though, this spray and pray approach has resulted in a LOT of rejected photos. We didn’t reach our destination when we’d planned, but I’m sure we’d probably still be trying to get there now if not for the strict timer system.

Long straight road through Iceland's East-fjords with rugged mountain.

 

My Best Shots from 2012

Tampa, Florida

Iceland

 

Prague

 

Bermuda

 

Rwanda

 

Iceland

 

Zambia

 

Ontario, Canada

 

Prague

 

Rwanda

 

Ontario, Canada

 

Bermuda

 

New York City

 

Iceland

 

Prague

 

Rwanda

Iceland

 

Acqui Terme, Italy

 

Bermuda

 

Toronto

 

Cape Town, South Africa

 

New York City

 

Zambia

 

Iceland

 

Rwanda

 

Zambia

 

 

Dec 062012
 

We had a jeep that could take us to explore this trail that we found near the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. What an adventure this trail could have been. Unfortunately, it was behind a locked gate so I had to be content with snapping a shot of the flowers and moving on. We found a dirt track later where we could drive right through the fields. Half way down the road we stopped and took photos. Then, climbed up on top of our jeep, cuddled up and watched the clouds roll by… until another jeep rolled past and looked at us funny.

Trail through wildflower field of purple lupins (lupine) reaching to the mountains in Iceland

Nov 152012
 

This is a photo I had to take in Iceland. Our trusty jeep that could take us wherever we wanted to go. We were either in this jeep or stood nearby the vast majority of the hours we spent in Iceland. I really don’t know how we got through with so little sleep. You can see my trusty driver sat waiting as I hopped out to take some photos in the crux of a Fjord in the East Fjord region of Iceland.

Pro-tip: When renting a car in Iceland, think about fuel usage, not just rental cost. You’re going to be doing a lot of driving and it won’t even feel like it. We got a good deal on the week’s long rental, but the fuel costs were astronomical!! Next time I may be on the bus!

White jeep on the road in front of snow covered mountains with a grey sky in the East Fjord region of Iceland