Category Archives: Travel

As blue as can be!

Early Beer

On a sunny Sunday at Beer in East Devon, it pays to be around bright and early to enjoy the peaceful beach. With blue skies and the crunch of the waves on the pebbles and just a few people it’s a perfect spot.

Looking east
Looking east
A shimmering horizon
A shimmering horizon


The stuff of coastal folk

As blue as can be!
As blue as can be!

Busying up, it's 10 am and there must be 10 people on the beach!
Busying up, it’s 10 am and there must be 10 people on the beach!

Looking West, Branscombe is around the corner, I don’t think you can walk it at beach level, but you can always climb up to the South West Coast Path.
I hope you liked an early peep at Beer?

The top of the Oast house in the distance

Another English Country Garden

The garden at Sissinghurst, in Kent was created in the 1930′s by Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson. Now a National Trust property, it is looked after by a large team of gardeners and is divided into ‘rooms’, each with a different style, planting scheme colour theme. Here are some photos, I have masses of flower shots but for now I’ll show you general views of the garden.

This style of planter was new to me, very effective
This style of planter was new to me, very effective
An abundance of blooms in every direction
An abundance of blooms in every direction
A rosy corner
A rosy corner
The boat house in the background
The boat house in the background
Box hedge flower beds in the white garden
Box hedge flower beds in the white garden
A nice feature
A nice feature
The tower, up we go!
The tower, up we go!
And here is the view from the top.
And here is the view from the top.
A band playing on the lawn in the distance
A band playing on the lawn in the distance
The top of the Oast house in the distance
The top of the Oast house in the distance
A view of the garden 'rooms'.
A view of the garden ‘rooms’.

Sissinghurst was beautiful, it totally lived up to my expectations. There were a good few plants I’ve rarely or never seen, and many dark purple flowers which are my favourites. It was the last day of my holiday and I was suffering from garden burn out, they were all running into one, but I hope you like this little glimpse.

sissinghurst

Making Entrances

Have you missed me a little?  I guess not, but since last weekend when Christine and Stuart were over from Dadirri, I’ve been away for a few days. I’ve taken around a thousand photos and these are the first few I will show you.

Entrances, doors and thresholds, they always fascinate me and I know I’m not alone. The gallery has pictures from Kent and Sussex, mainly National Trust properties, I hope you enjoy them, click for a bigger view.

Treasure from Ghana

My sweet bird of Sirigu! If ever you get the chance to visit Ghana, don’t hesitate for a moment.  It really is a wonderful country  with a rich cultural, fascinating history and the friendliest of people.

This is probably my favourite travel buy of all time.

sirigu bird

Complete with broken tail!

 

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Blackbury bluebells

Last weekend I went to Blackbury Camp, an iron age hill fort in East Devon. Iron age puts it between 800 BC and 100 AD, and Blackbury is one of several similar in the south of England. The hill fort is around 200 by 300 metres and roughly oval and has ramparts constructed from flint and clay. It has stunning views over the surrounding woodland and pastures, and is now looked after by English Heritage.

I’ve been before but this time was really special, here’s why!

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It’s bluebell time, and this little place has the most perfect bluebell wood I’ve ever seen! Come and join me for a stroll.

I hope you enjoyed the view, I was overwhelmed by it’s beauty.

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Most fragrant treasure

carpets a wood nymph’s haven

relentlessly blue

 

 

Bikaner sky

Weekly Photo Challenge: On Top

Sara Rosso at the Daily Post says that ‘On top can be a feeling, a perspective, or a physical location’ and asks us to share photos that express On Top this week for the photo challenge.

My photos were taken On Top in Bikaner, Rajasthan,

from the roof of a temple.

This is a photo that I’ve posted before. O don’t what it is about it but it’s one of my all time favourite photos, so I’m sharing it again. It’s the same place as the gallery facing a different direction.

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Join in at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/on-top/

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Back on Foot with Elephants

Okay, so this is a post from my early days of blogging but I’m re-posting in response to a weekly writing challenge from Crista. If you knew me back then please ignore!  http://fireflydance.net/2014/01/24/weekly-writing-challenge-worldly-writers/ 

I missed the elephant in the swimming pool by one week – in Mole national park, northern Ghana. It had strolled up the hill for a chlorinated swim by way of a change. But it was okay because I got closer to them than I was comfortable with, in a jeep, with my friend and two rangers. One of these guys was smaller than we were, and I am sure that an angry elephant would have been no more frightened of him, than of one of the baboons that were as populous as sparrows in my garden. The second warden came complete with a safari suit and a rifle. Or maybe a replica rifle. I don’t think I’ve ever been very close to a real gun, but it didn’t look like it could shoot a bullet big enough to even graze the hide of these healthy, well fed  pachyderms. I could only hope that the plan would be to scare them away with a little bang.

We were bullied, no ahem, persuaded into exiting the jeep, which was tied together with string anyway, to take photos of each other with three of the giants in the background.

‘We need to drive around that way, a bit closer’ said small warden without safari suit.

‘Closer, why closer?’ ‘I don’t want to get any closer thanks’. We were perhaps thirty feet away.

‘Please, speak in whispers and if they smell us they may charge, we have to be behind the wind’ he said. Now, I hadn’t felt any wind, it was as hot as well …Africa, as still as a graveyard before a thunderstorm, and my adrenaline was telling me to run back to the jeep pdq. These guys are probably used to re-assuring wussy travellers who like the idea of a gentle stroll, to see some cute wildlife just like Attenborough, but then turn chicken in the end.

‘Don’t you want to show your friends how close you were to elephants?’

No actually I want to throw up but I suppose that would be too noisy.

‘Okay, I guess I probably should do this.’ They led us closer and I snapped the two of them with my friend. Then I realised that I had to turn MY back on them, no more than twenty feet away. Needless to say my face tells all in that photo. I’m glad I did it; I still love elephants – from a distance! IMG_4285

We only stayed in Mole for two nights. It was a brilliant experience, a lot more rugged than a safari I did in Botswana a few years earlier, where the lodge was the height of luxury. In Mole, the water and electricity in our chalet was only on for a couple of hours a day and there were creepy crawly things that I’d rather forget. The atmosphere was great though and the view was about as good as it gets. Just before sunset herds of elephants of all sizes come to bathe in the waterhole down below the veranda. A much more relaxed way to see them!

Petronas

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Michelle at The Daily Post says,

‘In a nutshell, a three-picture story is a way to help you think about storytelling with images. To create a three-picture story, gather:

  1. An establishing shot: a broad photo of your subject.
  2. A relationship: two elements interacting with one another.
  3. A detail: a close-up of one part of your subject.’

It took me a while but I think I’ve got it right, what do you think?

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So this is my broad shot, my subject is there 420 metres high, but furthest away.

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Here, two elements are interacting as I took this shot from the top of my first distant subject.

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This is the close up of my subject, the Kuala Lumpur Tower and it shows the 335 metre high 360 degree pod that I had been inside!

Maybe you will join the challenge, http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/weekly-photo-challenge-threes/

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Strolling at Titchfield Haven

This is the my last few hours of a weeks leave from work, boohoo! I’ve had an amazing week, including a real once in a lifetime event, that I’ll tell you about soon. On Wednesday I braved the storms and went east to visit Scarlett and her mummy and daddy, driving through floods, high winds and relentless heavy rain. The next day for a few hours the sun came out and we decided to pop to the coast at Titchfield. We strolled beside the tiny harbour,

looked back towards Lee on Solent, 2014 Feb 13_9005_edited-1

and then visited the Nature Reserve, Titchfield Haven.

There is an abundance of bird life that almost rivals the Exe Estuary close to home, but not within view of the lens I had with me. They have created two short trails, with boardwalks through the marshes and a stunning new hide for the serious twitcher.

The sunshine was a real treat, as was the fresh air, after the really dreadful weather we’ve had for weeks. Next time I’m in Hampshire I’ll try to remember a long lens and walking boots!

This post is for Marianne’s challenge One Trip Every Month, over at http://eastofmalaga.net/ who asks us to tell her about visting somewhere for the first time.