Category Archives: Travel

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.

 

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Lazy Poets Thursday Haibun

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Along the Tamale Road

She’d packed her shop up for the day, all hope of sales abandoned. Resigned to eating the hard boiled eggs herself, with the plantain that no-one wanted either. All morning she’d snacked on the pastries she baked before dawn. Once upon a time she couldn’t make enough of them, they sold like hot cakes. A tourist asked if her canopy was for sale, she’d said no – how would she have shade without it? Perhaps . . . perhaps she could try making some small ones to sell.

What’s this? A tourist jeep stopping, she gathered her wares in her apron and ran. ‘Fresh eggs, tomato, banana, what will you buy?’

 

Travellers lunch break

a bargain fresh as the day

benefits for all

branscombe

Sunday Kept on Giving

After leaving the beach at Branscombe yesterday we went up to see the church, St Winifreda’s. church1church2

Partly Saxon, but mainly Early English and Norman, there are some interesting and unusual features to be seen. churchc

Like the Jacobean carved oak gallery above. And below, this 18th century three tier pulpit. The first tier is for reading lessons, the second for prayer and the top is for delivering sermons. I’ve never seen one before, have you? church8

St Winifreda’s has some beautiful little details to admire.

Just two of the windows were stained glass, but richly coloured. churcha

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Every pew had hand stitched hassocks, some in memory of parishioners, but also one for every monarch in English history. These are the most recent, Victoria, Edward V11, George V and GeorgeV1

I thought this little niche memorial to Branscombe people lost in WW1 and WW2 was very special. church9

All in all , it’s a very special church.  I like its simplicity, solid wood and stone floors and that it is so very ancient, how many hands have touched those old stones? branscombe

These pretty stone and thatch cottages are just along the road and that’s where I’ll leave you today!

A little magic

Yesterday at Branscombe

The weather forecast got it right, yesterday was a blue sky day that shouted come and see me. So off we went, heading east to Branscombe, a little village on the coast between Sidmouth and Beer. A few years ago Branscombe hit the headlines because a huge container ship, the MS Napoli ran aground there spilling its cargo along several miles of coast line.

All is pristine now and once the long single track lane to reach Branscombe has been successfully navigated, it’s the perfect spot for some winter sun.

Sunday was a day that kept on giving, more tomorrow!

Widgeon family

The Exe Trail

I read about construction of a connecting section of the  Exe trail  some time ago and when I learnt that it had opened recently, I dragged the family out at Christmas to check it out. The trail covers about twenty six miles from Dawlish on the west of the Exe to Exmouth on the east and is part of National Cycle Route 2. Way back when I’ve cycled the west side, but now walking, camera in hand, on the east side is more my thing. I’ve shown you many photos of Topsham before and the new link begins at Bowling Green Marsh, from there it crosses the River Clyst via a new 120 metre bridge, which was floated down the Exe on barges. The bridge goes across the RSPB Goosemoor Nature Reserve, providing stunning views of the area that have never before been accessible.

The photos above are all on the original partof the walk.

Over time the bridge and boardwalk will blend in. To be honest I’m disappointed that the sides are quite so high and there are just peepholes to look through, but of course the wildlife has to be protected.

It was a freezing cold day at the end of December but I’ll start at the bridge next time and head further east. It’s definitely a wonderful cycle route!

Ankara's beautys

Turkish Encounters

The thing I love most of all about travelling is meeting people and having glimpses into their world and way of being. There’s something very precious about these fleeting moments.  One memorable encounter I had was in Ankara, where I met these women  who immediately struck me with their warm open hearts. They were posing for photos in the Kemal Ataturk museum and they looked so beautiful that I asked to take one too.

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Sadiman, on the right spoke English and was able to tell her family that I was happy to meet them and loved their country. We are still Facebook friends, as I am with Selin on the left. Selin was very young in my photo and I’m able to see her grow up through her Facebook photos. I don’t know the beamings mamas names, but through smiles and gestures we shared something special to treasure.

This is my post for family, this weeks photo challenge from the Daily Post. You can join in here. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/photo-challenge-family-2/