Category Archives: Hiking

NEW CAMERA, NEW SHOTS, SAME OLD MOUNTAINS

Rodriguez Pass, Blue Mountains, New South Wales

Rodriguez Pass, Blue Mountains, New South Wales


We’ve come to the end of summer holiday time in Australia. No more excuses for the recent slackness in my blogging. Normal service has resumed.

In my time away from desk and computer I spent a few days in the lovely Blue Mountains, just outside Sydney, armed with my new camera (a Canon 70D, for those interested in such things.)

The weather was fine, clear and warm, not ideal for taking atmospheric shots. To my mind the mountains are most appealing when mist fills the valleys and clings to the cliffs.

Nevertheless, I did happen across wildlife that obligingly stayed close enough to shoot – with the camera only of course. Continue reading

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A FRENCH MOUNTAIN VILLAGE

St Martin sur Vesubie. Not much going on on a sunny Saturday morning.

St Martin sur Vesubie. Not much going on on a sunny Saturday morning.


‘A Jacques Tati square,’ our walking mate Peter calls it. We know exactly what he means.

We sit outside the boulangerie in St Martin sur Vesubie with our early morning cafe and pain au chocolat and watch as the village comes to life, its characters coming and going like figures in a mechanical clock.

Nobody seems in a hurry, including us. We have several hours to kill before the bus will take us back to Nice. Continue reading

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HOW TOUGH IS A WALK ON THE GR5?

St Delmas le Selvage. It looks a long way down.

St Dalmas le Selvage. It looks a long way down from here, but it’s where the nearest cafe is waiting.

It’s hard to describe for non-walkers the experience of hiking one of Europe’s great trails, the GR5 over the French Alps.

Here’s my best effort to compare it to an exercise anyone can try at home… Continue reading

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HEADING FOR THE HILLS – back soon

The French Alps, mostly wi-fi free.

The French Alps, mostly a wifi free zone.

We apologise for this break in transmission. Do not adjust your set.

I’ll be somewhere in France for the next week, walking roughly southwards along the mighty GR5 route from St Paul-sur-Ubaye, hoping to emerge at St Martin-sur-Vesubie. There’ll be refuges with food, beer, wine and beds along the way, but I don’t expect to find internet access very often.

The Dutch footballers in Brazil will have to struggle on without my help. I’ll be back in time for the final.

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SHOOTING THE FALLS – Valley of the Waters

Empress Falls, Blue Mountains, NSW.  Camera in point and shoot mode, letting the mist provide the blurring and the magic.

Empress Falls, Blue Mountains, NSW.
Camera in point and shoot mode, letting the mist provide the blurring and the magic.

It was a good day for taking photos of waterfalls yesterday.

I’d read a bit about how to do it, and practised the technique with a bathroom tap, trying to get that smooth, soft water effect that seems to be compulsory for waterfall shots in magazines.

And where better to try it for real than on a hike with my fellow amateur snapper Duncan down the evocatively named Valley of the Waters, in the Blue Mountains just outside Sydney? Here’s what we learned… Continue reading

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TEN REASONS TO LOVE THE FRENCH ALPS

The scenery is a knockout.

The scenery is a knockout.

I think I’ve now spent more time walking in the French Alps than any other place in the world, even including the hiking I’ve done in Australia and New Zealand.

This year’s leg was six days hiking the GR5 and its variants between St Paul sur l’Ubaye and St Martin de Vesubie.

It’s still an annual highlight of my life to spend a week in the mountains with my Dutch friends.

Here’s why I keep going back there: Continue reading

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OUT OF OFFICE – back soon

Maybe there's wifi here, but I won't be using it.

Maybe there’s wifi in the Alps, but I’m too busy to look for it.



The weather is supposed to be better in the south of France, so I will be working from my outdoor office for the rest of the week.

I’ll return with a full report shortly.

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