Category Archives: Travel

TELUNAS TOP TWELVE – best shots

Despite all the interesting learning experiences on offer at Telunas, the kids invariably have one highlight - jumping off the deck.

Despite all the interesting learning experiences on offer at Telunas, the kids invariably have one highlight – jumping off the deck. It often makes the best shot too.

While the writers’ camp at Telunas Beach is supposed to be all about words, for me it’s about pictures too.

I’d bought a new camera lens and this was its first outing. It’s an ‘all-in-one’ Tamron 18-270mm, so naturally there are compromises of image quality at both ends of the range, though on the whole I found it did the job. The advantage of the big zoom is that I could get close to people without making them too aware they were in shot, thus getting a little more spontaneity.

And in Indonesia’s lovely Riau Islands, there is always something worth pointing the camera at. Continue reading

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TERIMA KASIH (Thanks!) JAGA ISLAND!

We don't speak Bahasa, they don't speak English, but we can all learn handgames. handgames.

We don’t speak Bahasa, you don’t speak English, but we can all learn handgames.

Not many people visit Pulau Jaga, Indonesia. It isn’t easy to find. Google Maps doesn’t even name it. ‘Did you mean “Java, Indonesia”?’ says the Google search engine, trying as ever to be helpful.

No, I did mean Jaga, an island in the Riau Archipelago, two and a half hours by boat south of Singapore. Jaga is some 2.5km long and 500m across, home to perhaps 90 families, most of them supported by fishing. There are no hotels, no restaurants, no roads and no cars. There is a school, however, and we were invited to visit it. It was a privilege and a pleasure. Continue reading

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WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: (accidental) selfie, Rajasthan

At first I thought, 'Damn! Look at that reflection.' Then I reflected further...

At first I thought, ‘Damn! Look at that reflection.’ Then I reflected further…



It’s been a while since I entered the Weekly Photo Challenge, and this week’s topic ‘SELFIE’ wasn’t immediately appealing. I hadn’t heard the word until a few months ago. Then I decided perhaps I did have something to offer…

On our recent luxury train trip through India on the Maharajas Express we often found ourselves staring through the tinted glass as Real India, non-airconditioned India, slid past.

This shot, which had been consigned to the ‘reject file’ seemed to capture the spirit – fascination with what we were seeing, tinged with a little guilt that we were so insulated from it.

The writer was the guest of Railbookers. See www.railbookers.com.au

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RICHARD SAY: “Holiday should not be hard work”.

The Merricks-Red Hill trail. Where nothing much happens, fortunately.

The Merricks-Red Hill trail. Nothing to write home about, fortunately.

Trust Confucius to put it in a nutshell: ‘Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.’

That’s all very well for him to say. Chinese labourers swarming round him, slaving themselves towards an early grave, while he sat under a shady tree thinking up a few quotes. I bet he had days he couldn’t even be bothered being pithy and original. And he fell back on the same old lazy start to every sentence: ‘Confucius say…’

By Mr Confucius’ reasoning, most of a writer’s life is a holiday, and so it must appear to those who do jobs that actually need to be done. In vain do I grumble to friends about producers breathing gently down my neck while deadlines loom (or ‘whoosh by’, to quote Douglas Adams). There’s little sympathy for a writer from people whose work actually matters.

But there’s a flip side to my relaxing chosen career; in recent years most of my holidays have been taken for purposes of writing about them, either for money or in a pathetic attempt to attract blog hits. In other words, they have been work. But not this time. Continue reading

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MEN WITH CAMELS – Bikaner

Yes, this is a show camel, but it's a good show.

Yes, this is a show camel, but it’s a good show.

Bikaner is a small town by Indian standards, with a mere 2 million people eking out a living on the fringe of the Rajasthani desert. It also has an awful lot of camels. Continue reading

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OLD JODHPUR IN SEPIA

They're probably just farmers off to do some ordinary job, but it looks like part of a film story.

I guess they’re just farmers off to do some ordinary job, but it looks like part of a mysterious story.

I’ve been so overwhelmed by the colour that is everywhere in India, that I’d forgotten to try this arty photo experiment…

With the stroke of a key in iPhoto Effects I can make my shots look as if they were taken by an intrepid explorer traipsing across India in the days of the Raj, with an entourage of bearers carrying his photographic equipment. Continue reading

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