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.
Rodriguez Pass, Blue Mountains, New South Wales
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
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
Filed under France, Hiking
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.
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
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
Filed under France, Hiking
No surf on the Dutch beach, but plenty of action.
The mass walk is a peculiarly Dutch activity, one that I’d avoided until now. That’s surprising, given how much I enjoy hiking.
But yesterday I tagged along with my friend Anita and 6,800 of her Dutch walking mates on the ‘Plus Wandel4Daagse Alkmaar‘, for a brisk stroll through North Holland. Continue reading
Filed under Hiking, Holland
It’s all go at Tyangboche Monastery, Nepal. But wait, what’s that I see through the break in the cloud?
I didn’t find this an easy Weekly Photo Challenge. Usually I’m trying to focus my camera on the main subject, consciously avoiding distractions in the background.
Then I thought of this…
After a solid day’s walking we were pleased to emerge at Nepal’s Tyangboche Monastery, just under 4000 metres high.
It was Trekker Town, crowded with yaks and mules, Sherpas and Germans. The gongs and vuvuzela-like horns from the monks provided the soundtrack. The bakery provided real coffee. Tenzing Norgay, Sir Edmund Hillary’s fellow climber, was born in the Kumjung region and studied at this monastery.
All very interesting. Then suddenly the clouds parted, and there was Mount Everest beyond.
Need I say that the trek itself was one of the best I’ve ever done. To read more about it, CLICK HERE.