Tag Archives: Hiking

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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Filed under Hiking, travel photography, Travel-Australia

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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Filed under France, Hiking

YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE – Alkmaar’s Festival of the Foot

No surf on the Dutch beach, but plenty of action.

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

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Filed under Hiking, Holland

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: BEYOND – hmm, tricky…!

It's all go at Tyangboche Monastery, Nepal. But wait, what's that I see through the break in the cloud?

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.

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Filed under Himalayas

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: DELICATE – my life of crime

A shame I had to break the law to get a delicate photo like this.

A delicate photo and a delicate tale to go with it…

I was rather pleased with this photo. It was a shame I had to break the law to take it.

To read the kiss-and-tell, cards-on-the-table, warts-and-all story of how Shifty and I risked hefty fines, serious lectures from the judge and delicate parts of our anatomy to bring you this little sample of Blue Mountains magic, CLICK HERE.

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Filed under Hiking

GET PAID TO WALK AND EAT IN ITALY

Walking in the Dolomites. Nice work if you can get it.

Does this sound like a job for you?

You go to Italy twice a year, in spring and autumn to avoid the main tourist season. On each trip you spend a week or two walking through attractive countryside with a jolly group of like-minded people, staying in boutique hotels, eating the best local food and sampling the local vintages.

You get paid to do this.

Simon Tancred and a cafe that bears his name, plus a bit.

At the end of the walk you say arrivederci to your friends and for a few weeks you head off on your own into unknown regions, researching some history and looking for new footpaths, food and lodgings. And deducting your expenses from your tax.

Lots of us aspire to converting our love of travel into a paying job or business.

Simon Tancred seems to have it nicely worked out. Continue reading

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Filed under Hiking, Italy