Tag Archives: Hiking

GOING GREEN IN HONG KONG – Lamma Island

Looking down on Sok Kwu Wan fishing village, where a seafood meal awaits.

Looking down on Sok Kwu Wan fishing village, where a seafood meal awaits.

Yes, it is possible to escape the madding crowd in this town.

For one of the most densely populated parts of the planet, Hong Kong has a surprising amount of green space. Most people live literally on top of each other in high rise apartment towers, concentrated along the shore of Hong Kong Island.

Behind them are forests leading up to the Peak, which absolutely must be scaled, by foot or by cable train, by every visitor. Except for us.

We find our Hong Kong green space on one of the outer islands. Continue reading

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OUR SECOND OLDEST NATIONAL PARK – and the most beautiful?

Russell Falls started it all.

19th century interest in Russell Falls started it all.

Australia’s oldest national park is the Royal National Park south of Sydney. Mt Field wasn’t far behind.

It was declared a nature reserve in 1885 and became a national park in 1916. It also has a dubious distinction as the place the last known Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was captured in 1933; they’ve changed the rules about taking nearly extinct species out of national parks since then.

Now it is one of Tasmania’s most popular parks, partly because it is only 64km from Hobart, and partly because it contains some of the most beautiful and varied terrain in the state, the country or indeed on the planet. We were happy to join the day-trippers on a short walk to the gorgeous Russell Falls – carrying the camera of course. Continue reading

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WALKING BY TASMANIA’S LAKE ST CLAIR

It's called Platypus Bay, though we're unlikely to spot any in the middle of a clear day, Dusk and dawn are platypus times.

It’s called Platypus Bay, though we’re unlikely to spot any in the middle of a clear day, Dusk and dawn are platypus times.


The weather is changeable and we’re not well equipped for a serious hike.

Fortunately there are short walks from the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre that suit us perfectly.

As more intrepid adventurers stride in, drop their packs and order pizzas, having completed their 7-day trek along the famous Overland Track, we set out for a stroll along the lakeside to Watersmeet, carrying nothing but a camera. Continue reading

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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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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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