Archive for the 'Travel Photography' Category

Nepal Through a Plastic Lens

I have put together a couple of my lomo shots of Nepal and Tibet on my Flickr.

Go check out the whole set…

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7 Days: A Return

Wow, I am still so far behind.  Been real busy and have about 200 unsorted photos from the last month or so on my camera.  This weekend I intend to finally do some bulk uploading and cover the whole of June in one blast but, for now,  here are the dying days of May and our return to Hong Kong.

Tunnel
I Has a Bucket
Love in a Mist
Reflections/Hope
Hooked on DS
Brightening up our Home
I Can Has Carot?

7 Days: The Best Ever, Ever, Ever!

Definitely the coolest 7 days of my life:

Everest
Tashilunpo Trainee
Pango Kumbum
Altitude
Jokhang
The Potala
Leaving Tibet

Yes!

Joe

Day 6:Jungle Walking, Jungle Driving (Part 2)

Wow, bit of a delay in posting, but I determined to finish documenting this trip to prove to myself that I can finish things that I start! I was talkin about “the highlight of the whole trip…” that awaited us on the other bank of the river. Well, this was it:

Soaked
Failure
Bathing

We wanted to stay there all afternoon with our new friend, alas, we had a jeep safari lined up later that afternoon and we were wet, sweaty and covering mud and sand. After a quick shower, lunch and (very) brief sit down we were off into the jungle once again. This time we would be heading deep into the jungle by jeep. This turned out to be a bit of a disaster.

For a start, the jeeps were not run by our lodge, but instead by a far less organised outfit. Every jeep was overloaded and desperately in need of repair. As each seat in the car was taken, the guide took to standing on the back bumper as we trundled off noisily into the jungle. When this eventually broke off the back of the car mid drive, nearlly killing him, the rain decided to make it’s first appearance of the last few weeks. The dilapidated rain cover was in as good condition as the jeep, which meant it was full of holes and everybody in the jeep had to physically hold it up with one hand above their head whilst the guide, devoid of places to stand, relocated to the roof of the jeep. Then the 4WD became a 0WD as some rusty part inside the engine decided to give up the ghost. After hitting a few thing with a hammer we were back on the road (but only driving with 2WD) and we in the jeep decided our best bet would be to abandon anger and just enjoy laughing at the situation and mocking our guide.  Our positive energy must have had an affect as, eventually, the rain subsided and we managed to get a glimpse of the back ends of a few animals as they ran in fear from our roaring (disabled) hulk of a machine.

Sheltered
Deer
Stork

By the time we got in we were about ready to head back to the lodge. From the child-like joy of bathing elephants to the grumpy grumbling of our ill-fated jeep ride, today, like all of the best days, was a day of extremes.

7 Days: Jungles! Mountains! Buddhas!

7 Day of Nepalese Shenanigans.

Failure
Gaida
Valley Living
Tranquility
Nagarkot
Bhaktapur
Breakfast View

Still playing catch-up.  WIll be back on track soon…

Day 6:Jungle Walking, Jungle Driving (Part 1)

We were in bed early on the fist night in Chitwan. Not only because we were tired, but also due to the lack of electricity severely limiting the chance of doing, well, anything but sitting around sweating in the dark or reading by candlelight. By the crack of dawn we were fully slept and reading for some canoeing and a walk in the Jungle.

After a short jeep ride we were back by the river and climbing into carved river canoes for a trip down the Rapti. By 7am Chitwan was already baking hot, so the light breeze across the river was a welcome visitor as our oarsman expertly inched us closer to points of interest or along channels of rapid water.
Chitwan Canoes
Click for full size.

Along the way we saw plenty of birds and monkeys alongside the ubiquitous elephants and buffalos bathing in the cool river. We also passed a few crocodiles taking in the morning sun, which our guide insisted on bringing us terrifyingly close to before revealing there were mostly harmless. Needless to say, my camera spent very little time away from my face.
Basking
Kingfisher
What You Looking At?
Click any Photos to Enlarge

Eventually our canoe pulled up to a bank of the river inside the park boundaries and we jumped off for a walk through the jungle. After a quick, and hilarious, briefing on what to do if we get attacked by rhinos, bears, tigers or wild elephants (most involve running like a lunatic and climbing trees) we set off into tall elephant grass. Our nerves still a bit raw from the chat about staring out tigers, we disturbed a group of boar who rocketed across our path sending the 12ft high elephant grass rustling in every direction in a scene straight out of the series ‘Lost’. This was fun! Thigns rapidly calmed and despite not seeing many large mammals on the trip we did get poo thrown at us by monkeys, visit some watering holes sporting fresh rhino prints and we even found a few tree trunks that had obviously been used by scratching posts by a rather large tiger. Then there were the insects. Once again, my camera was close at hand:

Infested
Scratching Post
Tiger Prints
Forest Mushrooms

As we emerged from the jungle, back onto the river bank opposite where the canoes had departed this morning I was about ready to tear off my shirt and jump in the river. In fact, I was more than ready so I handed my bag to Chuda and dragged Samantha in and we swam excitedly across to where we noticed some rather exciting activities taking place. Then came the highlight of the whole trip…

Day 5: Jungle Tracks

Our first few days were an enlightening, invigorating and often infuriating, but it was time to head off to our second destination for the trip: Royal Chitwan National Park.  Covering 932 sqKm, Chitwan National Park is a UNESCO world hertiage site in the southern region of Nepal (close to the Indian border) that is famous for its diverse and unique wildlife and natural beauty.  Consisting mainly of pristine jungle and grasslands, Chitwan is home to several species of animal and is home to an array fo endangered and indiginous animals.  According to Wikipedia, “The Royal Chitwan National Park is home to at least 43 species of mammals, 450 species of birds, and 45 species of amphibians and reptiles’.  However, most important it is home to the last significant populations of Bengal Tigers and One Horned Rhinoseros inthe wild.  In other words, we were in for a few days of elephant safaris, jungle walks, canoeing and general jungle awwesomeness.

We stocked up on snacks for the 5 hour bus journey and set off. The bus is an often terrifying rumble down through caping canyons carved out by the raging river below.  As we descended from the cooler alpine climate of the Kathmandu basin into the balmy mess of mid-summer India I began to worry if I would survive the heat.  When we stepped off of the bus my worries worsened.  40+ degrees and 9001% humidity.  Nice.  We were whisked off to our lodge which we soon found was completed deserted but for us and treated to a tasty lunch and my spirits heightened, especially when I found out were were visiting an Elephant breeding centre later that day.
Accomodation
Samantha outside our chalet in the Marundi Jungle Lodge, Chitwan. We were the only guests!

The elephant breeding center was hilarious and our first taste of just how incredible Chitwan really is. We were driven down to a river on the boundary of the park where we hopped onto a tiny boat to the other bank. On arriving at the elephant breeding centre we were shown to a small ‘information centre’ (basically a room with a few photographs and some badly phrased paragraphs on the history of elephant breeding and training in Chitwan), when all we really want to do though was to go see the elephants.  When we finally escaped into the open though we had a whole bunch of fun with a few elephants who escaped the barriers.

Playful
Chitwan Elephants
Tasty Camera

Soon enough the sun was threatening to set. Before heading home to shower and sleep, we set off to stop by a small shack along the river to watch the sun set over the jungle and sip on a well earned Everest beer. However, on the way there some children came running towards us, jabbering hyperspeed Nepali to our guide and pointing at the jungle. A quick check through the binoculars revealed a rhino and child grazing just at the edge of the tree line. A nice way to end the day.