Category Archives: Travel
Waimea is an odd place. After a lazy morning we go out in search of a coffee. The tiny cinema opposite has updated its programme. Apparently this week it’s "Angry Bird 2", showing on 5 days, "Sat cloed". There are two obvious inferences: they’ve run out of Ss, and they are closed on Saturday. However neither is supported by the evidence – last week the film was "Hobbs and Shaw", and later on (on Saturday evening) there is plenty of evidence of punters arriving…
We walk the length of Main Street looking for a coffee shop in increasing desperation. We’re just about to give up, when we realise the very last building has about 10 signs saying "coffee" or "expresso". It’s only missing a Terry Gilliam hand in the sky pointing down.
The lady who runs the coffee shop cheerfully announces to us that she’s an old hippy but we could probably have guessed… However she then goes on to explain that before she dropped out she was a professor.
I am about to say "What were you a professor of?" but some sixth sense kicks in, and it comes out "Of what were you a professor?"
"I’m glad I just got the grammar right then."
"Don’t worry. I used to correct my husband’s love letters to me."
The conversations we have on holiday.
We have a very quick and efficient transfer to Oahu. After the other islands Honolulu is a bit of a shock, but the busy freeway takes us to within a few hundred yards of our hotel. This turns out to be a rather twee historic guest house up on the hill well above the bustle of the city.
The check in process is slightly fraught as the hotel seems to be staffed entirely by an oriental family each of which commands a different subset of the English language, and Frances is also somewhat concerned about the reports of multiple dogs and cats. However in practice the only real problem is a very low door into the bathroom which leads to a few "ow, bugger" moments.
The hotel is near the University and we get lunch at a nice student café, followed by a second course at McDonald’s when Frances gets a sudden craving for an apple pie.
After settling into our room we go down to the Ala Moana Beach Park, to see what’s going on and to case the joint for catching our tour in the morning. The recce proves to be worthwhile as the Ala Moana Centre covers multiple blocks and houses a mall of over 300 shops.
The beach front is a hive of activity. We see fishing, surfing, jogging, family parties and multiple weddings or photo shoots taking advantage of the late afternoon light. We get a great sunset and in particular dramatic golden light on the big buildings behind Waikiki Beach.
Back in the shopping centre we go into Macy’s and look for their food court. There’s something called "The Bakery", which suggests a couple of old ladies with a stack of sandwiches and a coffee machine, which would do fine. However this turns out to be a lively full service restaurant which does a great prime rib for very little money. Result.
Day 13 We have booked a guided tour of the Allerton Gardens. We are both expecting a short walk through a botanical garden with someone spouting a lot of Latin names, but it turns out to be nothing like that. Continue reading
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 in Hawaii Travel Blog
Day 12 The morning is centred on an activity I have been looking forward to all summer, my helicopter flight. After a short drive I arrive on time, check in, pay, and watch the safety briefing, which seems to be Continue reading
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 in Hawaii Travel Blog
Day 11 Sleep is again interrupted by bedding problems and over-keen roosters. Chickens are in fact a major factor on Kauai. Almost everywhere you look you can see one or two padding around, and it’s rare that you can’t hear Continue reading
Day 8 – Haleakala For a mountain lodge the night is surprisingly noisy: large vehicles on the road, guests moving cars around all night, and a rooster who gets confused and starts crowing at 1 am. In addition we have Continue reading
Back on “The Road to Hana”, but now “from”. The northern stretch is well-surfaced but we’re soon back to regular single-lane bridges. Our early start means we are well advanced on the way back before we meet consistent traffic, but Continue reading
Day 6 I make a fairly early start and go down to the small beach to watch the sunrise. Just as the sun is getting established it starts raining, but the result is an amazing rainbow behind the hotel, and Continue reading
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 in Hawaii Travel Blog
Day 4 – Retail Therapy We’re awake early, and spend an hour catching up with political developments in the UK. Then at 7am we discover behind a nondescript door next to the “boutique doss house” a wonderful coffee shop which Continue reading
We finally managed to make our trip to Hawaii, which was cancelled at the last minute in 2016. Here’s how we got on… Day 1 We have a faultless flight by Virgin to San Francisco. Despite dire prognostications we leave Continue reading
I’ve been having a few problems with my RSS feed, hopefully now fixed. If you view my blog via the feed and don’t see a picture from my trip to the Kolmanskoppe diamond mining town, please let me know. Continue reading
Here’s my traditional end of trip contribution to the world of fine art photography. Peter Lik watch out! From the left: Alison, Yours Truly, Nigel, Keith, Paul, John L, John B, Ann, Lee Continue reading
Here are some facts ands figures about our trip, and some guidance for prospective travellers and photographers. Cameras and Shot Count I took around 2900 shots (broken down to 2788 on the Panasonic G9, 78 on the GX8, and a Continue reading
The last day of any trip is always a bit sad, and hard work with the travel. However this year three separate organisations covered themselves in something which is not glory, and I have to get this out of my Continue reading
Well, a line, anyway. We’ll all be back over the line sometime tomorrow, when we fly back. That’s sad. From the left: Lee (group leader and owner of Photo Adventures), Ann, John B, Paul, Alison, Keith, Nigel, Tuhafenny (our excellent Continue reading
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 in Namibia Travel Blog
I noticed while gathering for the bushman walk that five of our group were "packing" a pair of Canons. This shot was inevitable. Thanks to John B for the title – excellent photographer’s joke. I am happy to explain if Continue reading
Having been out until gone 11pm doing the night photography, I boycotted the dawn shoot back in the quiver tree forest, had a bit of a lie in, and joined the party at breakfast. We then moved off north. On Continue reading
Sadly we’re into the last few days of the trip and have to spend most of the next few days hacking back from the extreme south west of Namibia to Windhoek which is well to the north. Monday started with Continue reading
Today we visited two ghost towns based around diamond mines. In the morning we visited Elizabeth Bay, which is about half an hour from Lüderitz behind a substantial security screen as it shares its location and access road with an Continue reading
Monday, November 26, 2018 in Namibia Travel Blog
Sorry it’s a bit fuzzy and not properly focused, but that’s nothing to do with my photography! Continue reading
Lee agreed that we could all have a lie-in, so of course I woke up at 4, and was just getting back to sleep at 6 when the sun rose over the mountains and shone straight into my room. Bugger… Continue reading
Saturday, November 24, 2018 in Namibia Travel Blog
We’ve been a bit spoiled by the game drives at Okonjima, where it was almost a challenge not to see a great variety of game. The Wolwedans equivalent was less productive: after 4 hours in the jeeps under a blazing Continue reading
There’s a long-running joke between Frances and myself that I like to use a dead tree as foreground interest in my photos. In Namibia, it’s often the only viable target, and I’ve found that I’m in very good company. We Continue reading
My cunning plan to have a lie-in worked, and I had a great night’s sleep, sorted myself out, and had a leisurely breakfast. Those who had chosen the "third 4.15 start in a row" option got back looking distinctly frazzled. Continue reading
Deadvlei is the home of the iconic Namibian desert image: a dead tree on a salt plain with an orange dune in the background. Despite the ubiquity of such images, in practice it’s a single relatively small location, a bowl Continue reading
Thursday, November 22, 2018 in Namibia Travel Blog
Up at 4.14, but in a very worth cause, our helicopter flight over the Namibian dunes. We had to take it in turns, as the company only have one helicopter with three passenger seats flying at this time of year, Continue reading
Playlist for today: On The Road Again : Canned Heat Highway Star : Deep Purple Bright Side of the Road : Van Morrison Call Me The Breeze (I keep blowin’ down the road) : Lynyrd Skynyrd Goin’ Down The Road Continue reading
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 in Namibia Travel Blog
Despite the distractions of the chalet’s canvas roof I eventually got an OK night’s sleep, and woke up ready for action. With the sun just rising we had a great pre-breakfast shoot at Spitzkoppe, with the rock formations beautifully lit Continue reading