A (steep) walk in the Valle Cocora
Cocora was a princess, daughter of Acaime, chief of the local Quimbaya indigenous people. Today she lends her name to Colombia’s Cocora Valley, where the native wax palms (the national tree) grow up to 60 metres and live for about 200 years.
Gallery: the sound of silence
How do you photograph silence? Photographing a sound seems challenging enough, being invisible; but the absence of sound even more so.
Gallery: taking the plunge
There are plenty of quotes that encourage us to take the plunge. We all understand the concept. Be brave, don’t hesitate, don’t hold back. We can apply this to our working lives (go for that promotion!), and our personal lives (don’t wait, travel, book that flight, train for that marathon!)
Gallery: blowing the cobwebs away at Druridge Bay
Just a few miles north of built-up post-industrial Tyneside lies the wide expanse of Druridge Bay. Its seven miles of sands are lined with sand dunes and are just perfect for a winter walk. The landscape is an interesting mix, with wind turbines visible in the distance but otherwise feeling rather remote.
Gallery: Himalaya vistas near Pokhara
High in the hills above Pokhara the inhabitants of small villages live much as they have always done. Theirs is a life of hard work, farming a land of steep fields and terraces. But while the work is hard, the backdrop is stunning. I wonder how often they pause to appreciate their surroundings, raising a weary head to gaze in wonder at these mountains as I did?
Gallery: sunrise over the Himalayas
We’d planned to spend our last day in Pokhara taking it easy. Swimming in the beautiful hotel pool, a walk by the lake, maybe a bit of shopping. But some things can’t be missed, and surely sunrise over the Himalayas is one of those things?!
Exploring the temple town of Manakamana
I can never resist the opportunity to ride in a cable car. So when our tour company suggested that we break the long drive from Chitwan to Bandipur with a ride up to the temple at Manakamana, I agreed immediately. It would be a chance to see a different side of Nepal, I thought. And it was, but not quite in the way I had imagined.
Gallery: an ode to beautiful Northumberland (shhh!)
Are there places you know and love which you hesitate to tell others about, because you are tempted to keep them to yourself? Places relatively unknown that you fear might become spoiled if discovered by too many? And yet, they are so lovely you can’t resist singing their praises!
Gallery: on the Narayani River
In the early morning mist we drifted slowly with the current, our boat man using his single oar simply to steer us. Here on the Narayani River, which skirts the northern boundary of Chitwan National Park in Nepal, the setting was beautiful, the atmosphere tranquil.
A postcard from Nepal: souvenir seller
A statue of Shiva, the second largest in Nepal, was unveiled near Pokhara last year. A lady was selling souvenirs next to the steep path up to the statue.