Gallery: pick a word (December)
Out of us all That make rhymes, Will you choose Sometimes – As the winds use A crack in the wall Or a drain, Their joy or their pain To whistle through – Choose me, You English words?
One of my favourite poems, by one of my favourite poets, is about words. Some may say that’s not so surprising, when I like to use so many of them! Maybe too that is why I admire anyone who uses them as perfectly as Thomas did.
And now again I am facing the task posed by Paula in her monthly Pick a Word challenge. Five words, five photos inspired by those words. I may not stick only to her five words, but I do try to be succinct while also giving a bit of context to my choices.
In this month’s selection I’m aiming to take you on a whistlestop tour of the world, taking in:
- An old fishing port in Italy
- The Atacama Desert in northern Chile
- A park in Nairobi, Kenya
- Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam
- And one from our recent visit to Nepal, taken in a hotel garden
Mau Mau memorial, Nairobi
This is a memorial to the ‘victims of torture and ill-treatment during the colonial period’ in Uhuru Park, Nairobi. The sculpture represents a young woman, a Mau Mau sympathiser, passing food to one of the freedom fighters in order to give her support to the cause. A sign explains that it was the custom among the Mau Mau never to look at each other during such interactions, so that they couldn’t later identify and thus give away any of their fellow fighters, even if tortured. Another sign carries messages of reconciliation from Great Britain and the Mau Mau veterans.
Flamingos in the Salar de Atacama
The Atacama is the driest non-polar desert in the world, with no significant rainfall for 400 years. It is surprising then to arrive at the Laguna Chaxa and see so much water! Heavily salinated, and shallow, the lagoon is fed by the snow run-off from the surrounding Andes Mountains, which absorbs the natural salts of the land and then evaporates in the hot dry desert sun leaving the salt crust and crystalline formations that surround it. Chaxa is a breeding site for flamingos and many other water birds. They are drawn here by the many microscopic organisms such as algae and invertebrates which thrive in this brackish environment.
There are many more photos of these beautiful birds in my Flamingos of the Atacama post
Coming into land at Ho Chi Minh City
The guide who met us at the airport surprised us by welcoming us not to Ho Chi Minh City, the official name, but to Saigon, its previous name. The city was renamed after it was liberated/captured (depending on your perspective) by the Viet Cong in April 1975, bringing about an end to the Vietnam War. We had assumed that locals would be keen that we use its correct name, but it seems that because it is quite a mouthful and because old habits die hard, many still refer to it as Saigon.
Porto Antico, Monopoli
Monopoli’s old port is even today a hive of boat-related activity. Even during the post-lunch siesta time when we visited, when much of the town was somnambulant, there were some boats moving around on the water. Most are painted a bright shade of blue, making for a cheerful scene. The backdrop is the beautiful loggia of the Palazzo Martinelli Meo-Evoli. This 18th century palazzo was home to a succession of wealthy trading families of which the last was the Martinelli whose name it bears, who lived here from around the start of the 19th century.
A bird of paradise flower
Photographed in the garden of the Temple Tree Resort where we stayed in Pokhara, Nepal.
Mike and Kellye Hefner
All perfection, Sarah, and the epitomize the words perfectly. Happy New Year!
Thank you Kellye, and Happy New Year to you both!
What a beautiful poem! And beautiful pictures to go with it. Wishing you all the best in the new year 🙂
Thank you, and Happy New Year to you too!
Wonderful as always –
Best wishes for 2023, Sarah and Happy Travels…
Thank you Marie and the same to you, naturally 😘
Anabel @ The Glasgow Gallivanter
Happy new year, Sarah! All the best for 2023.
Happy New Year to you too Anabel!
Wishing you all the very best for 2023!
Thank you Graham, and a very Happy New Year to you too!
Happy New Year! Thanks for always giving us interesting images and stories from your travels. Looking forward to seeing and reading more of your work in the new year. 😃
Thank you Rose, and a Happy New Year to you too!
Excellent collection again! Happy new year Sarah x
Thank you, and Happy New Year to you too! Hope you’ve found somewhere good to celebrate over there?
Yes we have thanks Sarah – arrived in a great little town yesterday, liking the look of it
Nothing like words to put the extra into ordinary, Sarah. I love the way each picture in this post tells a story and makes me travel with you be it Atacama or Saigon. Also I ended googling Mau Mau uprising. That was something I wasn’t familiar with. To many more travels and fabulous post in 2023. Cheers!
Thank you Sheetal, so glad you liked this selection 🙂 And yes, one of the great things about reading a variety of blogs, I find, is that there’s always something to learn!
A good selection Sarah. I marvel at you sustained enthusiasm in writing & participating in all these challenges. Looking forward to seeing more in the new year!
Thank you Sandy 🙂 I find the challenges a great trigger for post ideas, but if the prompt doesn’t appeal or doesn’t fit with my overall approach to blogging then I let it pass by!
Lovely pictures and great descriptions Sarah 🙂..
Thanks so much 😊
So interesting as always Sarah 😊
Thank you Margaret 🙂
Beautiful photos Sarah. I have not seen so many Flamingo photos than in Paulas “wading” prompt. I just wish I have seen Flamingos. On my list of many birds to discover in the wild but that means travelling so maybe one day……
Thank you 😊 Yes, many of us seem to have seen the word ‘wading’ and immediately thought of these beautiful birds! I hope you get to see them one day.
I enjoyed your whistlestop tour :). Thank you, Sarah.
And thank you for the fun challenge 🙂