Crisscrossing the Pilbara landscape on an all-terrain vehicle, drawing and taking pictures of rocks? Right up my alley! The town of Marble Bar prides itself in being Australia’s hottest town, and as far sustained heat goes they have a convincing case. During the balmy 1923/24 summer this place experienced daily highs of over 38°C for 160 days….in a row.
Be as it may the recent wet season (November to April) brought prolific rains to the area, making for an extra green and water rich landscape; the likes of which many locals hadn’t seen for years.
Keukenhof, or the Garden of Europe is a must see spectacle of daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. There is something for everyone here, from endless geometrical fields of commercial species to organically arranged mixed beds.
It is difficult to escape the cliche close-up photos of flower cups, but they are cliche for a reason – tulips are such vivid and enchanting flowers with such a variety of lengths, colours and leaf shapes that’s it’s hard not to appreciate them from a close distance.
Click through below for the gallery
Coming back to Europe in spring this year turned out to be perfectly timed. The contrast of a hot dry scorching summer to some fresh weather, flower and tree blossoms and occasional sprinkling of rain is quite lovely.
When the opportunity to work for a short while in Tanzania came up, it was one I couldn’t pass up. Working in a remote rural area of a country can often be the best way to find out about its culture, the locals and the real rhythm of life. What makes Tanzanians laugh? What are traditional pet names and nicknames for mothers, relatives and outsiders? how do they poke fun at neighbouring countries? And why on Earth does ‘ 8’o clock’ actually mean 2pm? To find out – go there! Learn a few words of the fun Swahili language, maybe even pick up some local dialect!
My trip was also extended into leisure to include a short stay on the shore of lake Victoria, a three day safari through Serengeti, a one day stop at Ngorongoro conservation area, a whistle stop tour of Lake Manyara national park and several days on the island of Zanzibar.
A short term placement had me travelling to the remote town of Laverton by a small and rather noisy charter aircraft.
A deluge of rain had rendered the local access roads into a slimy mess, churned up by heavy vehicles.
With the roads closed and plenty of rain we were treated to a couple of slow days at base – a rather costly exercise in remote exploration, but one that is nonetheless a normal part of the process.
It’s been almost 2 years since I had properly visited my old work site at Lake Giles, so when the opportunity arose to go again I jumped at the chance.
This time would be different. No Internet, no phone and any fuel for electricity generation would be carried by us.
For many people a week of complete outside isolation is seen as somewhat of a challenge or a test of endurance. For me it’s a great opportunity to really wind down and not do very much other than enjoying a nice fire or the quiet rustle of leaves in the wind or sleeping in utter silence or gazing out at a sky so starry it appears artificial compared to even the clearest nights in the city.
A short trip to Amsterdam was my first outing to this unique city. Having lived in capital cities, where bicycles are the ‘enemy’ rather than the norm, it was a refreshing change to find myself in a place where two wheels rule and cars take 3rd spot, after pedestrians.
Oddly enough this didn’t seem to slow the movement of traffic around the city centre at all. Anyone who has driven in rush hour knows it moves slower than a brisk walk. In Amsterdam’s ‘rush’ hour everything flows freely, 2 or 3 times faster than the car congested nightmare of London, for example.
The galley includes a few stray images from some locations around Europe as well, for a bit of variety. Enjoy!
For the third race in the state series this year the club finally came back to one of our favourite venues in the pine forests at Wellington Mills, after a year’s break and a new-ish track. Not only that, it was the first race where we would get shuttled up the hill, instead of having to push our bikes up. All this combined for the highest attendance this year, with everyone excited to ride the new tracks.
What we didn’t look forward to was the torrential downpour on race day, making for some pretty miserable conditions, the kind that makes you question why you’re there in the first place..
Photo by Daventrish Blacker
Another year and another fireworks show from the city of Perth. Sometimes it seems Perth transport would rather you stayed at home or in a pub and didn’t actually go to see the fireworks, but if one is prepared to do several kilometres of walking it can be a great experience.
Viewing from the south of the river must be one of the best places to see a half hour fireworks show, with a great view of the rapidly growing Perth city skyline over the expanse of the Swan river bay.
For the third state downhill round this year the club went back to the (in)famous Nannup downhill track. Reputed as Western Australia’s steepest and gnarliest downhill track. Had that not been enough, after a fairly damp Saturday practise promising a perfect track on sunday heavy rainfall during the night had everyone scrambling to put on mud tyres and a completely different track to the day before. A multitude of crashes, broken bones, spirits and bikes all came together for a brilliant weekend’s racing.