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.
I was asked by close friends to be the main photographer at their wedding last November. Although I’ve been developing my photography for over 10 years now I can’t say weddings or social events photography was ever my thing. Nevertheless I do enjoy challenges and pushing my comfort zone, but someone’s wedding isn’t always the ideal occasion to be trying out something completely new!
The only reason I agreed was because I knew the couple well and they didn’t have exacting and demanding expectations, they were just keen to have some half decent photos from their special day by someone who knows what they’re doing. Continue reading
For this year’s second race in the WA state downhill series the club rescheduled to race at Golden Grove at the same track as last year. This meant that for the first time since starting racing I would already be familiar with the track, leaving me concentrate on riding the same or similar lines, just faster; instead of learning a track from scratch.
Photo Courtesy of R. Zardins
After going well in practise, race day just wasn’t the same with bike problems and a few little mistakes making for two disappointing runs. Quite a few other racers had bad luck with one of the top guys having a big off, taking some time to be stretchered off the hill! Continue reading
Photo courtesy of Momentum Photography
I often get surprised/impressed replies when I tell friends that I race downhill, as if there is some special skill requirement to take part. Whilst very kind to one’s ego the truth is that pretty much anyone can and does take part in the WA state downhill series. Regulars include 10 year old kids, rolling down the tracks on hardtail bikes to fast talented elite riders who compete for a top 10 spot at national level (and for Australia the national level is close to world class). Also this time we once again had the fortune of 5 time world champion Sam Hill racing over the weekend!
Everyone has their own goals, though. Last year, being my first season, mine was not to come last in the lower ‘Sport’ class, which I managed by quite some margin. Others may be aiming at winning their respective class or going for the overall win. Whatever their goals, everyone could call themselves a ‘racer’ and be totally correct!
At what point though can someone really consider themselves to really be part of the action? Continue reading