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.
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.
Short half day trip visiting a nearby underground Nickel mine near the village of Kambalda in the Goldfields. It takes a long time to get some tourists to go down there, but the wait is worth it!
Needless to say dark underground settings do not make an easy photographic experience, but there are endless opportunities for someone who isn’t running around trying to see everything.
The endless mazes of tunnels are full of extreme activity, yet 500 metres further down can look as if some planetary exploration program was abandoned 15 years ago.
The last RSM geology field trip. We flew down to Ancona, spent a few days in Scheggia, headed west to Perugia for another few days and then traversed to the island of Elba.
Independent field mapping project over 6 weeks in the south of France.
Most of our time was spent near the small village of St Julien with the mapping area set on the east side of the Castillon lake which would be the bluest lake ever if it wasn’t for the lower lake ‘Retenue de Chaudamme’ which is ridiculously blue…
This year’s RSM field trip to Scotland was rather…er Scottish.
We had both misery and joy as the weather swung between rainy, very rainy, extremely rainy and a few hours of sunshine too! Too bad work took up 16 hours of the day so not exactly a photogenic trip!
Going to the south of Wales in the middle of November is generally not a good idea, but somehow we had virtually perfect weather.
The mapping area proved to be quite nice and we had some great colourful sunsets pretty much every day!