Monday, June 5

Diving Sodwana (1) - March 2017

Bull-nose Ray

As I had decided to take some time off from safari work this year, I wanted to scuba dive as much as possible, and went to Sodwana Bay both in March and in June.

This gave me lot & lots of practice with my new little Canon camera which apart from being great for normal photography, also came with a specialised housing for the underwater world!

I've really struggled to come up with a short-list of photos to publish in just one posting, so I'm splitting them by separate dive trip.

Potato Bass
Manta Ray
Divers with Yellow Snapper and Goat-fish
Blue-lined and Yellow Snapper
Leaf (aka Paper or Frog) Fish
Guinea Fowl Moray Eel
Giant Clam
Hawk Fish

Monday, May 15

English Highlights, May 2017

After the amazing 18 days I had exploring Scotland, I headed south for England.

This was primarily a family/friends visit but I was able to go for long walks most days, exploring the southern English countryside during that lush, bright green transition from Spring to Summer.

The most obvious highlight at this time of the year are the bluebell woods, and they certainly delivered!

Some more of my favourite pictures follow:-

Exploring the footpaths and country lanes near Steventon, Hampshire

The Conservatory

A tour of Syon House, near London.
Syon House
The Gallery
Converted Oast-house

Walking the by-ways of Kent.......

more bluebell woods...
Arundel Castle

More ambles in the south.....
On the South Downs

a Harbour cruise in Portsmouth
And this is probably the last posting on my travels in April/May. I hope you enjoyed all my snaps!

Tuesday, April 25

The Scottish Highlands - Gairloch to Inverness

We had 2 nights in Gairloch and this is the weather we woke up to on our first morning!

It was exciting for me, as it was the first time I'd been snowed on in 10 years, and it was also a not unwelcome excuse to relax, do some personal stuff, and have a break from being on the road.

A Highland Cow

By late morning however, we decided to go for a little drive along a coastal road, and were rewarded with some amazing views across to Skye as the snow showers were chased by glorious sunny spells.
Highland sheep with Skye in the background

           We'd had a fairly dreadful dinner at our hotel the night before, so we found a much, much better place to eat on our second night. The view was magnificent!

Our last day together on our Roadtrip took us from Gairloch to Inverness. 
We took a longer route, via Little Loch Broome and Loch Ness. 
A long, long day on the road, but well worth the effort.
On the A832 near Poolewe
Gruinard Bay
Gruinard Bay

Little Loch Broom
Little Loch Broom

Heading over Dundonnell Forest we really hit a lot of snow, and quickly took the opportunity during a short sunny spell to get some pics.....

And then some more snow showers.......

By now we were well past lunch-time, so "put foot" on the accelerator and didn't stop for much more.

We picked up a couple of sandwiches & fruit in a little village on the way to Drumnadrochit on Loch Ness, where we sat in a layby, eating our lunch and admiring the view.
Loch Ness

There was no time to do any boat cruises or walks, so we headed north again to Inverness for our last night together.


Sunday, April 23

The Scottish Highlands - Applecross Peninsular to Gairloch


The very next day after our glorious excursion to Skye, Jean and I tackled the Applecross peninsular on our way to spending 2 nights in Gairloch.

This route had come with both high recommendations and warnings, so when we saw the road signs at the foot of the Bealach na Ba (Pass of the Cattle) I wasn't sure if the slight hollowness in my stomach was from trepidation or anticipation..............

Fortunately, the snow only really caught up with us overnight and the next day, so we had a clear pass, and the most spectacular views.

looking up the Pass
a view back down from the hair pins near the top.....

views from the top - that's Skye again......
Back down on the coast, we stopped for a walk, and a welcome coffee & cake break in Applecross village itself.

Spring flowers in the woodland above the village.

In and around Applecross village.

Then we carried on, along the narrow coastal road, with non-stop views across to Skye, and then north across Loch Torridon.
My road-trip "buddy" Jean was, as always, incredibly patient with the continuous stops I made to take photos.
I'm not going to test your patience with more than these 3 favourites of mine!


By mid afternoon, the polar blast from the Arctic was making itself known with lowering, dark grey skies, and as I was also getting tired with both the driving and the camera we didn't stop too much more, except for a couple of times when we drove down the length of Loch Maree.
Scotland's Victoria Falls
Loch Maree
 It was another long, long day - but so totally worth it.