Most of the countryside in the UK is a semi-natural environment. No untouched wilderness can be found here. However, one can still enjoy the scenic, carefully manicured beauty of these national parks.
If there’s no picture, it didn’t happen. Here it’s all about light and lenses.
The Rafflesia is the largest flower in the world and the symbol of Sabah, Borneo. Flowers measure up to 1 meter across. There are 55 species of Rafflesia, of which 9 are found in Borneo. Pictured here is the Rafflesia Keithii found near the village of Poring. Alongside their rarity, size and unusual appearance, it is the strange lifestyle of Rafflesias that make them so fascinating. The Rafflesia is a parasitic flower. The only visible part of the plant is a single flower that has no leaves, stems or roots.
Butterflies and moths belong to the same order of insects, called Lepidoptera. The name means ‘scaly wings’ as most butterflies and moths are covered with tiny overlapping scales. The scales not only protect and strengthen their wings, but also form attractive colours and patterns. Here are a few guidelines, as always in flora & fauna, there are a lot of exceptions to the rules…
Mount Kinabalu (4095m) is the highest mountain of the Malay Archipelago and a well known tourist attraction . The ascent is a 2 day/1 night ordeal and by no means an easy trek. The thoughest part is the gruelling descent, a true torture to the knees! After paying admission fees, overnight stays, guide fees, park fees, etc… You will have heavily contributed to the Malay economy. It’s expensive, really expensive.
As I wanted to spare my knees, save money and avoid crowdy mountains all in one go, I decided to explore the Kinabalu national park.
It’s a winter night in februari back in 2006 when Sofie and I first talked about an overland trip to the Sahara. Neither of us had ever undertaken an adventure of this scale, and we didn’t know what to expect. So we started talking to people who already went there, got some books, made some lists and started preparing. We were going to leave home in september, so we had a good half year to get ready. Good, because there was a lot to do. We had to get visas, a “carnet de passage”, plan our route, get he right maps etc…We also had to prepare our car for this trip. A brand new Land Rover Defender td5 was going to be kitted out with a roof top tent, a dual battery system, a fridge and some decent tyres. September arrived and we drove to the south of spain and embarked on the night ferry from Almeria to Melilla (a Spanish enclave in Morocco). We crossed the border in Nador and it was very obvious that we were entering Africa. Everything became ten times as colorful and chaotic in an instant. We were lucky to be fluent in French and soon we were on our way.
We were cruising Iceland’s magnificent Westfjords when out of the fog a beautiful old shipwreck appeared. It was quietly resting on the beach as if mother nature had put it here after a terrible storm. Garðar BA 64 is the oldest steel-ship in Iceland. It was build in 1912 in Norway and almost 70 years later in 1981 was beached in The Latrabjarg Peninsula in the West Fjords of Iceland. And it was no accident. In december 1981 the owners of ship thought it was no longer fit for duty. In those thays it was the custom to sink a ship at sea when it went out of service. But instead the captain of the ship rammed it ashore at Skápadalur valley in Patreksfjörður.
Today Garðar patiently awaits it’s inevitable rusty fate in the sand. She sure makes one hell of a photo opportunity though!
The picture was taken with a Nikon D2x and a Sigma 14mm 2,8 lens.
The term safari originates originally from the Arabic word سفرية (safarīyah) meaning “a journey”.
In Swahili Safari means “a long journey”. So, as you can imagine, I’m all for safari’s! They come in all shapes and sizes, and I love them all. This particular long journey took place on – and in – the Red Sea. We got on a boat in the Travco Marina in Sharm El Sheick Egypt, kicked of our shoes and our feet would touch shoes nor shore for the coming 8 days. In early november we were spoiled with + 30°C temperatures and even the water was 27°C!
Which way to paradise? The Maldives are an isolated group of Islands deep in the Indian Ocean. The closest countries are Sri Lanka and India who are about 700 and 400 km away. Now, that’s a long swim. With no less than 1,192 islands to discover, of which less than 200 are inhabited, I’m sure you can find a patch of paradise that’s just right for you. All of them have picture perfect white beaches, perfectly shaped palm trees and the most amazing colored water I have ever seen. Sailing trough the Atolls, watching the sun go down over those Islands, you wonder if it can get any better than this?
“The Berm”, Western Sahara…Never heard of it? Neither did we, until we planned a trip from the North of Morocco to the West of Mali. The Moroccans built a huge wall of sand known as “the Berm” which runs for 2700 kilometers from Tata in the south of Morocco all the way to Guergarrat at the border with Mauretania. It is littered with mine fields along it’s base and heavily guarded by the military. What’s the story then?
I imagine that’s what was heard over the radio on the saturday of november 24 in 1973. A United states C-47 Skytrain was forced to attempt an emergency landing on Solheimasandur’s black sandy beach in the south of Iceland. The crew survived the crash, and the wreck still lays in the exact spot where it hit the earth almost 40 years ago. Since then it became a landmark in Iceland and a great photo opportunity for those who are able to find it. Putting these coördinates in your GPS might help: 63.459523, -19.364618. My picture was taken with a Nikon D2X and a Sigma 14mm 2,8 lens on a tripod with a long exposure. Happy hunting!
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