Photography under and over

Roof of Africa 2013 Alex Fernandez at the start

Roof of Africa 2013

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013 in Sports and lifestyle
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On Saturday, day 2 of the hard riding stages, we followed scores of 4×4’s traversing the Maluti mountains in an attempt to get to viewpoints 2 and 3. Eventually we were turned back by retiring 4×4’s, the drivers reporting that bottlenecks and “stuck” 4×4’s were preventing access. The mud, brought on by the torrential rains, stopped play for us and many riders.

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The rotunda at Mariner's wharf The rotunda at Mariner's wharf

The rotunda

Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Documentary
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If you look for it, you’ll probably miss the rotunda. I know I did. Several times in fact. It’s hidden between moored boats, boats often filled with laughing, loudly talking fishermen. But it’s there, if you take your time and see past the visual chaos of masts, brightly coloured boats, larger-than-life fishermen and fences and gates.

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Don Kong Island in Si Phan Don in Laos Don Kong Island in Si Phan Don

Laos, part 3 – the Irrawaddy dolphins

Posted by on Feb 9, 2013 in Laos, Travel
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To spend eight hours perched on various wooden long tail boats, interjected by a spell of cycling across an island, for a chance (with no guarantee) to see the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins is madness. A masochistic madness borne of a life-long fascination with cetaceans … and as Riff Raff so eloquently sang: “madness takes its toll”.

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View of the guesthouses and decks overlooking the Mekong river on Don Khong island, Si Phan Don, Laos Pons Guesthouse on Don Khong island, Si Phan Don, Laos

Laos, part 2 – Si Phan Don & Don Khong island

Posted by on Feb 8, 2013 in Laos, Travel
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The Mekong river, having traversed the length of Laos on its journey from Tibet to the South China Sea, takes a breath at Si Phan Don before crashing down a series of waterfalls and entering Cambodia.

Si Phan Don, loosely translated as the four thousand islands, is located on the widest stretch of the Mekong’s journey seawards. The river appears languid and lazy curling around islets and islands; flowing gently but surely. Like the river, life on the islands is slow and sure; unhurried and contemplative.

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Laos and communist flags in from of the Indochina Bank in Pakse, Laos Flags flying in the late afternoon light in Pakse, Laos

Laos, part 1 – Pakse

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Laos, Travel
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Lacking Cambodia’s ruins and tumultuous history, Thailand’s culture and regional power and Vietnam’s long history and story of conflict, Laos seems like the ignored quiet child in the back row of the classroom by comparison.

Yet for all that is understated and little-known about Laos, scratch its surface and you’ll find a fascinating and laid-back nation worthy of far greater attention.

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Nun at a Wat at the Angkor temples in Cambodia. A nun at a Wat in the ancient city of Angkor receives donations and offerings for the upkeep of the Wat. Cambodia

The temples of Angkor

Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Cambodia, Travel
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The late afternoon sunshine bathes the fifty-four gothic towers of the Bayon temple in a gentle warm light. The sun’s slow progressive setting casts deep shadows on the two hundred and sixteen large faces of Avalokitesharva, ” the Lord who looks down”, carved on each of the four facets of every tower.

Each face serene, peaceful and representing enlightenment is a replica of the other and is said to bear a resemblance to King Jayavarman VII who commissioned and built this, his official state temple, sometime in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century.

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The twenty-odd metre long ferry is at most three to four meters wide, contains a cubicle toilet and accommodates some fifty people for the ferry ride from Battambang to Siem Reap in Cambodia Many tourists consider it a romantic notion to travel to Siem Reap by boat from Battambang in Cambodia.

Floating through Cambodia’s waterways to Siem Reap

Posted by on Jan 30, 2013 in Cambodia, Travel
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Faced with the prospect of enduring a five to seven hour ferry ride from Battambang to Siem Reap, squashed into a plastic chair big enough for an infant and squeezed between forty nine other tourists or perched in a lotus position on the ferry rooftop, I chose the latter.

The twenty-odd metre long ferry is at most three to four meters wide, contains a cubicle toilet and accommodates some fifty people. Designed to seat Asians significantly smaller than most westerners the ferry, when full, has a sardine-can feel to it. That many tourists consider it a romantic notion to travel to Siem Reap by boat means the ferry is both popular and over-worked.

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