As I depart tomorrow for a humanitarian mission in a high risk country, I am leaving you this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. Her words have inspired and motivated me to take on yet another journey to an unknown dangerous place
…a new beginning…another life changing journey.
Photo taken with People Living with HIV and AIDS in Southern Kalahari District, Botswana.
A tragic day in Albay. The bodies of 5 mountain hikers who died during the Mayon Volcano ash explosion were recovered today. Four of the casualties are foreigners (3 Germans and 1 Spanish, a resident of Germany) and a local guide.
Yesterday, May 7, 2013, the Mayon Volcano in Albay, Philippines belched out ashes declared to be as phreatic explosion. The steam-driven explosion spewed a towering cloud of ashes hundreds of meters above its summit. About 30 hikers were approaching the summit when the disaster happened.
I am currently on my holiday break in the Philippines and was in Albay when the imminent volcano eruption happened. On that same day, I woke up early and decided to have a walk. Around 6:30 am, I stopped at a rice field with a good view of the volcano. It was a clear beautiful day. There were no clouds covering the volcano, no signs of impending disaster.
I was surprised to hear from the news that the Mayon has exploded at 8 am, an hour after I came back from my morning walk. I immediately went to Legazpi City to have a glimpse of the volcano.
These are the photos I have taken around 10 am, two hours after the explosion:
I took this photo during our HIV AIDS awareness training given to local coaches and youths in Botswana. Dubbed as the Coaching for Hope, said training integrates football as a tool in disseminating HIV messages. Aside from improving their football skills, local coaches learn also how to deliver HIV awareness and life skills sessions to young people in their communities.
I would like to thank Joan Frankham for nominating me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award last April 25, 2013. In her blog, Retirement and Beyond, she narrates how she is spending her free time after retiring last year: travelling to new places, taking a new hobby like photography, her passion for hill walking and golfing and many more. Joan and I both love Zimbabwe and South Africa and this is one of the reasons I like visiting her blog. Check out her adventures, from Africa to Europe – Retirement and Beyond…
This week’s Photo Challenge is about changing the perspective of shooting a subject. Instead of taking a photo from the usual angle (front of, to the side or from behind), take a shot from directly above.
As usual, I wanted to feature a different interpretation of the theme. I was searching for photos I took directly from above. There were many but mostly landscapes shot which I have already featured in my past posts.
I decided to feature macro shots taken directly from above just to give the theme a different perspective.
Here are some macro photos of flowering shrubs taken on top of Cape Town’s Table Mountain in South Africa:
Travel Quote of the Week: ’It is riding the whitewater of emotion that makes the journey down the river of life so exciting.’ – Alexander Dudley
Photo I took during sunset at Camps Bay, Cape Town in South Africa.
For this week’s travel quote, i am featuring a quote from a dear friend, Alexander Dudley. I got this from our previous chat messages and i was curious what he actually meant by this statement. So I asked him to write a short article about his quote so i can feature it on my blog. So here goes:
“Imagine that the journey of life is analogous to a rafting trip down a big river. There will be times when the river is wide and deep, and you float along in the sunshine, enjoying the scenery and the company of others in the boat. If it were like that all the time, you would become bored and complacent. However, life isn’t always smooth sailing, unless you’re completely insulated from life’s hardships through wealth, and even then people tend to look for trouble. So although the rapids of emotional upheaval can be upsetting, frightening, and sometimes too exciting, they nonetheless provide us with the experiences from which we learn most about ourselves. They also provide us the opportunity to exercise our strength and resilience, as although when being tossed about we may feel as if we’re overwhelmed, we discover that we can and do survive. “
Tell us what you think of this week’s travel quote.
Alexander Dudley does fauna surveys, photography and natural heritage interpretation services in Australia. You can check out his amazing wildlife photography at http://www.pbase.com/gehyra.
I was having coffee in the garden one morning when I saw a unique little creature crawling along an orchid’s stem.
I went closer. I was not sure what it was…a caterpillar perhaps?
The Weherahena Temple situated close to Matara town in the southern part of Sri Lanka, is famous for its iconic 39 meters high Buddha Statue which sits in the samadhi or squatting position in front of the temple. A 600-foot tunnel is decorated all over with paintings and murals that describe the life of Buddha. The temple is a multi-story building with lots of Buddhist statues created in the modern era. The ancient nature of the place gives a calming and peaceful setting and an amazing view from the top. The short ride from Galle to the Weherahena Temple passes through a picturesque road to Matara where one can enjoy a long stretch of beach flanked by swaying coconut trees along the way.
Photo taken at a city zoo at the heart of Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam.
Last April 9, 2013, one of my active followers, Kavita Joshi has nominated Gasm Travels for the Versatile Blogger Award, another blogger meme given by fellow bloggers to other bloggers deserving of the award. Kavita Joshi’s blog Talking Experience, is about her journey of life, sharing her experience and thoughts to her readers. Her blog also contains photos of her adventures and collections of life’s images with very entertaining narratives. Kavita has been a consistent follower of Gasm Travels, often actively commenting on several posts. I would like to thank her for the recognition as well as for her support to this blog.
Travel Quote of the Week: It is better to travel alone than with a bad companion. – African Proverb
Photo I took at a Cathedral on top of Èze, a medieval village perched like an eagles nest on a rocky spur overlooking the Mediterranean sea located at the Alpes-Maritimes in southeastern France
Although i often travel on my own, I still want to find a travel buddy as having a companion leads to a more meaningful experience. As the saying goes, “Life is better shared than experiencing the best moments of your life alone.”
However, in my experience, it is very difficult to find a travel companion who shares the same interests, have the same idea of ‘having fun’, have a sense of humour and a flexible coping mechanism.
Sometimes travelling with a close friend, a partner and or a family member, you expect that it will all be ‘perfect fun’. Depending on the compatibility and the level of flexibility and sensitivity between travellers, a perfect trip may end up a disastrous trip.
Travelling is supposed to be enjoying the moment not bringing additional baggage from the past and or discussing issues or opening an old wound that may trigger a conflict or animosity between travel companions. It should bring travel companions much closer together.
But when drama and negative emotions are mixed into a supposedly fun trip, than it becomes complicated. Therefore, I would rather end up travelling alone than being with a bad companion. Still, I am not losing hope in eventually finding a perfect travel buddy in the future.
How about you? Have you had experience travelling with a bad companion?
I have never been to a nudist beach before. I am always curious as to why and how people flaunt themselves naked in public beaches. Hence, visiting a nudist beach has always been part of my bucket list.
As I listed down the places I want to visit in Cape Town, I find that almost all attractions are interesting. However, one in particular stands out from my list: Sandy Beach, Cape Town’s one and only nudist beach.
Situated along a secluded bay past Llandudno Beach along the road between Cape Town to Cape Point, Sandy Beach is a quiet and tranquil setting allowing naturists to have their own privacy whilst enjoying the untouched natural coastline.