The Sydney Opera House by night; it really is hard to take a bad picture of such an iconic building. If you ever have a chance to visit, the city is loads of fun to explore; the pubs are charming, the espresso better than anything you’ll ever get at Starbucks, and the fruits and vegetables are delicious.
Served up at a street side cafe in Darwin, Australia; I wasn’t expecting artwork in my latte. Mmmm…. Delish! Now, that’s a cup of coffee!
This was my ride while I was on patrol in the outback of the Northern Territory, Oz. If you look closely, you can see my reflection around the ‘O’ in Patrol, and then again under the ‘A’ in Nissan. I’ve never seen a Nissan Patrol in the US; it was styled like an Isuzu Trooper. It was white when I picked it up from the rental agency, but a few detours off the main track, Stuart Highway, painted it Outback Orange by the end of the week.
No trip down under would be complete without a visit to Sydney. I took this shot of the famous opera house from the Sydney Harbor Bridge. I had to slip my camera through the grating that lines the walkway, and take the picture holding my camera on the other side. Luckily, I didn’t drop it, and was able to bring this sweet picture home with me.
The yurt is a portable round tent traditionally used by nomads as a dwelling on the steppes of central Asia. In Mongolia, they are called gers, and they sometimes also serve as a rest stop along the many dirt tracks that snake across the expansive short grass prairieland of China’s northern neighbor. Six hours out of Ulaanbaatar we stopped off for a meal of vegetable goat soup and milk tea, staples for this traditionally nomadic society. This young lady and her brother, I suppose, were told to wait in the bike while their parents went inside for some vittles.
It’s not what you think; “porn” in Thai often means “fruit” or “Blessing”. I didn’t stay at the Porn Resort, but the word on the street is that it is not one of the nicer establishments on Ko Lipe. The mischievously composed Thai-English signage does make for an eyebrow raising photo op. That’s Nigel and Georgianna on the right, who hail from the UK. It’s always been fun to meet Brits in my travels as they are keen to pick up on my dry humor.
Ko Adang, Thailand. The interesting thing about this beach was the current. Ko Lipe is about a half mile away, so the water flow between the islands is rather strong, and much more so on Adang. Standing on the beach facing Ko Lipe is like standing on the bank of a river; that’s a coconut you see floating by in the lower right corner of the picture. I wasn’t there long enough to figure out if the current was tidal, or related to localized oceanic flow.
Ko Lipe from near the top of Ko Adang, Satun Thailand. It was an arduous climb, but worth it for the great view. I wore that “Skyline Chili” T-shirt all over the world; Thailand, Mongolia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and lots of points in between. Everywhere I went I seemed to meet expats who were fans of Cincinnati’s famous chili; I personally have never tried it, but it’s on my bucket list now.
Me, circa 1997, on the island of Ko Lipe in Satun Thailand. I had an amazing week there, so many memories still as fresh in my mind as yesterday; yet for the life of me, I can’t remember who took this picture!
Chao-Le Resort, on the island of Ko Lipe, Satun, Thailand, 1997. Yes, those are my sandals, and yes, they are optional, baby! Spent the day snorkeling around the small islet in the background; it spoils you something awful when you get used to swimming in 60 plus feet of visibility every day. Somehow, the crystal clear water and endless summer sun baked into me the genesis of my first novel, 7 days from Darwin…Ah yes! Sparkling Thailand!
Windjammer cruises, circa 2004. You would expect a vessel this small (300 feet in length) to feel crowded with 100 guests on board, but after we all got settled it felt like I had the whole ship to myself. This pic is from the vantage of the ruin of a long closed prison, overlooking Caracas Bay, Curacao.
I snapped this shot on Palm Beach, Aruba. I was so concerned with framing the boat in the picture I forgot to make sure the horizon was level. It still came off rather well, I think. A random factoid about this scene that is probably only interesting to me is that six months after my return to the states, Natalee Holloway went missing in Aruba; I remember working out on an exercise machine and watching Wolf Blitzer report for CNN on Palm Beach in front of this very boat, Nul Nul – the boat had been put in the water by then. It’s strange sometimes, how things go around. May God’s Grace and Peace be upon you on that farthest shore, Natalee.
The view from the top of Fort Beekenburg, Caracas Bay, Curacao. Only a ruin is left of the old fort built in 1703. Reconnoitering about is grand as there are no restricted areas and no curators to shoo you away from climbing the ramparts. A few canon turrets lay rusted and forgotten, their wooden carriages having rotted out from under them long ago.
Sometimes a great picture comes together haphazardly. I was walking down L.G. Smith Boulevard, just off Palm Beach in Aruba when I saw this catamaran sailing up the coast. I stopped between the boat and the palm tree and snapped a couple of shots. It wasn’t until I returned home to the states, as I was flipping through all the pictures I had taken on vacation that I noticed the composition on this one was pretty good. Beginner’s luck, I guess.