Guardian Travel Photo Finalist


Posted by admin | Posted in Competition, Guardian, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, Weather | Posted on 04-05-2011

I made it as a finalist in the BeenThere monthly travel photo comp for April 2011.

The theme was Weather and, although I didn’t win, the winner and runner-ups were worthy victors.

My entry is below:

Weather - Guardian Travel Photo Comp

The photo also appears in my photo galleries at Buggslife Photography.

A Fresh Blogging Start


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 09-06-2007

All previous entries were accounts of my wanderings around South America from March 2006 to March 2007 – a travel blog. Life has become much more ‘normal’ since then and from now on the entries will be based around photography, day-today life as well as adventures on holidays or random short trips…limited, of course, by work’s annual leave and ca$h.

Still, hopefully I will find plenty of wilderness and fun sides of life to be writing about…just with fewer aches and pains from the straps of my backpack!

How to dress for a night at….


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-03-2007

…the YMCA???

No, the Rio Carnival, aparently…

Samba de Janeiro

La Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 04-02-2007

Venezuela is a country with shockingly diverse landscapes.

Los Llanos is a region that’s seasonally flooded but right now is the dry season. It’s mostly open savanna and is generally full of wildlife. I climbed this tree to get some better photos of the Howler Monkeys who didn’t quite howl at my encroachment on their territory but let open plenty of intimidating grunts whilst shifting about the tree to get better views of me – which was ideal for me with the camera (prob have to click on the monkey pic to appreciate it).

Another great treat in Los Llanos was going to see river dolphin on a boat trip – Clare swears they were pink (one of the two river dolphin types in the continent) but I’m not too sure…

The South American music scene has managed to keep on surprising me with another quite unique style here – Joropo – almost rapped by country folk about how they’re humble horse-riders etc; and this is over music including a harp. You can have a listen at some point; I’ve got a view CDs (pirate of course, it’s almost the only way to buy music).

So we headed off to the far north east corner of the country which is a stunning coastline. We managed to get to some isolated parts with empty long beaches backed by hillsides of tropical forests. However, these areas are known for being a bit dangerous and so we weren’t able to properly enjoy them; more kind of travelling (hiking/boat) through them. The ones we did make good use of were very typical carribean, lined with palms and mostly empty too, in the region around a fishing village (pic below).

Further west in a more popular coastal region we went on a couple of boat trips to visit some excellent beaches and islands – enjoying some of my favourite snorkelling ever over coral reefs. They were different to anything else I’d seen because of the varieties of coral of so many shapes and colours – an underwater tropical garden.

We also saw loads of dolphins from the boat, plus I jumped of a cliff/rock into the sea – my highest crazy/stupid (but not my last!) leap of about 8-9m.

The theme since the coast has been waterfalls. I’m in the Gran Sabana; a beautiful natural region of rolling plains, palm forests and dotted with table-top mountains from where most of the rivers round here are born. A great 2 day tour took a fun group of us to loads of varied waterfalls – a wide ribbon one (6m high, 60m wide), a tall classic one and numerous smaller falls some with natural water slides and a couple flowing over bright red jasper rock. Plenty of fun was had swimming and jumping off the higher rocks. I also purchased a cool mini blow-dart pipe….sweet.

By the way, my switching from “we” to “I” is because Clare set off for Brasil today whilst I’m hanging around in Venezuela to go on a 6 day trek tomorrow. Wandering along earlier I saw Spurs Vs Man U on a TV in a kind of bar so sat down, ordered my BBQ/grill chicken and sat through my first English footy match since March or April. Well, I managed to catch 60 mins or so – enough to confirm Spurs were gonna lose – when the president suddenly appeared on the screen. Hugo Chavez was being driven on a procession of horses, cars and security through some big avenida, waving at the crowds. Five mins later he was still saluting and waving so I guess the TV channel agreed with me that Spurs had no hope of a comeback and so gave up on the game.

Feels like the final leg of the trip now. We don’t have enough money to stay on so should be back in Blighty mid March. Before that though there’s plenty going on…so you’ll probably be treated to a few more entries yet…

In the Northern Hemisphere…


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 31-01-2007

We’ve been back on the Northern Hemishere for a while now but are disappearing off to the south again in about 12 days…

¿El hijo de Dios?


Posted by admin | Posted in Religion, Uncategorized | Posted on 22-01-2007

I’ve now lost count of the number of people who have told me I look like Jesus Christ. I mostly only get it when the beard’s gone wild.

They have this classic image of the great man in this coninent – fairly white (at least relative to locals), long face, long dark brown hair and beard. Sometimes his eyes are bright blue but sometimes brown. He’s THE biggest celebrity here.

Yeah I know, the similarities seem minimal to us Europeans, but not to the local people who see few westerners especially in the last 2 countries – Colombia and currently Venezuela.

A tropical xmas


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 31-12-2006

We spent Christmas at Tayrona national park staying 4 nights in a cabin room on the top of a hut which you can see at the bottom right of this website:

Happy New Year everyone!

Merry Christmas


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-12-2006

A simple Merry Christmas to everyone who reads and hopefully enjoys my blog.

Not entirely sure where I’ll be for Xmas day yet but it’s looking like in a hammock, by a beach, next to tropical forest in the far north of the continent in Colombia.

Feliz navidad.

Suited to the Jungle?


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-12-2006

Here’s a recent quote from a friend, Mr JB:

“Easy Bugg. The jungle sounds perfect for you, no work, no need to wash, no need for cash, you should move in!”

Forgot to add…


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-11-2006

Missed out the 4 ticks I had in the jungle and I suppose I should mention getting completely lost once after following a troop of cool monkeys…

Jungle Life – The Bad Side


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-11-2006

What I had which I would have been happy without over the past month in the jungle:

  • 3 Bee Stings
  • Several (6-12) Wasp Stings
  • 3 Maggots
  • 2 Burning Ant Stings
  • 2 Thorns in Fingers

…and finally lots and lots of Butterfly and Bee saliva and pee over most clothes.

  • Bee Stings – 2 in bed after a poor effort (on Clare’s behalf) of clearing out the mozzy net one night.
  • Wasp Stings – when ‘cleaning’ some paths I cut down a branch, which I soon realised had a wasp’s nest on it, and instantly saw a small cloud of insects flying towards me and next felt numerous stings on my face and hands. I then let out a classic yelp and ran. The next time I cut down a wasp’s nest by accident I was much much quicker to run and did not get stung.
  • Maggots – horse-flies follow mammals, including me, around and plant an egg or larva under your skin. This gradually grows and has small spines on its skin so stings whenever it turns, especially if you aggrevate it. Ba$tards! I had 3. To get it out you have to stop it breathing by covering its tiny breathing hole with glue or something. Later it dies and you have to squeeze the tiny thing out and it’s fairly deep under. The things look as grim as they sound but cause more aggro than you’d expect for something so tiny…
  • Burning Ant Stings – along with the numerous small bites and stings that weren’t a problem, I got stung by an infamous tiny little ant known for its sting that keeps burning for about 3 hours.
  • The thorns were nothing really – especially compared to Fernando’s (boss/friend) who had a couple go proper deep into the palm of his hand.

Don’t worry though, I absolutely loved the month out there and did and learned loads. The good side of the jungle will follow but not until I get a fair few photos up so maybe a week or two.

Update from: The Equator


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-10-2006

Ecuador’s a real varied country from what I can tell and I’ve only seen a corner of it so far!

Quito’s cool and I’m enjoying doing some voluntary work in a centre where kids (5-16 years old) come outside of school hours. Don’t worry though, I’m not working hard! We tend to play basketball, football, dance, cook, I help with their homework – mainly their English – and other random things like today I taught two girls to play a bit of guitar.

Just to emphasize that I’m not working toooo hard I’ll tell you that after the first week I decided to take a week off and travelled around the north east of the country for 9 days which included some stunning countrysides of cloud forest where I saw loads of waterfalls, hummingbirds, various other brightly coloured birds and heard the howling of a troop of Howler Monkeys echo through a valley. I also briefly swam in a lovely, wild, caiman infested lake.

After that sort of scenery it was off towards the coast where I sampled some truly fantastic food (the general South American food isn’t great but this was damn good) including lovely shrimp and prawns and fish dishes (one in particular in a fresh coconut sauce). Spent a good few days in the mangrove region in a tiny community, chilling a lot on a hammock watching the fishing boats pass, crazy kids play and supping on beers.

The mangroves were all new to me and real interesting but not the most beautiful of areas since there’s plenty of mud and insects but impressive to see.

One of the biggest shocks was that the community had a club! Furthermore, it was fooookin awesome! Definitely in my top 5 favourite clubs in the world. A very mad night was had for a local’s birthday.

That’s about it right now. If all goes to plan we’re both off to the Amazon Jungle in two weeks for 1 month! (For the attentive of you, the original plan whereby I should already be in the jungle fell through so shuffled things round).

Satelite Views of Top far


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 06-10-2006

We’ve past the half way point in our trip now so looking back, these images show views of some of my favourite places over the last 6 months:

Lakes Lago Posadas and Purreydon in Patagonia, Argentina:

Ollantaytambo, a village in the Sacred Valley near Cusco, Peru:

Bahia Negra – the village up the river Paraguay – where I was stuck for a week:

Impressive Inca terracing in a valley near Ollantaytambo:

The glacier Perito Moreno in Patagonia, Argentina:

The unbelievably rainy village of Petrohue set on a lake near a volcano:

The pics are taken from Google Earth which patches together satelite images from all over the globe to varying degrees of detail.

A bolivian street scene


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 26-09-2006

The photos are back. In fact, this is 1 of only a few we have in digital form from Bolivia.

A bolivian street scene:

A peruvian pair of hands and hat:

Well, that’s your lot for now. I’ve only had the camera 2 days!

The Camera Saga


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 25-09-2006

I’m guessing you know that my camera was stolen a few months back. Well, this is the ever so exciting tale of it’s replacement…

I decided that I liked the stolen camera so much that I wanted the same one. This particular camera is not available in South America, the brand (Ricoh) isn’t sold here at all. When I was in Paraguay (towards the end of the world cup) I ordered a new one with all the extras to my parents’ address. My lovely helpful Mum and Dad then packed it all up and sent it to the La Paz (capital of Bolivia) main post office.

Me and Clare were ambling our way across Bolivia planning to arrive in La Paz about 2 weeks after the camera was due to arrive. When we got there, on schedule, the camera hadn’t arrived. So after a few days in La Paz we went off to Lake Titicaca and spent about 4 or 5 fantastic days there. I then popped back to La Paz (about 4-5 hours journey inc. a boat crossing) to find that the Bolivia National Post Service had been on strike for the past 4 days. Looking at all the options and not trusting Bolivian organisation – the strike was officially on its final day – I decided best that we go off and travel round Peru. Of course knowing that at some point I’d have to trek back.

Soon after the delivery company in England let us know that the package had only just left the UK due to the terrorist problems. They did however say they guaranteed 26 days which meant it would arrive by 24th September…still reading? No, didn’t think so…

Well, I’ve just done more than half the trek back. I left northern Peru Thursday night and, after several different buses and types of taxis taking me across much of the length of Peru, I got to the post office at 5:10pm yesterday (Saturday). So 43 hours journey in all, not bad…and…Hurrraaaaay, the camera was there!

So a big night out last night and a pre-midday start today and I’m back in Peru but the connections haven’t been as ideal as before so I’m in a town on Lake Titicaca and hope to get back to the beach where Clare is taking it ever so easy by Wed night. Once I’ve trekked back up most of Peru, we then rush off up the entire length of Ecuador to start the volunteer projects…I knew there had to be a mild down-side to travelling at some point!

So, expect pictures again very soon!!

Islas Ballestas


Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-09-2006

Here’s a good overview of the islands with Penguins we went to last week…(click!)