Travel

California & Arizona – Winter Road Trip

California & Arizona – Winter Road Trip

Back at the start of the year, Chris was working away in Los Angeles and I decided to fly out and join him for a mini winter road trip. Luckily I managed to snag a bargain flight price on Air New Zealand (seriously – I haven’t seen a better rate for a West Coast flight since 2008!) so one bleak late January morning I set off on my adventure. Many hours later Chris met me at the hotel in Anaheim with a vegan pizza (from Vegan Pizza – get the Hawaiian – yum!) and a cup of tea. Perfect! I was up at silly o’clock the following day and as Chris still had a few more hours of work to do I made my way to DISNEYLAND (of course!) for eleven fantastic hours… I am very committed to the magic! As it’s been a while I’m going to try not to ramble on too much and simply share a few of our highlights and hiccups. Admittedly it wasn’t our most successful trip – it rained so much! But we definitely made the most of things and discovered a few gems along the way. I must confess that although I was…

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Mexico, Belize & Guatemala – Part Two

Mexico, Belize & Guatemala – Part Two

Check out Part One for the start of our adventure exploring ancient Mayan cities, swimming (ish!) in the cenotes and encountering crocodiles and various other beasties in the jungle ruins along the Usumacinta river. Day Eight: Tikal & Flores And I thought Chichen Itza was big! Tikal is a vast national park with an awesome main plaza (the main reason I was on the trip) but otherwise it is almost entirely swallowed up by the jungle and its wild inhabitants. Before we’d event reached the temples we spotted a woodpecker, wild turkeys, a tiny frog the size of a penny and some spider monkeys trying to corral their mischievous baby. We only truly got a sense of scale when we climbed through the hot thick air to the top of Temple VI for a view right across the rainforest. Just outside of the park I took a canopy tour and zipline through the jungle. This is definitely the most terrifying zip line experience I’ve ever had as it seemed to be missing a safety line and there was no real breaking system other than a ratty old glove. But once you’re up, you’re up, so you may as well go…

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Mexico, Belize & Guatemala – Part One

Mexico, Belize & Guatemala – Part One

When I was about 10 or 11 I had a book which I think was called Mysterious Places – all about odd natural phenomena and ancient cultures. There was one especially gruesome chapter about Mayan sacrifice atop a giant pyramid, victims smeared with blue body paint, the thump thump of hearts cut from still living bodies… I remember feeling sick and putting the book down in disbelief! Years later I saw the film Apocalypto and the macabre fascination came flooding back! When I found out you could actually visit these places, I knew I had to go. It took about six years of searching to find the right trip (& the time to take it!) but I finally settled on the Mayan Adventure organised by G Adventures. So in mid February after a brief pit stop for some enforced relaxation in Cancun (not usually my thing at all but I was desperate for a break!) Chris & I set off for three weeks of exploring in Central America. We met our lovely G Adventure group in downtown Cancun, piled into our driver Miguel’s plush minibus and headed towards the jungle. Day One: Chichen Itza First stop, the Mayan city of…

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New York City

New York City

New York: Driving into Manhattan with Aerosmith on the radio towards a hot pink Empire State Building lit up specially for Valentines Day. We weren’t there five minutes before the city sucked us in and people started asking me for directions. And strangely enough I knew the answers. Howling winds, an icy bite to the air and snow, not so much falling as blowing indecisively in the sky. Marching through the streets, hands in my boyfriend’s pockets, sightseeing at speed to keep warm. Black coffee, diner breakfasts, hailing cabs (sometimes even successfully). Breathtaking views from 1250 feet up, peering down through the smog and the steam pumping from the sides of the buildings, the vents in the road. Drawn in by the beat of a drum to join a Chinese New Year parade and spending an hour in Chinatown chasing dragons & snakes & kicking up confetti from exploding firecrackers. Stumbling across Joe’s pizza – surely the best. Jones Street. Joining another couple on the swings in Central Park and tentatively followed by others that passed – are these for kids or…? – until we were a whole row of adults swinging up & out of the trees towards the…

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Old Delhi, India

Old Delhi, India

I was very lucky to travel to India with my photographer friend Kirsten Holst to photograph the Rolex Awards for Enterprise – a week long series of seminars, presentations & events culminating in a prestigious awards ceremony in and around the Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi. This was an incredible opportunity to meet with and listen to inspirational speakers and work hard in a beautiful location. After we wrapped up shooting & editing the big night (where I photographed the Maharajah Gaj Sing II!) we took the opportunity to visit some of the markets and take a rickshaw ride around Old Delhi. What a thrilling (& slightly crazy) journey. We began by cutting straight across a main road at full speed, turned to head the wrong way into incoming traffic and by the time I opened my eyes the streets had narrowed and we squeezed through into our first of three collisions! I held on tight to the rickshaw with one hand, my camera with the other and tried not to die! Totally exhilarating and to see it any other way I’m sure just wouldn’t be the same. Also, there were monkeys!

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