Here is a fun exercise for anyone to try with their travel photos. The Capture the Colour Photoblogging Contest challenges travel blogging folks to find a photo from their travels to represent each of five colors: red, white, blue, green, yellow. But I think this would be fun for anyone to try ... gives you purpose in sifting through your vacation photos. Maybe even something to think about next time you are traveling ... composing a mini photo album to represent a spread of different colors from each location. Here is my blog entry.
Reed Flute Cave. Guilin, China.
I simply love caves. No matter where in the world I am, if there’s a well-reviewed cave nearby, I’ll make a point to see it. The Reed Flute Cave in Guilin, China, fell directly into my travel path. Sightseeing in the popular regions of China can seem oppressive and distracting, particularly if you are required to join a guided group, with the hordes of chattering tourists following the guide blaring information through a megaphone. One of the insights I’ve gained traveling over the years, though, is that the vast majority of tourists stay within the herd and upon the roads most traveled. It is so easy to separate yourself from the group, as we did here, by simply hanging back until everyone has moved on. Left behind in the dead silence of the cave, the ancient geologic formations and still ponds of water presented a mystical atmosphere. Oddly, while viewing with the group, the colored lights seemed cheesy and wrong. While alone, they seemed a like beautiful magnifying glass. See more China here.
Longsheng Rice Terraces. Yangshuo, China.
The landscape of terraced rice paddies outside Yangshuo, China, is visually stunning. Traversing across the hillsides is an experience indescribably soft and lush. But can you guess what the overriding sensory input is? It’s sound. The sound of water, trickling all around you as it is guided and channeled and bridged across the hillsides and down from one terrace to another with bamboo tubes and spouts. I have since never eaten a spoonful of plain white rice without remembering the rich green hillsides and blue horizon which nurtured these unassuming grains. See more China here.
Vervet monkey. Entebbe, Uganda.
I acquired a love-hate relationship with the vervet monkeys at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center where I volunteered for a month. They were bold little stinkers hellbent on stealing your food whether you were eating it on the café veranda or carrying it home in a doggie bag. And yet, they’re the cutest little devils and I loved photographing them; they just ooze personality. This vervet had been coveting this piece of fruit from a larger colleague. After he succeeded in stealing it, he savored it with such obvious glee, I was happy for the success of his caper. See more vervets here. And also here!
School kids at Lake Bunyoni, Uganda.
I lived on the grounds of a small primary school on the shore of Lake Bunyoni, Uganda, for a few days. It was the “mild” rainy season and each night brought forth brief torrents of rain. The mornings were dark and misty, full of gray sky. The brilliantly colorful clothes of the school children popped out of the thick green landscape. The kids wandered in at vaguely the same time to join the ever-widening circle led by the school mistress in the middle, singing songs whose lyrics dictated exercises. I always thought it was ironic that these kids started their day with calisthenics after they’d already walked some number of miles to arrive at the lake shore. Rather different from the American school scene. See more from Lake Bunyoni here. And also here.
Nature reserve near Ixtapa, Mexico.
While staying at an all-inclusive resort outside of Ixtapa, Mexico, I found this little gem of a nature preserve right on the ocean shore. Very small but packed with monster crocodiles, legions of iguanas, and marvelously diverse avian life. I spent hours by myself observing the wildlife. These large white egrets were bosom buddies with the crocs. I found them standing inches away from them in the water, looking unconcerned. Here, one takes flight just as a croc gets a little too close for comfort. See more from Mexico here.