Dreaming at Loch Ordie, Scotland

Ben Venue had me swimming up the mountain but Loch Ordie was happy to bathe me in sunshine! It was a precious time for photography and I was enthralled by the textures of the landscape—from the jagged shadows resting on the trees to the glass lochs to the flowers peeping up from the rubble.

Feast your eyes dear reader, on some of the simple wonders I found while wandering around Loch Ordie with the Tayside Young Walkers.

Warning: I was feeling creatively descriptive when I wrote this post. Drink some wine first. Continue reading “Dreaming at Loch Ordie, Scotland”

Climbing Ben Venue, Scotland

The land slurped up my boots with each step. Squish. Squish. Squelch. A bizarre thought whipped through my mind—the soggy ground was french-kissing my feet. And it was doing a terrible job.

I shuddered, shooing the idea away. It was my first adventure into a bog and I wasn’t about to let my imagination construct a weird relationship between us. The rain coated me in a shimmering shield, not that the sun was out to give it a shine. Why was I climbing this mountain again?

Oh yeah. For the warm company, the stories and the small surprises. Continue reading “Climbing Ben Venue, Scotland”

Taumata-what?

On Tuesday I decided to do something very British—I went for a walk in the rain. With my partner strolling along at my side we explored parks and desolate rail tracks covered in scraggly vines. We wandered through shrubs and slipped through squelching mud, climbed bridges and jumped over puddles. Despite only wandering slightly afield we found an adventure and the most unlikely of thoughts popped into my head.

Continue reading “Taumata-what?”

Bangkok to Vientiane, Laos

If it’d been a western movie a tumbleweed would have bounced through the scene. The sun was trying its best to beat the heat into the ground. The difference between light and shade was so strong we two foes seemed to be enclosed in a hallway of dark tones. I eyed the border control officer through the small window. He looked up from his seated position, his gaze unmoving and unfazed. I twitched.

Then I clawed for my wallet and slapped 1,800 baht on the counter. A hand slipped out, swept up the money and the small window quietly, unhurriedly rolled close.

I started grumbling at the sky.

Continue reading “Bangkok to Vientiane, Laos”

Wat Phra That Khao Noi, Nan, Thailand

There is something mysterious and alluring about a human figure forever captured in a forward motion. It’s the ultimate symbol for so many things humanity upholds.

Progression. Preservation. Hope. Strength. Compassion. Protection. Isn’t it easy to imagine these figures are ever prepared to step forth to protect the people of the area?

A statue caught in mid-stride frames these ideas within the grace of movement.

I mean, while a standing statue casually gazing forward is a remarkable sight in its own right, there is something extra special about a statue stepping out into the world.

Continue reading “Wat Phra That Khao Noi, Nan, Thailand”

Namtaloo Cave at Cheow Larn Lake

The cave yawned. Scraggly teeth adorned the ceiling. Impatient from waiting for the slower half of the group to catch up a boy from the group sprinted ahead to survey the subterranean hall. Glancing back every now and then to catch a nod of approval from his parents he navigated his way across the creek cutting the cave in half. In the shaded darkness of the cave his pink shirt stood out like a neon sign. He had clever parents.

A rocky perch provided a welcome platform for my camera. With the shutter speed set to ultraslow and my mind focused on anticipating a calm moment I waited to pounce. There it was.

Click. Continue reading “Namtaloo Cave at Cheow Larn Lake”

Death Railway: Kanchanaburi

To recap, a group of 14 and I left Bangkok on a bus aiming for Kanchanaburi on a Saturday at 7 a.m. When we arrived two hours later we immediately boarded a bus headed for Erawan National Park and its famous seven falls. After hours of fun there we found ourselves without transport back to town—with no seats left the last bus was obviously full. We were forced to squeeze onto that bus and stand in the aisle all the way back.

Learning our lesson and following the advice of fellow students met at the falls we aimed for a set of guest houses called Sugar Cane and Jelly Frog as soon as we disembarked from the bus in Kanchanaburi. Our party swept into a two-bench taxi called a songthaew and we haggled for a ten baht per person price.

Continue reading “Death Railway: Kanchanaburi”

Thai Mother’s Day: August 12, 2556

Being a Canadian and a small-town-girl I had never been among so many people in such close proximity  in my life. I’m not tall by Canadian standards and stand maybe an inch or two over the native Thai but the crowd was filled with people of all heights and my sight was met with a wall of flesh. My old friend and two newly met friends (one from Iran who’d been living in Bangkok for 3 years and one from the UK who was backpacking through) had the advantage of height and casually gazed over the gathered heads.

Continue reading “Thai Mother’s Day: August 12, 2556”