I set off in October for a round the world trip. The main intentions of this were to re-visit Cambodia to make final arrangements for my Digital Photography Holidays to Angkor Wat this year and also to see the solar eclipse in Australia. A round the world ticket seemed the best option as we wanted to visit friends in New Zealand and visit Mexico.
The idea was to keep blogging on the journey, however our first port of call Cambodia pretty much stopped that. Most of our time now is spent on computers and travelling to me is about the experience and the journey. Writing about it whilst there started to get in the way of the experience so I decided to only send a few Tweets and get on with travelling and write a short blog on my return.
Angkor Wat is one of my favourite locations in Asia to photograph and after re-visiting over the years since 1999 it still hasn`t lost its sense of awe. It really shows the power of nature as trees grow on top of temples and their roots slowly envelope and pull the temples apart returning the stone to the earth.
Next base was camping in Palm Cove, Australia in readiness for the solar eclipse of 14th November 2012. We had wanted to see the eclipse over the ocean but after getting up each day at dawn, over a seven day period it was looking like this was not going to be possible as low horizon cloud obscured the sun until after the time the eclipse would happen (06.40am). Palm Cove was an idyllic beach if it had not been for;
The threat of “feeling of impending doom” if stung by the Irukandji jellyfish amongst many others made swimming not very pleasant even though there were stinger nets to swim between. I had forgotten how Australia is full of warning signs everywhere.
Mount Elephant was our chosen place to view the eclipse from. Each time we had been up there to check the weather conditions it had been crystal clear baking skies. The day before the eclipse it had clouded over completely! With faith it would clear by the morning we went down a small dusty track for about 2 miles off the main Mulligan Highway road.
By evening the sky cleared and at night we were treated to an amazing starry night with countless shooting stars and no light pollution. At dawn the sky was still clear and this is where we viewed the eclipse from. The viewpoint we found had a full 360 degree view around us.
Again the experience of an eclipse far outweighs for me getting all technical and photographing it, I leave that to our friends at NASA and other astronomers, there are plenty of amazing shots of the actual eclipse on the web.
It was one of the best eclipses I have seen, everything seemed to go slow motion and time stood still for those brief few minutes and I even got to see and remember the shadow sweeping in. It is hard to describe an eclipse, though an elder called Justice from a tribe in South Africa once told us it was “natural magic” which sums it up beautifully.
After the eclipse we headed up to Cape Tribulation with friends to go camping for a few days in search of the legendary Cassowary and to swim in safe stinger free waters (though there were sting rays). and immerse ourselves in nature. We were treated to crystal clear waters, turtles, stretches of beach with no one on and clear black moon starry skies with no light pollution and phosphoresence in the sea, swimming holes in rivers but alas no sighting of a Cassowary.
Part 2 coming soon; New Zealand and Mexico
For anyone interested in taking their photography further I am hosting Digital Photography Holidays to Angkor Wat, Cambodia; Bangkok and later in 2013 to Myanmar. All locations I have a vast knowledge of photographing them and dates are chosen in the dry season.
Details can be found at http://www.digitalphotographyholidays.com