The Katy Trail is a rail trail running 370 miles across Missouri, mostly following the river. Its all flat and easy to ride and most people do it in about a week. This was Sedalia which was at the end of my first day. So very "small town USA" and I met some lovely people that evening. It like so many small towns is really struggling and the Katy Trail is helping to bring tourism to this area. Its a stunning slice of the country and I have all my fingers crossed that towns like this will benefit from this cycling tourism.
There are so many beautiful locations around Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay, the snow capped mountains, the private boat sheds and beaches but this one of Chambers boat house was where we spent quite a few afternoons having cocktails and watching the kids catch crawdaddies and generally relaxing the afternoons away. I will always remember it fondly.
Egypt is not in any better position than it was when we went 5 years ago sadly. This however made it very easy to spend a full morning cruising the Nile on a Feluca, eating a traditional lunch at a Nubian village and then sitting still for an hour to capture the sunset over the opposite bank. All for around $15 AUD. My last day in Africa and a sad day but the perfect day at the same time.
The Danakil Depression in north east Ethiopia is a stunning collection of salt pans, heat and the most atrocious smell you can imagine in parts. At up to 116m below sea level it is an incredible thing to see. It is VERY hot (got to 52 degrees when I was there) and there is camel riding involved, however its one of the most stunning natural phenomenon I've ever seen. If you are close - GO!
We visited the Mersi (pronounced mercy) tribe in Ethiopian's Omo valley who are famous for their huge lip plates. This incredibly pretty young girl was clearly born with a cleft pallet and we wondered if that made her inherently so much more beautiful. She hasn't started her lip plate yet and just struck me how pretty she was. I've got so much better photo's of the tribe but I keep coming back to this one.
Rwanda is a stunning country that is completely committed to ensuring its national pride is always both on show and protected. Every month for 3 hours on a Saturday the whole country stops and spends that time doing community based projects. Rwanda is pristine clean with not a spec of rubbish anywhere but its the natural countryside that truly takes your breath away. This is the view over the twin lakes of Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo, near Musanze. We spent an amazing day with our lovely local guide Ferdinand on these lakes and villages under the shadow of the volcanoes.
This whole trip started based around me trekking into the remote Ugandan forests to see the wild Mountain Gorillas. THIS WHOLE TRIP WAS BASED AROUND ME DOING THIS. Unfortunately I just couldn't work Africa in on the first year without it costing me a bunch more money so I missed doing it for my 50th sadly. When I did start my African journey I didn't realise that we would be in Uganda around this time, so when Geoff our fearless leader told me we would be doing Gorilla's around 30th June or 1st July I may have done the "OMG I'm going to the gorilla's on my birthday" dance. It seems very appropriate that I got to have this magestical (yes that's a word) experience on my birthday. Spending an hour in the jungle with these stunningly handsome, intelligence and tolerance creatures was just what my heart desired!
Sometimes on your travels it is very important to remember the people on earth who did not win the life lottery like you did. This weeks photo is the shanti towns in Nairobi. Over 3.5 million people in Nairobi live like this. Worth taking a step back, re working your budget and maybe help someone else today.
Do more, consume less
Make life your success
We stayed at Meserani Snake Park in Tanzania as a jump off point to get out to Serengeti. This is a well established overland camp run my "Ma" of which profits go to the local womens clinic they have built. This massai gentlemen was our camp guard and was watching us make our breakfast this morning. I loved the colours of the huts, the tree growing up and his bewildered expression at our "eggy bread" making.
Serengeti provided us with some stunning moments, none more than this amazing pride of 5 lionesses and 14 cubs! Yup 14! We were coming to the end of the day and were on our way back to camp when Tom and Nick spotted a lioness in the grasses to our left. It soon became clear she wasn't on her own and we were so excited about the possiblity of cubs that we stopped and just waited for them, hoping that they would cross the road in front of us. They did - and it soon became obvious they were a HUGE pride. Such an incredible experience to sit and watch the cubs playing and chasing each other while mums tried to rest. They were so excitable that this was the only shot I managed to get with them all in the frame. An incredible way to spend the last 45 mins of our day.
Jenny - photography lover but someone who hates lugging around HUGE camera's so my images are all from my Olympus OMD or my little Sony digital.