A Passage to India (& Nepal) – Part 6 – Learning and Burning in Varanasi

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A road less traveled in India.

When I last left you, we had a big day in Khajuraho, touring some super sexy temples, and experiencing some amazing Ayurvedic massage therapy.

The next morning, we were up at dark o’thirty, for an (optional) jeep safari tour in a national park near Khajuraho, where there was a chance that we might see an Indian tiger or two, in the wild. Later that morning, we were scheduled to fly to Varanasi, our last stop in India. After that, we would be flying to Khatmandu in Nepal, for a quickie tour of the broken city, before heading home. So yes, this epic serial trip report is almost a wrap.

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Scuba Diving Magazine Feature – Thailand – Open Wide and Say Ahhhh!

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Here is a link to my most recently published feature for Scuba Divimg Magazine (online). This gallery of wide angle images was taken on my January 2016 trip to Thailand. This was my third trip to dive in Thailand, and my first outing with the new camera – an Olympus OMD Mark II in a Nauticam housing. There was a bit of a steep learning curve, mostly to do with the new Sea & Sea strobes, but by the end of the week I was loving the new, much lighter-weight set up.

Here is the most recent story and pictures from Thailand:

Open Wide and Say Ahhhh!!!

As far as the diving went – I think it was the best yet I have done in this part of the world. For past trip reports, which contain loads of detail about traveling and diving in Thailand, you can follow these two links:

Awoosh Thailand 2011

Awoosh Thailand 2008

 

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A Passage in India (& Nepal) – Part 5 – Sexy Temples & Buck Naked Rubs in the Indian Outback

More monkey business in India.

As I mentioned in the first chapter of this saga, I have heard it opined that if you haven’t sh*t your pants, you haven’t really experienced India.

The same may be true about taking a train in India, which although less traumatic than fecal incontinence, can be an unsettling experience, especially if you need to use the super grotty loos ;^)

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A (True) Story – The Water’s Edge

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It doesn’t matter who you are, the first time you put a regulator in your mouth and go under the water more than a snorkel length, every fibre of your being tells you that it is not a good thing.

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Pic of the Day – Sand Diver

Señor Sand Diver – Roatan, Honduras

As I beaver away on a new photo gallery and write up for Scubadiving Magazine about our recent trip to CoCo View Resort in Roatan, Honduras, I thought I’d continue to share a pic or two on the blog.

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A Passage in India (& Nepal) – Part 4 – Agra

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A view of the Taj Mahal, from the Red Fort

On the road again, this time for the long drive from Jaipur to Agra – the site of the splendiferous Taj Mahal.

This is the fourth chapter in this series. You will find the previous instalments here:

Chapter 1 – Just Say No to Delhi Belly
Chapter 2 – Delhi – Walking in Gandhi’s Footsteps
Chapter 3 – Colliding Worlds in Jaipur

By now, we are getting in the groove of the rhythm of this thing. Up early, repack suitcase (which does get a bit old as we stayed in many different places during the tour), leisurely breakfast at the hotel, then on the bus at the appointed hour (and remember – Indian Stretchable Time does not apply!)

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Pic of the Day – Damselfish

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A break from the India serial blogging.

After the amazing adventure in India in February with the ladies, Mr G and I were very fortunate to travel to Roatan in Honduras in March, to join in on a large ‘reunion’ dive trip.

We stayed and dove at CoCo View Resort – and it was generally pretty great. I hope to find some time in the future to write something about it. I will definitely be sharing some pictures from the trip in the coming months.

Here is a picture of a cute little damselfish (about 4 inches in length). These pretty little flitters are cousins of anemonefish, about which I previously have shared my obsession. These small fish (both damsels and anemonefish) can be frustrating to photograph, as they are constantly in motion. At times, usually when nesting, they can be quite aggressive, and have been known to nip divers.

So, basically, they are charming little b*stards ;^)

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A Passage in India (& Nepal) – Part 3 – Worlds Colliding in Jaipur

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So, we’ve left Delhi, and are now on the big bus for the long drive to Jaipur – the pink city.

If you missed the previous India blogs, they are here:

Part 1 – Just Say No to Delhi Belly

Part 2 – Walking in Gandhi’s Footsteps

Delhi to Jaipur was a long haul, with hours of peering out the side windows of the bus, watching India whizz by. I kept my camera at the ready, hoping to capture some of the scenery. As I mentioned earlier in this thing, shooting out of the side window of a fast moving bus is not very satisfactory, but I did manage to get a few decent pix to try to illustrate the experience. Continue reading

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A Passage in India (and Nepal) – Part 2 – Walking in Gandhi’s Footsteps

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So, when I last left you dangling, we were all tucked into our beds in our very nice rooms at Le Meridien in central Delhi, sleeping off (with the help of some pharmaceuticals) the long and not very restful flight in the back of the bus on the Air India flight from JFK. Delhi is 11 1/2 hours ahead of Vancouver – so pretty much half way around the world. It doesn’t matter how much I travel (and I travel quite a bit), that kind of time change will seriously fook me up. So I usually take sleeping pills, for at least a few days, to try to turn things around.

The tour we were on really only offers one full day in Delhi, which is enough to take in some of the many attractions, and get a bit of a feel for this huge, sprawling, smoggy city, with a population estimated at over 16 million. I am not sure how accurate any kind of census could really be, as there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people living in the streets, and in the sprawling slums. Add to that the thousands and thousands of tourists, both Indian and international. and there are one heck of a lot of people banging into each other in this capital city of India.

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A Passage in India (and Nepal) – Part 1 – Just Say No to Delhi Belly

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So, a group of girls decide to take a trip to India. The group is three sisters and a friend, and the plan is to experience India as part of an organized tour, because, as anyone who has been to India will love to tell you, it is a gong show getting around this country of one billion (plus) people.

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Scuba Diving Magazine Feature – Going To The Cleaners

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It’s been a busy whirl of travel over the past few months, and although I always have intentions to blog while I am enjoying these new experiences, somehow it never seems to happen. I did take a sh*tload of photos though, and I am now in the thick of processing them. So soon there should be some photos and thoughts about diving in Thailand and Honduras, as well as touring in northern India and Kathmandu, appearing on this neglected blog.

In the meantime, here is a link to my latest piece for Scuba Diving Magazine’s digital platform – it is all about quotidian happenings on the reef. Fish and other ocean animals need grooming, and this is how they do it…

You will find the story and image gallery here —-> Going To The Cleaners

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Scuba Diving Magazine Feature – Hawaii 2-0

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Here is a link to December’s gallery and short write up about diving off the west coast of the big island of Hawaii.

You will find the article and image gallery here —-> Hawaii 2.0 – Images from the Big Island of Hawaii

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Scuba Diving Magazine Feature – Black Magic Mantas

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Here is a link to my most recent contribution to the magazine – this one a photo gallery and description of the magical manta night dive in Kona, Hawaii.

You will find the article here —-> Black Magic Manta Diving

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Wild & Woolly – An Irish Adventure

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With the prospect of only 3 days to get our first taste of Ireland, we arrived in Dublin, picked up a rental car, plugged our Galway area hotel address into the handy dandy (do not attempt to drive in Ireland without one!) GPS, and pointed the car west.

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Scuba Diving Magazine Feature – Gone With The Wind

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Here is a link to a recent piece (and short video) that describes some wild and wooly current dives I’ve done, as well as some strategies for managing diving in big currents.

You’ll find the article and video here —–> Gone With The Wind – Diving in Big Currents

 

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Scuba Diving Magazine Feature – Palau

Where do the months go? I’ve recently returned from a dive trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, and have been bagging a few cold water shore dives closer to home, but have been neglecting the blog, bigtime.

One of these days, I’ll get back to making regular entries, but in the meantime, here is a link to my most recent piece for the magazine – all about Palau.

SDM Palau

Click here to take you to the magazine gallery and write up.

And, if you really want to dig in, here is a write up I did on the blog, on my return from the trip, in March.

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Scuba Diving Magazine Feature – Divers Behaving Badly

Divers.Behaving.Badly The months continue to gallop by and the blogging has taken a back seat to other more pressing concerns – like finishing building a house, moving into it, and selling the old house. It’s been a wild, busy, crazy ride, but finally we’re here. New home, new chapter…

Here is a link to June’s piece for Scuba Diving Magazine – all about naughty, thoughtless, careless divers.

And check out Scubadiving.com’s very much new and improved website!

Divers Behaving Badly

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Scuba Diving Magazine Feature – Wonderful Wakatobi

I am still playing catch up with linking my most recent publications ;^). This link will bring me up to date, and I will endeavour to link recent work on a more timely basis. The topic of my next article to be published by Scubadiving Magazine later this month is a bit, er, controversial.

Last month’s gallery and article was all about diving at Wakatobi Resort, in Indonesia. It is a lovely place, with some extraordinarily healthy coral reefs nearby. I wrote a comprehensive trip report last year upon my return – you will find it here.

To view the gallery and shorter article recently published by Scuba Diving Magazine, follow this link.

Wakatobi

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Scuba Diving Magazine Feature – The Great Pretenders

I am woefully behind in linking my recent work for Scuba Diving Magazine.

So here is a link to March’s piece – all about underwater animals that are great at camouflage…

Masters of Disguise

Great Pretenders

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Palau BFF

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Back from Germany, and back at my laptop. I traveled to Germany with just an iPad (and iPhone for camera – data roaming is stupid expensive, so I kept it in airplane mode for the duration). The iPhone camera pretty much rocks (except in high contrast light). And I seriously love the pano function. But no can shoot manual settings with a point and shoot phone…

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