Established in September 1890, Sequoia National Park, about a 4-5 hour drive from Yosemite National Park, is the second oldest National Park in the US. Needless to say it’s famous for its towering sequoia trees, trees I naively feared I wouldn’t get to see as I drove through the dense fog en route to the park’s Giant Forest, home to no less than five of the worlds ten largest trees. As it turned out the fog/mist added another layer of wow to an otherwise awe-inspiring location.
Belize. Now there’s a Central American aberration for sure. Being English speaking, (relatively) expensive & more Caribbean, less Latin American sets it apart from the other 6 countries in the region. It’s a strange kind of place and having spent 6 nights in the country to start my Central American adventure I can safely say I got no nearer to understanding it. But I did take a few pictures I liked.
San Salvador is capital of the Central American country of El Salvador, the crumbling cultural & economic heart of the country. Unfortunately it’s not the safest place in the region and many travellers are put off by stories of gangland feuds and muggings. My guide book warned to ‘leave your camera in your hotel’ if venturing in the chaotic city centre, as I did on this day. I only partly heeded the advice – I had my SLR with me, but it was safely tucked out of harms way in my bag. I guess for this sort of occasion, when a white-skinned, blue-eyed tourist like me doesn’t want to stand out any more than I already do (which is a lot), then the inconspicuous iPod does come into its own.
“Death Valley: the hottest place on earth besides the sun. …which is not on earth” – Jacob Twist
Hottest, Driest, Lowest. That’s how the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service describes Death Valley, a deserted below-sea-level basin that is part of the Mojave Desert in eastern California and south-western Nevada. The mercury here hit a toasty 134°f/57°c on July 10th 1913, which still stands today as the hottest air temperature ever recorded on a property sited and maintained thermometer anywhere in the world. I drove through recently en route to Las Vegas & although the drive didn’t take very long I was surprised how photogenic all that heat & arid desolation was.
In its introduction the Lonely Planet guidebook for Guatemala offers the following advice (and warning):
‘Better pack some extra camera batteries, people – and throw in some more memory while you’re there. You’re about to touch down in a land that was made to be photographed, and that you’ll be struggling to do justice to with mere words once you return.’
Good advice & they are probably right about the whole ‘struggling to do it justice with words’ line. So I won’t bother to try, at least not here (look here for that). Instead here’s is a selection of pictures from my time in the Central American country.
It comes as no surprise that my recent trip to Mexico was a real photographic treat, something I was remnded of when selecting the 20 pictures I display here to pictorially showcase my 3+ weeks in the country.