Thailand 2008 (IV)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the experiences of Thailand in January and February were sufficient to prompt a return visit in November the same year. Again for three weeks’ duration, this visit was going to be an opportunity to get some quality diving experiences. The first week was spent completing both the Enriched Air [Nitrox] and Advanced Open Water PADI Courses. Then the middle 6 days were spent aboard the Marco Polo, Sea-Bees live-aboard cruise ship that visits the Similan Island National Park every week during the high season.

Thailand, 2008 (II)

As I sit to write this update it’s 21:05 on Wednesday evening and I’m sat at a table in Molly Malone’s “Authentic Irish Pub” on the beach-front of Patong Beach, Phuket. It’s about 30′C outside – seriously warm – but in here, with air conditioning, it’s just about bearable. We’ve barely had a moment to stop since the last entry, but that hectic pace has all been an enjoyable experience and I’m doing my best to cram as much in as possible in the time available.

Thailand, 2008 (I)

How do you compress almost 72 hours of intense activity into a few lines in a blog entry? Well, this isn’t going to be easy then, is it? We made it to Phuket – via Bangkok – relatively unscathed. Our luggage had a slightly more entertaining journey, stopping off as it did for a brief exploration of Bangkok while we flew ahead.

Initial thoughts on Thailand are – for me – very similar to the experience I had when I visited Brazil in 2004 – can it really be more than 3 years ago now? – and take little time getting used to. There are huge numbers of mopeds everywhere – like swarms of buzzing insects – and most of the riders seem to be daredevils, with a wonderful sense of humour. We followed one with a T-Shirt that read, “Make out with my Butt” and which took us a little while to realise meant, “Kiss My Ass”, but hey, whatever…

Here are just a few quick images from the first couple of days…



Weyhill Hawk Conservancy (II)

Last Friday I made a return trip to Weyhill, partly to see what was happening, partly to deliver some prints to a couple of the falconers, but largely to practice my [sadly lacking] photography skills. The [better] results are to be found below. This style of photography is still very much a learning experience for me, but one which I enjoy and to which Weyhill is so ideally suited. Each visit I seem to learn a little bit more about both my camera and the best way to capture a good shot, so every day spent there is well worth the effort.

To say nothing of it being a wonderful day out!

2007 Pedal Car Grand Prix

Every other year the New Forest Town of New Milton plays  host to street racing of a very specialised kind. Not the banshee howl of Formula One, but the slightly more sedate and far more interesting pedal-powered variety. More than 25 Teams, of 4 pedalists entered, with the objective being to cover as many laps as possible in the allotted time of two hours. Entrants ranged from the manic to the comic – and covered most points between!