OWPC – Elephant


This post marks my return to posting. I’ve just come back from Myanmar where I had the opportunity of doing a river cruise down the Irrawaddy. It was unforgettable and awesome. One of the best vacations I’ve had these past few years (and I’ve been lucky to do a lot!)

This week’s One Word Photo Challenge is Elephant and here is my take. The photo was taken at a zoo on the island of Java a few years back.

It’s really great to be back home!

Daily Post Photo Challenge : Resilient


This is my entry to this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge and the challenge is Resilient.

Borobudur, or Barabudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia, as well as the world’s largest Buddhist temple, and also one of the greatest Buddhist monument in the world (Wikipedia).

I don’t think I have to explain it’s resilience – which can be found on so many levels.

No more photo a day for a while :)

Here are a few photos of Mount Bromo on the island of Java before I leave on vacation.

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As I’m away on holiday, it’s too complicated and time-consuming to wrestle with hotel wifi and ships satellite wifi while I’m away. I will post a story from time to time and try to channel my trip through this blog but I won’t have the opportunity of reading my fellow flash fiction aficionado’s stories and friendly photographers as much as I would like so I’m apologising here in advance.

I’ll be back properly in a few weeks.

The Bali Run

The Bali Run


We went to Bali for the first time some months after the 2002 bombings. Tourists had deserted this jewel of an island and tour operators were eager to stimulate visitors to return to the island. This was a golden opportunity because as a family of four, for reasons of economy, we had always picked local holidays or trips in popular destinations in Europe for our holidays until then.

When I noticed a great last minute offer for Bali, it was actually cheaper than going to Tenerife or Tunisia and much cheaper than renting a cottage in the UK, once all the costs had been weighed up.

So I booked the holiday and a few weeks later we headed for Bangkok before flying on to Denpasar. In Bangkok, we just had the time to visit the Grand Temple and make the drive to the Floating Markets and Rose Garden to watch a cultural show. It gave us the opportunity of acclimatising to the heat and humidity.


When we arrived at our hotel we were surprised to find the hotel almost empty. Around the pool, there were free loungers and no lines at midday for the lunch buffet.


Just outside the hotel we met a lady who proposed to take us around the island to visit the sights. We agreed on a price and asked her to come and pick us up the next day. Unlike many other destinations, the Balinese are laid back and although business is business, you are always greeted with a smile.

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This way we were spared the organised bus tours and could take the time to appreciate the countryside at our own pace. Stopping when we wanted to with no pressure to be back for a specified time.

Our guide told us her name was Mary, but I think that was just for our sake. She spoke some English and we had interesting conversations as we drove from temple to temple and from beach to beach. It was about as perfect as it could be and although we were far from home and had children to look after,  we felt surprisingly safe and secure.

Bali is a wonderful island to visit and we ended up visiting five times over seven years. There is a lot to see, the hotels are comfortable and well equipped and the Balinese are so welcoming that you just want to come back just one more time.


The second time we visited I had successfully lost weight. For most of my adult life I’ve struggled to maintain a healthy weight with varying success and I tend to go from one extreme to the next. This time I was feeling great.

Next to the hotel, the Ramada Bintang Bali in Kuta, there was private beach and we loved bathing in the cool waters just before sunset after a busy day sightseeing.



On one occasion, and I can’t remember exactly how it happened, my son and I broke into a run and ran barefoot along  the beach, our feet leaving traces in the sand. I can still feel the wind in my hair, taste the salt on my lips and see the smile on the face of my beautiful boy. I’m sure it was only for a few hundred yards at most but for me they are unsurpassable moments that I still cherish years later.


Recently, after a few years of being unfit and carrying excess weight, I’ve decided to work at being fit once again and start living life to the full.

I’m training to go from couch to 5K and beyond, and when I start to run again, I’m sure that my thoughts will return to these memories with fondness.

This is the eighth part of a series of travel tales.

  1. How I went to Brazil

2. Flight over Table Mountain

3. The Tracey Arm Surprise

4. The Lone Piper

5. My Vanuatu Swim

6. Breakdown in Peru

7. It Takes Two to Tango

8. The Bali Run

9. Almost the Northern Lights

10. I’ll Love You To the End of the World

Background : One Word Photo Challenge


Sometimes the background can become the most important feature of a photo and this is often the case with sunsets. At the very least they compliment and enhance other elements such as the stroller on the beach in Bali above or the shore outlines on Lac Leman. At other times the background is all you can see.

This is another great challenge by Jennifer Nichole Wells for the One Word Photo Challenge. Please run, don’t walk, to click the link to see the other great entries to this weekly challenge. Maybe I’ll be able to admire yours?

Baboon : One Word Photo Challenge

This weeks One Word Photo Challenge is interesting because it’s Baboon. I must have seen one in a zoo somewhere but I have no recollection and no personal photographs. I’ve had to reinterpret the prompt and have expanded it to zoo animals which include a few primates (but sadly not a real Baboon!)

These images were taken in Taman Safari Park while on a trip to Java, Indonesia.