Almost Lesotho – seeking Shangri-La (Drakensberg, South Africa)

May 30, 2014

‘……….didn’t you ever want to know what was on the other side of the mountain?’                – James Hilton, Lost Horizon. Funny to find an Antipodean neighbour way out here: a beanie-clad, mumbling, red-head New Zealander in the middle of Africa; him having asked about places I’ve been, then admonishing himself […]

The Lion King – wandering ways (Skeleton Coast, Namibia)

March 23, 2014

There’s another white dual cab propped on the wrong side of the road. I wind down the passenger’s window to ask if all’s OK. A khaki-clad man pauses, narrow-eyed and hesitant way out here, water bottle pulled from an open, dust-laden tailgate. We’re in Namibia – previously German South-West Africa – the Namib Desert straddling […]

Lost and Found – a splendid memory (Cape Arid, Western Australia)

June 4, 2013

`The truck’ bumps from side to side, the wheels in deeply rutted tracks. Nearer our coastal camp, scrub turns to woodland and we both lurch to the left as we drop a gear and edge across a scary slab of sloping granite. Back on sand it’s our final descent, to a wild coast of dazzling […]

The Real Wild West – inside the Arctic Circle (Vesterålen, Norway)

May 20, 2013

The narrow road is a roughed-out, potholed track gouged from ragged Norwegian mountains. Winding alongside a grey Arctic Ocean, it’s graced with the occasional passing bay and kept in place against northern tempests by discarded mountain boulders. Turning a last cliffside corner I stop the car and push open the door, buffeted by a wild […]

People and Places – a poem (Jhomolhari, Bhutan)

April 2, 2013

the place I see is special; a block of stone or wending path built by many hands or feet.   and in my dream, I dream of this: a vibration, scent or residue, from pasts that are long lost.   till when I wake the dream takes shape, wrought of violence, longing or regret: the […]

Red Desert Dreaming – modern times, ancient magic (The Kimberley, Western Australia)

March 19, 2013

Strange figures are painted in broad strokes of red ochre – Wandjina spirit-men – eerie round faces with big pools for eyes. I stand next to Maurice, “a Worara blackfella” and a driver at local mines. I ask him why they have no mouths. His voice is hushed, as he points at the staring spaceman […]

Home Sweet Home – not the Nullarbor (Nuytsland, Western Australia)

January 27, 2013

Arriving yesterday, we’ve turned off the Eyre Highway towards the Great Australian Bight – careering down a steep escarpment across dunes and a rocky 4WD track – to 50km southeast of Cocklebiddy; the old Eyre telegraph station. In the morning we meet Shirley while sitting on the veranda drinking coffee. Shirley has a weathered face […]