BORDERS? VISAS? PLANES?

I APPLIED FOR A visa- permission to enter a different jurisdiction- and crossed over an actual border (complete with customs inspection) into a foreign land!
Travel! A journey to the unknown!
South Australia!
Our first trip interstate on over a year was well over-due. A spot of bird-nerding at Gluepot Reserve came first. Then the main event, the Flinders Ranges, some of the oldest land on earth, some stunning hiking routes, and plenty of wildlife -euros, birds, yellow-footed rock wallabies.
And, yes, we took to the air in one of those new fangled flying machines, as seen in the picture. Wilpena Pound, part of Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park, from the air is pretty mind-blowing.
Sadly, crossing an international border remains a pipe-dream, at least until the Cock-Womble In Chief Prime Minister has called an election. Fortunately, there are plenty of magnificent places to see in Australia, and, for the time being at least, we can visit them without fear of kissing the pangolin.
For now, that’ll have to do.

TUNNEL VISION

WHILE IT IS TOO early to call “light at the end of tunnel”, perhaps the tunnel is not quite as dark as it was 6 months ago. Unless of course if you live in most of Europe, The United States, India and many other countries, in which case, it is still quite dark.
Scientists, those underpaid, under-appreciated saviours in labs, have given us hope to get through this bullshit pandemic. Please don’t call vaccines “miracles”. They are the product of hard work and science.
I still don’t think I’ll be travelling in 2021, although I did get about 250 kms from home, to Wilsons’ Prom’. Thankfully there are some nice places to visit nearby, but no cobbled streets with Ottoman era mosques or glittering spires across the rice fields.
I’m half way through my Namibian pages. India is up. All of Central Asia. Some dodgy B&W stuff from Morocco captured on film. Work has been slowed as I turned inwards to books. Thanks to my local library, which made lockdown much easier.
Rule #2: don’t forget Rule #1.
Rule #1? Don’t get Covid.

ROAD TO NOWHERE?

Remember unplanned, unbooked travel, changing cities or countries on a whim? Nothing booked when you got there?

Loving lockdown? Sounds weird, but, yeah, I reckon it’s alright.
OK, so I’m not in Bulgaria or Zimbabwe, but you want me to stay at home all day doing nothing? OK. I can do that. I’ve read quite a few books and pottered in the garden. I’ve even read a few books in the garden.
I long ago gave up any hope of travelling again until 2022. It’s out of my control, worrying won’t change it. And it -travel 2020- doesn’t look like much fun anyway.
Book your visit to the Coloseum online for a pre-arranged time, move in one direction only. Cafes and stuff are closed. Spontaneity is dead. Borders are open today closed tomorrow. Quarantine.
Nah, I’ll wait.
What’s new here? Lots. I finished Thailand, Uzbekistan and Taiwan, three of the biggest jobs I had. A couple of smaller pre-digital destinations, Mongolia and Sri Lanka are up. Australia! Lots of bush and birds and bugs from the outback. And the themed galleries (people, culture, nature, man-made etc) are getting bigger.
15 years of film has all been scanned, picked over and edited. Two years of stuff from Vietnam and Cambodia is a big body of work, probably the last to see the digital light of day.
Others in the works include Namibia, Philippines, Morocco, India and Burma.
Stay tuned. Stay sane. Keep drinking the bleach.

LOCK-DOWN LIMBO

195 pages and 145 galleries published.
Eight regions covering 35 countries.
Four themed sections with another 30-odd galleries.
Lots of work done, lots of work to do.
Making the most of lockdown, here’s some of what has gone up lately:
Malaysia. Laos. Papua New Guinea. Kyrgyzstan.
South Korea. Tajikistan. Ethiopia. Indonesia. Greece.
China. Botswana. Bangladesh. Kazakhstan. Pakistan.
As well as these countries, I have added more galleries under the themed sections, especially the PEOPLE and CULTURE areas.
I’m undertaking two of the biggest jobs I have, Australia and Thailand. I have actually put one gallery up from Thailand, but that is just a drop in that particular ocean.
Looking forward to the day I can get out there and see more of the world!

A ROAD TO NOWHERE?

A Mongolian motorcyclist traverses the steppes from where the mighty Mongol warriors began their march.

Well, that all happened very quickly, didn’t it?
A virus jumped species, infected a human, and 5 months later, millions are infected, hundreds of thousands are dead, and billions live under lock down.
Right now, I can’t go down the street for lunch, go camping or visit another city. It is actually illegal for me to leave my own country, and there are almost no countries that would let me in anyway.
It’s pretty obvious I won’t be doing any international travel this year. When will borders open, and how? When will planes fly again, and how much will tickets cost? Will anyone ever set foot on a cruise again?
So, for the rest of the year, it will be a journey down Memory Lane. With all my pre-digital pics scanned, there is much work to do. With about 25 countries to work through, 3 a month and I might be close by Christmas. Or not.
In the last week or so, I have added my first Central Asian page, Kazakhstan, and my first South Asian page, Pakistan. Bangladesh, which I’d forgotten how photogenic it was, should be next up. And there a some new shots from a few places in the nature, people, culture and man-made sections, too.
So the plan for the next half a year is a mix of smaller jobs (Morocco, Russia, 1999 for example) and The Big Projects, like Thailand, Taiwan, Burma, Namibia and India.
While it is of course frustrating to be unable to travel (or do anything) it does make me glad that I did the traveling I did when I had the chances.

BRINGING FILM BACK TO LIFE.

JAPAN TRAVEL TOKYO TSUKIJI FISHMARKET

In the two months since I lasted posted here, I have scanned around 5,000 photos, from slide film, black and white, and colour negs. They covered at least 15 countries, 4 continents, taken on at least four different cameras.
Most of them were from 1992 to 1995 in South East Asia, but I even managed to rescue some stuff from Papua New Guinea from 1987.
Some of it is already up:
Timor Leste (1992), Brunei (1993), Singapore (1992-3).
These three went up first simply because the are smallest. I have over 1000 pics from both Cambodia and Vietnam, for example. As for Thailand, that file has grown by about 900 shots, from 9,000 to almost 10,0000! It’s a big job.
There are also many new pictures through my themed galleries: people, culture, nature, and man made.
And from my digital stuff, my Turkey galleries are up, along with UAE.

EVERYTHING NEW IS OLD AGAIN

I bought myself a scanner, and have dug the Big Box out of the cupboard. Scanning a few thousand slides will keep me busy enough, and then there are the b&w and colour negs to get through. And THEN pick bits of dust off them and touch them up and and and….

Two soldiers make some final adjustments in preparation for the coronation of Norodm Sihanouk, 23 September 1993. The much loved King returned after decades when the United Nations elections were completed.


There might not be much new stuff getting up here for a while. I have added quite a bit in the first weeks of 2020.
Three galleries under “PEOPLE”.
Photos from my exhaustive tour of Italy.
Those whacky Japanese are out in force in the “ODDITIES” as well as under Japan.
Some great wildlife encounters from Kenya.
“MARKETS” has moved into Culture. Food was looking a bit lonely there.
A few other bits here and there. Take a wander. Follow me on Instagram for the odd update, too.

NEW POSTS FOR CHRISTMAS!

I HAVE been a busy little web-mistress these last two weeks. There’s now 44 galleries up. From Africa, we have done Zambia, Malawi, Egypt, Somaliland, South Africa and Tanzania. Lebanon, Syria and Iran are up.

Also new, I have four galleries up under the heading “Man Made” from all kinds of vehicles, to homes and places of worship. I’d like to counter that with the “Nature” group, but I’m not quite ready for that.

“Oddities” is one I am keen to get up. You see some weird stuff on the road, especially in Japan. Maybe if I get into my J-files, they’ll both appear soon.

I’ve put together a list of some of the great books that I have written read about the places I have been or dream about going. If you look under “Words” you’ll find it, with an A-Z of travel thoughts.

Lastly, if you worry endlessly about missing a new gallery, then follow me on instagram. Still learning to crawl through that digital maze, but I’ll post irregular pics and updates on abus2nowhere.

28 YEARS IN THE MAKING.

I really only made this website for something to do, a way to channel my energy, pretend that my travels are in some way productive.

Amritsar’s Golden Temple. Travelling to cool places like this is a hobby of mine.

This certainly is not a money making venture. Although many have told me I should become a travel blogger, this is not intended to be a blog. There’ll be no day to day updates, or weely reviews of hotels and sunsets. I won’t be telling you how to get a Tajik visa, or whether to take the train or bus to Chiang Mai. I’ll let the pictures tell the stories.

There will be lots of photographs. I have a few to choose from. Over 9,000 from Thailand for example. Two weeks in India yielded over 1,500, and I didn’t even go to Jaipur. Photos of temples. Photos of ruins, of castles, of cooks. Photos of birds and big cats and mosques and markets. There’ll be some weird and some wonderful, as well as the mundane things we ignore back home. Like carrots.

Bus To Nowhere is not finished. It probably never will be. Initially, I need to work through a catalogue of digital work from 2005. Then, I hope to digitize my slides and prints from 1992 to 2005. Those ancient manuscripts will have tonnes from Cambodia and Vietnam from 1992-1995, as well as Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Russia, Mongolia and more.

Bird watching in India. Doing uncool things like this is also a hobby of mine.

Namibia, Thailand, Taiwan and Central Asia will take a long time, simply because of the volume. Right now, I have a few countries from Africa up. Some old pre-digital stuff from South East Asia snuck its way up, too, but a couple of dozen only for now. Other categories like People, Culture, Nature, will take time to build up.

Middle East should follow soon, because there isn’t so much to go through. My lack of understanding back then about photo editing resulted in a large chunk being in black and white.

By the time I get all that done, hopefully I’ll have thousands more photographs from new and old places. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks to my brother Mark for his technical support, and to Dr Dan and Dr Minh.