Monday 12 December 2011
big cat conservation trips in Botswana and South Africa.
They certainly drew a crowd (limited to 50 people) and they were adorable. All fluff, spots and big blue eyes. See what I mean?
World Expeditions and led by Nat Geo Wild presenter, wildlife expert Ben Britton. (Ben is also director of Wild Animal Encounters, which brings wild animals to events to promote conservation.) Trips involve travellers helping to put GPS tracking collars on wild lions and leopards in Mashatu Game Reserve, getting closer than you would on safari, and staying in a tented camp at night.
Sounds good to me. Have you ever had any urban wildlife encounters?
Tuesday 6 December 2011
|Avenue of Baobabs, Morondava|
|Decken's sifaka (type of lemur)|
I'm home now and hoping to blog here more often over the next couple of months; stay tuned. Happy summer.
Monday 31 October 2011
Of course this was just the beginning, but as well as blogging about it, I wrote a feature article about this experience for Australian health and lifestyle magazine WellBeing. The story has just been published and you can read it (paper-free!) here.
(Also in that issue of WellBeing is another story of mine, on sustainable trekking in Nepal, which involves staying at a string of new community-built eco lodges instead of tea houses.) I'm not meaning to blow my own trumpet you understand, just spreading the word about a great responsible-travel-oriented trek...
Monday 24 October 2011
Mules carried our kit-bags and we had a crew of Nepali cooks and sherpas. So all we had to do was walk (with daypacks) - up and down and up again (it is Nepal after all), climbing to 4000-metre passes, descending to rivers, stopping to look inside dark, incense-choked monasteries.
Saturday 17 September 2011
|Somewhere on the Australian coast|
|The only writing I did while away|
|Shells collected (and returned later)|
I’d like to do a real no-impact camping trip sometime, but until then I've decided the benefits of camping outweigh the (small) eco-costs, by reminding us to live with less stuff and more nature-time.
Monday 29 August 2011
- Watch The Cove (it's on DVD). Directed by National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos it has won more than 20 awards including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010. The film doesn’t demonise Japanese people and in fact a Japanese activist group called People Concerned for the Ocean distributed free DVD copies of the film to Taiji’s 3500 residents in March this year.
- Visit Takepart.com/thecove for ideas on what to do
- Find out more at SaveJapanDolphins, which has a comprehensive FAQ about Taiji
- Sign a petition to help stop the dolphin slaughter
- Don’t go to dolphin shows at zoos; if demand dries up, zoos will stop keeping dolphins.
- Join Surfers for Cetaceans
- Using your iPad or smartphone, recreate the scene from The Cove where Ric wears a screen showing footage of the Taiji dolphin hunt at an International Whaling Commission meeting. See this link for images and video.
- Celebrate Japan Dolphins Day on 1 September, and remember that every day is dolphin day. May they swim in peace...
Tuesday 23 August 2011
There's a lot of talk about saving energy, but it feels great to expend some (non-harming) human energy now and then, at night, in a natural place. It's the way of the no-impact warrior (princess).
Tuesday 16 August 2011
The wax-melting room even has a glass roof, to reduce the power required to keep the wax molten (it can get up to 50ºC in there in summer), thereby cutting carbon emissions. Naturally, all their candles are made using organically certified, Australian beeswax – “the cleanest, purest beeswax you can buy” – and cotton wicks.
Friday 29 July 2011
Sure, Sydney’s winters are balmy compared to many in the world, but I confess to consuming more (albeit offset) electricity these days, what with the short days, cold nights (hello, oil heater) and the necessity of hot chocolates and toasted sandwiches and soups and endless cups of tea. Bring on spring…
Imagine travelling the world without the aid or privilege of sight. Imagine not being able to look at something beautiful and soak it in through your eyes. But Holman confessed in his writings (he was the author of many travel narratives) that his most profound experiences left him feeling not blind, but mute:
Sunday 12 June 2011
|Blue-footed booby feet|
Swimming with sea lions (this link goes to another video clip), for an hour (which felt like five minutes), as they sped around us like torpedoes, blowing silver bubbles, zipping and diving and surfacing. It was exhilarating and a little scary at times (some of the mother sea lions are big, and have big teeth) but unforgettable. In fact I'm still reeling from all the back-to-back-to-back experiences we had on the four islands we visited in such a short time. More later...
Thursday 26 May 2011
Thursday 19 May 2011
I'm not sure if having a small fire in the backyard emits more or less CO2 than having all the lights on in the house, and I'm going to look into that, but in the meantime, sitting on a couple of rickety cane chairs (which were spared the flames), with beeswax candles burning nearby and the possums, and cooking veggie burgers on the gas barbecue, felt simple and good. Like something I would have done with my family as a kid. And apart from the fire, it was a low-impact evening.
It's all about balance, and transparency. I'm not as close to living a no-impact live as I'd like to be, but while I'm on this mission I'd like to be as honest as I can about what I'm doing (and not doing). How about you? It's confession time. What high-impact things would you rather not live without?
Thursday 12 May 2011
|Our tent: Kookaburra|
|Dolphin off the port bow!|
|Canoeing Currambene Creek|
|Mel, and her van, post-paddle|
Friday 29 April 2011
3. It's fun. Yes, it is. There’s a perception that going “green” means wearing hair-shirts and never washing your hair, or at least not enjoying life in all its glory. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, there are inconvenient truths – we've watched Food Inc, The End of the Line, Home, The Cove and Sharkwater – but I’ve found all these docos motivating rather than despairing; most end with the conviction that human beings are clever, creative creatures (on our good days) more than capable of solving the problems around us.