- Namibia -

Last September Rich & I visited beautiful Namibia. Somehow, a year has already passed since we explored one of the most incredible countries on the planet. So, I thought it was about time I shared a few photos!

We spent 12 amazing days on the road, although technically there weren’t always roads, driving through the most beautifully diverse landscapes that seemed to go on forever. Namibia takes its name from the Namib Desert, which itself means “vast place”. That it certainly is. We fell in love so quickly with everything about Namibia. The people, the wildlife, the horizons, the sunsets, the night sky… The feelings Namibia gives you… Driving for hours without seeing another soul, never knowing what amazing sight you’ll see next. Crossing your fingers all the way that you won’t puncture a tire on the rocky tracks. The nervous excitement of stepping out of the car understanding you’re not top of the food chain out here…

I could write so much about this trip; it was one of the most magical experiences of our lives. But first I thought I’d simply share these photos as the beauty of Namibia should get to speak for itself.

- Kolmanskop -

Kolmanskop is an abandoned diamond mining town in Southern Namibia. Once a thriving community, by 1950 the diamonds had disappeared and the houses stood empty. The desert has slowly been reclaiming them ever since…

Our sunset drive to Lüderitz, where we stayed in the beautiful Cormorant House, right on the water…

Driving onwards to Sossusvlei…

- Desert Homestead Lodge -

For our time in Sossusvlei we stayed in the beautiful Desert Homestead Lodge. Of all the places we stayed in Namibia, this was my favourite. Aside from the obvious beauty of it’s surroundings and the tranquility of the lodge itself, I loved how mindful of the environment every details was, even down to our hot water being heated via the solar panel on our bungalow roof. That little bungalow was a little haven in the desert for us.

- Deadvlei -

A short drive from The Homestead is Namib-Naukluft Park, home to Deadvlei. Deadvlei was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. A collection of ghostly figures, eternal trees nestled amongst the sand dunes. These camel thorn trees are approximately 900 years old. Once full of life, surrounded by water, they are now mere skeletons. The climate changed and the desert sand dunes encroached. The white clay pan floor, baked by the sun, provides the perfect tomb for the eerie black trees. Never decomposing due to the intense heat.

I’m still not quite forgiven for failing to point out to Rich his “baboon bottom” while we were there…

- Dune 45 -

Probably the most famous dune in Sossusvlei , Dune 45 is easily accessible just off of the paved road. Standing at 170m in height, Dune 45 may seem easy to climb, but take our word for it, it’s a tough workout and it was pretty windy at the top!

Returning to The Homestead for a little sundown wander…

Dawn rises… Beginning our drive to Twyfelfontein

Crossing The Tropic of Capricorn

- Twyfelfontein -

Twyfelfontein has one of the largest concentrations of rock petroglyphs in Africa. The beautiful images are thought to have been carved as far back as 10,000 years ago. Created by nomads, they document the animals that could be found in the area at that time. They act as signposts, listing prey and warning of predators to other passing tribes.

While staying at Twyfelfontein Country Lodge, we went on a sundowner safari drive with one of the rangers. Desert Adapted Elephants can be found in Damaraland and after 3 hours of searching, we found the cutest little group having their dinner just before sunset.

- Onguma Bush Camp -

Just outside of Etosha National Park, on it’s eastern border, is Onguma Nature Reserve. 34,000 hectares of wilderness and home to 5 different camps. We spent 3 nights at Onguma Bush Camp while exploring Etosha during the day times. The Bush Camp has it’s own watering hole which was always a beautiful place to have breakfast and dinner.

- Etosha National Park -

We chose to visit Namibia in September as the dry season occurs at this time. Water is scarce which makes it much easier to observe the beautiful wildlife. Etosha has various waterholes which the animals seek out. As a visitor, you can simply sit and watch from your car as all of the most beautiful animals in the world turn up for a drink.

Sundowner safari inside Onguma

Wild African Aloe Vera

Etosha, meaning “Great White Place” is dominated by a massive mineral pan. Once a lake, the pan is now a large dusty depression of salt and clay which fills only if the rains are heavy. It is also responsible for the seemingly eternal grey sky over Etosha, which is in fact a huge dust cloud that never leaves during the dry season.

When the elephants are bathing, nobody gets a drink…

- Onguma Tree Top Camp -

For our last night in Namibia, we stayed at the very special Onguma Tree Top Camp. Sleeping in a beautiful treehouse, under the stars in Africa was beyond magical. Waking at dawn to the sounds of lions roaring their morning chorus below was incredible and a feeling I’ll never forget!

Our last day in Etosha… The day of Elephants!

Appearing through the mist. We fooled ourselves that they were waving us goodbye…

- Cannon Beach -

THE RISING AND DYING OF THE LIGHT AT HAYSTACK ROCK

In September of 2015, Rich & I revisited one of our most favourite countries, the USA. We love the wild landscapes, the big skies, the endless horizons and the ever changing diversity found while traveling from state to state. There is always so much natural beauty to see and so many adventures to be had.

For this trip we explored the western coast, traveling mostly on Highway 101 through Oregon, up to Washington State. While on that amazing journey we found ourselves at Cannon Beach…

Like many people I love the ocean. The mysterious beauty of it is indescribable. While gazing out to sea, witnessing the rhythmic pull of the waves, the power of the ocean and the sense of hope it gives is almost hypnotic.

“There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about the sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath.” Herman Melville

Cannon Beach is located on the Pacific Northwest Coast of Oregon, 80 miles west of Portland. It is one of Oregon’s quaintest and most picturesque locations, made famous by the beautiful Haystack Rock and Needles that mark its shoreline. At first sight Rich & I knew that this place had an ethereal beauty about it and that we very much wanted to capture some of its magic.

“Everywhere we look, the complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.” Vincent Van Gough

To do this we walked the beach at dawn and dusk; witnessing the rising of the sun high over the ocean to its eventual decent back into the sea. At that beautiful beach we saw the passing of time; the lengthening of the earth’s shadows, the dying of the light…

The photographs that follow were my own way of documenting our brief pocket of time at Cannon Beach, where we experienced first hand how environments, colours, shadows and even feelings can be transformed at the moment of the rising and setting of the sun.

“For thousands upon thousands of years the sunlight and the sea and the masterless winds have held tryst together.” Llewelyn Powys

SUNRISE AT HAYSTACK ROCK

18th September 2015

Adjacent to the large rock formation known as Haystack Rock, are its brothers known as The Needles. These three independent sea stacks act as watchmen, guarding their coastline and nurturing the native wildlife. Although we didn’t see any that day, Puffins are often spotted nesting on these rocks.

The birds we did see… Although Seagulls are common all over the world’s coastlines, these little guys are still lovely friends to have while walking on the sand. Provided they understand you don’t have any food!

When isolated, their monochrome feathers looked so beautiful against the pastel colour pallet of the beach. While the sun rose, they blended in with everything around them, making them the perfect, unexpected predators…

Rich scouting the horizon for Whales…

The coming of the tide…

“Time and tide wait for no man.” Geoffrey Chaucer

“So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.” Robert Frost

It was incredible to observe just how little time a sunrise lasts. The light changes with every blink of the eye and before you know it, the blossom pink hues of dawn are gone, the sun’s intense yellow rays are hitting the rocks and all is over.

SUNSET AT HAYSTACK ROCK

18th September 2015

After a much needed afternoon nap at our Airbnb, we returned to the beach to watch the sun go down. The difference in the light was already incredible. We waited with eager anticipation for ‘golden hour’…

The ethereal beauty of ‘Golden Hour’.

This light is fleeting. “Time is like the ocean, you can only hold a little in your hands.” Once the sun has started its descent, oh so quickly twilight arrives. Gone are the soft golden hues and long shadows of that particular moment in time, and instead an intensity of over-saturated colour floods the skies.

“The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of color — oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples…” Anna Godbersen, The Luxe

It’s strange, it seemed that everything became the most alive with the dying of the light. One last surge of beauty and energy before inky darkness took hold.