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Snapshots of village life

By on Feb 27, 2015 in Travel in China | 0 comments

On one of very fist road trips in Asia back in 2010 our camera broke. I remember actually crying when it happened because no matter how vivid your memories of a place, it is never the same as having a photograph of it. Since then we travel with two cameras, and lots of spare batteries and battery chargers. There are just so many moments in the course of a day of travelling that you think “wow that would make a great photo” but then you don’t have a camera with you or the battery is flat. Now, I try to just take the camera with me regardless of how short the walk or how probably uneventful my walk to the village market may be, because you just never know what you might see on the way! Here are some snapshots of one lazy morning wandering around Liming village and the surrounding countryside. I wish I was a braver people photographer though, because there was an old man...

Celebrating Chinese new year in Liming

By on Feb 24, 2015 in Travel in China | 4 comments

Celebrating Chinese new year is a loud affair. New year’s eve and the morning of new year’s day is filled with the eardrum splitting sounds of hundreds of fire crackers. We thought this year we would escape the racket since we were not in Kunming city for new year’s eve, but were in the small village of Liming in northwestern Yunnan. We were wrong – the tradition of making as much racket as possible to ward off evil spirits is also followed in Liming. The towering sandstone cliffs of the valley provided an excellent acoustic, so that each cracker that went off had a multitude of echo’s bouncing back and forth between the cliffs. At dawn of new year’s day it started all over again, as the men of the family got up early to set off more crackers. The women lit big joss sticks at the main entrances to the house and set a small wreath of pine needles and local herbs alight...

Our “babymoon” – first stop Liming

By on Feb 20, 2015 in Travel in China | 3 comments

When I first heard the term “babymoon” a few months ago I knew I wanted one! It sounded like such a great idea to have a get away before two people become three. Plus, we like to travel so we hardly needed an excuse to take advantage of the long Chinese New Year break. We decided to go on a little road trip to northwestern Yunnan with some friends, starting in the village of Liming. Since I am a bit bigger and more uncomfortable being 6 and a half months pregnant, we decided to rent a car and drive around rather than rely on trains and busses as we normally do. What we discovered on this trip is that Chinese New Year’s eve is probably the best day ever to travel by road (at least in Yunnan). There was no one else on the road, as most people left a few days earlier to get to their home villages or towns in time for the big night. Chinese New Year is said to be the biggest human...

The 9 month sleep

By on Feb 10, 2015 in Life and everything | 2 comments

People say that everyone’s pregnancy is different. Some people have terrible morning sickness, some have bad backs or weird things happening with their hips, and some just breeze through and keep working, hiking and climbing all the way through. My pregnancy can be summarised in these photos. I sleep. A lot. Every day pretty much for the past 7 months I have had to sleep somewhere between 1-4 hours ( I kid you not the first three months I was awake for what feels like less than half the day) I have never had such consistent “brick walls” of tiredness come up in front of me, there is no other thing to do but just keel over and sleep. In the beginning I could happily go with Pete when he went climbing and hiking, and up until 6 months I managed this quite easily, providing there was a flat piece of ground for me to sleep on. Although I have also perfected the art...

Pinterest inspiration #1

By on Jan 16, 2015 in Style | 2 comments

Lately I have been browsing Pinterest a lot more than I used to, I find it helps me stay on track with what I decide to make for my new Etsy store. It is always nice to see lovely new fashion trends, and find that the bags that I make fit in with what is hot right now! I adore the big leather totes and satchels I’ve come across and am very inspired by the clutch bags I’ve seen. It seems that pairing ethnic textiles with leather was a good direction for me to start going into last year, and I will certainly be doing a lot more of it this year. Which of these bags would you want? If I had to choose I’d take the African print tribal clutch bag and the dark brown leather tote with the white stitching. All images: image credit to Pinterest – click image to view in...

By donkey cart through the Cederberg

By on Jan 8, 2015 in South Africa | 2 comments

On boxing day we woke up to another blue African sky in the Cederberg, with just one or two wispy clouds scoring the blueness above us. We had long planned to book some donkey carts to drive us the relatively short stretch of dirt road from Rocklands to Heuningvlei. The road is only about 15km long, so we probably could have walked it if we wanted to. But since we have always seen the Heuningvlei locals drive past as we bouldered in Rocklands in the past, we thought it would be a bit of a touristy adventure to go on the carts with them. The road through the reserve is a single track dirt road, on which no cars are allowed and it takes you through some pretty spectacular scenery. Pete and I, my brother, my mother and Pete’s dad set off nice and early to go meet the carts that were coming to pick us up at the start of the road through that part of the Cederberg, with our water bottles...