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TRAVEL GROUP e-NEWSLETTER Travel Image of the Month is: The Golden Rock, Kyaiktiyo by Stan Spurling

©StanSpurling

Beautiful image - well done!

Contents Peter Hayes’ interview with Max Robinson – YouTube link Two exciting Workshops for Travel Group members! Springboard 2019 - Guest Speakers information

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#38 September 2018


TRAVEL GROUP e-NEWSLETTER

#38 September 2018

Part 2 of Stan Spurling’s article on Burma Bits & Bobs Don’t forget – articles, travel & technique tips and suggestions are always welcome! Max Robinson, FRPS As you will recall, Max was recently awarded his Fellowship in “Travel” – the first Travel “F”in 3 years – and Peter Hayes has kindly provided a link to his extended video interview with Max, which is exclusive to Travel Group members, and can be seen here: Peter Hayes interview with Max Robinson Again, well done Max and thank you Peter for this opportunity to be motivated!

More inspiration by way of two forthcoming Workshops: The Dolomites Inspiration plus instruction by Charlie Waite. I am pleased to announce details of a photographic expedition, headed by Charlie Waite and exclusive to Travel Group members, which will take place during 24th – 29th June 2019. Limited to just 8 participants, Charlie will be on hand to advise & instruct throughout your trip, and has asked that you each bring 3 prints along for constructive appraisal. Tour organisers “Light & Land” have set up a special web-page for Travel Group members where you can book and read more of what’s on offer by following this link: Light & Land A downloadable PDF giving the full tour details and information is available here: The Dolomites

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TRAVEL GROUP e-NEWSLETTER

#38 September 2018

Namibia - 28th May to 11th June 2019

I thought I was a long way from HQ, but Travel Group member Rob Morgan is even further afield, in Australia but he has brought my attention to this Namibia photo workshop, to be run by well-known

Australian travel and wildlife photographer, Mark Rayner. As Rob puts it “This is a small group tour (maximum of eight people). I’m booked and there are a couple of spaces left. Due to accommodation pressure in Namibia, bookings need to be confirmed ASAP. I'm just a paying participant, but I can say workshops with Mark are always fun (This will be my fifth) and very rewarding. Mark is extremely knowledgeable about Nikon, Canon and just about all things photographic. If Namibia is on your list, I’d encourage you to get in touch right now. Great images are just about assured: the trip includes Sossusvlei sand dunes, the Deadvlei trees, Etosha national park teeming with wildlife, Himba villages, desert-adapted elephants, Keetmanshoop Quiver Tree Forest, Kolmanskop ghost town, vast coastal sand dunes and much more. See you there!” Further details are at trekaboutphotography> International Photography Workshops, Tours and Adventures > Africa – Namibia. For bookings and questions contact Jonathon Wilson from Encompass Africa (based in Brisbane, Aus.) at mailto: jono@encompassafrica.com.au or email Mark: mailto:admin@trekaboutphotography.com

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TRAVEL GROUP e-NEWSLETTER

#38 September 2018

Don’t forget that if you attend either of these workshops then I’m always interested in illustrated articles for the newsletter.

Springboard 2019 The online booking facility will soon be up & running on the RPS website – watch out for the e-mail.

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TRAVEL GROUP e-NEWSLETTER

#38 September 2018

Don’t forget about the “Projected Image” and “Bring a Print” competitions

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#38 September 2018

And now for the 2nd part of the article “SEVEN YEARS in BURMA – Prof Stan Spurling ARPS, DPAGB”

School Girl, Bagan

Bagan is my favourite part of Burma and it is here we return on every visit. Situated on the East bank of the Ayeyarwady 3000 pagodas make the most amazing sight in Burma. The schools we sponsor are in this area. Having visited so many times it’s no longer like a holiday, more like returning to see friends and family. A half day trip from Bagan is Mount Popa, the core of an ancient volcano, and home to the Nats. These are mischievous spirits worshiped by the Burmese. A 25-minute climb up steps in bare feet brings you to a complex of shrines and monasteries. From Bagan you can fly or take a Pandaw boat overnight to Mandalay with some stops on the way. The boats are beautiful with friendly staff and excellent food. In 2009 we travelled on “The Road to Mandalay” a converted Rhine cruiser but the Pandaw is much nicer. There is a lot to see in and around Mandalay. Amarapura with its U Bein teak bridge, Mingun famous for its pagodas (the wedding cake not to be missed) and the 87-ton bell, the world’s largest working bell.

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Balloons over Ananda Temple Bagan

#38 September 2018

Station Market Mandalay

Mandalay Hill, the last stronghold of the Japanese in WW2 until taken by the Gurkha’s, has beautiful views across the Ayeyarwady and the surrounding hills. In the centre of the city is Mandalay Fort which houses the Royal Palace. Most of this was destroyed in WW2 and has since been totally renovated. The hills of Sagaing, the centre of the Buddhist faith in Burma, are a mixture of pagodas and over 600 monasteries. Those interested in seeing colonial Burma can visit Pyin U-Lwin, a former British hill station. Here you will find offices houses which would not look out of place in Surrey. There is also a wonderful botanical garden here, and an old British cemetery, where many of the soldiers appear to have died in the same summer. The ancient city of Ava (Inwa) is easily reached by boat. From the riverside a trip by horse and trap takes you to the remains of the city. This area was so rich that even today people pan for gold objects in the flooded areas. The most significant sites are the watch tower and the Bagaya Kyaung, a beautiful monastery built of teak. The monastery which is all black with lots of carvings is built on 267 teak posts. Not to be missed is a trip to Monywa on the Chindwin River which I think like Bagan is one of the highlights of Burma. Near lies the stunning Thanboddhay Temple complex. In gold, orange, red and yellow this is the most colourful I have seen in Burma. It is on multi-levels, surrounded by stupas and pillars with over half a million Buddha images and more inside. Nearby there is Shwe Ba Taung (the Burmese Petra), where you descend into a complex of cave temples cut from the solid rock with many murals and statues. Another unmissable site is Bodhi Tataung which has the world’s largest statue, a standing golden Buddha 130 meters high and a reclining Buddha 95 meters long. When we first saw this some years ago, my wife said she felt she was in heaven. Here is also a Buddha garden with hundreds of seated Buddhas amongst the trees. An interesting entry in to Burma can be made from Chiang Rai in the north of Thailand to Tachileik in Burma. From here you can travel to Kengtung through the rice paddies and villages of the various hill tribes. The women here paint their teeth black. The reason being dogs have white teeth. Young Monk , Bagaya Kyaung Ava www.rps.org/travelgroup www.facebook.com/rpstravelgroup © 2018 Royal Photographic Society


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#38 September 2018

Flying south from here to Heho and onto the charming town of Pindaya on the edge of a large lake. Around Pindaya there are villages to visit and wonderful caves containing thousands of Buddha statues. There is a very interesting area of Pagodas at one end of the lake. From Pindaya the beautiful Inle Lake is not too far. The famous leg rowers can be seen all over the lake, have now got accustomed to putting on displays of fishing and balancing on one leg for tourists. The lake has a floating market, floating gardens and hosts several festivals including the water festival marking New Year. Around the lake there are two vineyards where you can sample the excellent wines produced here. The most interesting sites are Kekku reached by road and Indein by longboat. Both these sites have hundreds of pagodas. Indein is old and overgrown with a great atmosphere reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie. In February this year travelling from Heho I visited for the first time Loikaw to the south of Inle Lake. This was my first time in Burma at this time of year. The climate was warm with low humidity. My stay was at the Loikaw Lodge, a small boutique hotel at the side of a lake. I found to my delight that my host there was a German photographer Jens Uwe Parkitny. He has lived in Burma for many years and documented many of the ethnic people particularly tattooed Chin women. Jens who has produced several photographic books also has a gallery displaying his excellent work at the hotel. In this area it is possible to visit many of the local tribes including the Kayah, and Padaung (Long-neck women). You are warmly welcomed into their homes and they are more than happy to be photographed. I enjoyed this area so much I am returning to the Loikaw Lodge this Christmas which will be our eighth visit.

Kekku

Words & Images Copyright Stan Spurling Country Life, Burma

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Bits & Bobs

#38 September 2018

Ben & Hugo

To demonstrate that the spirit of the eccentric English explorer is alive & well I’d like to introduce you to Ben Andrews and Hugo Pedder. I first met them in the summer of 2015 when my wife & I were told by a neighbour that two Englishmen, who were rafting along the Vindelälven River, had landed at our village of Vormsele in Swedish Lapland. We made our way to the riverbank, expecting to find a “Tom Saywer” type of raft complete with mast and awning, or perhaps an inflatable …. We were shocked to see that their raft was just half a dozen wooden pallets roped together, offering barely enough space for the pair to kneel down. It also had to carry their food, clothes, camping gear etc, and a couple of home-made paddles completed the picture. Ben & Hugo said that they intended to spend a couple of weeks every summer rafting down the river – they had started at Sorsele, some 100+ km upstream and were intending to reach the coast near www.rps.org/travelgroup www.facebook.com/rpstravelgroup © 2018 Royal Photographic Society


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#38 September 2018

Umeå, some 200 km downstream from Vormsele, in 2018. Their raft had to be small because when they came to rapids they had to dismantle it and carry everything along the bank until they could re-launch in clear water. Along their journey, they were targeted by squadrons of mosquitos, lost food, clothing and equipment. They were constantly wet. Our river can be as smooth as a mill-pond in the morning but spitting in fury at you by the afternoon – it is a serious river. But they persevered and this last weekend we had the great pleasure of meeting them and their family & friends just outside Umeå – journey completed!

Don’t forget to let me have your news, information, articles, c&c for inclusion in the newsletter, or just drop me a line to say “Hi!”

See you next issue Grahame

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RPS Travel Group Newsletter #38  

The monthly e-newsletter of the RPS Travel Group

RPS Travel Group Newsletter #38  

The monthly e-newsletter of the RPS Travel Group