The collection of photographs from India, a tiny selection of those I have, is eclectic in nature, as is the country. I spent a total of 7 years in this fascinating, maddening place, adding up all the 3 and 6 month stints working there. The main areas I visited were in the North and West, and in the South; I do not have much to show for the middle bits. The diversity – desert to jungle to city and village is a reflection of Indian geography and society. Read more . .
It can be quite a surprise to discover how quickly someone who has high level responsibilities can abandon their sense of self preservation, observes Bob Cranwell. It’s just one example of how day dreamy some people can get when they are relieved of day to day responsibilities at work and someone else takes on the work of organising everything. Read more . .
A landlocked country in middle Europe, Hungary is stranded by language which is almost impenetrable. It has high hills in the north, much of it covered by beech forest, some on top of very extensive limestone cave systems, with tiny hamlets, some barely touched by the 21st century. The Puszta is the name for the great Hungarian plain, located in the south, is the start of the vast expanse which becomes steppe as you travel eastward. Read more . .
There are, of course a number of things which a traveller should avoid doing, and any guidebook, as would Bob Cranwell, will tell you to avoid photography in sensitive areas like military camps, ports, even railway stations and bridges in most third world countries will be regarded as strategic targets. Read more . .
The island of Cyprus is actually a very rural one away from the teeming beaches of the south coast, once you get out and explore on foot. Historically a centre of trade, especially in copper, coveted by all surrounding powers through time, the island presents stark contrasts. Tiny villages carry on much as ever, rooted in tradition; gleaning some supplies from the surrounding forests.
Landscapes range from sere heath land to proper montane forest getting a fair share of snow even in the Mediterranean. I only visited the north of Cyprus in the divided city of Nicosia, through the NATO ‘green line’ checkpoint that has existed since the 1960’s and continues today.
Two Glaswegian girls had arrived in Luxor, some 650 miles up the Nile and site of many of Egypt’s archaeological treasures, during the middle of the previous night on a charter flight from the U.K. By early afternoon they were understandably still looking a bit groggy, but enthusiastic about starting their holiday. Read more . .
I visited this vast area during the latter years of the former USSR when all the newly formed republics were still under the direct sway of Moscow. My overriding impression was that the people we met were genuinely fearful of the aggressive stance of the west. Read more . .
The notion that working as a tour leader is one long paid holiday has in fact a proportion of truth in it, but only a relatively small one, comments Bob Cranwell. You do get to go to some fabulous places, many of which you might never have got to under your own steam. You do get an influx of 12-24 people into your life every few weeks – people who by and large, are intent on having a good holiday, seeing and doing new things. Read more . .
These photos are predominantly of life in desert landscapes, by their nature. Egypt presents difficulty for the novice tour leader in the sheer amount of history that one needs to grasp, although its geography is largely limited to the Nile valley, the Western desert is fascinating, too. Read more . .