Thursday, May 31, 2007

i heart flickr

I have just added a Flickr "badge" to my blog.

For those not in the know, Flickr is a great image hosting site that has created a link from your Flickr pages to your blog. The badge is the little box of changing photos on the right hand side of my blog.

My Flickr site is a selection of travel photos from various trips I have made over the past 30 years.

You can access them anytime by clicking on the badge. (Or even the Flickr logo above in this post) It will take you to one of the photos - to see a whole page, click where it says: "terry culver travels' photostream" to the right of the photo.

There are around 90 photos and the latest added will always be at the top.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

new camera

Yeah - I have a new camera too.

Its a Pentax Optimo M30 - 7.1 Mp with a 4Gb memory card. The memory card, which by the way is the size of a small postage stamp, is 4 times the size of the hard drive from my first desktop computer in 1997.

The camera is about the size of a pack of playing cards but around 3/4 the thickness.

It has a manual that is about 4 times its size and 8 times its weight!
On the cover it says "To ensure the best performance from your camera, please read the Operating Manual before using the camera."

It is 186 pages long. I cant remember the last time I read a novel that long.

It has some snazzy functions - it has a setting for making food look more appetising, and kids complexions look rosier. ( does)

So I am currently playing around with it so I know how to use it when away.

I have just taken 4 photos from my balcony. I also have a "photo-stitcher" programme which I hadn't attempted to use yet. So I tried the 'automatic' stitch function on these balcony shots and this is the result:

(click for larger view)

Not too bad considering there is no tweaking. The extreme left hand photo has very distorted perspective - but that is more my fault in the photo-taking than the stitcher.

HERE is a website with some great stitched panorama examples.


Anyway, yesterday I went shopping. Clothes shopping. For the record I detest clothes shopping as I prefer 2nd hand clothed to new ones. But I needed hiking pants that would suit several climates.

I also needed walking shoes. Shoe shopping. For the record - see above.
The shoe part was easier as I has been Googling like mad for several weeks when I actually should have been having a life.

As I am trying to seriously reduce the amount of gear that I will be travelling with, I came across this 'HYBRID' sandal-shoe which seemed like the perfect solution. Not quite a shoe, not quite a sandal.

A store called Mountain Designs in the city had them, so after trying them on I was a little dismayed to see that although looking slick and stylish and very 'adventure-backpackerish', from above they were very wide at the toe.

Which made them look ...well..a little clownish.

Well I bought them anyway - when have I ever cared what people think about how I dress?? (Do you EVER see me in anything but blue jeans and white Bonds T-Shirts??)

What was good about Mountain Designs was that when I bought the sandalshoes the salesman asked me if Id like to join their club. Its free he said - AND it will save you 10% on the purchase price of anything in the store.

What - even on these??

Not only that but I also earn 5% accrued 'bonus' on all bought items which can be deducted from future purchases. So I saved 10% on the footwear, and earned 5% of their value to come off any future items. BARGAIN!

So I bought my trekking pants there too, 10% off the normal price - the saleman then deducted the 5% I has earned on the sandalshoes.
They were practically GIVING their stuff to me.

AND I got a free water bottle as a joining gift.

So of course, with all that money I saved I went and bought the Lonely Planet guide to Guatemala, Belize and Yucatan.


For anyone who knows me well - this photo depicts nirvana.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

first post

Starting this off as a simple means to share my travels with all and sundry.
Whether it continues beyond the end of my next trip is another thing....