2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 74,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Diamonds on the Soles of Their Shoes – Chapter One

Our contrarian garden

Living on the Island Garden City of Samal (otherwise known as IGaCoS), it behoves us to keep an attractive garden of our own. Previously, a fern I photographed at Davao’s Kadayawan festival gained some attention from an Australian gardening magazine. A new (and exciting) growth in our kitchen garden prompts me to illustrate some of the plants we surround ourselves with.

Elephant Yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius)

I had a complaint the other day about a terrible smell outside the kitchen. I went off to investigate and discovered an amazing flower about the circumference of a dinner plate stinking like a rotting corpse and covered in flies.

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We were given the ‘jungle’ plant by a relative, it was just a strange prehistoric looking plant with a scaly stem which grew to about 5′ tall. The flower was a bit of a surprise.

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While I had the camera in my hand, I also took a photo of another curious flower living outside the kitchen.

Blood flower, Fireball Lily (Scadoxus multiflorus)

Blood flower, Fireball Lily (Scadoxus multiflorus)

 

 

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the garden…

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Caladium

Caladium

Crepe Ginger/Spiral Ginger (Costas speciosus)

Crepe Ginger/Spiral Ginger (Costas speciosus)

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Allamanda

Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)

Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)

Codiaeum

Codiaeum

Cabbage tree (Cordyline)

Cabbage tree (Cordyline)

Powderpuff (Calliandra)

Powderpuff (Calliandra)

Jungle Flame (Ixora)

Jungle geranium (Ixora coccinea)

Dwarf palm (Chamaedorea)

Dwarf palm (Chamaedorea)

Cactus

Cactus

Euphorbia canariensis

Euphorbia canariensis

Furcraea

Furcraea

Pineapple

Pineapple

Supporting Local Economies While Travelling. How and Why in 5 points.

Tropicalissimo - Philippines

A growing number of tourists want to pursue the admirable objective of helping local economies and people while travelling. This principle became widely known as a base of a sustainable tourism, thanks to a new consciousness privileging small-scale economies. More people want to travel and grasp the real experience with local people. If this happens in countries less wealthy than the place of origin of the travellers, good intentions of help and support also play a key role.

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What do we mean when we say helping local economies during a trip? Indeed, while visiting a place, we all support the local economy in one way or another: we pay taxes, hotels, transportations, restaurants and doing so we boost the economy of the host country and “give livelihood” to those people assisting us. Then, we think: how much of what we spend is effectively distributed and how much actually reaches the hands of a few people?…

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On the water with the sea gipsies: Intimate portraits capture life of Borneo’s Bajau children who live their whole lives on the ocean

THE INTERNET POST

Sam’s Club

They are not recognised by neighbouring countries, do not know their ages, and have little concept of reading or writing.

The Bajau people are known as the ‘sea gipsies,’ as they spend most of their time living on boats and working in the turquoise Pacific Ocean.

Photographer Réhahn spent eight days among the sea nomad children in Borneo, learning about their fascinating aquatic lives.

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Like a fish! The Bajau children in Borneo spend time on boats from an early age, and begin their hunting around the age of eight

Like a fish! The Bajau children in Borneo spend time on boats from an early age, and begin their hunting around the age of eight

French photographer, Réhahn, 35, said the friendly children loved him taking their pictures and seemed happy to see a foreigner 

French photographer, Réhahn, 35, said the friendly children loved him taking their pictures and seemed happy to see a foreigner

Réhahn uses a Canon 5d Mark III to capture his stunning pictures, and spent eight days living among the tribe to learn about their lives

Réhahn uses a Canon 5d Mark III to capture his stunning pictures, and spent eight days living among the tribe to learn about their lives

The Bajau live in small boats or stilted…

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Puting Batu – an attempt on Samal’s highest point by scooter

Another natural high on Samal is Puting Batu, the highest mountain on the island. Neglected for too long by the SBK team, we finally decided in the best tradition of European explorers to assault the north face by an aging Honda XRM / Kymco Super8 combination.

First stop to admire the view back across the Penaplata Bay towards Punta del Sol and Davao City

First stop to admire the view back across the Penaplata Bay towards Punta del Sol and Davao City

The riders and their mounts...including a scooter with off-road tyres!

The riders and their mounts…including a scooter with off-road tyres!

End of the road for the two-wheeled assault! First I had to shed my pillion passenger, then the smell of burning rubber from the drive belt warned me that 40degrees was probably too steep for a city vehicle

End of the road for the two-wheeled assault! First I had to shed my pillion passenger, then the smell of burning rubber from the drive belt warned me that 40degrees was probably too steep for a city vehicle

So we parked the 'bikes at the home of a friendly farmer and...

So we parked the ‘bikes at the home of a friendly farmer and…

…in the best tradition of stiff-upper-lipped explorers

...continued our way on foot

…continued our way on foot

Some yard-long-leaves growing alongside the track

Some yard-long-leaves growing alongside the track

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Nearing the peak, the view NE towards Davao Oriental province

Nearing the peak, the view NE towards Davao Oriental province

Puting Batu peak this way

Puting Batu peak this way

After enduring endless minutes hacking our way through the tortuous jungle path we saw our first sign of having reached the top...

After enduring endless minutes hacking our way through the tortuous jungle path we had our first sign of having reached the top…

Literally a sign

Literally a sign

Emerging from the jungle onto the peak we found we were in Hobbitland. So the Filipino bearers immediately celebrated with a meal and drinks.

Emerging from the jungle onto the peak we found we were in Hobbitland. So the Filipino bearers immediately celebrated with a meal and drinks.

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Panoramic view south from the peak park

Panoramic view south from the peak park

A good place for a castle

A good place for a castle

A lost valley doubtless inhabited by dinosaurs and Kong-sized apes

A lost valley doubtless inhabited by dinosaurs and Kong-sized apes

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The expedition’s feeling of triumph vanished when we found the calling card of Captain Walter Snetterton

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 80,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.