[two pro travel journalists turn amateur bloggers]
Water. We obsess about it. We take it for granted. We consume it; and protect it; we bless it; dance for it; dance in it; we dance on it. Water moves us. It shapes our journeys, determines where we settle, and has given form to our world. We jump into it; move through it; run away from it. It gives us reason to travel – we journey to where it falls; where it’s warm; where it curls. We rest where it’s still. Water soothes us, scares us, challenges us, inspires us. And we’re compelled to capture it – in many forms: in photographs, in bottles, in pools, in poems, in stories.
This week I came across five water-related posts that are definitely worth a read (or a watch). So go put the kettle on (I’ll wait right here) and when you come back, put your feet up; we’ve got some exploring to do…
1/ The photograph above was one of the finalists in National Geographic’s International Photography Contest 2009 – shot by Aaron Feinberg (no location given). It’s shown on The Boston Globe, part of a slideshow of images from the people, places and nature categories; lots of powerful water images there – click here to see more.
2/ I never thought a movie about fly-fishing could have me so enchanted. Eastern Rises is filmed on the Kamchatka Peninsula, in the far east of Russia – one of those blank spaces on a world map – an enormously wild landscape, where a group of men explore rivers that have never been fished before. I saw the movie a few months back; it’s part of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. If you ever get the chance to watch the movie in full (it’s just under 40 minutes long), do it – for now, you can watch the trailer here.
3/ Waking to the pounding rumble of waves on an African reef, the traumas, traffic and telephones of our frantic everyday life seem a world away. Jackels prowling at night, lured by the scent of meat around your fire. A long, dusty drive through the desert, culminating with the sight – like a mirage – of the pale blue corduroy of perfectly peeling barrels, churning out of the watery horizon. A “surfari” down the length of the African continent would qualify for many as the world’s greatest adventure trip… The makers of the surf film The Path have a new movie out – watch the trailer to The Africa Project – A story on surfing in Africa here.
4/ Two days after the Japanese tsunami, after the waves had left their destruction, as rescue workers searched the ruins, news came of an almost surreal survival: Miles out at sea, a man was found, alone, riding on nothing but the roof of his house. Michael Paterniti tells his astonishing tale here.
5/ It feels like the end of the world here. There are no more markers, pylons or charts to guide us through the channels. The wilderness stretches for miles, punctuated by natural salt marshes covered in purple grass and lined with shallow canals filled with treacherous underwater obstacles. Occasionally you’ll see the white dot of a seabird nesting in the distance but, apart from that, nothing… Everyone knows Venice and its gondolas – but what about the other waterways? Shaney Hudson’s story offers fascinating insight into the marshes and history of a part of Venice we don’t often see. To read more, click here.