Mark Gillett

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Archive for May 2010

Photography Talk……

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…… at the Kuwait Science Club tonight.Looking forward to this talk to local photographers…  Just putting together the slides now and looking forward to meeting some new colleagues.

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May 31, 2010 at 10:44 am

Posted in Travel

Modes of Transport

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Wow! I have travelled to lots countries over many years and now on my way from home to the airport, Charles de Gaulle, I started to think about the number of different modes of transport I have taken. The reason? I was sitting on the back of a Motocab going way too fast….

The experience was well worth the money and I will come back to that in a bit!

As a child I got to try a tractor or two. I have also been on the back of a few other motorbikes like from a Kawasaki 900, Norton 950 that I drove! And a Vespa here in Paris

I trawled back in my mind to India and my journeys around Asia. I have taken the famous tuk tuks in Thailand and the fabulously fast river taxis with a car engine mounted to the back. These were incredibly exhilarating.. In India I travelled on the bus system and trains where barging on to get your space is the norm, then chaining your bags to the seat so they don’t get stolen. I travelled on the mountain buses in Nepal that were so close to the edge of the road where all you could see was a 500mdrop off! This was the trail to Jiri, the road head before a mammoth trek to Everest. I always chose to sit on the roof for the best view…….

In the Philippines I regularly took motorbikes sometimes 4 up! And a jeep into the hills of Banaui and Segada from Manila fighting the mud trails along the way.

I travelled by elephant many years ago and can’t remember if it was Nepal or Thailand. I think it was northern Thailand in the mid 80’s.

I have ridden on a horse a few times much to my daughters amusement and not by choice as I am allergic to them. Camels in the Sinai, 4×4’s in the sand dunes of the Empty Quarter and Wahiba Sands of Oman many times.

One of my fun trips was in a police car in the US. I was hitching a ride and they stopped asked if I was ok with all my bags… “Yes, sir. Fine, thank you.” was my reply. “Would you like a ride with us?” was the next question…. I accepted and whilst in the back of the car they radioed around all the local hotels for me, as I hadn’t yet got anywhere to stay… They dropped me and helped with my bags.

I have taken small 2-seated planes to the Scilly Isles, another from Portugal to Gibraltar for lunch many years ago – I was a guest! I have taken helicopters in the UK and in the Sahara.

A few years ago I parachuted of a mountain in Turkey in tandem and got some great shots on my way down.

In New Zealand I tried the Shotover Jet – a high-powered jet boat that rips down a canyon a little wider than the boat at an amazing speed. I recall something like 70 mph… Then the driver turns the boat on the spot and explains how he can drive in 2 inches of water. Then demonstrates this feat with great agility halting the vessel some two inches from a canyon waterfall.

And now at 47 I find myself on a Motocab from home to Charles de Gaulle airport. Weaving in and out of the traffic at breakneck speed. I have a huge smile on my face and peer over at the speedometer whilst texting my wife and then a friend in England! At first it was a mere 60 kph until he was free of traffic. Then he managed to hit 140!

It was about now with may face skin being forced back like I am in a wind tunnel or experiencing huge g-force, I pulled down my visor so I can open my eyes again… Not sure if it was the right thing to do as his weaving was intensifying with the speed. I was still smiling! At one point the huge Moto (Halrey D type massive motorbike) was leaning over as if in a race as we careered round the bend up to terminal one! Finally we stopped and he got off, looked at me with a huge smile and took my money. It cost €84! So what? It was another experience I would not have missed.

I won’t make a habit of traveling this way as it’s not in my budget but I did think it was worth it this time. Plus I got to the airport on time…….

Written by markgillett

May 27, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Posted in Travel

A Short Story……..

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Stories are what photos tell best…. Sometimes one image can capture everything and the story can be made up from what you see. Sometimes a series capture something special. Below are a few snaps that capture a beautiful 5 minutes…  Nothing great about the images but a cute story……..

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May 26, 2010 at 1:47 pm

A shopping day….

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Well, today I did what I so rarely do and quite enjoyed it. I went to the Avenues Mall and shopped for my wife and girls…  Bought nice presents and I am back to Paris for a couple of days this week…..  It was the most fun I have had shopping for years. In fact the first shopping I have done in years… Well, thats not entirely true but I dont go much.

What did I notice.?  I think 90% of Kuwait goes to this mall on the weekend. The other 10% play F1 on the highway in their spare time just to make the journey home that much longer for those ordinary folk who do not drive at 140km plus.  I passed 3 accidents on the way home..  I hope no one was hurt badly.

Back to photography tomorrow. Day two of the Photography Workshop I am conducting and it should be fun.. Back to the souk!

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May 22, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Posted in Travel

Best food in Kuwait!

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Well, I have just had some of the best food in Kuwait…  I went for a quick trip to the souk just to see.  I have been once before but not this trip and I really have no excuses. It is a beautiful place a full of life.

Just inside the souk and on the right side there is the most wonderful “cafe” area where you can get very good fresh food and my meal was enough for 2 people and cost KD1.800. Unbelievable!

Here is what I noticed ….

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May 21, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Posted in Life, Photography, Travel

A few more….

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May 20, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Travel

From the past……..

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A few from the past…. and an old portfolio…

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May 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Travel