2014 summary in pictures

For the last few months my dive gear and travel bags have had time off and blog has been quiet.  I have been preoccupied attending a family wedding plus doing more routine things in life back in the UK.  As the year draws to a close however, I have been reflecting over the year and decided to select 12 of my favourite (and mainly people) photos from my various travels and experiences.

January

Lord Lucan and Crazy German, two of many dedicated hash house harriers, show off their “badge jackets” at the Pattaya Jungle Hash House Harriers Australia Day run:

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February

I don’t often post pictures of myself, but a few friends like this one of me when I returned to Kho Phi Phi after nine years.  It is such a beautiful place:

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March

I went to Siem Reap to attend the Cambodia National Hash.  Siem Reap is famous for Angkor Wat, but I managed time to catch the locals getting about town.  It never ceases to amaze me how many people can travel on a single scooter!

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Later in the month I visited the small railway station close to where I lived to buy my sleeper ticket to travel to Laos.  I noticed this rather quaint operations room behind the ticket desk, and the charming Thai station master kindly agreed to pose – complete with his flag!

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April

Laos is an amazing country that has had such a troubled past.  I only explored the North and packed a lot into two weeks, but of all my memories, these three children really charmed me when I visited their village close to Phonsavanh.  There is a little boy hiding behind one of the cluster bomb casing “stilts”:

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May

During May I fulfilled a long ambition of mine – to dive in Sipadan in the Sabah province of Malaysian Borneo.  As well as an abundance of fantastic marine life, I also discovered a whole new diving wardrobe worn by Chinese diving tourists!  Borneo is another incredible part of Southeast Asia and I also blogged about my visit to the Kinabatangan River and the ancient rainforest at Danum Valley.

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Later in May Thailand hit the international headlines when martial law was declared, closely followed by a military coup.  I saved this image from twitter – and it perfectly captures how the country reacted – to get a selfie with a soldier:

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June

In Thailand, or any tropical country, you are always surrounded by nature that never fails to fascinate.  I took this picture when I was out scouting for a hash run.  It is a cashew nut with red ants.  It was the first time I had ever seen a cashew tree!

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June/July

Well overdue time in the UK, with much anticipation and excitement I travelled back chosing British Airways.  NEVER EVER again.  My connecting flight to Edinburgh was one of six cancelled flights and British Airways abandoned about 300 passengers in T5, Heathrow Airport at 2200, telling us they had “run out” of hotel rooms.  After 23 hours of travelling, I spent my first night back in the UK on the terminal floor:

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If that wasn’t bad enough, it took six days for my luggage to catch up with me.  British Airways customer services and compensation package were equally bad.  If you need to fly long haul, use US or GCC carriers!

September

There was only one thing dominating Scotland in August and September – the independence referendum.  I keep politics out of the blog, so simply enjoy the sweet picture from my polling station – it is so very Scottish – complete with the little dog!

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..and the reaction to the results form the “no” campaign….  it really was very emotional!

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Photo credit unknown – taken from news coverage.

November/December

There are few places prettier and more elegant than the combination of the Christmas festivities and gorgeous Georgian architecture of Edinburgh’s New Town.  I took this after I stepped off a bus on Princes street, looking towards the Christmas market.  That is one of Edinburgh’s new trams passing the Scottish National Gallery:

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So that concludes my last blog post of an amazing year!  Thank you very much for reading my blog.  I am currently planning my activities for 2015, so please do follow to find out more.

Happy New Year, every health and happiness and all the very best for 2015.

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