On one of our trips to Paraguay we went to the local fire station in Sajonia where one of family that we know there was volunteering. The fire station is staffed by volunteers only although I could be wrong on that one and if I remember correctly the equipment is all donated. We were very fortunate on the day that we went as they had a ceremony to mark the opening of their museum room in the station and we were very honoured to be there. I don’t know if the dog belonged to one of the volunteers, I think it did, but it quite clearly wanted to take part in the line up. Copyright Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
I’m sure that if you welded together a load of scrap iron and then painted it in the UK or some other countries and displayed it somewhere that you would get paid a fortune for what your average trainee welder probably gets paid a pittance for. Yes, I know I’m very cynical. Maybe in Coro, Venezuela where this photo was taken the person or persons who created this wonderful piece of work were too or maybe they were just paid for doing a decent day’s work like the rest of us. Art is for everyone isn’t it? We did think however that at the time there was very little difference between the buses running and the ones hanging on the wall. On one bus we experienced a dramatic bang from some suspension component failing. The trouble was that the used part that they replaced it with didn’t look all that different from the component being removed. But that’s how a lot of the world still works. Copyright Junagarh Media, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
OK, so if you are into bland super luxury corporate 5 star hotels where the local staff are dressed up in monkey suits this place is not for you. In fact stay away 🙂 This a fabulous family run pensión that feels like home. Victoriano who still runs it is in his late 80s and is helped by his son, son in law and other members of his family. There are also some long term guests as well as the usual independent travelers so you will meet interesting human beings rather than corporate clones. When we were there we met a German woman who must have been in her 60s and whom two or three days had been riding horses in the snow very high up in the Andes. So if you think for yourself try out the Hotel Victoria, soak up the San Telmo barrio and the rest of what is one the great cities of the world. You can see more of our photography and buy anything that you like on our Junagarh Flickr site or our website, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
On our big trip round South America a few years ago we did this fairly crazy stop over in Brasilia. We arrived on an overnight bus in the morning and we left on an overnight bus in the evening. It is one of those modern concept cities where everyone has a metal box with four wheels and no legs. Not our sort of thing at all as we tried to walk to all of its sites. One place we did come across was the different and beautiful Dom Bosco church. It is a non conventional but still beautiful church, a cube of concrete and stained glass windows but luckily more of the latter. The four sides are occupied by tall long stained glass window. Nearly all of them are blue with white bits meant to represent the stars in the night sky. In each corner however there is a glass panel where the blue is replaced by the shades of pink/mauve and these represent the early morning. In the day you can admire these glass windows from inside the church but in the evening if there is a service you can enjoy it from outside as the enormous “lamp” provides enough light. You can buy this image from our website http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
Being on guard all day is very tiring work especially for a cat so why not take an afternoon nap. Only don’t let the owner know or you might not get fed. The Japanese Gardens are very tranquil and a beautiful place to visit if you go to Buenos Aires, that in itself is a very good place to start your exploration of South America. You can see and order many more of our photographs on out Flickr site or our own website http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.
My partner and I have been very lucky to have traveled a bit and one of the places we went to was the Pantanal in Brazil. This area is the world’s largest tropical wetland area. As such it is a very diverse place for fauna and flora. We took this beautiful photo on one of the days we were there. You can buy a copy of it from our website http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk. Unfortunately, 99% of the Pantanal is privately owned for ranching and agriculture with perhaps 8 million or more cattle now eating it. Such heavy farming is bound to degrade this very special area and we hear so many verbal alarm bells from conservationists and scientists that most humans become immune, feel powerless or simply don’t care. There are some very simple numbers regarding us, humanity, and we can’t face them. So at the risk of repeating myself one more time. When we entered this inter-glacial (and exited what was probably NOT the last ice age) period some 15,000 years ago there were supposedly 5,000,000 of us. In terms of our “clean” water all of them would have been without it. Now there are more than 7,000,000,000 of us and still increasing and 780,000,000 of that very large number do not have access to “clean” water. As our politicians and nations kick the ball of climate change around while corporations and big business stop them aiming for a goal of living within the planet’s means there seems little hope of survival for beautiful places like the Pantanal. Think about the numbers, those 780,000,000 have every right to a decent life so how much concrete are we going to have to pour and steel are we going to have to make to give these people water, housing, roads, schools, hospitals and everything else that goes with our modern life. And it is not as if we have levelled off in our numbers for our global population is still increasing. I personally think it is time for a one child policy for the entire planet until we can get ourselves down to a reasonable number where we aren’t fouling our own nest. If we don’t then in a couple of generations those children will have as much chance of seeing some of the species of the Pantanal as they will of seeing a dinosaur.
Lake Titicaca is one of the many amazing places on this planet and at 3800 metres is generally regarded as the highest navigable lake. We were there, unfortunately many years ago, and we were lucky to have this wonderful day with the blue sky, the blue water and the white clouds. It was very warm to start with when we took our tour of the lake from Puno but at that height the temperature quickly fell as the sun became lower in the sky. We were fortunate unlike many others who had warmer clothing with us as it was an open boat. A fantastic experience if you manage to get there. We actually sell this photo as a card and in various other formats from our website, http://www.junagarhmedia.co.uk.