Backgrounds – Mostly Japan

We have recently been hit by an attack of Le Artistique. I blame the extraordinary colours of autumn in Japan … and the surrounding hordes of Chinese tour groups laden down with photographic equipment – we are still nothing if not competitive!

Yup, Kyoto actually looks like this in autumn. We also visited it one spring, when it was bright pink with cherry blossoms. Jason, book that ticket!

Qu’est ce que c’est, l’artistique? C’est L’art, mais avec du stique.

The Silver Temple. So called because the owner once intended to cover it in silver, but then didn’t. By this logic, I intend to rename myself Mr SixPack.

Taken at the top of a bloody steep hill, mostly to give me an excuse to catch my breath. Not bad, eh?

You have no idea how many similar photos to this we have. Let’s just say it was a rather wonderful few days driving through the mountains.

Fat bottomed men, they make the rocking world go round.

…although I probably wouldn’t say that to their faces. Or comment on their rather, erm, “flamboyant” aprons!

“What you lookin’ at?”

…and the “Almost Japan”. A final sunset shot of the mountains of Nepal. Pointy and intrepid, like us. Or something.

 

Backgrounds – Western China & Tibet

Hmmm, a pretty varied part of the world this one: fat bottomed sheep, buddhas (well, maybe some similarities there I guess), sand dunes, pilgrims and Mt Everest.  It’s crazy to think we saw all of these within the space of 3-4 weeks!!

Ahhh fat bottomed sheep. They make the nomadic world go round and they make me feel vaguely inadequate....

Ahhh fat bottomed sheep. They make the nomadic world go round and they make me feel vaguely inadequate….

The Great Wall of China.  The Chinese believe civilization starts on the eastern side of the wall.... we think they might have got their east / west confused.....

The Great Wall of China. The Chinese believe civilization starts on the eastern side of the wall…. we think they might have got their east / west confused…..

Buddha to the power of 10

Buddha to the power of 10

Prayer wheelin' - the latest all body exercise trend to emerge from the high plateau

Prayer wheelin’ – the latest all body exercise trend to emerge from the high plateau

Mount Everest. In case you were wondering, it's the big pointy one in the middle

Mount Everest. In case you were wondering, it’s the big pointy one in the middle

Background Frenzy!

In all the excitement recently, I have completely forgotten to post up the various background pictures that have been adorning the top of our website over the last few weeks. The purpose of sticking these up was to serve as a high level / retrospective summary of our route (as well as the usual ooh-pretty-pictures reasons) so here you are.

I have also rediscovered the “random header” function on the blog, which I will turn on for the next few days. This should allow you to see a different header image from some point along the road every time you refresh your browser (and hopefully won’t crash our server). Enjoy!

Flying Visit to Beijing

The Forbidden City. Unsurprisingly, the huge and surprising Tibetan Stupa in the middle of it is “closed for refurbishment”

Start of the Silk Road in Turkmenistan

“Never buy the first carpet you see”. Unfortunately, this was one of the first – and one of the finest – we ever saw, and we didn’t buy it.

Think “The London Eye” but huge, gold, and in the desert. Bingo!

As Lucy so succinctly put it: “UUUUUUUUUURGHHH”

Artistique! (actually the outside of a camel pen, and it smells less good than it looks)

The first sight of the Darvaza gas crater, now my new favourite place

“Push me in! Come on, I dare you!”

After the event, contemplating the future. This picture is SO going up on our wall at home

Architectural Overload in Uzbekistan

Is it a carpet? Is it a ferris wheel? No, it’s a (stunningly beautiful) tiled roof

HUGE writing across the top of a similarly huge building. No funny comments here, in case of Fatwa

“You seek the grail, you say? Well, don’t come bothering us – we have already got one!”

And as a special treat, a few that we haven’t (technically) got to yet…

It’s amazing what you can do with photoshop these days…

Winter is coming!

Think Lake Tahoe, but without all those pesky people…

Backgrounds – Arirang Mass Games

Nothing to see here – please move along. Everything is completely normal. Please do not adjust your eyes.

Spontaneous outpouring of joy by the Korean Army Ladies' Winter Division

Spontaneous outpouring of joy by the Korean Army Ladies’ Winter Division

A few (tens of thousands of) schoolchildren just hanging about after class

A few (tens of thousands of) schoolchildren just hanging about after class

It's all a little brain melting - see if you can spot the individual kids in the backdrop

It’s all a little brain melting – see if you can spot the individual kids in the backdrop

We are going to need a wider-angle lens...

We are going to need a wider-angle lens…

Backgrounds – Solomon Islands & Vanuatu

Apologies for posting these slightly out of sequence – we got caught up in the excitement of Vanuatu (OK, and getting clean again after Vanuatu) and forgot to explain what all the pictures across the top of the blog were.

…as if our “caption competition” explanations ever clarify anything…!

Great ancient warriors, hanging out with their mates (no, really)

Great ancient warriors, hanging out with their mates (no, really)

One of the most extraordinary experiences so far (and the dog thought so too)

One of the most extraordinary experiences so far (and the dog thought so too)

Pilot Matt arrives to liberate us from Ambrym. We would have hugged him if we hadn't smelled so bad

Pilot Matt arrives to liberate us from Ambrym. We would have hugged him if we hadn’t smelled so bad

It may not look like it, but this volcano picture was taken from a VERY long way away

It may not look like it, but this volcano picture was taken from a VERY long way away

Backgrounds – Sepik River

And so we move on to the Sepik River, home of ancient customs, sacred taboos and the world’s most bad ass dugout canoes…

Our valet, parking the car

Our valet, parking the car

Inside a men's house. Taken by Lucy, a woman. Go figure.

Inside a men’s house. Taken by Lucy, a woman. Go figure.

Another busy day on the Sepik River

Another busy day on the Sepik River