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Clare's adventures

Cormorant fishing in Gifu

JAPAN | Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | Views [283]

Gifu is a large modern town, through which runs a clean, clear, gravelly river. It is here that one of the oldest traditions takes place each night - cormorant fishing.  The cormorant fishermen inherit their roles from their fathers and their ... Read more >

Tags: cormorant fishing, gifu

Matsumoto Taito Drumming Festival

JAPAN | Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Views [507] | Comments [1]

Mid July to end of August is one of Japan's main festival seasons. In Matsumoto, we went to a big Taito drumming festival. Bands from around the country came to perform against the backdrop of the magnificent sixteenth century black and white wooden ... Read more >

Tags: drumming, japanese festival, matsumoto, taito

Japanese contrasts - ancient and modern

JAPAN | Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Views [243]

Japan seems full of contrasts between the old and the new: Neon-lit skyscrapers next to ancient shrines; Pachinko (pinball) machines by old tea houses; Ladies wearing the latest fashions from Paris in the same street as ladies wearing elegant kimonos ... Read more >

Japanese Food

JAPAN | Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Views [170]

Japanese food is the stuff of Michelin stars and the dreams of Master Chef contestants. The presentation is immaculate - colourful, dainty, served in delicate little dishes and plates. The taste is wonderful - full of contrasting flavours and textures, ... Read more >

Our introduction to Japan

JAPAN | Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Views [219]

Having initially been a bit nervous about going to Japan, as neither of us can speak or read Japanese, our introduction to Japan has been really heartwarming.    The politeness and friendliness of the Japanese people and their kindness ... Read more >

Photos: Sixth leg - Japan

JAPAN | Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Photo Gallery

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Whale-watching from Vancouver Island, Canada

CANADA | Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 | Views [367]

Having driven through the States up to Seattle, we took a ferry ride to Victoria, Vancouver Island in Canada, in order to go whale watching with one of the most eco-aware companies, Eagle Wing Tours.  The sounds are ringed by snowy mountains ... Read more >

Tags: eagle wing tours, orcas, vancouver island

Top animal encounter - first place- bears

USA | Saturday, 5 Jul 2014 | Views [516]

Bears are one of the top predators here (there are also wolves and mountain lions but so far we haven't seen either, so they don't make this list).  Both grizzly bears (the most aggressive) and black bears live here and we have seen both types, ... Read more >

Tags: bears

Top animal encounters - second place - Bison

USA | Saturday, 5 Jul 2014 | Views [265]

Some of the original European artists to come out here painted pictures of the Western plains covered in bison (aka buffalo). At one time, there were millions of these large, woolly, front-loaded herbivores, but they came close to extinction following ... Read more >

Tags: bison, buffalo

Top animal encounters - third place - moose

USA | Saturday, 5 Jul 2014 | Views [226]

A moose is like an even more massive deer, I am talking HUGE! The males have wide, flat, branched antlers but the females don't seem to have any. They have long moosey faces. What I didn't know about moose is that they are water animals. They graze ... Read more >

Tags: moose

Top animal encounters - fourth place - elk

USA | Saturday, 5 Jul 2014 | Views [212]

Elk are like massive deer, and, at this time of the year, are growing back their antlers which are covered in velvet. They graze around in the trees and meadows. My favourite elk experience happened when we were out of a horse ride in the Rocky Mountains.... Read more >

Tags: elk

Top Animal Encounters - fifth place...marmots

USA | Saturday, 5 Jul 2014 | Views [237]

One of the things I've enjoyed most about the States has been the number of animals we have come across every day. In the next blogs are my top five animal encounters of the mountainous parks... Coming in at number five: marmots.  These ... Read more >

Tags: marmots

States' Number Plates

USA | Saturday, 5 Jul 2014 | Views [231]

As each State has its own number plate design (some have more than one, just to be confusing), one of the more geekier things we have been doing is collecting a photo of a plate for each State.  Hawaii (a rainbow) was a highlight, and Wyoming's ... Read more >

Tags: license plates, number plates

Yee Haah! Wyoming's Wild West

USA | Tuesday, 1 Jul 2014 | Views [180]

Cody, in Wyoming, is the Wild West capital of the States. Citizens wear cowboy hats and boots; motorbikers wear leather chaps; spurs jingle down the street and the mode of travel is pick up truck or horse. We had a great time watching a staged shoot ... Read more >

Yellowstone - Super-Volcano

USA | Saturday, 28 Jun 2014 | Views [319]

Yellowstone is one of the world's largest, most active and most explosive volcanoes. It hasn't looked much like a volcano since the last huge explosion, 650,000 years ago, which blew out a huge area, covering a lot of the States with ash.  Nowadays, ... Read more >

Tags: super-volcano, volcano, yellowstone

Slot canyons and rattlesnakes in Escalante

USA | Friday, 6 Jun 2014 | Views [280]

So, have you watched the film 127 hours? If so, you will have heard about slot canyons, which are narrow passageways carved through the rock by rivers. (We won't mention cutting tendons, yuk!)  The walls on either side of a slot canyon are huge ... Read more >

Tags: canyoning, escalante

Bryce Canyon

USA | Monday, 2 Jun 2014 | Views [188]

Bryce Canyon is another place where a plateau of limestone has been sculpted by water, this time into thousands of fantastic shapes called hoodoos which are like tall rock daggers, fins, walls. We heard the most "OMGs" here at Bryce as the hoodoos ... Read more >

Tags: bryce canyon, prairie dogs

Zion National Park

USA | Thursday, 29 May 2014 | Views [197]

You make think I'm going a bit soft because I found Zion National Park to be quite spiritual and moving.  Zion is a high rocky desert through which flows a river. Spectacular orange and gold mountains look down on the vividly green valley floor.... Read more >

Tags: zion

A Reet Grand Canyon

USA | Sunday, 25 May 2014 | Views [197]

It's big. It's very, very big. So huge you can't take in the scale. So deep and wide that it would take all day to just walk to the bottom. At first, it is astounding in its immensity. All you can do is stand on the edge ("The Rim") and gawp. And take ... Read more >

Tags: grand canyon

Fun in Las Vegas

USA | Friday, 23 May 2014 | Views [138]

Wacky, fun, and unlike anywhere else we have been to, we both really enjoyed Vegas. Beautiful Bellagio with its glass blown flowers and fountain displays, Venice complete with gondolas on canals, Paris with the Eiffel Tower, and Treasure Island with ... Read more >

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