Tag Archives: travel photography

In Search of: Empanadas in Flores, Guatemala

While in Flores, Guatemala, I had the chance to cross an item off the bucket list.  Neil, the owner of Chaltunha — the cabanas I stayed at — took my friend and I down to pick up some seriously yummy, authentic street food.  The bucket list item was more specific than simply eating street food (I’ve done that plenty of times).  Rather, the plan was to eat fresh empanadas from a street vendor.  And let me tell you — my love of Latin American street food has not waned.  While waiting for the food, we practiced our limited Spanish skills with the family (the vendor was definitely a family affair, especially since they operated right outside their house), and they let us take pictures while they cooked.  I love these shots for their simplicity — no flashes or extra lights or any special editing — and for the brilliant memory they stir up.

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Journal Excerpt (July 20, 2012):

Time moves incredibly slow down here.  It is so easy to forget what day it is, and I pretty much never know what time it is.  I know when it’s light, and I know when it’s dark.  And when my stomach growls, I figure I should get some food.  The other day, one of the shuttle guys was talking to a girl in my shuttle.  He said something like, “So you probably want to do the Tikal tour on Friday.”  She looked at him kind of blank while he kept talking, and I immediately knew what she was thinking.  She had to interrupt him and said, “I’m sorry.  But what day is today?”  I feel the same way.

Posted in Central America, Guatemala Also tagged , , , |

In Search of: Editing Like a Madwoman and Flores, Guatemala

Lately, it would seem I spend all my free time editing pictures.  I keep telling myself if I just edit a few more, just a few more, I’ll get them ALL done before new year’s.  Granted “just a few more” is something like 500 photos.  I am so lucky!  (Can you sense the sarcasm?)

I’m in a super big hurry for a couple reasons.  (Well, one might not refer to this as a super big hurry, seeing as how I’m STILL editing pictures I took last summer in Central America.  But I digress.)  First, I want to wrap up all this editing before the end of the year.  I like to close the year out nice and smooth.  Who likes left over projects from the previous year lurking around (especially when said projects were supposed to be done months ago)?  But mostly — and this is seriously important stuff — I need them for the end of year video!  Oh, yes, I’ve got big plans for my 2012 wrap-up video.  There will be dancing and singing and confetti and jungles and rivers and mountains, oh my!  And did I mention the dancing?  Dancing in the streets, I tell you.  Not to mention the fact that I’ve been searching for the perfect song to accompany said awesomesauce.  And I think I’ve got it.  I’m so freaking excited!

But none of that can happen without the pictures being ready!

And so I plug away.  20 pictures here.  20 pictures there.  Some day, I swear, these computer induced headaches will pay off.  I’m seriously loving some of the photos I’ve been working on lately.  I’m in the midst of editing photos from Livingston, Guatemala.  Such good memories.  So many beautiful moments.  Sunrises and sunsets and Caribbean storms and river canoeing and ocean-fresh fish and hammocks and all around loveliness.  It’s also ridiculously exciting that I can actually see improvements in my photography from the start of the trip to the end.  I LOVE that.

I have a fantastic group of shots from Flores, Guatemala I look forward to sharing with you.  Right now, though, I want to share some of the photos taken in Flores by my friend, Terrell (of Photo Anthems).  Sometimes it’s awesome to have another photographer along for the ride, you know?  Because of Terrell, I’m actually in a lot of my travel pictures.  It’s been fun to see them!  So enjoy this peek at Flores, and I’ll be sure to post a slew of my own Flores photos very soon.

Posted in Central America, Guatemala, Ramblings and Rants Also tagged |

In Search of: Turquoise Falls in the Midst of the Grand Canyon

I visited a place on my bucket list a couple weeks ago — Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon.  I’d seen pictures online several times and was a bit awe-struck by the turquoise waters.  Granted, I also thought said photos had been Photoshopped.  Nonetheless, I had to see for myself to judge.

Last February I shopped the idea around to friends.  Turned out, I had a friend that wanted to check it out too.  So I called the lodge at Supai Village.  Reservations start each year at the beginning of February.  I called at the end of February.  We’re booked all summer, I was told.  After a little maneuvering with my schedule, I made a reservation for September and waited impatiently for several months.  (The lesson here?  If you want a coveted spot at the falls during the busy summer months — call February 1, on the dot!)

During my impatient waiting, I tried to find as much information as possible about Supai Village and the lodge.  I didn’t find much.  What I did find did not paint a pretty picture.  Reviews online made it sound like I would be vacationing in South Central.  I was fully prepared to spend two nights among rude people in a garbage infested village overridden with crime.  I opted not to bring the fancy camera and prepared myself for the worst.  (I wouldn’t let anything stop me from visiting what had been lauded one of the most beautiful natural phenomenons on Earth.)

You will be happy to know (as I was) what I found was nothing like the battle weary town I expected.  The first local I encountered was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and although some locals were on the quiet side, I never felt unwelcome or concerned about my welfare.  The village was not overridden with garbage.  Yes, there was the occasional piece of trash on the ground, but it was obvious the locals tried very hard to keep the village clean.  They take the trash out of the canyon by mule, and there’s bound to be a stray fallen piece here and there.  The lodge itself was exceptionally clean.  The room was basic, but I already knew to expect that (the Havasupai website noted this).  Below are some pictures of the hike into the canyon, the lodge and Supai Village (please excuse my ridiculously dirty lens when looking at the pictures of my room at the lodge — I wanted to include the pictures anyway to give you a good idea of what a room looks like).

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After being pleasantly surprised with the village, we spent the second day of our trip at the falls.  From the village, the easiest to reach falls (Navajo Falls, Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls) are approximately a 2-3 mile hike.  Because we had the entire day to visit each of these falls, we were able to relax and enjoy the waters.  The weather was warm and absolutely beautiful, and the falls were beyond stunning.  I can tell you right now, those photos you see online when you do a search for Havasu Falls are real.  The water really is that blue — the turquoise color really is that bright.  It’s stunning.  Really, really stunning.  Here’s a bit of a warning for you though: if you’re afraid of heights (or falling, as I like to call it!) Mooney Falls is a bit sketchy to reach.  As you begin to descend the cliff, a sign states descend at own risk.  And boy does it mean it!  We had no idea what we were in for, and it’s a good thing no one was behind us.  There is a rather exposed section after you get through the tunnels, and I have to admit, there were a few points were I froze.  I had to take a few breaths to convince myself to move forward (and figure out where to put my feet next).  In the end, I’m glad we went ahead and descended.  Mooney Falls is beautiful, and how many time in my life will I have the opportunity to play in such amazing waterfalls in the Grand Canyon?  After returning home, I heard there were grape vines growing down past Mooney Falls.  I wish I would have realized this, as I wouldn’t have stopped my hike there.  Perhaps next time!  As for swimming, I think Havasu Falls takes the cake.  There are several areas perfect for swimming and lots of shaded picnic tables.  Navajo Falls surprised me most of all.  I could have spent the entire day at Navajo without feeling like I missed out on anything.  Ah, so many inspiring vistas!  How does one choose a favorite?  Here’s what I suggest:  make a reservation and choose for yourself!

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Posted in Hiking, Non-Local Hikes, North America, Outdoor Adventures, United States, Weekend Getaways Also tagged , , , , |

In Search of: Photos of Semuc Champey, Guatemala

Sometimes I’m the laziest blogger ever.  It’s true.  I’ve thrown myself into work, travel and all kinds of fun things that have pulled me away from blogging.  This isn’t to say I don’t have awesome things to share with you.  I’ve got a ton — seven more cities from Central America, hiking up Mt. Whitney, a long weekend at Havasu Falls and, after this weekend, another long weekend in Zion National Park.  Mountains and oceans and waterfalls, oh my!  In the mean time, enjoy these pictures from one of the most beautiful places in Guatemala — Semuc Champey.

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Posted in Central America, Guatemala Also tagged , |

In Search of: Photos from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Perhaps you recall this post in which I tell you Lake Atitlan is beautiful and gorgeous and well worth the trip (but the hotel I stayed at was less than worth the price)?  At the time, I was in Belize (or Guatemala or some such Central American country), and I wasn’t able to post photos.  Well — I’ve gone through pictures from Lake Atitlan, and I want to share them with you!  It’s such a beautiful place; truly it is.  It’s hard to believe when I was planning this trip, I almost chose to skip the lake altogether.  But a chance meeting with a stranger back home convinced me it was worth the stop.  He was right.  The lake was the perfect introduction to Guatemala (and relaxation and yummy food).  Enjoy the photos!

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P.S. The pictures you see of me were taken by Terrell over at Photo Anthems.  (It’s pretty awesome having another photographer around while you travel — you don’t have to find ways to take self-portraits!)

Posted in Central America, Guatemala Also tagged , |