Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A tiger playing in a watering hole

I've previously blogged about Noor and Sultan, Mother and Son but what about father? Ustad or T24 is a large male living with territory in zone 1 and zone 2 in Ranthambore national park. He is also Sultan's Dad. After our first encounter with Noor and Sultan we were just leaving the park when Ustad was walking down towards a watering hole looking magnificent in the late afternoon sun. He appeared to be limping, which confirmed a story told to us by some rangers earlier who had seen him walking on just 3 of his paws. When he reached the water he took a drink before splashing around with his injured paw as if to sooth the pain. Just as we had to leave he settled down in the water to cool off.

Ustad (T24) taking a drink from the watering hole.

Ustad looking as though he was about to pounce onto his own reflection.

Taking a drink while holding his injured paw off the ground.

Portrait of a tiger drinking in the watering hole.

Making ripples in the watering hole like a baby in the bath!

Ustad settled down in the watering hole to cool off.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Petra - The Rose City

Following in the footsteps of Indiana Jones, while in Jordan we visited the old Nabataean city of Petra. Over 2000 years old this world heritage sight was carved into red coloured stone giving it the name of the Rose City. Our guide started us off on a 'cross country route' allowing us to see many of the famous sights, such as the treasury, from above. The views were spectacular, we saw a lot of the lesser known dwellings and tombs and we avoided being troubled by camel owners and other punters trying to make money out of tourists. Walking back along the 'tourist route' we gained a better sense of scale of the larger sights such as the amphitheatre and the Urn tomb.

A view looking through the valley of the Amphitheatre.

A dwelling as seen from the doorway of a tomb.

A dwelling showing off the multi-coloured sandstone rock.

Camels lined up in the shade ready to save you the walk back to the entrance.

The Palace and the Corinthian tombs.

The treasury and the camel.

A view of the treasury on the way out through the El Siq

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Serengeti lions

Our second morning in the Serengeti was one certainly one to remember. As the sun was rising we spotted a group of lions walking purposely across the plains, led by the older females. One the lions saw their target, a group of 5 or so wildebeest, they began to split up, forming a ring around the wildebeest while the cubs waited patiently by a bush. The most experienced female was walking along the road using our truck and the long grass as cover. Soon we could just see the tuft of the 5 lionesses' ears as they surrounded the wildebeest. All of a sudden a younger lioness sprinted towards the prey, but her inexperience showed, as it was too early and the other lionesses stayed put. The wildebeest scattered only to regroup minutes, completely forgetting about the hungry lion. After a few more minutes of stillness all of the lionesses sprinted towards the group of wildebeest scattering them properly, choosing the most confused looking one to tag team, until his neck was in their jaws. As soon as the wildebeest hit the floor the young lion cubs came running out eager for the taste of fresh meat.

A lion cub trying to sleep in a pile of his brothers and sisters.

The old lioness, stalking behind our truck, trying to us it as cover. 

The ears of a stalking lioness by the group of clueless wildebeest.

This pair of lions look like an old married couple who are very much still in love!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Abseiling from Derby Cathedral

Yesterday was a very exciting day for me as it was time to do my Derby Cathedral Abseil, which I blogged about a month ago. When we arrived I gave my boyfriend a very quick lesson with my camera, and let him practise on the abseilers that were braving the decent. At the bottom of the tower I was kitted up with all necessary safety gear before being directed towards a very steep spiral staircase. Upon arrival at the top I photographed the views using my phone. Soon it was time for my big descent. My harness was checked and adjusted, then I was attached to various safety ropes and a huit to enable me to control my speed. After a quick safety briefing (while I was already hanging out over the edge of the tower) I was away, descending the 212 feet to the safety of the ground below.

I've managed to raise £260 so far but it's not too late to sponsor me through my justgiving page: http://www.justgiving.com/AmyLouiseJohnson.

Me with all of my safety gear, ready to climb the spiral staircase.

The tower of Derby Cathedral set up for abseiling, with me at
the top taking photos of the view.

The roof tops of Derby..  not the most scenic of cities! 

 The very top of the tower.

The scaffold platform, safely secured to the roof of the tower, or so I hoped!

Me looking down from the top, while my huit was being attached.

The Derby Mountain Rescue statue.

Posing by the clock for a photograph. Almost safely on the ground!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Ndutu - Nirvana?

After a few fantastic days in the Serengeti I was a little sad to leave, especially after the amusing antics of Poser Leopard. However my group had promised me that the next stop on our trip; this amazing place called Ndutu, was simply nirvana. I was happily imagining a place where the sun was always shining, the migration was passing through and leopard cubs were playing with cheetah cubs. My group had neglected to mention that we would be catching the start of the rainy season and the chance of thunderstorms was reasonably high.

Sheets of rain moving across the plains in Ndutu.

 A tawny eagle taking off in the sunshine against the dark backdrop of storm clouds

The storm clouds being photographed by my Dad who was enjoying the challenge of the ever changing

A surprise leopard sighting as leopards usually keep to themselves in Ndutu.
This one was chased up a tree by a large female lion, but still looked great against
the storm clouds.

Judging by the look on this little guy's face I'm not sure he enjoyed the rain much!

I would still have to agree that my week in Ndutu was an amazing experience and the 4 or 5 rain storms that we had only added to the experience. My previous blog post Cheetahs in the rain features more examples of the photographs to be had if one braves the weather.