The village of Mesta is renowned as a village that has been continuously inhabited since medieval times. The village itself is preserved, so none of the walls, facades or foundations can be changed in construction. As a result, the hotel we stayed at had rooms distributed around town. Where we were there were three rooms, beautifully designed and fitted out. Tassos had even installed little square lamps in the stairwell – and not a sign of wiring. He scraped the mortar away from between the irregular stones, laid the wires around them and then mortared them back in. Light with beauty. Read more
Voyage to Shackleton Country
Our companions on this sea voyage from the Falklands to South Georgia were a medley of albatross and petrels. Hardly ever flapping their wings, they glide effortlessly in the wake of the ship, soaring high above us one moment, and then barely skimming the waves.
We had a following sea, with howling winds pushing us to our destination, the ship corkscrewing along in a lurching rolling movement. There are a lot of green faces.
South Georgia is where Shackleton landed with two of his men after rowing 800 nautical miles through these seas. Experiencing first hand the size of the waves, the power of the wind, and the sheer cold, it is hard to imagine a journey of such hardship successfully completed.
Indeed, to this day, not one person has managed to replicate this epic of human endurance. Not only did Shackleton get his boat across these heaving freezing oceans, but he managed to climb over the southern mountains and hike across glaciers and crevasses to arrive in Grytviken in winter. All equipped only with canvas, wool and leather gear.
It's humbling to reflect on this kind of endurance - in today's modern age with gortex, satellite links, email and text, we are never that far away. I often wonder whether anyone from today would survive, dropped into similar circumstances with what little existed in 1914. Or have we become too soft?
Our most arduous experience here is a tummy bug that was introduced to the ship - we are nearly all laid low with some symptoms, but at least we have a warm cabin with hot and cold running water, and three meals a day when we can face up to them again.
After two days we spot land. All of us are photographers of some kind or another, so we are getting trigger happy after only having birds on the wing to try and shoot. It certainly hones our tracking skills, but there's only so many blurred images of albatross that I can snap before I tire of it.
In no particular order my passions are travel, horses and photography