Articles by Jeremy Richards

King Penguins of the Falkland Islands

   Of the five species of penguin to be found on the Falkland Islands, my favourite is the beautiful King Penguin.   The main colony is at Volunteer Point on East Falkland, about 2-3 hours drive from the capital, Stanley. The colony is in good health and numbers are increasing. I understand there are now around 1,000 pairs and chicks.   King Penguins have an 18 month breeding cycle, which means they are present all year around. The chicks stay on land during the cold subantarctic... continue reading

Party Time in Northern Chile - Carnaval Andino Con La Fuerza Del Sol

Every January, Arica plays host to the biggest carnival in Chile and one of the largest in South America. It attracts some 10,000 dancers and musicians from the Andean regions of Chile, Peru and Bolivia; as well as thousands of "groupies" and spectators, most are also from the Andean regions.         This year the carnival included 62 different dance groups; each accompanied by their own band. Most of the dances are traditional dances of the region that either have their roots going... continue reading

The Altiplano of Northern Chile

    If you are looking for somewhere off the beaten track, try the Altiplano of Region XV in the far north east of Chile. The Altiplano is a vast high plateau that stretches across large areas of Chile, Bolivia and Peru and is characterised by stunningly beautiful scenery with snow-capped volcanos, salt lakes, colourful mountains, river valleys and wetlands, known locally as bofedals. The Chilean Altiplano in Region XV is largely contained within the contiguous protected areas of Parque Nacional... continue reading

Street Art of San Miguel

My previous blog was about the urban art that adorns the streets of Valparaiso on the Pacific coast of Chile. The urban art in Valparaiso is random and organic and has grown and evolved over many years. It is also intermingled with graffiti of little artistic merit.     This blog is about the giant murals that have been painted on the windowless end walls of tenement blocks in the San Miguel area of Santiago, in what was regarded as a run down part of the city. This is a deliberate attempt... continue reading

Urban Art of Valparaiso

   Valparaiso in Chile is colourful, moody, packed with history and overlaid with a raw edge. It is one of those places that is endlessly fascinating that can be visited time and time again, without ever feeling you have seen it all.   The roots of this coastal city date back nearly 500 hundred years, but it was not until the 1800's that it emerged as the major port of the South Pacific and as a result became a magnet for European immigrants. The cultural melting pot that resulted... continue reading

Jaisalmer - Desert Festival

Jaisalmer is a wonderful city to visit at any time, but is all the more poignant for me as the honey colour of the fort and buildings remind me of my home city of Bath in England. The city is dominated by the fort, which is perched on a hill within the city walls. Inside the fortare the narrow winding streets of a small medieval town, in many ways unchanged for centuries, but now catering for tourists with gift shops, cafes and small hotels in profusion. Below the fort lies the remainder of the... continue reading

Ancient India

This blog is dominated by ancient history, religion and architecture. No shortage of both in India, but the areas I visited in Maharashtra must surely provide some of the most stunning examples anywhere in the world. My starting point was Aurangabad in Maharashtra, the hub for visiting the historic cave temples at Ajanta and Ellora. As usual getting the flight from Delhi proved an interesting challenge. I arrived at the check in desk on time only to be told the flight was at least an hour late and... continue reading

Road to Ladakh - high mountain passes and much more

"One of the great motoring journeys of the world", that is how the drive from Manali to Leh in Ladakh is described. Stunning landscapes, four high passes, including what is claimed to be the second highest motorable pass in the world, and all at altitudes between 3,000 – 5,000 metres. Sounded too good to miss, particularly as I had a couple of suitably adventurous volunteers who were gamely up for the experience. The adventure actually started somewhat earlier than planned; the risk of monsoon rain... continue reading

Kaziranga - Last Stronghold of the Indian Rhino

Kaziranga National Park stretches for about 50km along the south bank of the Brahmaputra River in Assam, North East India It covers some 472 sq km of the flood plain of this mighty river and is renowned as the main stronghold of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros. It is also famous as a bird hotspot, with almost 500 species recorded. I travelled there from Delhi, which was fairly straightforward; a direct flight from Delhi to Guwaharti followed by a five-hour drive up the Brahmaputra valley. I stayed... continue reading

Elephant Festival

The elephant festival is an annual event held in Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, India on the day before the Hindu festival of Holi (also known as the festival of colours). The venue for the elephant festival is the Chaugan Stadium in the old city, just behind the City Palace. The festival does not have any great historical roots and appears to have been established mainly as a tourist attraction. That said it appears to be much enjoyed by locals and visitors alike and is a riot of colour and an excellent... continue reading

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