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Heart of Darién / RGS Geographical magazine

I travelled to the jungle on the border with Colombia in April 2017 to photograph and write a story about the potential development opportunities in the area following the disarmament of FARC.  

Opening extract from the RGS magazine’s December issue:

The star fighters are attacking. Or at least that’s what it sounds like. The high-pitched gurgling of the black oropendola bird is like a Star Wars ray-gun effect being strangled out of an 80’s synthesizer. Every few seconds a lightening-yellow tail feather flies out of the great guayabillo tree some 40metres above the remote dirt road. The long pendulous nests dangle from thin branches like knitted Christmas stockings.

 

It’s a gift of a sighting. But suddenly, after five days of remotest travel in the Darién province, something even rarer happens. An open top jeep with a half-dozen white tourists comes rolling along the track. The weather at the start of the monsoon season is as unsettled as the recently brokered peace with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), whose activities have been known to spill over the border. But just for a brief moment – with the tourists’ binoculars trained on the giant guayabillo birdhouse – the scene resembles any normal exotic safari. And then the men with guns arrive.

 

Twenty border police, known as SENAFRONT, armed with assault rifles, camouflage gear and twitchy eyes come trekking down from deeper jungle. They look like they have been on their feet some time. The startled tourists are quickly whisked away by their driver. But my guide Isaac Pizarro and I are on foot and we get mixed up with the armed men.

 

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Thru hiking the Americas / Outside magazine

Holly Harrison is hiking from Patagonia to Alaska. I tried to help him out with logistics for crossing the Darién Gap, after my visit there earlier this year. Over several months I then interviewed him for Outside magazine, including comments from him mum and original Americas hiker, George Meegan.

You can read the Outside magazine article here.

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Desert Island Survival / Get Out There Magazine

This April I survived 8 days fishing (+ writing and photographing) for my supper in Panama. Get Out There magazine ran it as their cover story, and it is now being distributed across Canada. You can read it online here (opens in new tab)

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How to hike the Grand Canyon / the Guardian

In November 2016 I plunged a mile deep into the Grand Canyon with my friend James Kao. We crossed the Colorado River at nightfall, then hiked out the other side – all within 24hours. On July4th the Guardian published my story and photography from the adventure. There’s an extract below. Or you enjoy the full article online.