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Island Man / RGS Geographical magazine

Before the time of celebrity culture, desert islands were places of wonder and personal discovery and spiritualism. Our cultural references are rich in the English language from Shakespeare’s The Tempest to Daniel Defoe’s writing of arguably the first ever novel, Robinson Crusoe.

In April 2017 I was “shipwrecked,” on an islet in the Pearl Island archipelago, a few hundred kilometres off the Pacific coast of Panama. I wrote a few articles about the cut and thrust of our 8 day survival experience (Outdoor Fitness, Blue Ridge Outdoors and Get Out There) and created a photo set and short film now found at Desertislandsurvival.com.

This article for RGS Geographical was a bit different. You can read an extract from the current issue below.

 

 

 

 

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Heart of Darién / RGS Geographical magazine

In April I travelled to the Panamanian jungle on the border. My goal was to photograph and write a story about the potential development opportunities in the area following the disarmament of FARC.  

The Royal Geographical Society published the feature in their December 2017 issue.

You can the start of the article below:

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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Running with the Pack / Men’s Running

In late August 2017, I travelled to Västmanland Sweden for the BBC and spent five days researching the behaviour of wolves with the help of local scientists and wildlife experts. 

I also managed to squeeze in five great runs through the wolves’ forest territory. A whole load of exercise, beautiful scenery and just a sniff of danger also proved to be the right kind of angle for Men’s Running magazine.

Here is the feature story and photos from running with the pack.

(Click to open in a fresh 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.

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Raising Valparaíso / Geographical (RGS)

In 2016 I spent five months in Chile’s coastal and cultural capital, Valparaíso. Walking the streets and by interviewing locals I wrote the feature and shot the photos for the January issue of Geographical magazine. The first page of the investigative story about the UNESCO status of the city; how it is being developed and who […]