Memories, Places & People’s Faces | Portraits

Memories, Places & People’s Faces | Portraits

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Portraits & Photo-Journalism

I have been fortunate enough to have met some incredible people on my journey so far. During my recent travels I took it upon myself to start capturing some portraits and try to tell a story. I actually found it really fun trying to create an image that would give an insight into a persons life and also enjoyed the photo-journalism side of it all as well. Creating a collection of images that I am proud of and archive some amazing memories I’ve had with that/or involving that individual. This is the first post to share the few portraits I have released so far and I have many more that I’m working on and more to take!

I just hope that upon hearing some of these stories it will inspire or give someone else some perspective on what another person has gone/going through. I think that its human nature to be curious and want to know about other people, especially those that are in a completely different culture to us. Looking at portraits transports someone into someone else’s life for just a brief second and I’ve found that I really love capturing their portraits!

First up is Prayash, who I met whilst staying at a guest house in Bhaktapur. He works there whilst attending some college classes and managing his radio show. If you’re ever in the area then tune into 107.9fm every thursday 3-4pm for some debates and slick tunes. Prayash dreams of becoming a media personality and enjoys exploring to see new views like the one behind him. He took me to see his home village and the incredible view from Nagarkot, thanks man!” 

“Next up is one of my Nepali Didis, Gita. She works in the fields and helps look after Bhakatapur Children’s Home; as well as be a mother to 3 of her own children Suraj, Sumon & Susata. Her husband is away in the Nepali army currently but she still manages to have one of the kindest, goofiest and warm personalities I’ve come across.”

“Rahul taught me the power of a ‘pinky promise’. I have so much time for this little bro. He has a bright future ahead of him and I can’t wait to see him succeed in everything he chooses to do next.”

“Let me introduce the taxi driver with the most swag, Rameshwor. You’ll be able to identify him from his blacked out shades, leather driving gloves and nepali dance tunes. When I first visited Nepal he was our trusted point of call for transportation between the village and marketplace. He doesn’t speak much English but we still managed to have some funny conversations. When I returned to Sipadol I was walking through the market and to my surprise he ran up to me and remembered who I was; which was amazing! I was also happy to see that he was able to buy a new car and had employed someone else to drive the old one, growing his business.”

“Back in 2014 I went for a wander in the marketplace in Bhaktapur where I was staying. I decided to head into a shoe shop to have a look around. 2 minutes later I ended up sat having chai (tea) & shisha pipe with Suniel Duwal, who is a pretty cool guy. Recently I went back to surprise him and once again drank chai whilst he showed me some metal bands concert videos – he’s a massive fan, as well as being a dedicated Arsenal supporter. I also got to meet his wife, daughter & mother-in-law. If you’re ever looking for some new style – Sunil Fashion House can sort you out.”

“This is Kopila (lalala my nickname for her, she finds it funny calling me Jackalalala) who loves to dance and spends most of the time giggling with her best friend Anita – who is also at the children’s home. She is also the one who taught me the numbers from 1-20 in nepali as I kept getting stuck at 10!”

“If you have a question, Sushil can answer it. He’s very smart and his dream is to be a doctor. He is just an all round cool guy and I spend a lot of the time learning from him!”

“This is Suraj – who is awesome. His mother is Gita who works at the children’s home. On my second visit I’d never met him, his mum or his siblings before, but we got on so well – he felt like my younger brother and we spent two weeks learning about physics, nepali vocab & wrestlemania! I can’t even explain how enriching for both sides going to volunteer or just talking to locals can be; if you’re considering doing it then don’t hesitate to drop me a message if your not sure how to go about it.”

I hope you enjoyed those portraits and snippets of memories from my travels.

There are many more to come so stay tuned and follow up on my social links!

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Face Project

 

Swayumbhunath Temple Nepal

Swayumbhunath Temple Nepal

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Swayumbhunath – ‘The Monkey Temple’

It’s clear if you follow me or have read previous blog posts that I LOVE Nepal. I also love visiting the various temples you’ll find at every corner or hilltop if you venture around the country. My favourite though, is Swayumbhunath, a Buddhist temple and Unesco World Heritage Site nicknamed ‘The Monkey Temple’ sits atop a hill in the Kathmandu valley. From the first time I visited this spectacular structure I loved it and would strongly recommend giving it a visit if you ever plan on visiting Nepal and Kathmandu. Adorned with hundreds of coloured prayer flags and mischievous little monkeys the temple offers some awesome views of the surrounding city and mountains. The temples jumble of Buddhist and Hindu iconography make Swayumbhunath one of the most fascinating religious temples to see.

The mix of local souvenir sellers, religious devotees and spiritual offerings happening all around make visiting Swayumbhunath a great place to experience. People spin the prayer wheels around at the base; within each one the equivalent of chanting the ‘om’ prayer sits inside – to create a flow of good energy as they walk clockwise around the gleaming white stupa. All the while the sound of calm, ominous chanting is played which gives being there a kind of magical feeling; if you manage to go there on a sunny day then the whole place feels like walking in a dream with the light reflecting off the whitewashed stones.

I visited the stupa in March 2016 a year after the April 2015 Earthquakes and the stupa is still standing proud with some maintenance work going on but the structure still intact; many of the smaller temples surrounding it have been reduced to rubble.

Please enjoy some photographs I shot at the temple from my last visit!

 

Prayer Flags

Turning the Wheels

EYES

Om Prayer Wheels

Wheels

Pigeons on Stupa

Renovation Work 3

Renovation Work 2

Monkey at Sway 2

Flags With A View 2

Candle Prayers

Monkey Temple

Praying Statue

Renovation Work 1

Monk Meets Monkey

1000+ Hundred Flags

Buddha in Stupa

Monkey See

Prayer Wheels

Gliding

Staue at the Stupa

Sway

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Travel Update – What Plane Are You On Now?

Travel Update – What Plane Are You On Now?

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Hello & Namaste!

A quick travel update to let you know what I’m doing, where I am and what’s next! I have just finished the first part of my travelling plans for 2016 with Nepal and India. Can’t believe I can add these to my travel history!

NEPAL

I re-visited my Nepali family & village which was an incredible trip being able to head back again to see them all. Most importantly it was good to see how relief efforts are going and to deliver the sponsored fundraising money! The homes are looking good and should be finished within a few months so they will be able to move out of the tarpaulin tents and back into their home.

For everyones continued support and donations – a BIG warm thank you from me & the children of Bhakatpaur Orphan Home. This is what we can achieve when we work together! I had such a great time with them all in Nepal and there will be more detailed blog posts coming up as well a few new projects I’m working on, so stay tuned!

INDIA

India is hard to sum up in one word. Unreal. Crazy. Beautiful. Chaotic. Awesome. It was everything I wanted from a trip to India and more. I met so many amazing people, experienced such diverse places and got a real taste of the culture. Although my time was short I managed to cram in so much and again I will be writing up some more detailed posts on my trip, along with reviews and some pretty epic photos! For now enjoy some of these…

GHANA

As you may know I am volunteering with VSO at the end of May in Ghana. I’m back in the UK for a few days to sort some things out for visas & work permits. However I am flying to Portugal for a week to soak up some sunshine & do some exploring! I’ll then come back for a Team Leader training weekend where I’ll find more out about my projects & meet some of my team hopefully!

You can still donate to my fundraising page and anything is very much appreciated – you’ll also be able to see the projects your money is going towards too!

https://www.justgiving.com/Jack-Gunns1

That’ll bring me to the beginning of May – where I have 3 weeks before I depart for my VSO program. I currently have some travel plans being arranged for that time and I’ll update as soon as I get confirmation, which is very exciting!

I also wanted to take a moment to just consider everything. I feel super grateful that I am able to have these experiences – I have created a lot of them for myself with dedication, handwork & persistence. But it just shows how you can completely change your lifestyle if you truly want to. This time last year I was in an office not enjoying it all, I took the steps to change that.

“If you want something badly enough. You’ll make it a priority.”

Stop dreaming and start doing.

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What To Pack For Nepal

What To Pack For Nepal

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Ok, so you’ve made the brilliant decision to travel to Nepal! Nice one, you won’t be disappointed by the natural beauty and kindness you’re about to experience. But you want to be prepared right? So here’s a guide on essentials items I’d consider packing before you head off on your trip! (This is as much of a guide to help you as it is to help me, as I’m currently also packing to head to Nepal, see you there!)

First off we’re gonna start with the sensible essentials to make sure your fully prepared for any instances you may experience whilst out there.

 

 Medical stuff

De-hydration tablets – these are vital as you’ll probably have access to a lot less water when your travelling around Nepal. You can buy bottled water and always make sure the top is sealed but its better to be prepared in case you do start experiencing dehydration symptoms.

Water Purification tablets – always handy to have in case you have no choice but to drink water from a river or rainfall whilst travelling or trekking. These make the water safer to drink if you leave them in a sealed bottle for an hour or so depending on tablet requirements.

First aid kit – never travel without a small one.

Wet wipes – again an essential travel item!

Depending on season – suncream – I made the mistake of not taking suncream out in the summer months and I got burnt on my face so badly! haha make sure you take a little if your sensitive to the sunlight like me.

Diarrhoea tablets – I went through packets of these. You do not want to experience this whilst trekking. It’s not a great situation. Nepali much like the infamous delhi belly can occur due to the change up in dietary lifestyle you may experience when travelling through Nepal. I’d recommend avoiding all ‘western’ options and just eat nepali cuisine as the western equivalents often made me sick.

Hand Sanitiser

Small basic medical needle set – just in case you end up in a medical situation where you need one of these. The medical facilities are obviously not as advanced and I find its always good to be able to use your own set of clean needles for your own peace of mind.

 

 Clothing

All clothing items are pretty cheap to buy in country and most trekking stuff you can buy there too. This can save money, time space and allow you to have less luggage to carry on the way there.

Summer

A few T-shirts – also pretty cheap to buy in country if you want to travel a little lighter

Shorts

Linen trousers

Sunglasses

Slip on shoes – good to pack as they are easy to take on and off if entering houses/buildings that do not allow you wear shoes inside

Winter

Wolly Hat

Thermals

Gloves

Socks

Trekking

Hiking boots

Thick socks

Waterproof jacket

Thermal jacket

Neck warmer

 

 Useful

Torch – Nepal experiences frequent loss of power so its always good to have one of these at hand

Batteries – again batteries can be more reliable than the electricity.

Swiss army knife or multitool

Re-fillable bottle – I have a small bottle that folds down in an accordion style which is great as I can pack it away small and use it with the water purification tablets if I need to.

Ear plugs

Head torch

Multiple passport photos – you’ll need these if your trekking to get passes

Travel card and some US dollars – US Dollars are accepted in most places in Nepal, you can use other currencies like GBP or AUS but most prefer dollars or NPR (Nepali Rupees) I found it was handy to have some dollars.

Camera – of course!

Power charger/external pack – good to charge phones/cameras if you are not able to access electricity due to power cut

Bag waterproof cover – monsoon season

Basic mobile phone unlocked – so you can purchase a sim whilst out there and use this whilst in country. To get a Nepali sim card you must have passport photos and copies of your passport to purchase one ( I found there was more security when I got a sim card out than there was walking through the airport, they even took my fingerprint!

 

Right, bags packed so head to the airport and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime! Nepal is beautiful and you’ll be fully prepared for any circumstance you come across now so enjoy!

Be sure to follow my adventures on my social media links and keep an eye out for some youtube content coming this way from my upcoming trip to Nepal.

Happy travels and #positivevibes

Namaste Jack Uncle | Travel Talk

Namaste Jack Uncle | Travel Talk

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“Namaste Jack Uncle” is what I would hear all the time on a daily basis. The kids here are among the happiest kids I’ve met and so content with so little. I was expecting it to be at least a week before they opened up to me and talked. Not at all, within the first few hours I had kids hanging from me like monkeys. I’ve gotten to know alot of them and kept finding myself anxiously waiting all day for the kids to come back from school so we could play and do chores!

the school run #nepal #ivhq2014 #chito

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get to wake up to this everyday #nepal #travels #nature

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so much red #shrine #nepal #temple #travelling

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I sought out a tatooist while I was there. I now have arms full of snakes, cats, a house and some mountains. Little rahul is quite the artist. We took the kids to the temple and had a picnic one of the days which was more of a mission than it may sound at first. I went into town with our host sister Saroza to stock up on momos (kind of nepali dumplings if you will – a favourite amongst the children and myself!), we then took a taxi up the mountain which sounds impressive but then if you throw in the fact that Nepal has no real ‘roads’ so the path up the mountain was a little rocky – an even more impressive feat for the taxi driver. As well as this we took huge speaker amps up so we could have music to dance too and marched 21 kids up a to the top of a mountain. It was well worth it and I think I was way more excited than the children! Over the duration of my stay we had various volunteers from different countries come stay and the orphanage was as busy as ever. I went to the old city of Bhaktapur and got the chance to see the Gai Jatra festival. Everyone dresses up and its a pretty great atmosphere. It was a hive of dancing and stick clapping. The old city is quite amazing with lots of old temples and architecture. It’s pretty impressive. Overtime I went down to the old city I felt a sense of ancient history and awe at the buildings around me.

Bhakatapur festival #temple #nepal #rammedro #partytime

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I also witnessed the birth of a baby calf on the farm. Just as we were leaving to go back one evening one of the mothers came shouting saying the gai (cow) was having a baby. We stayed and watched and it was incredible to see so close. We now have baby wally to add to the family. Just a typical day in the life of a volunteer.

Rohan and ‘wally’; the new addition to the fam #nepal #ivhq2014 #neckhug #baby #cow

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Time is flying! I have really settled into the nepali way of life and home now. The more comfortable im getting in my placement the more the days seem to be passing by quicker. I recently went to chitwan on safari where I met with the other volunteers from orientation, which was a great chance to catch up and see how everyones placements were going. The resort was really nice and we got to shower on top of an elephant! Then went on a canoe down the flooded river and an elephant safari. The weather held out for us and we only had one delay from a landslide on the way so pretty successful. More to come on my chitin safari adventure experience in another blog post!

Pdidi grass cutting #nepal #travels #farmlife #instavillagemission #vscocam

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We threw a birthday party for all the kids as it was two of their birthdays. Myself and the other volunteers bought mangos, rice pudding, a cake and new school bags for all 20 kids which was great! We danced alot and at one point got taken to a random party in the village as they were celebrating a festival as well. I had no idea what we were doing at a villagers house to begin with. Then music came on and everyone started dancing,  it was me and two other volunteers who were the only foreign people and the rest were nepali villagers. No one really spoke good english but everyone was so excited to have us there. They laughed at my questionable dance moves which I don’t blame them for because they were terrible! They offered us some delicious foods and then we went back to carry on partying with the kids and other volunteers. It was so fun and random to party with the locals and a truly unique moment. Life in the village was pretty sweet and loved being with the kids.

Jdidi Roti machine #nepal #ivhq2014 #food #vscocam

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The Nepali fam #nepal #homefromhome #ivhq2014 #vscocam

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The kids love mangos just a little bit #nepal #ivhq2014 #smile #vscocam

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pre-roti rolling with pdidi #nepal #food #culture #vscocam

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One man and his goats #IVHQ #nepal #goatherder #instagood

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I also had the cool opportunity of experiencing the womens festival a day where women dress up, dance and fast for the whole day to pray for a good husband. In support of the females in the house I also fasted. It was a long day. The girls all looked grown up in thier best outfits and saris and we went to the temple to dance/me take photos. At one point jamona and bdidi pulled me in to dance. I felt like I was gonna be eaten alive by the women ‘praying for good husbands’ at the sight of a giant white man.

the girls getting ready for the womens #festival with #henna #nepal #ivhq2014

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today was all about the ladies #womens #festival #nepal #culture #dancing #demsaris

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

We got the paints out one of days which was great to see kids getting creative. The younger boys ishan, rahul and ashok decided to put paint all over their hands and then ran through the home to the bathroom. They dropped dollops of paint everywhere and tried to wash in the bathroom, which just resulted in blue stains and streaks. It was funny to watch until ashok filled a bucket of water to throw at the paint and got half of it over me. We all laughed as we cleaned up the blue mess. The whole time ishan telling me not to tell anyone.

no tell saroza, no riya, no rupak #nepal #ivhq #oops #blue #instavillagemission

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we unleashed arts & crafts today #nepal #ivhq2014 #instavillagemission #topstudent #moneyshot

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Nepal is pretty awesome. Made even sweeter by my little bro rahul who pinky promised me with both hands everyday. Then kissed them both and says “friends forever uncle, yes”.

before the painting got out of control #nepal #ivhq #painting #art

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There were so many incredible moments during my stay with the Thapa family from aama (the grandmother/mother) cooking us delicious rice dishes every morning and evening but not being able to speak any english; which was interesting when she would keep piling more rice on our plates even if we were full up. I impressed everyone by learning the days of the week and numbers in nepali along with a few other nepali words and phrases which got me bonus points with the house mothers and aama. Going with Ashis one of the older boys every morning to sell the milk. Helping them all with their homework everyday and walking them to the bus stop for school; sometimes we’d get on the ‘smiley bus’ with them if were headed into town. Getting to know the house mothers, who on the most part don’t get as much attention as everyone else, so it was really great getting to know Jamuna, Maiya and Parabati; even if we had to act out most of our conversations due to language barriers – this made it all the more worthwhile!

Hajur baii #nepal #ivhq2014 #aseko #instavillagemission #laugh

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Bumpy bus ride – nepali style #bus #nepal #travelling #asia #vscocam

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The end of my trip was bitter sweet. I was super glad to get home and eat some home cooking but this was outweighed and overshadowed by the fact that I was leaving my new family behind. Half of me was now entwined with this small nepali village. I never expected to fall in love with an entire village and the kids. The kids I had been with everyday for 2 whole months, who I walked to the bus stop and stayed up with to help with their homework. The kids I had bonded with, I had to say goodbye too. I’d never felt such a heavy pull on my heart as I did the day I had to leave and get in the taxi to the airport. I was leaving behind new friends, a home and a new family.

As soon as I landed back in England I was happy but sad that it had come to an end. I lasted four months being back before I booked another flight back there. I’m heading back to my nepali family and I couldn’t be happier!

this view though #nepal #travelling #instavillagemission #incredible #colourspopping #mountains

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big and small #nepal #ivhq #bestbuds #instavillagemission #hands

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I’m now @gunns_travels on instagram!

I’m now @gunns_travels on instagram!

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If your a fan of photography and also a ‘wanderluster’ then check out my new instagram account to satisfy the whimsical dreamer inside of you. You can expect an array of snaps from colourful cultures and faraway places! I’m a passionate explorer and love to travel capturing every moment of my journeys. Documenting it along the way is a great way to connect and share those experiences with others. It also lets me keep a photographic journal that I can share. I also love to look at other instatravellers accounts as it gives me inspiration for my next trips and helpful insights into planning – as well as indulge my visual appetite with beautiful images from all over the world. If your a #travelgrammer then send me your link, i’d love to have a look at your captures!

You can expect to see images like these…

Start travelling the world with me!

Fraser Island, Australia | Travel Talk Pt.4

Fraser Island, Australia | Travel Talk Pt.4

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The beautiful island of Fraser is situated on the East Coast of Australia and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places I have seen. Stunning clear water lake, tropical canopies and sandy white beaches make this a must see place on your travels along the east coast.

I went on a 3-day excursion through Sunset Safaris which was definitely not long enough but unfortunately I was squeezed for time. The tour was well organised and very informative by our tour guide ‘Scuba Steve’ who provided an entertaining tour for the duration. We also got to ride in a huge 4×4 safari truck which was quite comfortable and pretty cool racing over the sand dunes in! I could have spent a few weeks here easily. Nevertheless it was fantastic and Im really glad I got to experience this place even if just for a short amount of time.

From rainforest walks, to crystal clear streams and a spot of whale watching it couldn’t have been any better. Accommodation and food were included throughout. We visited The pinnacles, Rainbow beach, fresh water lake, mahino shipwreck and explored the entire island; spotting a fair few wild dingos as well. For now I’ll leave you with a few snaps from my time here and hopefully I’ll be able to go back for a longer stay one day!

Quick Price | Adult 3 Day Excursion £240 $370

amazing couple of days on fraser island doing a truck safari #fraser #island #australia #truck

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Australia you delivered #beach #paradise #instadaily A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Aussie Coasts

Jungle book. #rainforest #disney #austrailia A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Maheno Shipwreck

found my new thinking spot #fraserisland #australia #instadaily A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Coloured Sands

Coloured Fraser Sands by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

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Cairns Australia | Travel Talk Pt.2

Cairns Australia | Travel Talk Pt.2

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One of my personal favourite places to visit in Australia was the beautiful ocean side city of Cairns. Situated in the northern territory of Australia Cairns provides everything you’d expect from the land down under with its lush green rainforests, laid back life and Aussie sunshine.

sun worshipping #sun #silhouette #pro

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Whilst in Cairns I managed to cram in loads of tours and exploring. I’ll give a run-through of what I got up to and hopefully it will give you some ideas to put your own itinerary together when you visit! 1. You have to check out Cairns esplanade located in the centre of town – its an open swimming pool that overlooks the sea and is the perfect place to sit back and relax. I was a bit dubious about a free local pool but it’s incredibly well maintained, lifeguarded and modern designed. Head over to here and soak up the atmosphere, they often put live music on and you can always people watch because who doesn’t love having a nose at other people! And while your there why not grab an ice-cream from Baskin Robins; I only discovered this for the first time in Cairns and I’m a fan – try the chocolate brownie and hazelnut whip flavour with a waffle cone.

Quick Prices: Esplanade Pool FREE | Ice-cream £6 $8

 

Cairns lagoon beaut #austrailia #pool #chilled A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

The lagoon fish #cairns #austrailia #sculpture #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

enjoying a @baskinrobbinsau gold ribbon medal waffle ice cream #brcr8 #cairns #icecream A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

2. The Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is located right next to this world heritage site and wonder of the world, so why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to go and have a look around! I used Quicksilver Tours to go and have a dive  around the outer barrier reef. The tour is a full day and early start (5:30am – 4:30pm) where you are taken to the boat that will take you and others (around 70/80 people) over to 3 different reef locations. You’ll get all the scuba diving equipment included and there are options for diving with oxygen tanks that require more lessons or experience. All 3 locations offer a close look at the various wildlife including chorals, fish and turtles with an occasional rare shark spot – not jaws though! Don’t panic! You get lunch included which was a fresh salad type buffet as well as tea and coffee with biscuits throughout the day.

If you feel like sitting out one of the dive spots then you can take the chance to go and sunbathe on top of the boat. One thing I would say is there is an onboard photographer who will come round and snap your picture with blue backdrop of the reef but these can be pricey. I paid £10 for one photo as I wanted a high quality image from my trip as I wouldn’t be there again anytime soon. I would invest in an underwater camera and even a waterproof phone pouch – use these at your own risk though you don’t want to drop your smartphone amongst the choral reef!

Quick Prices: Adult with return coach transfers £120 $180

Divng at the reef #prodiver #australia #blue #reef #instadaily

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3. One of the best tours I went on was with Tropical Horizons to the Daintree Rainforest – the oldest rainforest in the world. The day trip included pick up/drop off to and from the destinations. A road trip that took us through part of the Daintree where we were able to stop off and take a walk to look at the old rainforest trees and wildlife. We managed to have a wild encounter with the cassowary bird a native bird of Australia. Our tour guide was very informative and was a wealth of knowledge about the rainforest answering every question we threw at him. There were only 8 of us on the trip which gave it a very intimate and friendly feel. We ventured right through the rainforest to the famous cape tribulation beach a small corner of paradise, it felt like we were on desert island with white sand beaches, palm tree forests and crystal clear water.

Stopping for lunch we enjoyed a buffet style cold salad lunch and had the opportunity to do a spot of canoeing in the river. The next stop off was with a local guy who takes people crocodile spotting down the river, great fun especially when crocs pop up from nowhere beside the boat! Heading back through the forest we stopped off at some viewpoints and grabbed an ice cream from a local famous ice-cream shop – worth a visit! A very long day but great tour to go on if you want to get some picturesque views and learn about the rainforest.

Quick prices: Daintree Rainforest Day Tour £80 $120

The Daintree

felt like I was on shipwrecked today #beach #paradise #australia

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cheeky #selfie on cape tribulation beach #beach #australia A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

canoeing down a river in a rainforest – straight out of a travel brochure #canoe #dream #australia

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

spectacular Daintree rainforest #forest #landscape #view A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

4. Another place you should check out is the Kuranda Skyrail and Railway. Glimpse the top of the rainforest from a cablecar hovering above the canopies and get right amongst the natural beauty of Cairns. You get a real sense of the sheer size of the rainforest. The rainforest cablecar takes about 40/50 mins which is enough time to soak it all up. Once you come to the end of the cable you get off in the small town of Kuranda right at the centre of the forest. Its a great little town where you can shop, eat and check out the wildlife centres.

You can pick up great unique souvenirs from the native tribe here with shows and performances as well. But the number 1 thing you MUST do is head to Koala gardens where you’ll be able to have a quick snap with a koala – a big tick off the Aussie checklist! You can hop on the Kuranda Train back to the beginning where you’ll take a meandering journey along the cliffs of the rainforest and get to see some waterfalls on the way.

Quick Prices: Adult £60 $90

travelled across the rainforest in a cablecar #kuranda #skyrail #austrailia #rainforest

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

amazing view at baron falls #waterfall #landscape #austrailia A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

got a very warm and fluffy cuddle – meet Tam #koala #hug #austrailia #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

5. Lastly ignite that inner daredevil in you – do a skydive. It will honestly be one of the best experiences you can have. And skydiving over The Great Barrier Reef couldn’t be a better place to do it. I booked with Skydive Cairns who were great and really reassuring, the skydive cost £120 (with a beach landing) which is pricey but worth it. Again if you want a photo or video of it you’ll have to pay around £80 – which isn’t bad as its a one-off (unless you get the bug for it!) but depends on your budget and if you want to go on any over tours while your in Cairns.

Quick Prices: Adult with Beach Landing £120 $180 | Video & Photos £80 $120

 

jumping 15,000ft over Cairns and landing on the beach #skydive #awesome #extreme #australia A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

My time in Cairns was incredible, I loved the whole vibe and way of life there. The views were amazing and the people were great you definitely have to check this part of Australia out and what it has to offer.

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Australia | Travel Talk Pt.1

Australia | Travel Talk Pt.1

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Heading down under with this post all about the awesome aussie east coast, starting off in sunny Sydney!

Icon : Sydney Opera HouseI flew from Heathrow airport in London on an Emirates flight – which was incredible. The service, food and choice of films couldn’t have been better. With a stop off in Dubai airport we continued our 18 hour journey to the beautiful city of Sydney. ( I have tried to give rough estimations on what I spent in Sydney, please take this as guide price and always look for online discounts or deals that may be available in other months/times of the year! )

Quick Prices: Return Economy Flights with Emirates ( 1x stop off June/July – August/September) £900 $1400

When we arrived at our first hostel ‘The Base‘ we checked in, dropped off our backpacks and decided to head for a large coffee in Hyde park and take a stroll through Sydney’s botanical gardens – which led us to our first glimpse of the iconic Sydney Opera House. Very surreal to finally see it up close and its a lot smaller than it seems on tv but just as magnificent with the back drop of the harbour bridge. The architecture and design of it is stunning and after soaking up the sun on the steps of the opera house we headed back to our hostel to catch up on some much needed sleep! The Base’ facilities were really well maintained and all the staff were very friendly and helpful. Your able to book tours through most of the hostels you go in and can even work shifts for free accommodation or food – so make the most of this if your on a budget!

Quick Prices: 1x Night Accom. The Base £16 $24

 

holding the #sydney #operahouse #austrailia #selfie #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Whilst in Sydney we discovered that you can get water taxis across the harbour. We hopped in one and jetted over the scenic harbour taking in a 360 view of the opera house and bridge – pretty cool way to see it and I’d definitely recommend going in one as they are only a couple of dollars – way better than cramming onto a ferry! It took us over to The Taronga Zoo to check out our first glimpse of Australian critters. The zoo itself was huge, there was so much to see and do. We saw everything from koalas to kangaroos, crocodiles and platypus’ as well as loads more. Some great photo opportunities for any wildlife photographers out there. A great and well run zoo packed with information on wildlife, we managed to get our ticket in a deal with the water taxi by scouting out around the harbour and combining deals.

We managed to get our tickets in a deal with the water taxi return fare as well! Look out for the promoters round the harbour front and don’t be scared to haggle for better prices – theres loads of different tour operators but they all want your custom!

Quick Prices: Taronga Zoo & Taxi Return £27 $41

Taxi view #watertaxi #sydney #austrailia #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Giraffe In The City

Tiger Light

Hi Nigel! #pelican #bird #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

We also took the opportunity to visit Darling Harbour for a bit of sightseeing round the city and a chance to check out the shops and food places. If your looking for a day of retail therapy with snacks and drinks then you should head here. Theres everything you could want and its all set around a picturesque harbour front. Whilst here we visited Wildlife Sydney which was another chance to see some of the animals indigenous to this country. Wildlife Sydney had a more up close and personal feel with some of the smaller creatures of the bush and was catered a lot more to families with young children – so if this is you I’d head to Wildlife Sydney for your dose of aussie animals.

As this is part of the Merlin attractions family you can usually get great discounts to combine entry to multiple places, so really good if your planning to visit more than one of them and make the most of the deal. Make sure you look tickets up online as well as you can often save money on online deals and discounts!

Quick Prices: Online Booking £10 $15 | Walk-In Booking £15 $21

RexBoomerangs

Being in Sydney we couldn’t not take a bus down the road to the famous Bondi Beach. A beautiful small beach located just 20 mins bus journey out of the city offers stunning oceans views and a bustling beach town with cafes, restaurants and shops to explore. I just enjoyed sitting on the beach soaking up the incredible views and ocean sunset! The bus system in Australia is run very efficiently as you can buy tickets in local shops or by machine – they do not take cash on board so its just a swipe on and off system which makes travelling really quick and easy. Trains work in the same way but you buy all the tickets as you go down into the underground using machines.

Quick Prices: Sydney Town Centre – Bondi Beach Bus Return £5 $8

I’d quite happily live on bondi beach #sydney #bondi #beach #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

sunset at bondi #beach #bondi #sunset #perfection

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

You can take a walk along the famous Harbour bridge and glance out across at the Opera house and city from the Pylon Lookout at the centre of the bridge. You can also walk the harbour bridge if your feeling brave and want a higher view of everything!

Quick Prices: Harbour Bridge Climb Day £135 $205 | Twilight £170 $260 | Night £116 $176 | Dawn £170 $260

Amazing views from the bridge #sydney #austrailia #landmark #operahouse #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

To finish our first stop in Sydney off we took a trip back down the harbour and relaxed in the Opera bar that comes alive at night with bars and tables set up along the harbour front. Massive fire patio heaters light the way and you are able to order food from the bars restaurant as well. You can soak up the atmosphere as you look out onto a bustling harbour front whilst you sip your ice cold aussie beers.

Quick Prices: Beer £4 $6 | Red/White Wine £5 $7 | Pizza £10 $15 | Chips £5 $7

 

perfect end to the day a cold beer at the opera bar #ideal #sydney #austrailia

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

the best course #dessert #cake #foodporn #instadaily

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

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Kenya | Travel Talk Pt.1

Kenya | Travel Talk Pt.1

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I love to travel. I’ve thought about how I can incorporate this into my new site and blog – and so ‘travel talk’ was born. I’ll be giving a brief review and sharing my experiences in a series of posts around the places I have explored. And so here is the first of the bunch…Kenya pt.1

When I think of Africa i think wild, untamed, a country rich in culture and The Lion King. Since a very young age it has been somewhere I have always dreamt of seeing myself. When the opportunity came up in 2009 to visit a school and go on safari I couldn’t get on the plane quick enough.

We flew into Nairobi airport full of excitement and anxiousness. This was it, I had finally made it to a country and experience I had dreamt about. The adventure begins.

Fresh from the arrivals lounge we jumped straight into a truck and headed off to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Now it’s important to note that elephants are number one on my list of animals to see so heading straight to an elephant orphanage was the best possible start to the trip I could have asked for.

One Man & His Elephant by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

The David Sheldrick wildlife trust was an amazing place and the work they do there for young orphaned animals like elephants and rhinos is outstanding. The keepers themselves are assigned an animal to look after on a 1-1 24hr basis. I would definitely recommend popping into this place if you are planning a trip as you can get real close to the elephants and watch them play, feed and even put them to bed; we adopted an elephant named Kibo!

Baby Elelphant by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

Elephants by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

#tb to this little guy 👋 #rhino #travels #africa 🌍

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

We headed straight to our new home for the next few weeks in Malindi – got settled, met the garden monkeys, checked out the pool and went straight to the local beach bar – as you do! The Driftwood was an amazing beach hut bar with incredible ocean views! You can go camel riding (on George) along the beach and book various diving boat trips as well – a must do!

Paradise Cove by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

George

Whilst we were there we took the chance to go to a crocodile farm where you get to get pretty close to all sorts of reptiles and lizards. We watched a feeding frenzy in the crocodile pit and got to hold a massive python! The farm was really well run and was a great experience to hold a baby croc and python.

Feeding Frenzy

What's For Dinner?

Once we had settled into life in Malindi and had our first few encounters with wildlife we ventured to our first big project which was to go see and teach at Marafa school. When we first entered the school we were surrounded by a sea of smiling curious faces that followed us everywhere. Once the initial shock wore off we relaxed into our teaching roles. On a rotation of 25+ children in each group we began a week of lessons. It was a fantastic experience and incredibly rewarding to see the kids listening and interested in what we had brought with us. They especially had fun with my camera – which gave me some great photos!

Creative Culture

#africa #mask #tbt #instadaily #insta #instahub

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

After a week of teaching the school put on a traditional tribal dance for us – I was pulled up to bust a move or two.

#tbt #dance #travels #happy

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

With an incredible first week and introduction to Kenya, we packed up our teaching bags and got ready for the next adventure – safari!

Kenya pt.2 coming soon…

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