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Mogs Travels: January 2009

Mogs Travels

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Well here we are in 30 degree temperatures on a flat sea cruising around the islands. The ship is a little basic. We were locked out of our room last night due to a faulty lock. Thankfully the crew managed to open it in time for bed. I've been diving today and say my first turtle. Photo is of our boat Yasawa Princess. Elvie

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Packed and ready to go

Yes we're all ready for our next trip. The bags are packed and we set off in the morning, having an overnight stop in the South East before getting the plane to Male in the Maldives on Sunday. We had a major panic this afternoon when we realised we'd lost the silicon grease that keeps the underwater case for our camera watertight! We rang several local shops who didn't stock it but found one in Bracknell that does. We're therefore setting off tomorrow, earlier than planned, as this shop shuts at 2.30! Fortunately our hotel has a swimming pool so arriving early means we can get insome practice for all the swimming & snorkelling we'll be doing in the next two weeks. We know there's some internet cafes in Male and will be there at weekends so hopefully will be able to update the blog. Mid weeks we'll be cruising the islands and unable to get online....we'll have a lot of catching up to do when we get back!



Thursday, January 22, 2009


We went to another of the Cardiff Scientific Society lectures last night. I haven't mentioned them all on here but we have been going fairly regularly and enjoying talks on a wide range of interesting subjects all nicely pitched at our level. The one on nanoscience was a little testing but understandable with a modicum of concentration and thought. Last nights talk on antimatter however was way over my head! I understood the first five minutes then got progressively more lost as the lecture went on! Anyway we had a nice natter & drink in the pub with V & P afterwards & overall had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

As I can't explain antimatter to you today here's a lovely picture of Pen y Fan which I took on our walk on Tuesday. Pen y Fan is the highest peak in South Wales at a modest 886m ( 2907 ft) but pretty in the snow


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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More birds!

The red kite was reintroduced into Mid Wales some years ago. In order to encourage the birds and ensure their survival there are a couple of official feeding centres where the kites get a good meal and the public get a superb close up view of them. We went to the centre at Llanddeusant today along with 60-70 kites. They're quite tricky to photograph, even under these ideal conditions, however, after binning all the blurry shots I'm left with a few good ones. The kites would grab the food and fly off with it immediately.

A few buzzards also turned up. They were easier to get a shot of as they ate the food on the ground and instead of viewing the scene from the air, like the kites, they perched on trees and fence posts like this one.

On the drive home we spotted our first baby lambs of the year. This one was really cute !
On our return home we were just in time to watch Barack Obama's inauguration as US President. An historic day!


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Saturday, January 17, 2009


We had an enjoyable morning on a "Birding for Beginners" walk today. The walks occur on the third Saturday of every month at Kenfig National Nature Reserve not far from our home but this was the first time we'd been on one. It was well attended with about twenty people accompanying the warden who did a great job in educating us. The nature reserve is largely sand dunes surrounding the large Kenfig Pool. There's some scrub and woodland which, as you can see, is nearly as wet as the pool! We wore walking boots but I think I'll be getting myself some wellies before I join the next one!

Most of the birds were too small, too far away or too fast for me to photograph but the gulls were quite obliging as they sat in the sun on the fenceposts. We saw a fair variety of birds the most interesting for me being the snipe and jack snipe, which I'd
never seen before and the sparrowhawk and yellowhammer which I've probably seen but not recognised. I don't think I'll ever get as keen as the regular birders on the walk. They were obsessed with numbers of species seen whereas I get excited at seeing something new. We'll definitely go again & it should be interesting seeing the different species as the seasons change.


ps you'd better add birdwatching to yesterday's list!

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Friday, January 16, 2009

New Year Plans

I do find the New Year an exciting time as we look ahead and plan for the coming year. Perhaps it's really a winter thing and I'm just looking forward to some warmer weather! Anyway here's a quick review of where we are and what we're expecting this year.

Bikes - Viv's bike project is still ongoing although has been on hold in recent weeks. She tells me her garage has been invaded by penguins and polar bears and is too cold for human occupation. I fear a scene of slaughter, full of penguin feathers, when we restart next week!

Travel - no long trip this year as we're reluctant to leave the aged parents for more than two or three weeks. We'll just have to go away more often! First outing is in a weeks time when we resume snorkelling and winter sun but this time in the Maldives. We're cruising around the islands in a small boat so internet access will be severely limited. Hopefully we'll get a few posts up, perhaps every 3-4 days. Mother in law wants us to take her away in April/May but we don't know where yet. We hope to get in two bike trips this summer. Firstly to the Alps in June or July and then perhaps Croatia in September. Nothing is definite though and we may decide to do something totally different!

Caravan - we really want to spend more time there this year. PLEASE let's have some good weather this summer so we can really make the most of all Pembrokeshire has to offer.

Photography - I've really enjoyed my photography in the last year so here's my Christmas present:

I'll still be using the compact camera as well but this new digital slr should enable me to take a greater variety of and better photos. I did a one day introductory workshop in photography last weekend here and will be doing a day on landscape and travel photography in March.

Flyfishing - this is LB's baby. As you know he enjoys his sea fishing but he has always fancied fly fishing. I'm encouraging him as while he fishes I can go off and practice my photography in peace!

Walking - We'll be building up our strength on the hills of the Brecon Beacons with the aim of going up Snowdon by the end of the year. We haven't done any serious hill walking for years but have always enjoyed it. It just so lovely to have the time for it and the fitness to take it up again.

Home - Decorate the upstairs rooms and have a major clearout of all the junk in the attic and spare bedroom. This is a big priority to complete before the weather improves and we get distracted. Needless to say we're also hoping to enjoy our new garden and improve it even more.

The only question is- will we have time for it all? Watch this space!



Saturday, January 10, 2009

Belated Happy New Year!

It's strange how addictive blogging can be when you do it regularly but how difficult it is to get started again after a break!

I had a new camera for Christmas so am looking forward to posting lots of nice pictures for you. I've been having plenty of practice in the last few weeks as we've been taking advantage of the dry but cold weather and doing long country walks. We've also been frequenting the outdoor shops and spending lots of money on thermals, warm trousers and boots! Walking more was an early New Year resolution that we're determined to stick to. Anyway here's a random selection of photos from the various walks we have taken.