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Photos from Monument Valley, located on the northern Arizona border with southern Utah.  A 17 mile drive through the 16 million acre Navajo Monument Valley park will produce stunning scenery by its sheer size and beauty. The red colour comes from iron oxide exposed in weathered siltstone rock. Often used in the settings for Western movies.  This place is stunning and no relief from the sun and heat no matter how many times I danced on Rain God Mesa.  Loved the place.

 

The south rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona is fine stop on our road trip.  Carved by the Colorado river and 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and 1800 metres deep (over 1 mile deep!). In some of the photos you can see the air pollution, however this tends to be more visible in the brighter part of the day and can wash out some of the colours of the canyon.  We stayed till sunset where colours became quite intense.  Our photos are mainly from the south rim, its a heck of a chunk of rock to get around.  If we go again, we’ll try a sunrise and a trip on the Colorado river rapids.

Bearizona is a drive through wildlife park at Williams in Arizona, USA. While not normally a fan of zoo’s and wildlife parks, these animals are native to the area and in natural habitat surroundings. Birds that ‘fly’ (gasp) may scare your girlfriend as you take the perfect shot.  Bears that wallow in mud and water, donkeys that try to get in the car. A great stop on our road trip in the South West United States and very different from the overpriced meagre zoos that the UK often offers. Then again the UK doesn’t have wild bears and bison roaming the land.

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Bearizona

Photos from or road trip via Las Vegas, Nevada.  A sparkling neon filled world of plastic fantastic hotels and casinos stuck in the middle of the Mojave desert. Like a wax museum with a pulse. Tacky, whacky and placky, a homogenous pot of casino’s where you can stumble around and never see daylight. Get married by Elvis if you want as long as you promise never to step on his blue suede shoes.  Ridiculous prices for big name hotel stays, try the affordable (very cheap) Motel 6 instead by Tropicana.

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Freemont Street Experience

Stratosphere Hotel

Motel 6

Caesars Palace

The Hoover Dam is a worthy turn off from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, a detour on US route 93 from our south west USA road trip.  For us, it was an unscheduled stop, we  nearly missed this place as we drove over the bypass and you can’t see the dam below you.

We stopped for a few photos and a look around.  An impressive engineering effort in the Black Canyon blocking off the Colorado river.  The Hoover Dam used to be known as Boulder Dam and borders two time zones of Arizona and Nevada, each intake tower, penstock tower, is in a different time zone.  It looks just like the movies and in the games Half-Life, Grand Theft Auto…

 

I love New York, the place absolutely buzzes 24 hours a day, the food, the culture, the people make it fantastic.  So good I’ve now been here twice, although the first time was a fleeting overnight stop with the RAF when we stopped on Lexington, smack bang central location.  Love the fact you can wander out at 2 am, grab a hotdog from a stall and watch life go by.  Or get on the subway for it to spit in two and you end up on the half where you don’t want to be going.  This was a relatively cheap break for New York over Easter.  Pity about the weather, nearly froze to death on an open top tour bus and then watched it snow at the the top of the Empire State Building.

These photos include Central Park, El Dorado Building, Rockerfeller Center, Empire State Building, Times Square, Liberty Island, Statue Of Liberty.   New York, Central Park, El Dorado Building, Rockerfeller Center, Empire State Building, Times Square, Liberty Island, Statue Of Liberty, Big Apple, Fifth Avenue, 5th Avenue. There are also some great restaurants including Eamonn’s Bar and Grill and especially McAnn’s Bar and Grill on 46th Street.

It was the holiday of a lifetime, the number 1 dream holiday destination ever since I was a kid. Becoming a Tomb Raider in Egypt was certainly worth the wait.

Pictures from our trip to Egypt which included a week in Luxor to do all the tourist things like visiting Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, King Tutankhamun, Valley of The Kings, Hatshepsut’s Temple, Pyramids at Giza, Cairo, Colossi of Memnon, Sphinx, Rameses.   Also a week on the red sea resort of Hurghada.  Fantastic, money well spent.  Apart from the pharaohs revenge….

Karnak Temple – Karnak is the largest temple complex in the world.  Situated near Luxor, the site comprises of ruined temples, chapels, pylons, avenue of sphinxes, Hypostyle Hall and other ancient artefacts.  The site is over 100 hectares in size and can also be viewed at night time with a spectacular sound and light show.

Valley of the Kings – Very hot.  No wonder you were there by 7 in the morning.  Had the opportunity to go in to 3 different tomb’s.  Also got to see Tutankhamun in his own tomb and the entrance to tomb KV63, the first tomb to be discovered since King Tut by Howard carter in 1923 which had only been discovered earlier in the year (Feb 2006).

 

Luxor Temple – Another large temple complex known as the southern shrine.  Amenhotep III built Luxor Temple with later additions made by Ramesses II who built the entrance pylon and several obelisks.

 

Pyramids at Giza and the Great Sphinx – It is impossible to scale the Pyramids against any building you know, they are massive and dominate the area.  Had a chance to go inside the 2nd pyramid, Pyramid of Khafre, some tough steep climbs inside to see a massive stone sarcophagus.  Be sure to visit Khufu”s ship inside the museum by the pyramid.

 

Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut – Travelling with the tourist police armed with machine guns to see Hatshepsut’s Temple.  Guess they don’t want a repeat incident of the Luxor massacre in 1997.  You should be prepared however to be manhandled by market traders outside dragging you to their stalls.

 

Other pics – Pictures of other stuff and monuments.  Many fine artifacts in Cairo museum including the famous death mask of Tutankhamun and tons of other stuff.

 

Photos from my time in the RAF as a Painter & Finisher, in laymans terms, painting planes, although I can assure there is a little more to it than that, conversation on sacrificial metal coatings anyone?  Pictures include those from trade training at RAF St.Athan, my first base at RAF Brize Norton, RAF Laarbruch (Germany), Incirlik Air Base (Turkey), Falkland Islands, Pennsylvania (Ohiopyle State Park, Youghiogheny River, Uniontown).

Basic Training – RAF Swinderby

6 weeks of basic Training at RAF Swinderby 28th June 1988 with a pass out parade on the 10th August 1988 with . Unluckily for me and a few others, I got food poisoning on the very first day and spent the first 3 nights in hospital.

Trade Training – RAF St Athan

Four months training for the Painter and Finisher trade August to November 1988

RAF St Athan 1988. Painter & Finisher trade training flight 195. Front row, second from right aged 17
RAF St Athan 1988. Painter & Finisher trade training flight 195. Front row, second from right aged 17

 

RAF Brize Norton

Aircraft Engineering Squadron, 1992 at RAF Brize Norton in front of VC10 aircraft.

Aircraft Engineering Squadron 1992 RAF Brize Norton. VC10 aircraft
Aircraft Engineering Squadron 1992 RAF Brize Norton. VC10 aircraft

 

Incirlik Air Base

Incirlik Air Base in Turkey in support of Operation Warden for no fly zones in Northern Iraq after the first Gulf War.

 

Falkland Islands

 

Others

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