Winter is still upon us in Provence,so on cold winter days with the fire roaring,I've spent time going through my photographic archives,some of which I haven't looked at for a decade or more.These are of the Rabari,a semi nomadic group of herders & pastoralists who live in the desert regions around the town of Bhuj with their camels & goats.Home to Indias oldest civilisation-The Indus valley.In 2001 the are was devastated by an earthquake (7.7 magnitude) which killed over 2000 people.
The last photo of the Rabari,I took in Delhi where a large group of street performers have settled who perform all around India & occasionally the rest of the world
Just back from Barcelona where Odette & I had dinner at Los Caracoles (Snails).A fantastic restaurant situated in the Gothic quarter,opened in 1835 & still in the same premises & run by the founders,the Bofarrull family.We'd had a large lunch in the suburb of Barcelonetta,so when we arrived for dinner,we just ordered a Paella,the best I've ever had (other than the paella made by my old friend Will Longman).
On my recent trip back to Vietnam,I re-visited the salt pans of Hon Koi,North of Nha Trang,wanting to photograph the place in colour.Nearly 20 years ago I was just using B&W film.I had heard that a lot had changed in the intervening years & that they were now using wheelbarrows instead of yokes to collect the salt & due to unseasonal rains in the dry season over the past few years,there was not enough sunshine to evaporate the salty waters.On arrival,everything had changed,gone were the mountains of salt,gone were the use of yokes,the pans were now lined with black plastic sheeting & there were hardly any workers left working the pans.They were also dressed in uniform shirts & wellie boots.I couldn't even recognise the environment as the horizon was littered with new buildings.So,here are what now is historical & to be seen no more.
It's the build up for Tet (Vietnamese New Year) at the moment & it's HUGE.Yesterday I visited the Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda here in Saigon & it was busy with people making offerings to the ancestors.Here are some photographs at a quieter time the day before.
Recently,passing through Phan Rang-Vietnam,I was honoured to meet Duong Thang,a 95 year old gentleman who must be one of the most charming,happy & healthy persons I've ever come across.He puts his longevity down to drinking RUOU THUOC (fermented rice wine aka Mekong whiskey)with every meal of the day.Ruou Thuoc is also called 'Medecine Wine' & is infused with ginseng (and other herbs),fruits,spices & occasionally dried sea horse,geckos,snake & scorpion.No wonder he has such a sparkle in his eyes!He'd nearly finished the jar of wine (in the third picture) but showed me his reserves of 20 litres hidden under his bed.