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Showing posts from May, 2009

MPA East Mids Awards

The annual Master Photographers Association East Midlands Region print competition took place this evening. I won the Landscape & Travel category outright and also scored an Award of Excellence and two Merits with the four images I entered. Desi Fontaine FMPA, who leads workshops for Charlie Waite's Light & Land, was judging this year's Regional Awards. I also scored an Award of Excellence in the Pictorial category.

I will not be able to enter the National Awards this year because I have been invited to join the Judging Panel for the commercial categories, which includes Landscape & Travel. This is a great honour for me and I look forward to being involved.

A short interlude!

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I'll sign off here now for the next couple of weeks. I'll post an account of the trip after I return, in the meantime here's a shot from a previous trip that shows what paddling in Sweden can be like when the weather is kind.

A sort of heaven! :-)

The waiting is the hardest part.

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The final few hours of waiting to set off on a journey are the hardest hours. Anyone who has planned an adventure will know what I mean, all the planning has been taken care of, the kit is sorted and packed and the anticipation builds with a small sense of frustration that you can't quite make a start.
Because you have to wait!

Oh well, to pass the time, I've had a look through a few previous moments in Sweden:

Portaging between lakes and rivers can be hard work. This forest road was one of the better ones because vehicles use it. Others are little more than rough, rocky and muddy single tracks. A rare moment of sunshine between heavy rain squalls on this day. If I wasn't soaked by the weather, I was soaked in sweat!

Beavers! Amazing creatures, beaver. There are places where downed trees block the portage trails and subsequent manhandling of the canoe over or around these obstacles can be a very strenuous exercise. Good fun though, it always gives me a thrill to see…

Sweden by canoe

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Everything is now packed and ready for the drive to Heathrow at 4.00am tomorrow. The start of this year's trip follows the same pattern as before: fly to Oslo, pick up the hire car, drive to Arvika, camp overnight, spend the first day buying 2 week's worth of food and supplies. Another overnight camp and then to the outfitter to collect the tent, canoe, paddles, portage trolley, etc and finally the landrover trek to the get-in, this time somewhere north of Algsjon.

The route this year is quite long and remote, about 12 days paddling, unless I find an island that I feel like living on for a couple of days! I may spin it out to 14 days. From past experience, I know it will be quite arduous, but Sweden is a beautiful country even when the weather is against you. The kit list hasn't changed much, I'm taking only what I know works well:

Paramo Velez
Paramo Cascadas
Paramo Cambia base layers
Paramo Mountain pull-on
Paramo Torres gilet
Paramo cap
Reed Chillcheater Transpire base l…