The VIA FERRATA!! This is what brought us to the Dolomites in northern Italy. I read about this in some travel book (can’t remember anymore which one) that this was one of the top adventures in the world. After doing it I can say it was a blast and an amazing adventure but one of the top adventures in the world??… maybe a little bit a stretch. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.
Our route on the via ferrata
We hired Marcello via www.dolomitemountains.com to guide us up the mountain. We started off roped up to Marcello even though the whole point of the via ferrata is that you don’t have to use ropes. The via ferrata or iron road provides the necessary safety measures for you to get to the top. All you really need is a helmet, harness, and 2 carabiners attached to you harness. The 2 carabiners are there so you always have at least one clipped into the cable just in case.
Nathan bringing up the rear on the via ferrata
After a little bit of climbing Marcello decided we were ready to go on our own. He took the rope off of us. There would be nobody to blame but ourselves if we fell to our death. Our lives were in our own hands. Actually, it wasn’t that scary. The iron cable is firmly bolted into the mountain and you always have one clip into the cable. You would have to do something very stupid to get hurt. Even the local kids do this with their families. It’s like taking a walk in the park for them.
We did make it to the top and both of us wanted to do it again right away. It was great fun that was very safe. I would want to hire Marcello to do it a few more times but then we would be fine going out on our own. Most of these routes are well documented and well marked. During the peak seasons you can even get traffic jams on some of them because there are so many people.
Miki standing in front of our via ferrata climb
Travel Tip: If you want help with a complete travel package to the Dolomites contact www.dolomitemountains.com. They can help with hotels, transportation and hiring a guide. If all you need is a guide for a few days then contact Marcello directly. You’ll probably be able to work out a better deal.
Check out this video compilation of our climb up the via ferrata.
It took me almost 6 months but I finally got through all the pictures and video from our trip to Antarctica. We did take over 10,000 photos and several hours of video. It takes a while to parse that down into a 9 minute video slideshow. Enjoy…
Don’t forget to check out the previous posts from our Antarctica Expedition.
Our Indian Tiger Safari produced some of the best wildlife photographs I’ve taken to date. This video slideshow showcases the best of the best along with some amazing video footage of tigers and other animals of india.
A gallery of the best photos from the trip can be found here.
Another time lapse video but of another Tiger Reserve in India, Kanha. This is a much different park than Bandhavgarh which I posted a time lapse video about earlier. It’s much bigger and has wide open plains which gives it a more Africa type feel.
Front view time lapse of one of our game drives at Kanha national park.
0:05 – Driving through the city of Tala (don’t blink. It’s only about 3 frames)
0:47 – watching the elephants bathing in dust
1:17 – Indian bison sighting
Lots of stopping and starting. Waiting and watching. Sometimes game drives are like that. A lot of waiting and watching and not much action but its not a zoo and wildlife sightings aren’t guaranteed. The park is still beautiful and having a nice drive through a beautiful game park is a great experience.
You can view the video on youtube here (soundtrack had to be changed due to copyright restrictions).
I had an idea to create a time lapse movie during one of our game drives in the tiger reserves. I haven’t done something like this before and haven’t seen anything online about doing something like this but I gave it a go. I took my canon 5d mark II with a 12-24mm lens zoomed out to 24mm and plugged in my cheap chinese knock off time lapse trigger device thingy. It was configured to take 1 photo every 7 seconds. I imported all the jpegs into quicktime pro which I used to create the movie to playback all the still frames at 12 frames per second.
I mounted the camera to a bean bag and then strapped it to the top frame of the vehicle with a lot of tape (the roads are bumpy… very, very bumpy so I was pretty worried about the camera flying off). I wrapped it all in a small towel to try and protect it from the dust. It didn’t really work because the fine talcum powder like dust gets everywhere.
The results turned out much better than I thought. The first take I had it pointed forward and I think it catches the gist of what a game drive is. I was also lucky and it caught a very brief glimpse of the Jackal killing a Chital on this camera. It’s the very small dot down the road next to the wall. Don’t worry, I got a much better shot with my 500mm lens which I’ll be posting later.
The second take was the camera rig turned around at me and Talat. This was the best take of all. It was a pretty boring game drive until the last few minutes. We ended up getting an amazing tiger safari in a mad scrabble of vehicles.