Autumn in the Peaks, Stanage Edge, Peak District, England
Dead tree, Utah
Dried Mud flat, Merzouga, Morocco.
Delicate Arch, Utah
Old shepherds hut in Merzouga, Morocco.
Flipping out, Merzouga, Morocco.
Alex Godfrey walking up the sand dunes in Merzouga, Morocco.
The Hershey Railway
The electric railway, which lies about 40 miles east of Havana, was built in 1922 by the Hershey Chocolate Company to transport workers and refined sugarcane between Havana and Hershey.
Since comrade Castro had a falling out with Kennedy in '62, there has been little use for the railway and it's fallen largely into disrepair; breakdowns, power-outages and delays are part of the day-to-day operations. However, if you love trains, and any sort of slow travel then it's an awesome way to see the Cuban county-side and sweat alongside your Cuban compadres.
It's all about the journey and not the destination right? At least that's what I told my behind as it drifted off to sleep once again. The 3 emerald green carriages originated in Spain in 1945 and it's very apparent little-to-no work has been carried out on them since, barring the odd patch-up. The carriage certainly wasn't built for comfort and the 90 degree wooden benches, complete with bent steel armrests were obviously designed to provide that full communist, non-bourgeois experience, typical across most of Cuba.
Around 15 minutes into the journey a shower of sparks cascaded down through the open carriage windows, preceded by a large crashing jolt... The driver ambled off into the steppes in search of something to fix the issue while we sat patiently wondering if he was to ever return. Sure enough, large wrench in hand, he returned to fix the problem, aided by several passengers, many just smoking and offering helpful grunts. I remained in my steel tomb thinking it was probably best not to touch anything that may conduct electricity!
After a couple of hours we were underway and jolted from station to station; various livestock were loaded and un-loaded, military personnel escorting school children, old and young climbed aboard to travel a few stops. We travelled through a ghost-land of refineries and warehouses, fields of wheat and palm trees.
It was dark by the time we arrived at the final stop, Casablanca, the suburb of Havana. The conductor kindly found us a driver who would take us into Havana. The journey has taken 8 hours and I was as weary as my numb behind by that point but the Hershey railway still remains one of my fondest Cuban travel memories.
The Surin Project
I visited The Surin Project in east Thailand in 2012, which Alexander Godfrey had been managing for the past few years. The aim of the project is to get captive elephants off of their chains and by doing so getting them to behave like elephants again. These elephants spend most of their lives chained and only able to take small steps around their pens. They are mainly used for the local elephant shows in Surin.
When you take off their chains they become playful and social animals and you can observe a marked difference when they are once again chained; repetitive and apparently depressive behaviour is immediately displayed.
Legislation in Thailand offers no protection to these captive elephants, classifying them only as livestock. This project is trying to give these elephants a life worth living.