This is the personal blog of London photographer, backpacker, traveller Mark Coughlan. The intention of the blog is communicate updates from my personal website and on my photography projects and travels both in the UK and worldwide. When backpacking the obscure places on earth, this blog will be continually updated with images and thoughts from the road. [Read more about me]

Friday, 24 October 2008

The Backpacking Years Photo Gallery - Part Two

The Backpacking Years: View the complete gallery

Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who has expressed their positive feedback on the new gallery of photos from the archive, "The Backpacking Years". While the photos are a trip down memory lane for me, for many of you they are photos you are seeing for the first time, taken a good 4-5 years ago.

Below is photos 5-8 with a description/background on each of the shots.

As this elderly chap was not the only one, it seems that sleeping through the mid-afternoon sun atop of a temple in Durbar Square is very much the thing to do in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Stretching for miles, the most majestic of drives in New Zealand's south island during the winter months between Mount Cook and Lake Tekapu. This photo was a winner in a Lonely Planet competition back in 2005.

There was a never ending line of novice monks wanting their photos taken so they could admire themselves on the LCD screen - the power of Digital camera - at Lavrin Sum temple in Erdene Zuu Khiid, Mongolia.

A young girl who collects recyclable rubbish at Angkor Wat, takes a break from her odious job in the late afternoon sunshine, Cambodia.

The Backpacking Years: View the complete gallery

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Backpacking Years Photo Gallery - Part One

The Backpacking Years: View the complete gallery

Could it be a case of itchy feet yet again?
I've recently found myself looking through some of my earlier photography taken on my first couple of backpacking/Round the world trips back in 2004 and 2005.

I have picked a selection of shots from the archive, some you may have seen before and others for the first time. Some of the photos were taken with film prior to the digital world catching hold of my imagination.
For your viewing pleasure, I have put 28 photos together to form a new gallery on my website, titled "The Backpacking Years".

Grouped into sets of four, I will give a little background on each photo. Please do add your comments below or feel free to email me your thoughts/feedback.
On a cycle ride into the remote countryside around Yangshou, Southern China we passed a group of dumbstruck kids who look as if they've never seen Westerners before.

This Memorial stupa on the outskirts of Phnom Penh is a gruesome reminder of Cambodia's brutal past at the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. The stupa contains over 8000 skulls exhumed from mass graves.

Breakdancers at New York's 42nd Street subway station entertain the crowds with an excellent performance. I have video clips that I will upload and add to the blog in due course!

A Hindhu man's morning bathing ritual on the steps of the Ghats on the the holy river Ganges in Varanasi, India.

The Backpacking Years: View the complete gallery

Monday, 6 October 2008

Berlin Marathon 2008: Mission complete!

It was all going so well up to the 23/24kms mark. I was a couple of minutes ahead of my pace, with an aim of 3:45 finishing time, so as I approached half way I stopped for two minutes to have a drink at 19kms where Anita was waiting. Big mistake.
When I headed off my right hamstring tightened to such an extent I thought I'd been shot in the back of the leg by a German sniper. I battled on despite having to stop for a massage on 25kms and then every 5kms thereafter to stretch, I somehow got over the finish line.
I got home in 4:02:29, slightly disappointed but glad to make it round as the last 15kms were mentally very tough.

I actually completed 27 miles, almost an extra mile, as my trusty watch gizmo tells me, I guess taking into account that you don't run in one straight line but spend much of your time weaving from one side of the road to the other trying to pass groups of people it all adds to your actual distance. When you bear that in mind and the stops for a message and stretch I should be pleased with my time.

Thanks to everyone that once again kindly sponsored me, this time raising £400.00 for The Cambodia Trust. This together with the money raised through The Rickshaw Run in January and the Mongol Rally in the summer has seen my fundraising exceed £5,000.

The Cambodia Trust
Justgiving: Mark Coughlan Berlin Marathon 2008

Saturday, 4 October 2008

The Girl With Two Faces: A Bodyshock Special

In early March 2008, a perfectly healthy baby was born in rural India. But baby Lali was no ordinary child, against odds of 50 million to one this little girl was born with two faces.
This revealing documentary forming part of Channel Four's excellent 'Bodyshock' series follows the Singh family in a race against time as they try to reconcile their mistrust of modern medicine with their desire to keep their daughter alive and healthy.

Lali was born to the impoverished Singh family in the rural village of Saini Sunpura, 50 kilometres from New Delhi, where life has stayed much the same for centuries.
To watch the entire episode click here or watch the seven minute clip below.

Slumdog Millionaire: UK premiere/release

Below are two short preview clips from the forthcoming UK premiere of Slumdog Millionaire. Showing at Leicester Square Odeon on Thursday October 30th 2008 ahead of a nationwide release in January 2009.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) The film tells the story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions.

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