Outdoor Philosophy

Harnessing the power of adventure to inspire environmental action

Meeting Macaws

Have (finally!) written a guest blog for World Land Trust, about meeting macaws, a few conservation dilemmas and the super-importance of city-side forests. WLT  support brilliant biodiversity work around the world, including the Cerro Blanco Reserve that I visited in Ecuador. The blog is on their site here: http://www.worldlandtrust.org/news/2017/11/kate-rawles-macaws        

All That Glitters

‘No to mining, yes to water and life.’ Cajamarca campaign slogan   I think Jennifer Rodriguez may be the bravest person I’ve ever met. 26 years old, with a young daughter, Jennifer was – and is – at the heart of the campaign to protect the small Colombian community of Cajamarca from the almost unbelievably…

Coffee and Values

‘With a shared ethic of respect for the planet, we can create common solutions and lead by example in showing how to coexist with nature.’    César A. Franco Laverde, Director, Serraniagua Corporation I arrived at the tiny mountain town of El Cairo via La Carbonera; a steady climb away from traffic and into birdsong…

Monkeys and Sloths

Rosamira had told me I would almost certainly see monkeys. Not just any old monkeys, either, but Cotton Top Tamarin monkeys, or Titis; tiny creatures with a messy white hairdo that are only found in NW Colombia. And so I detoured to the small town of Santa Catalina, about half a day from Cartagena, and…

Coming Down the Mountain

I arrived at One Love thanks to Manuela, a friend of a colleague of a friend, who I’d not yet met. ‘Kate’ she said, on the mobile phone that I’d finally (more or less) figured out how to get to work in Colombia, ‘I know biodiversity and nature conservation is your main focus but would…

Turtles all the way

‘We have to reinhabit the earth, intelligently, humanely and effectively’ wrote T.C.McLuhan in his introduction to The Way of the Earth. It’s a pretty good way to describe the work of the people and projects I’ve been lucky enough to meet in my first few weeks in Colombia. But perhaps I should start with the…

The first few hundred miles

‘All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.’ Martin Buber ‘It’s typical’ [my detour north]. ‘You set out with a linear idea of what your journey should be and soon discover the world has other plans.’ Steffen Kirchhoff, Shamanic musician   If you are starting in Cartagena, Colombia, Santa Marta is not…

BioMuseo, Panama City

I’m sitting in a cool breeze on the terrace café of Panama City’s fabulous Museum of Biodiversity, looking out to a seaful of ships waiting to enter the canal and feeding small pieces of empanada to a grackle. The museum, designed by Canadian Frank Gehry (of Guggenheim fame) is a riot of primary blue, red…

Costa Rica

Cargo ship-induced emotional wrestling with the spectre of STUFF, aka global consumerism, its enormity and its impacts, left me even more curious and keen to explore Costa Rica: No 1 in The Happy Planet Index of high quality human life for low environmental impact, and a world leader in terms of forest regeneration and protection…

Underway, continued…

  The seabird flotilla left us not long after we departed French waters. For days, we saw only waves, and occasional flying fish. Then a solitary bird joined us for hours, hanging alongside us, arcing back for a fish-dive, then slip-streaming close to the ship until it was ahead of us again, all apparently effortlessly….

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