Outdoor Philosophy

Harnessing the power of adventure to inspire environmental action

Category: Life Cycle

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….

Underway!

…… My cabin is dark when I wake. I pull up the blind – and it’s still dark outside too. On deck a little later with the sun coming up, there is a huge pink sky and a small flotilla of gulls hanging alongside us. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. I am so, so delighted to be…

On Board!

Le Havre December 6th, definitely on the dazed and sleepy side. Woody and I were delivered to ship no 2 (after three trains, a cross channel ferry and, don’t ask, a London black cab) at high speed by a ‘Grand Taxi’ whose driver dismantled the back of his car, loaded Woody plus panniers and then…

How to Build a Bamboo Bicycle

First, choose your bamboo! Held upright in a wooded rack along a wall in the portion of East London warehouse that houses the Bamboo Bicycle Club, is a small forest of canes, loosely organised by length. We’re told to look for pieces with long, straight fibres, few blemishes, and no black lines. There’s a surprising…

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