Train to Phulad — Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Trains and Tracks

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Trains and Tracks.

During our 2014 visit to India, we took a commuter train (built in 1928 by the British) from Sardargarh to Phulad. The train was ancient. At one point, the engineer had to stop the train and get down to manually switch tracks. The train creaked through a jungle and wound over a thousand foot cliff. It passed over 100 foot tall rickety bridges and through long tunnels. This was the most interesting train ride we have ever taken!

We took this photo at a stop at the Goram Ghat flag station where the train stopped for a few minutes. Images like this remind us of the cover of Robert Frank’s The Americans even though we were the only Americans on this train.

This photo was taken on November 13, 2014.

Hunters Pounce upon Prey on Lao Chai Bridge

This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Bridge.

In this photo, an unwary tourist has allowed herself to become separated from her pack on a bridge in Lao Chai and is about to be pounced upon by the Hmong souvenir sellers. The sellers are sweet, persistent, and have prices higher than a flagship department store in a mall. We wrote about them earlier in our post We Follow You Anyway.   Here they are seen on a rickety bridge several miles from Sa Pa where they first identify and then stalk their customers.

This photo was taken on February 12, 2017. Specs are:

Olympus TG-4, ISO 100, f/3.2, 1/640 sec, 60 mm full-frame equivalent

Rio–Antirrio Bridge

This is our entry in The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Bridge.

The Rio–Antirrio Bridge ( Γέφυρα Ρίου-Αντιρρίου) crosses the Gulf of Corinth to connect the Peloponnese peninsula with mainland Greece. This multi-span cable-stayed fully-suspended bridge is 2880 meters (about 1.8 miles) long.  Driving  beneath the cable stays of the four pylons presents a fascinating ever-changing view of lines leading to the sky. It is impossible to stop pressing the shutter once you look up. This is just one of dozens of shots.

Here is a view of the bridge on approach from the Peloponnese side.

These photos were taken on September 28, 2016. Specs are:

On the bridge: Olympus TG-4, ISO 100, f/8, 1/250 sec, 4.5 mm

Approaching the bridge: Olympus TG-4, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/250 sec, 18 mm

Walking Bridge in Ta Van Village – Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Letters W or X

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Letters W or X.

We visited Sa Pa in Vietnam in February 2017 to experience a homestay and trekking. Our trek took us through Ta Van Village, where we saw this walking bridge over the Muong Hoa River.  We had used a sturdier bridge, and so were puzzled why anyone would use this bridge instead.  As we observed, most people walked (from right to left) about halfway across and then turned and walked back. Our guide explained that this bridge was used for photo opportunities only. Looking carefully, we could see that the bridge ended in a tree on the other side.

Walking Bridge in Ta Van Village
Walking Bridge in Ta Van Village

This photo was taken on February 16, 2017. Specs are:

Olympus TG-4, ISO 100, f/10, 1/200 sec, 6.86 mm

 

Danger on the Rails

This is our entry in The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Danger!

In November 2014, we rode a narrow gauge local train between Sardargarh and  Phulad, a distance of 44 kilometers (about 27 miles), in the state of Rajasthan, India. For the beginning half of the trip, we sat on bench seats next to a window and took pictures. Each train window had 4 horizontal metal bars, which were not a problem, because our camera was small enough to fit between the bars.  However, as the scenery grew more interesting, we were invited to sit on the steps for an unobstructed view – which was terrifying at times, but we did it.

The train passes through the Ravli Sanctuary, with 100-foot-high bridges, two long tunnels (where the guide and other passengers made erie sounds for the echo effect), a (now dry) waterfall, and thick jungle. The track was cut out of the side of the cliff, with steep drops on one side of the train. There is a change of 1000 feet in elevation, downward. This railroad was built in 1928 by the British.

The image below was taken forward from our seat on the steps, and other passengers can be seen sitting on steps and leaning outward for a better view. There were no seatbelts.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Narrow Guage Train
This photo was taken on November 14, 2014. Specs are:
Olympus Tough TG-3,  ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/800 sec, 4.5 mm