Friday Photo #45

Bug on a log! With mighty horns and armor!


Same guy. I think the lipstick works, don’t you? Understated. Earth colors.

Photo 45-2

This particular bug lives in South Africa. Check out 661 more living things from all over in the Animals and Wildlife section at And see all the Friday Photos.

And a good weekend to you.

Friday Photo #44 from Papua New Guinea


Here is a Mud Man, costumed for the annual Goroka Show, held in September in Goroka, Papua New Guinea. If you go, you’ll see a couple of days of dance presentations from maybe a hundred tribes from all over Papua New Guinea and as you can see from our Mud Man friend’s headgear, the whole thing is elaborate, exotic and while our man is all white other than his betel juice stains, the rest of the festival is wildly colorful. Wild might be the best word for Papua New Guinea overall.

As festivals go, this one has to be near the top of the list anywhere in the world for reasonably hardy travelers. It’s not the easiest to get to, but with a little determination it’s not that difficult. In our case it required a flight up from Brisbane to Port Moresby, then two more short flights to Mt. Hagen and then Goroka.

We did it independently but group tours are possible, although probably the biggest tour operator is already sold out for September 2016 here in November 2015.

See more photos from the Goroka Show in the Papua New Guinea Gallery at

On the same visit to Papua New Guinea we arranged a (sort of) cruise on the also wild Sepik River on which we were the only passengers who turned up. I wrote about it in the book Common Sense and Whiskey. You can read that chapter and see photos of life along the river here, and you can get the book locally from Amazon in your country.

More: See the rest of the Friday Photos, and check out photos of 844 more pretty exotic people from all over the world.

A good weekend to you!

Friday Photo #40, Taksim Square, Istanbul


I’m excited about the upcoming release of A Strangeness in my Mind by Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, promised on my doorstep October 20th. It’s a story of one of my world-top-five cities, Istanbul, as this review puts it, “in all its faded, messy, dusty glory.”

This week’s photo is from Istanbul, taken from the top of a high rise hotel. Here is Taksim Square, up on a hill on the European side, with a view down toward the Sea of Marmara and the entrance to the Bosphorus Strait.

Click the photo to see it better. That’s the Monument of the Republic in the center of the square, celebrating Kemal Ataturk and the formation of the secular Turkish Republic in 1923. At the far end the square opens onto Istiklal (Independence) Caddesi, Turkey’s most famous street and usually a center of protests. Istiklal is a pedestrian street that traverses the Beyoglu district for about a mile down to the Galata Bridge at the Golden Horn, and Eminönü beyond. That’s the Galata Tower in the middle distance.

There are 385 more photos in the Turkey Gallery at And see all the Friday Photos.