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News comes in all shapes & sizes - here a light hearted but hilarious account!

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A day in the life of a Sharpa Photographer as seen through the eyes of Adventurer and ultra wise Photography Man - Harris "No hill too far" Benjamin!

Although the map suggests a wonderful loch in one of the extreme points of the farm, locating it is another challenge, similar in my view,  despite my high level of fitness gained visiting the gym four times per week, to crossing the north Pole. After hiking through some fields, thought to be in the correct direction, resulted in the return to the farm house,  about 75 minutes later.

Fortunately the local farmer’s son, who was buzzing around on a small quad bike/farm vehicle advised that the loch was not accessible by a normal vehicle as it was also a long distance away by foot.  He kindly loaded me up, side saddle style on the luggage rack over the rear mud guard and proceeded with me gripping and holding on for dear life, camera and tripod gingerly hanging in there as every bump irrespective of size had the effect of posting on a large horse whilst trotting, just slightly slower than a canter, next gear up would have been a gallop, (let me tell you it is not for the feint hearted). 

After twenty minutes we arrived at the corner of a field,  which, was totally inaccessible by any vehicle, even a horse would have had no chance here. The loch, which was still some distance about a normal 10 minute walk was something out of a horror movie. It was a complete marsh or bog with very few scattered clumps of grass, which could have been used as stepping stones, however they all sank underfoot along with my shoes, socks and occasionally shins as well.

It was difficult to gauge whether or not I would still have shoes and socks on my feet after the bog unhappily freed them up for the next little step for my mankind. After twenty minutes of this, the loch was still not viewable, despite the comforting words of my guide (Himalaya stuff). Eventually we stumbled across the loch, all of a massive 25-30 meters across, comparative to a village duck pond. The ground under foot as described gave way as I started to photograph and resulted with a ducking of my elbows up to the armpits in water, creating a most attractive graduated colour scheme with my sweater sleeves which also attracted the attention of many unknown insects (scratch, scratch). 

With images being secured the homeward trek commenced with a few falls as clumps of grass decided to swallow my feet once again. Finally arriving back to the van parked at the farmhouse, allowed me to pull off my shoes, and what looked like disintegrating socks, I established that small pieces of moss and marine life had penetrated my shoes from the ankles, and with only wellies (yes wellies, if only I had realised, if only…….), I drove home rather uncomfortably as I also discovered my wellies were one size too small!

Sharpa photographer
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    Harris Benjamin