One Cool Sunset

5 05 2008

Antarctic 1

Don’t eat that yellow snow.

Adventure Blogger. Average height, weight, age and hair colour. Enjoys world peace, children, pets, long walks, candlelit dinners, and sunsets. Seeking same.

 

Apart from being stunningly average, as gushingly romantic as it sounds, I really do love sunsets.  They are not only visually spectacular, but they mark a perfect division between a day of exploring or utter inactivity and an evening of eating - and utter inactivity. Perhaps best of all, a good sunset can turn anyone into a master photographer, as long as you remember to remove the lens cap and turn the thing on!

 

There is a magic that comes with late afternoon. The air cools and gently caresses sore skin that has been battered by the sun since early morning.  The rush of the day peters down to a steady trickle, traffic lightens, sounds become muted, tides lap more languorously and your stomach starts to gurgle in anticipation of samosas, empinadas and ceviche. You have a cool shower and find some fresh clothes more respectable than the creased cargos or sarong you've togged around in all day. But before you head to the bar for a pre-dinner aperitif, you find a quiet spot, face

west, and take a deep breath.

 

Sunsets in remote or tropical destinations always seem so much better than those at home. Perhaps it’s the lack of light pollution that allows you to better enjoy the sun’s swansong in all its glory, or that the weather is often nicer and therefore the chances of actually seeing the sun in the Maldives is considerably better than in Manchester. Or maybe it's just that you're more relaxed when removed from the hustle and bustle of work, rush hours and grocery shopping and therefore more perceptive and appreciative of the natural things around you. Whatever the case may be, sunsets are pretty breathtaking.

 

Antarctic 2

Although tropical destinations rarely fail to please, the most awe-inspiring sunset I have ever experienced was in the Antarctic from the deck of a small expedition ship. The temperature was barely above freezing and we were anchored in a sheltered cove surrounded by stark snow-covered cliffs, pristine glaciers, towering icebergs, drifting floes and curious whales. The sun dipped very slowly and sensuously, painting the sky, the snow, the ice and the still water with an ever changing pallet of liquid yellows, oranges, pinks and reds before finally disappearing completely and enveloping us in a viscous black.

 

With each colour change, the temperature dipped. Our breath condensed and the ship slowly turned in the gentle tide, its engines off. The only sound apart from the distant blowing of whales and the lap of water on the ice-strengthened metal hull was the click of camera shutters. Not a word was spoken and no one retreated inside seeking warmth until the sun had taken its final bow.

 

Perhaps the solitude and unique surroundings at the end of the earth helped to make the scene so much more memorable and spectacular, but the colours really were so vivid that no lens filters or Photoshopping was necessary to produce photos that look thoroughly filtered and Photoshopped.

 

Photo and post by: Simon Vaughan © 2008.

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