Ben Winston

Not your average travel blog

I could have just written “wow”, but…

South of the city of Jasper, the Ent-paced sights conjure lucid scenes in my mind, of how the wild was constructed. My wandering from “wow” surprises even me sometimes…
A dense pallet of green lushness currently blankets the valleys, as if Monet, with his admirable catterax affliction, had reached down from the skies and with a stiff brush, shot bristles into action to create the scraggy, thick forests and swaying meadows.

IMG_9900Reaching for a pallet knife the size of a humpback, and dragging it through an acrylic mash to gather up multiple greys; t’was layered on liberally, for strikingly speckled rock, shear against the green swathes, jolting up, just woken from a humid nightmare. The cliffs of the Rockies, now pensioners over their valleys, far from retired, carry firm word on the storms between them. As a cloud-dwelling bear, once slept on his soft, weathered bed, he was irritated and woken by the higher echelons of the back-piercing rockscape. He lashed down in grump, and reflex with his mighty white claws, gashing crevices into the grey mountain tops. Precariously now, they drip, ooze, bleeding blinding white snow from their scars, patient for the sun to heal.


Nature’s baron gravel quarries have been deposited around some of the mountains ankles. Left by the giant ice monsters who stealthily carved the land before man, they crept amongst the overlaid Rockies millennia ago, like frozen, feline gods. Now tamed, the icy white kittens frolic around the cliffs in the summer breeze; under parental strong-hands of rigid stone, violent winter storms, and avalanches from which they get their colour – the kittens are now weathered into their canyons and gullies, abhorrent that even come winter, they’ll never match their ancestral white tigers.


I see glacial rivers; deep cauldrons of chilled waters fill pot-hole caves, pounding falls gush over slick, stubborn stone, crystal clear streams tickle their banks, and discreetly peeking creeks babble over crowds of content pebbles. Dancing flows delicately lick and tease themselves over them; satisfied, they release into deep pools of relaxation, before soothing again their tense and rocky land, down the debauched channel to find another flow of flirtatious, tenacious, brave curiosity. The river endeavours to complete and fill, relax and cleanse; the stone weathers the persistent storms, forever the Rock the river needs to feel.

Euphoric flows, split the valley beds and caress their way through to the delicate and tremulous ice fields; pale blue lakes, full with a glut of mineral-rich silts, shimmering as the stiff, immovable land firmly accepts the waters that slowly flow around it. As if entwining their digits, and tangling all of their trickling tingles, finding every inch of each other to please below the sparkling, ribboned surface, and under the sodden ground; they each give into each others sounds and direction. The waters love till they seize in fall, the earth lives till winter; they disappear under blanketed silence to fulfil themselves, a long, dark romance, till spring.

Sometimes when I visit a place, all I can say is “wow”, but I’d have to apologise for not elaborating. If that was all a bit too much…put “wow” in your memory bank, and imagine Canada’s National Parks. In case it was a little too poetic, the kittens, were glaciers.


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Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, most of my time is spent between Malawi and Europe.
Go Untamed Safaris was striding into top gear, but volatile poitics in 2019, Covid in 2020, the impacts of Russia vs the World as well as insesent corruption forced my hand.
The dust is now settling. Everything has changed. New chapters are about to be written.

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