Josh’s Challenge to Mt. Hillaby

This is quite exciting as this is now my 3rd challenge all completed and it was set by a friend of mine Josh who lives in Manchester. Josh had read my previous challenges with my sister and Mayur and wanted to get in on the action!

How it works is Josh sends me his rough location in Manchester, UK and i send him mine over here in Barbados we then have a look around on google maps to see if we can find anything interesting then send them across the details and they have to find it and takes some interesting photographs of that site.

After Josh read the last two he decided he wanted to give me something different as both the guys had sent me to the coast so Josh send me to Mt Hillaby which is not only the highest point in Barbados but it is the highest point in the Eastern Caribbean, I liked his thinking!

The week that the challenge was set was probably one of the busiest i have had at work for a long time, the studio was rammed and we had a few weddings on the books to! The first chance i had to go and take a look was Monday just gone, the night of Halloween!! Google only really had your typical shots of blue skied panoramic’s so Josh wanted to see something slightly different, after a quick chat about it we thought it might be quite cool to get some cool night shots. The night sky is so clear here and there is no light pollution so you really can see a million stars!

Monday came along so i set off up the hill in my little hire car, i set off at around 5pm with the idea that if i get up there i could catch a sunset, have a look around in some sunlight before it got dark then take some night shots. While i was driving there was an amazing sunset unveiling and i thought i was on to a winner! I got up there and the view was nice but there was something not quite right about it, there was a load of trees in the way of the sunset for a start i took a few shots and then i smelt rain, i turned around and i was greated with this view! When it rains in Barbados it rains!!

If you can see it you know you don’t have long so i ran back to car (sadly the 7D is not weather proof and i did not want to risk it) it was amazing though so i climbed into the back of the car, set up the tripod, undid the window and got this.

Roads get very slippy when there wet and i was up a massive hill, it did not look like it was going to clear up anytime soon so i went home!

The next day was my day off so not to be beaten i thought i would try again, this time i was going to bring back up! I needed some local knowledge so i arranged to spend the day with Simone, Simone follows my blog so she knew straight away what was going on, she also told me that at the top was a small stone that announced you were at the highest point in the Eastern Caribbean but it was covered with a bush! Great…

I took her back to where i had been the night before, it was not the right spot! If you looked to your right you could see a higher point. We had a little drive around and bumped into a local that gave us directions, he was spot on but it was the back road to the mountain. We got to this gate where another guy informed us that we could not go any further as there were about to lock the gate. Who knew mountains closed?? The gate keeper told us that we could still get there but we would need to go around the other side. He gave us some directions but they would have taken us past and behoned the first local we bumped into! This was getting silly, Simone then had an idea lets ask Facebook! She put on her status we need direction to the highest point and 35 comments and 2 phone calls later this is where we got to!

The directions took us higher and higher, the higher we got the smaller the road got! Until it just fell away and there was no more road! Simone’s friend on the phone told us to be careful as this was also a bus route!! The busses would drive up the road and have to reverse all the way down to get out again.

We backed up and parked the car, we had got this far and i was not giving up now! I wanted a view or something! We carefully went forward on foot, as it had been raining the floor was muddy and very slippy. Just past this photo all there was were trees! You could sort of see a view through but all it was were trees, trees, trees! Simone spotted what looked like an old over grown walk way, i was going! Maybe it was a path to a panoramic photo spot or something!!

It wasn’t but i did find this…

It was an old rundown house just a little way down in the trees, Simone told me it was probably a Nyahbinghi House (basically a hardcore Rasta who wanted to be at one with nature) I did not think much of it at first until i got down to the ground floor and sore written on the door way in blue paint the words “Give Thanks” while i was down there i had a humbling moment. Someone had lived right here and they had made this home for themselves and was happy!

I think this house and those words some up what these challenges are all about for me. “Give Thanks”

As soon as i had climbed back up to Simone and the car the heavens opened again but we were done so we set off home!

Now, Josh gave me a distance limit of the Manchester city boarder (which is still a fair bit of area!) as he does not have a car and would be relaying on public. My first find was Audenshaw Reservoir, from the arial photos there was a path that went right into the middle. I didn’t know if you could get there but i know Josh would relish the challenge! I liked the idea as i am surrounded by water so i thought i would send him to a place where he could be to. I also met Josh while working on cruise ships and he has recently given that life up. I know i miss being out at sea so i thought this might be a close contender for a city center.  (I know the UK is an island and is also surrounded by water but Josh lives in a city)

Sadly Audenshaw Reservoir must be a bit savy to all this as they charge for a photography licence which is a wooping £300 per day :(

Hmmm… back to the drawing board i think!

I had a second look and i found something even better! While i was living in London i bought a bike and used it to travel to and from work, best way to commute! As i tend to do i got a little obsessed with all things bikes and it lead me to read Lance Armstrong’s autobiography. (Well worth a read!) so then i was trying to watch as much as i could on TV. While i was re scanning google i found Manchester has its own Velodrome! National Cycling Centre, not only is it based in an amazing looking building it has a world class indoor velodrome, BMX center and lots of other things!

So ladies and gentlemen i give you Josh’s take on the National Cycling Center!

Phewwww… congratulations if you have got to this point as i know that was quite along post so thanks for staying with me!

So thats another challenge done, want to have ago like Josh then subscribe to my blog and send me a message and lets see if we can come up with some more :)

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10 thoughts on “Josh’s Challenge to Mt. Hillaby

  1. Awesome stuff! Loving the dedication to the cause! Not at all what I was expecting when I set the challenge. I was thinking of inky blue skies dotted with stars over rolling hills, but that’s the beauty of this challenge thing, you never know what you will end up with!

  2. mayur hulsar says:

    James, awesome pictures and awesome post… Loved the 1st, 3rd and last images most. I m really feeling to come and see Barbados and most importantly live the moments.

    Have seen Josh’s work, he too did a great job. This is really happening and I m enjoying every bit of it.

    We should discuss about the next challenge and how to make it more interesting, let me know if we three can have a chat or something. sadly I don’t have a webcam at my place.

    By d way, I already have a place for you, this was actually searched by my wife. So let me know if who’s turn it now after some obvious rest.

    • creasyo says:

      wow a three way challenge that would be something! What do you think Josh? We have also been thinking about names for the project. Josh has come up with the Photo Challenge Exchange. After mulling it over for the afternoon i quite like the sound of it what do you think?

  3. mayur hulsar says:

    sorry 1st 4th and the last image…

  4. I’d be up for another challenge, I loved the last one. I’ve had a whole bunch of people viewing the challenge post, but no one has made any suggestions, or asked to join in yet…

    • mayur hulsar says:

      Josh, James lets do it then… I will mostly be free next weekends, So can go where you want me to, and vice-versa.

      I would suggest lets have a chat or something, to make things more exciting..

      Let me know, I would be out of reach for at least 8-10 hours from now. In short will check my mail tomorrow morning by eight. its evening 8 now at my place.

      tk care.

  5. Really amazing pictures indeed, great work, kudos. Luc

  6. Marvellous photography James – you are a real ‘Gem’… 10/10 for the Photograph # 1, 4 and last but not the least – the super like 10th.
    Keep up the good work… sorry for coming up so late as i have been away on the high seas with a very limited access to internet.

    I am so proud of you xx

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