More Explorations in the Ghost Town

The Last Sighting of My Quadcopter

I had my Phantom repaired just before this trip because one of the rotors was a little wonky. Well, I guess it wasn’t fixed too well because the whole thing went haywire on a flight over by the ocean here in Namibia. I got it about 100 meters off the ground and then it did a SEVERE tilt and started heading to sea. There was nothing I could do to stop it! And it must have been going 150km/h when it hit the water… so crazy and dangerous! It makes me not to want to get them repaired again… if it has a bad rotor, better just to throw it away, I think.

Daily Photo – More Explorations in the Ghost Town

I know yesterday's post was about how cold Namibia was, but this area here on the coast was much warmer. Thank goodness! Here's another one of the amazing ruined houses from that ghost town where sand dunes invaded. They said that back in the day, when this area was discovered, that people could just bend over and pick up diamonds off the top of the sand. Crazy!

More Explorations in the Ghost Town

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture20
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Traveling Ratcliff Photo Circus Around The World!





Day 16 – Quadcopter Crashing in Kerala and Farewell India

A lot of Quadcopter drama as we leave India! But I’ll get to that. BTW, check out my DJI Phantom 3 Review here on the site to see more about what I fly.

We started out in Kerala, a beautiful area of India that has thousands of little canals. We stayed on a houseboat for a while, drifting around like houseboat people. This is where Quada, which Scarlet calls the Quadacopter, had its last journey. We had countless successful flights with it… and you can see how Ethan launches it from the front of the boat… no problems there. But one time, a rotor would not turn. We got a “Rotor Obstructed” error message. Strange, because I couldn’t see anything. I did notice one rotor would make strange noises at startup, but when it started spinning, it was fine. Then it asked me to do the old 10-minute IMU calibration, which I did and was successful. We had 2 great flights, launching from the front of the boat and Ethan catching it on landing… no problems and we were smooth as silk. Then, on the next flight, It got up to about 40 meters and was only 20 meters from us and I saw the rotor lock up in the air! It tumbled down into the water for a major splashdown right by the boat. Everyone screamed and it was very dramatic! There was no recovery… it sank to the bitter depths… and all that awesome footage is lost foreva! It’s okay… the universe decided it was time for Quada to move on… So that meant I had to go to the camera store to buy another one… I just hope they let me take it to Oman next!

Okay, well, what else happened towards the end of our India trip. You can see more in the video here of course, but here’s a few things. We ended our train trip and went into the India Asha Niketan foundation, a special place here built for people with intellectual disabilities. The whole family spent some time here with the team helping out. It was especially great for the kids! Ethan played the guitar and we spent some time there together.

After that, we went back to Rivas at The Ritz-Carlton in Bangalore for an Indian cooking class from a Michelin star chef. Amazing! And not only that, but then we ate everything that we cooked… we are eating so much it is crazy… but Ethan and Isabella have really gotten into Indian food, which is great. Scarlett, not so much.

And then it was time to cap off our India experience by going full Bollywood! I actually love Bollywood movies from the first one I saw in Mumbai about 8 years ago when I saw Om Shanti Om! I had a small crush on the gal that was in that movie, and it turns out she’s in the hot new movie everyone demanded that we go see, Bajiao Mastani — so we headed off to the shopping mall in Bangalore to see if we could find it… we did and it was great, even though the whole thing was in Hindi. Scarlett and Isabella loved it. Ethan, not so much.

Anyway, a fantastic trip to India… the whole family is now boarding the plane to spend time in Oman and Qatar!

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

A strange sight to see these two symbols side by side.

A Final dinner on the coast of India.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Beautiful colors in Cochin.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

A woman washes herself in a canal in Karela.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Five Indian Dudes that may have been a boy band.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Communist Propoganda can still be seen all over Kerala India.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Indian Beach from Above.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Houseboats in Kerala.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Last day to be on the Golden Chariot.

The awesome bar on top of the Ritz-Carlton in Bangalore called Bang.

Pulling into the Ritz-Carlton in Bangalore.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Visiting the West End hote.

Daily Photo – One of the last nights on our moving hotel

One of the last nights on our moving hotel

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time23
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length40.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Misty Evening in China

The Man in the High Castle

If you haven’t seen this new show on Amazon Prime, I really recommend it. Most people already know I’m a hardcore Phillip K. Dick fan, and this was always one of my favorite books. The show itself is quite different than the book, but that’s totally okay. I’m not one of those people that gets all huffy when a movie is different than the book… just another version of a nice story! :)

Daily Photo – A Misty Evening in China

I love these karst mountains so much. They look good almost any time of the day, but perhaps they look best when there is a touch of fog or mist in the air. The whole place is surreal enough, but when it hits this state, the fantasy level just goes off the charts!

A Misty Evening in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Traveling Ratcliff Photo Circus Around The World!





Day 14 – Sunrise at the Southern Tip of India where three seas meet and Madurai with the Meenakshi Amman Temple

It started with a 4 AM Wake-up in our train car, now parked in Kerala, then loading up for a trip down to the beach. But this wasn’t just any beach, this was at the Kanyakumari, the meeting place of three seas: The Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea. I thought I might be the only one there at 5 AM, but boy, was I wrong! See more on the video! :)

And another amazing set of temples at Madurai, one of the oldest cities in the world. These temples at Meenakshi Amman are INSANE. I was not allowed to bring my regular cameras or Osmo (see Osmo Review), so I only had my Android Nexus 6P for photos and videos, which is mega-fine. I loved these temples so much… I’ve never seen anything quite like them. There are 14 colorful goporums (gateway towers), all brightly colored with Dravidian-style Hindu gods.

Then you can join me on a little train tour before ending up at a confusing night-show at Tamil Nadu. I was sitting by a woman who is an oral surgeon in Detroit. Halfway through the show, I asked her if she had any nitrous oxide.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

The Sea Smashing Before the Game of Thornes scene.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

A Pilgramage of Red.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

An Eerie Light Show that still confuses me.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Our Train Pulls into the Station.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Assembling at the Temple.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Painted Ladies Walking.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Second Class.

This train had all kinds of people on it from all walks of life. Here’s me with the Greek Ambassador Tassos Kriekoukis exploring a Hundu temple..

Daily Photo – Sunrise on the southern tip of India where the three seas meet

Sunrise on the southern tip of India where the three seas meet

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time11
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Volcanoes in Bali from Above

Spooky Spotify

Every week, they make me a new playlist to discover called, intrepidly, “Discover Weekly.” They put songs in there I’ve never heard of but usually enjoy. I have strange tastes in music… so how-do-it-know?

Daily Photo – The Volcanoes in Bali from Above

Here's a cool photo I got with the Inspire on a surprise flight. I didn't expect to fly at this exact spot… we kind of randomly pulled over in the middle of the island and decided to take a flight. This was one of the only volcano views I got while there… I didn't get too close to them at all, and there weren't a lot of views I got from the roadside. So it was really cool to get up above the trees and get to see them like this.

The Volcanoes in Bali from Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/807
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias+0.656

Traveling Ratcliff Photo Circus Around The World!





Day 12 – Exploring Remote Temples

The day started at Auroville, the experimental City of Dawn, deep off-track in South India. This place reminds me of a sci-fi combo of Burning Man and a cult! Well cult is probably the wrong word… but I’m really into meditation and stuff, so a lot of it appeals to me. This city was started in 1968 by “The Mother” (cult-signals ringing in head) and it’s open to the whole world, but only by appointment and if you give up all other religions. There are actually people from over 50 countries living here… they plan to grow it to 50,000 people. There’s a huge golden sphere inside of which you can “concentrate” in front of a crystal ball which has golden sunlight mechanically reflected into it, unless it is cloudy or there is unconcetrated rain. I’m joking, but I actually would like to go inside of there and meditate. Anyway, I found the whole place fascinating… it’s kind of when you are sitting around with your friends saying, “You know what, if I built my own city, it would look like THIS.”

We spent some time in Puducherry as well, shopping, eating and exploring. There’s a huge beach there that fronts on the Bay of Bengal and the kids had fun running around there.

We also went to visit Brihadeshwarea Temple in Thanjavur, another UNESCO World Heritage site. What an amazing temple! I took a ton of photos but have not had time to process any of them yet. Stay tuned on the site for some of those!

Then in Trichy, we visited Sri Rangam Temple, which is India’s largest temple complex dedicated to Lord Vishnu. I got in a sweet quad flight there and took a ton more photos. Once again, the girls were mobbed by Indians who had never seen white people before… this place was so remote, we didn’t even see any white people except for ourselves. Many people that come here travel from remote villages in India for a pilgrimage to this incredible temple, so they’ve only seen white people in movies and such. The girls had about 1,000 photos taken of them!

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

The Center of Consciousness.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Sisters grooming.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Isabella has been in about 1000 photos now — many of these people have never seen white people before in person.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Scarlett gets the third eye blessing from Shiva and says shell never rub it off.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

A mom walks her son home from school.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Detail on a tower.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

A man mediates at a temple.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

A kid rocking it in the street.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

A lady in a village goes to get water.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

A boy in a village

Daily Photo – Babel

Babel

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

The Glass Church in Daylight

More from the Ritz-Carlton in Bali

Here’s a special little slideshow I made with Animoto of the Ritz-Carlton in Bali!

Daily Photo – The Glass Church in Daylight

Believe it or not, I was too busy to get back in here with my wide-angle lens to get a full shot, so I had to settle for this one, which isn't so bad. Maybe next time when I go back we can make that happen! It's such a cool place inside, and the only way to get its true glory is with a wide-angle lens.

The Glass Church in Daylight

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Traveling Ratcliff Photo Circus Around The World!





Day 10 – Holy Disciple Bones and the Shiva Temple

The day started with us getting off the train at 10 AM to begin our adventure in Channai, which used to be called Madras. I know Madras well from all my days playing Civilization! Anyway, we began at the Cathedral of St. Thomas were we saw his remains then drove on to a place called Mahabalipuram. Who has ever heard of Mahabalipuram? Who can even say it? Well apparently everyone here can and they had great trouble whenever I tried to say this out loud. I’d just get a lot of confused looks.

Tomorrow, we head on to Puducherry to visit more sights…

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Making a pilgrimage to Shore Shiva Temple in Mahabalipuram.

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Indian ladies love taking photos with Isabella and Scarlett because they look so different.

Daily Photo – Exploring another temple

Exploring another temple

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Traveling Ratcliff Photo Circus Around The World!





Day 9 – Boarding the Train in India

We started out our “Train Boarding Day” with an insane breakfast where we all made some “bad” food decisions and ate too much! Then we were off to the local markets to get our girls some traditional Indian dresses which they absolutely loved. They were quite inexpensive too, under $15! Then we saw a rather unusual set of cultural dances that freaked out Ethan and me. Finally, we made it to the train station in Bangalore for a rather dramatic train boarding! Now we’re off for 8 days across the southern part of India… we’re all really excited and having a great time. Hope you enjoy the video! :)

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Isabella and Scarlett bought some new Indian dresses and love them!

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Beautiful and mysterious walls.

Daily Photo – Girl on Motorcycle…

Girl on Motorcycle…

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture5
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length60.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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