Stan Lee Pengelly's Travels

I went with Plan C

I went with Plan C
Sometimes even Plan B won't work.  Sometimes ya gotta go with your dead-last choice when traveling. During my trip to Nepal a year ago, I met two very pleasant people from Canada who invited me to visit them.  They knew I was a photographer and that I liked to do night and landscape photography.  Joel and Kathleen described the beauty…

Interior Design by Edgar Allan Poe?

Interior Design by Edgar Allan Poe?
How do you wrap your head around a holy shrine so beautiful and yet so ghastly and repulsive? This question is what went through my mind when I visited a huge cathedral in a tiny village in southern Peru. I was on a "photographers-only" tour. The dozen or so of us had been or would visit the usual sites in…

The Beginnings of My Wanderlust

The Beginnings of My Wanderlust
My trip to Iran in November 1977 is what got me hooked on foreign travel.  The friendly people, their intensely interesting culture, customs and  country instilled in me the desire to visit more places outside the USA. How I got to Iran was by sitting sideways in a USAF C-141 cargo plane for hours and hours with a couple dozen other American GIs…

Bangladesh Trip Part 3

Bangladesh Trip Part 3
Exhilaration and dread.  Those two emotions have always been what I felt when traveling by road in Asia, but this time it was more intense. My two guides and I were blasting down a mountain road in a beat up old Toyota Land Cruiser on our way back to Ruma.  The road was barely wide enough for the Cruiser and in Third World style…

Bangladesh Trip Part 2

Bangladesh Trip Part 2
I wrote in Part 1 that I go to places like Bangladesh for the photography.  This is only partially true.  I like seeing how other people live, hearing what their concerns are and observing their customs.  Think of me as an amateur cultural anthropologist with a camera.   The night before leaving on a hike to Boga Lake, we met up with…

Bangladesh Trip, Part 1

Bangladesh Trip, Part 1
After my face smacked the headrest in front of me, I sat in my bus seat and thought: “Wow. I survived.” Other than a little numbness in my upper lip, I felt fine. For several seconds all was silent in the bus. Everyone was stunned. Then came the crying, screaming and chaos. After struggling to get out, I found out…

Doing Night Photography in Nepal

Doing Night Photography in Nepal
Going to someplace like Nepal is very enjoyable.  There are lots of things to see and do, and the things to see and do don't stop at sundown.  For me, just looking up at the night sky and photographing it is at least as rewarding as, say, visiting a Buddhist monastery or witnessing a festival dance. In the industrialized world, light…

Mt Kilimanjaro

Mt Kilimanjaro
My cheapo Casio watch said it was about 4am. The battery was so cold and weak the liquid crystal display was barely visible. We were already four hours into our summit assault on Mt. Kilimanjaro and we still had at least four hours to go. In the group of about a dozen I was climbing with there were Kenyans, Tanzanians…