Self Indulged Online Travel Magazine
  • Blog update
  • June14th


    Zhangjiajie National Park_Sandra Herd

    We’re currently hauled up in China’s beautiful Hallelujah mountains – Zhangjiajie National Park.  The mountains that James Cameron based his Avatar ‘Hallelujah’ mountains on…and the references to Avatar are everywhere.  We arrived on Sunday and are staying in a small hostel right in the middle of the National Park. The entrance fee is 238RMB which, by Chinese standards is quite expensive so by staying in the park we only have to pay the one fee and can stay and take photos as long as we like. The accommodation is fairly basic and mainly full of Chinese tourists, as such the staff don’t speak any English and ordering food from the menu is like dining roulette.

    Ya makes ya choice and takes ya chances!

    There is an English translation but we’re struggling a little bit with it – when we ordered what was written as ‘fried rice’ we got egg noodles and last night we ordered the ‘regular dinner’ which was meant to be a soup dish with rice and then a vegetable and meat stir-fry. We got a soup dish with rice and an egg and tomato stir fry- it all tastes OK , I’m just a little concerned that tonight’s meal may end up being chicken feet…eeeek! Luckily we’ve managed to communicate that the beers need to be kept in the fridge.

    Anyway, we’re hauled up here today because it is wet, wet, wet outside. We had thunderstorms last night so have spent most of today snuggled up with the laptop and the very first series of Doctor Who. Sad, I know but at least we we’re warm and there’s no chance of seeing the peaks when the cloud cover is so thick and low. We’ve booked an extra night here in the hope of some sunshine tomorrow, there’s so much of the park to see and the stone pillars are just stunning, we really don’t want to miss the opportunity now that we’re here.

    The photo above is just a 5 minute walk from the hostel, I’m hoping to get out there for some sunrise shots tomorrow and am praying for the rain to stop. The trails are pretty hairy for someone like me who is terrified of heights and we are so high up…when the trails are wet it’s even worse. The Chinese tourists skip down the rocks like mountain goats, some of them in high heels (the girls, not the men!) I’m frozen to the spot with fear and they’re asking to have their photo taken with me. Renren (the Chinese equivalent of Facebook) must by now have at least 50 photos of me up – hot, sweaty and with a look of terror on my face making the peace sign for their photos…not a good look.

    I’ve zoomed in on the photo so you can see the white railings on the Natural Bridge walk trail, just to give you some idea of the size of these giant monoliths and how high up we are as we walk along the trails.  This is just a tiny section of the park and there’s no way you could see it all in just a few days.  We’re hoping to head over to those white rails tomorrow….lets hope the weather clears.



  • May29th


    Dumbling chef_Chengdu_by Sandra Herd

    Here we are finally in China, Chengdu to be precise.  After the last minute rush to pack up the house and pack up our lives we’re finally here in a cosy hostel, drinking beer for 72 cents a bottle and finding our ‘travel feet’ in a slow but steady fashion.  There has certainly been some culture shock…not so much because we’re in China but more because we’re not used to lugging our luggage around.  I’d forgotten what it was like and it came flooding back pretty quickly as we stuffed our bags into the back of the taxi from the airport and spilled out in a dishevelled mess on our midnight arrival at the hostel.

    That was over a week ago and already it feels like we’ve been away for weeks. We’ve been out to Jiuzhaigou (an eight hour bus trip North of Chengdu) and Huanglong and stayed a night in Songpan before coming back here to the hostel where we started from. We’ve taken a bicycle tour through the manic streets of Chengdu and sampled the steamed dumplings  made by the man in the image above.  Our legs hurt, our backs ache and my camera trigger finger is worn out but we are loving every minute of it…and it’s only just begun.

  • May13th


    Ok, so yes, I have been away from the blog for a while but that is all about to change.  Next week we head off to China and I’ll be updating the trip as we go on the blog and in the Self Indulged magazine….the more images I see of China the more I fall in love with the place and the next issue of Self Indulged will be a China special so that I can share some of these places with you. In a few days I’ll post some more about our plans but for now I am suffering a China Crisis. I’m finishing up last minute jobs for clients, packing up the entire house for the people who are moving in next week (YIKES!!!) and tomorrow I have the last DSLR workshop at the zoo for a while which I’m actually really looking forward to…it will signify “the end” of work. Then I have to sort out travel insurance/jabs (YIKES-again!) and all the other stuff that goes along with extended travel. I’m also very happy to announce we have some fantastic sponsors on board for the trip and Self Indulged so will be looking forward to adding their logos to the site in the very near future.  Onwards and upwards!!

  • April1st



    Issue 3 of Self Indulged is out now and one of the features is ‘Cruise Ship Diary’ about our cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage. The glaciers are just beautiful…and sooo blue.

    There’s no de-sat on the top shot, that’s just how it looked on the day. Grey skies, grey rocks, blue ice. We flew over Mendenhall Glacier in a chopper which is a great way to get a handle on just how epic this landscape is….you can read more about it in the mag.

    The Inside Passage is just the tip of the Alaskan iceberg….I’d love to get back there with my camera and explore the real Alaska, further up and further in.

  • February28th

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    I.Scales of South Australia who guessed correctly that Dave was at Bryce Canyon in Utah, USA. The fantastic Bumblebee Ultra-Light backpack from Kata Bags is on it’s way to the lucky winner as we speak. A huge thanks goes out to Kata for supplying the prize – you can check out more of their products here, there’ll be another chance to win one of these great backpacks in the next Issue of Self Indulged which will be out on the 1st of April, yes it’s a month later but it’ll be worth the wait, I promise! Over the coming weeks I’ll be posting our planned route through China, we leave on the 20th of May and will be taking Self Indulged with us. Lets hope there’s somewhere out there to ‘upload!’

    If you want something to read in the meantime check out my guest post at Got Saga, ‘5 places I would take a visitor to my home town of Perth’. One of the 5 just had to be Rotto….check out my other four picks HERE.

  • January5th


    Southbound_Shots International

     Kitty Daisy and Lewis_sandra Herd1

    2011 kicked off with the first festival of the year, Southbound!

    Dave and I headed down to Busselton for New Years Eve and saw the new year in dressed as pirates at the Esplanade hotel. (The less said about that, the better!)

    Next morning we strapped our gear to a fridge trolley and headed across a paddock full of cow patties for 3 days of camping at Southbound music festival.  I was shooting for Virtual Festivals and spent 3 days in the HOT HOT HEAT, clinging to any shade I could find and chugging down gallons of luke warm water (drinks got hot real quick too – except for the beer, drank that fast before it heated up!).  On the second day we got chatting to some guy who asked how old we were…when we told him he said “God you don’t look that old! It’s nice that you still get to come to things like this!!” I told him I was shooting the festival which then seemed to make sense to him, god forbid I’d be there just to have some fun….next time I’ll pack my zimmerframe!

    Had a great time although next year I think I’ll give the camping a miss and head for a lush hotel with a pool instead.

    Peaches was WEIRD, The Jezebels rocked as did good old Living End, Public Enemy kept the public waiting for over half an hour – Flava Flav’s clock had obviously stopped but they did get the crowd pumping when they finally took to the stage. Ash Grunwald was a pleasant surprise and The Cuban Brothers were hilarious, a great choice as last act on the last night.

    I’ll be posting some band shots later in the week…still recovering from the sleep deprivation. Us ‘old people’ need our sleep.

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with a fabulous 2011 to come!!

    PS. Come to think of it, out of all the bands we saw Paul Kelly was kind of a highlight for me. Uh-oh, maybe I am getting old afterall.

  • December2nd


     Nepal Cover

    POP!! That’s the sound of a champagne cork popping (actually it’s not because it’s 6.30 in the morning) but it will be tonight!

    Since it’s launch on the 1st of September 2010, the first issue has been viewed by over 30,000 readers. That’s not just hits, that’s people physically turning the pages (well virtually turning them…you know what I mean!)

    So I’d just like to say a huge THANKS to everyone who has flipped through and I hope you’ll enjoy this second Issue just as much.  It’s much more ‘interactive’ and the pages contain links which I thought might interest some of you.  There’s also a chance to win a fabbo Kata backpack if you know ‘where Dave is’.

    So grab a cuppa, take a load off and sit in front of the computer for just that little bit longer.

  • November17th

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    Welcome to the new look Self Indulged website and blog!  There may be a few issues that I need to tweak my way through but I was so excited I wanted to see it LIVE :-)

    Lots of exciting things happening……and Issue 2 of Self Indulged out SOON.

  • October5th

    No Comments


    Self Indulged was featured on Wangle today. It’s a great site and really flies the flag for all things West Australian.

    Thanks Wangle!

    Check it out HERE

  • September29th



    I do believe in my last post I said I would post some images of the rally…..and then September fell into a big hole and in a few days it will be October.

    So, here I am playing catch-up with a few photos of the rally….starring Mr Fletcher in the middle shot spruiking on behalf of us West Aussies. Standing up in front of all of those people would put the wind up anybody but he did a fantastic job, especially as Ken Duncan was such a hard act to follow! He conveyed the message that the rules over here in WA seem to be a bit more relaxed…which was true until just this week the council responsible for Cottesloe Beach decided to add a whole heap of new rules. One is the banning of commercial photography without a permit. Hmmm…yes that’s getting old but wanting to ban the flying of kites….well that’s just outrageous! Quick…we need to hold another rally! I LOVE watching kites (just got back from Bali – plenty of kites there and no anti-fun police). And who among us hasn’t squealed in fear and excitement, holding the string as the pointy end spirals out of control at lightening speed towards the top of your head.  Get a grip Cottesloe Council!!

    The other news is that the new online mag SELF INDULGED is going great guns!

    Huge thanks to everyone who has supported the mag so far and for the kind emails and comments that have been flooding in. Tell your friends to subscribe for the chance to win an iPad. Subscription is FREE, hell the mag is FREE so there’s no excuse for not taking a peek.

    Self Indulged Issue 1

    If you haven’t flipped through it yet check it out HERE and help me continue to spread the word. There are plenty more rally photos inside and links to photo competitions with some great prizes.  The Where’s Dave? competition has been won but there’ll be another chance to win in Issue 2.

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