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100 ISSUES IN THE MAKING

The Lonely Planet Traveller team’s most memorable experiences creating the magazine

GALÁPAGOS

Peter Grunert, Group Editor

Issue 2 (February 2009) and issue 80 (August 2015)

I’m a wildlife obsessive, so naturally enough a trip to the Galápagos had always sat at the top of my bucketlist. When I finally made it to this cluster of volcanic islands adrift in the Pacific, the creatures there proved to be every bit as approachable and eccentric as I’d wished. A typical day of exploring included tiptoeing between blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises craning their leathery necks to reach morsels of cacti, before snorkelling among flightless cormorants, sea lions, penguins, green sea turtles and manta rays. I have Sir David Attenborough to thank for encouraging me in this direction. Every Christmas my dad found me a signed copy of the book linked to Sir David’s latest TV series; I went on to study zoology, and then on becoming launch editor of this magazine I was given the chance to interview my hero about his two visits to the Galápagos: one in 1978, the other for his 80th birthday. On his earlier trip, he had survived an amorous male giant tortoise confusing his green tent for a receptive female. The greatest peril faced on my visit was being sneezed on by a marine iguana.

ecuador.travel

MYANMAR

Philip Lee Harvey, photographer

Issue 37 (January 2012)

I stumbled on a peanut harvest while I was shooting the magazine’s first feature on Myanmar (Burma) in 2011. It was also my first visit, and I was excited – the country was just opening up to tourists, and hadn’t been overly photographed at that point. Myanmar was visually stunning; around every corner there was something beautiful. Writer Marcel Theroux and I visited sights like Bagan and Inle Lake, but what was especially rewarding to me was to get off the trodden path and watch ordinary life unfolding. Driving through the countryside on a free evening, I happened to see this group harvesting peanuts – something which only happens once a year. With the palette of colours, the swirling dust and the golden light, it looked like a film set. There was an appealing simplicity to it. Often when people are aware they’re being photographed, they act accordingly, but, with a wave, this group just allowed me to observe them. As a photographer, I’m interested in stories about people, and I was fascinated by the way they worked as a community, uniting to harvest their fields together. I felt like I was witnessing something timeless, and I still feel privileged to have been able to see and document it.

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