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The Tim
  • Tim O'Donoghue
  • Tim O'Donoghue
  • Tim O'Donoghue
  • Tim O'Donoghue
  • Tim O'Donoghue


I discovered Robin Smillie's website purely by accident.  I had no specific plans to visit Bhutan but, having “stumbled” upon Rainbow Photo Tours, my eye was caught by the transport arrangement that would surely appeal to any photographer “on-the-road”, and so I read on...

Robin's site is an abundance of fascinating material and it was clear that, in addition to being an accomplished photographer, he has acquired an extraordinary knowledge of the country, its people and culture. In a very short time Bhutan had begun to enchant me.

And, so it happened.

Robin's skill at putting together such a tour is exceptional and his management of a truly remarkable team of guides and drivers was conducted quietly, but very effectively. Travellers have always had to make concessions and to deal with the unexpected. The Land of the Thunder Dragon is no exception but, on the very few occasions that something went amiss, things were once more put in order, almost unobtrusively.

I think that most agree that pride of place has to be given to our guides and drivers who were the most helpful, thoughtful and friendly aides.  As I speak, I still miss my personal “Jeeves” at my left elbow!

What a spectrum of hospitality we saw! Ranging from 21st century boutique accommodation to 17th century fundamental.  But all clean and not without “charm” to quote our leader. This was after all adventure travel!

This was my first group-travel arrangement.  I have travelled a lot, but always independently.  The prospect of joining an escorted tour-group had never appealed to me.  I was wrong.  When a group event is put together in the way it has been for this tour, it can only be highly recommended.  And for me it was a special pleasure to enjoy the companionship and camaraderie of our fellow participants.

For fifteen days we moved slowly from West to East sometimes above the clouds, and sometimes below, as we experienced the kaleidoscope of culture that Bhutan is.   Truly a magical interlude! Now I sometimes ask myself if it really happened ... or was it all a dream?

I'll just have to go back to find out!

Tim O'Donoghue
Beaminster, Dorset, England

Tim's Camera Bag

  • Canon 5D Mk II and Canon 40D bodies
  • Canon G10 compact
  • Lenses : 10-20 f:4, 100 f:2.8 macro, 18-200 f:3.5 IS, 70-200 f:2.8 IS Mk II
  • Canon 430 EX flash
  • Feisol CT 3441S carbon fibre tripod with Feisol ball head
  • Manfrotto grip ball head
  • Remote shutter release
  • Memory cards : CF (42 GB) SDHC (16 GB)
  • Netbook computer 250 GB for image transfer
  • 2x Western Digital 250 GB USB portable external hard drives for image back-ups
  • Spare batteries for all bodies
  • Polarizing and variable neutral density filters
  • UN 8507 LCD loupe (on loan from Robert, for which thanks)
  • Note: Flash unit and grip ball head unused. Apart from that everything else was about right.

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