Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

Today, we had a wonderful trip to Lamanai, one of the oldest sites in Belize, and I have so many photos to sort through, so I thought I would take part in this challenge, with a couple of pics from our flight there and back.

We travelled part of the way in a single engine, Cessna Caravan propeller plane.


I don’t like flying in small planes, as they get so easily blown around by the wind, and the take-offs are a bit ‘hairy’ to say the least. I opted to sit right at the back of the plane on the way there, because I thought it was the safest place to be in the event of a nose-dive. πŸ™‚ I had a pretty boring view, looking straight forward.


On the way back, it was quite a different story. The pilot said that because of the weight distribution, only one young girl was allowed to sit on the back seat. I sat across the aisle from a local woman, and just couldn’t stop myself from staring at her hands. I’d never seen anything quite so fancy in my life. They seemed to illuminate the whole cabin as the sun shone through the window, making the gold glint and the jewels sparkle. I tried to sneak a couple of photos with my iPhone, but the angle was all wrong, so there was only one thing to do; I struck up a conversation with her, during the course of which, I remarked on her nails and asked if I could take a photo. She was really friendly, and so delighted that I admired them so much, that she happily posed her hands for my camera.


She told me that the ones on her little fingers were solidΒ  gold, hence the safety chains. She was on the way to San Pedro for a family birthday party for her pretty little seven-year-old daughter, and assured me that it was being fully catered, so she wouldn’t have a thing to do. I wouldn’t imagine that one could actually do anything with nails like these, especially the washing up, would you? πŸ˜†

To see more entries for this challenge, just click here.

124 comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

  1. Pingback: Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Gaudy | Anotherdayinparadise2's Blog

  2. I liked the commentary with your photos! The illumination within the plane from the woman’s hands – great image. I look forward to seeing more from your blog. I’ll be following πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve also discovered the best way to get the best pictures when traveling is to simply be friendly and chat to the people.
    I’m glad you photographed her hand for us – I have never seen nails like that. So interesting that she thinks the chains will stop someone from yanking off the gold from her baby finger

  4. I clicked some fancy nails in Japan, but none as extraordinary as these! She can’t possibly use her hands for anything πŸ˜€

  5. oh my goodness I laughed so much at the comments on the nails…lol..Sjoe I must admit that that would be abit to much for me. I wonder how much does each nail weigh..She must have long arms as I am sure she has to drag her heavy fingers along as she goes…

  6. It certainly sounds as though you’re having a great trip… just returned from ours… I love that girls hands and as for the flying in small planes … I find it far nicer than the big jobs.. to bounce around in the wind lets you know how the birds feel…

  7. I wonder a woman with nails like that .. will do in her every day??? Very artistic – and very bling, but beautiful NO! You have got a really good shot of her hands … By the way what has happen to red sexy nails .. on beautiful hands. ????

  8. I’m not big on flying, large or small, it doesn’t matter. I’m always fearing nose dive. Been on quite a few, but not of late. I’m starting to work up the courage again. We’ll see.
    Those nails are certainly illuminating and WILD! What a find!

    • I know, Gemma. I could hardly believe my luck! πŸ˜€ Hubby used to fly in a very small plane, visiting mines in South Africa. I almost held my breath until I heard his car in the driveway He didn’t enjoy those flights at all.

  9. I hate to be so negative–but those nails tell a tale that is not very pretty of privilege and absolute uselessness–I like pretty things but not at the expense of my freedom and the chains show there is no freedom here

  10. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenga: Illumination (3) « What's (in) the picture?

  11. I cannot believe how she can keep those nails so pristine. She must think of them every time she does any thing, so restricting to try and protect them all the time. Did you find out what she did apart from looking after her nails. What a fascinating post, I’m pleased you talked to her and took that photo. Just amazing…

    • Her husband is a big businessman in Belize, and she did say that these were her special party nails. I don’t think one could live every day with such talons. πŸ˜€

      • ha!! that explains it, they probably have servants to do all the house work. Do you think it is like the Indians and they show their wealth in the jewellery their women wear?
        Wow have you noticed those clever people at WP have now put an automatic spell check on the comments? Good one WP…

      • Yes it probably is the same culture. Rich Africans are the same. Come to think of it, most men like to deck their women out in a bit of bling if they can afford it. πŸ™‚

        No I hadn’t noticed the spell check. Is it American English? πŸ™‚

      • Probably, I have had a few spelling errors picked up will see what it does with favourite…! Well it accepted that English version ok!!!

      • Could be that yesterday I downloaded internet explorer 10. don’t know if that or WP is responsible (I’m playing with it now, just left the apostrophe out in I’m and spelt apostrophe wrong and it has underlined the mistakes, fantastic, I will go back now and let it correct them for me)

  12. Oh my! Gold nails with chains! My granddaughter just started going to a nail salon and having them done is not cheap. This persons hands are very illuminating.

  13. I’m quite the opposite to you Sylvia, I love small planes and have taken flying lessons in a Cessna 150. My first landing, unusually on my first lesson (amazing what you an learn with a flight simulator on your PC) wasn’t hairy at all.. πŸ˜‰

  14. Haha, maybe she wore these gold nails (with safety chains) JUST so she wouldn’t HAVE to do the washing up!! Smart lady. πŸ™‚ Looks like you’re having a great time, Sylvia!

  15. Funnily enough my daughter’s nails often look equally elaborate (though without benefit of gold!). Housework isn’t her favourite thing but when needs must she wears Marigolds to protect.

  16. Good Lord!!!
    Can you imagine a loo visit with those talons?
    must take an age to get them like that! The nails I mean, not the loo visit πŸ˜‰
    Good post AD πŸ˜‰

  17. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge Lights | Weekly Photo Challenge

  18. Oh my! πŸ™‚ So bright indeed. I can’t imagine myself with long nails, much less with nails like those. I don’t think I can accomplish anything. But then, that is the reason why the birthday is fully catered, right? πŸ™‚ Kudos to you for striking up a conversation.

  19. those are awesome nail arts! if i’m there i would surely chat with her and of course ask her if i could take photos of her nails too.. never seen nail arts as interesting as hers..

  20. The lady’s nail are beautiful,now I’m asking myself does she sleep with the safety chains? Thanx for the update,enjoy πŸ™‚

  21. Interesting take on this challenge, I love the nails!! and the story to go with it πŸ˜‰ Hubby has always said to sit at the back to the plane, that it would be safest if the plane went down. ah….so far, so good on that aspect!

  22. Pingback: Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 2, 'Illumination']. « 3rdculturechildren

    • Well so was I, Gunta, but I managed not to show my ‘shock horror’ expression, in order to get the pic and the story for my post. πŸ˜€ I am a terrible person. 😯

      • You’re a far better trooper than I am. I don’t know if I could have kept a straight face. Not even for a pic for a post. But I’ve had a really good laugh at some of the comments, especially picturing the loo visit that 68ghia brought up! What a hoot! I suppose a bidet would be required if you’re walking around with talons like that. Oh, yuck…. that thought is too disgusting even for me! πŸ˜‰

      • Hehehe….I can put on a suitable face when I want to. I’d probably make a good poker player. πŸ™‚ Sorry that I caused you to have such disgusting thoughts, Gunta. The comments just took on a life of their own, a bit like Frankenstein’s monster. πŸ˜†

  23. great post! i loved seeing ‘tropic air… i once flew from costa rica to belize and had an overnight in san pedro sula honduras.. the next morning i went to the airport to get the connecting tropic air flight to belize city, and no one knew where tropic air was…

    how about san pedro belize?

    there were no flights to belize that day, so i went by taxi, bus , collectivo van, then boat taxi from honduras to guatemala and finally punta gorda belize. when i reached tropic air jsut at sunset, the gal said, ‘they\ve been looking for you all over this country!’

    • Good Heavens, z. I thought that I was bad enough at getting lost, but your story takes the cake. πŸ˜€ The Tropic Air office is right across the road from our hotel, so we had no chance of becoming missing persons. πŸ˜†

  24. I never saw anything like a chained nail before..WOW…Otherwise simply wonderful post!

  25. Wow, my daughter would go crazy for those nails! Love it that you struck up a conversation – I seem to do that a lot more these days & it’s always fascinating to me to have a little window into other people’s lives.

Comments are closed.