Stories

January 2013

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Desert rats
/ United Arab Emirates
This is how adventures should begin: loading up a 4x4 with a load of climbing, camping and exploring gear, a stack of water and a ton of meat before swinging past a bottle shop (not that regular an occurance in the UAE, but they are around) to stock up, and then heading on out into the desert heat.

December 2012

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Croix Rouge
/ France
Four years, one week and two days ago four hopeful but reckless adventurers jumped off a Parisian Metro station platform and ran flat out down the tunnel, arriving in the end here at Croix Rouge. At that time, and still now, four years later, this abandoned underground railway station remains one of my favourites.
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All we need is time to breathe
/ Australia
This is the one-hundredth post on Adventure Worldwide. If you'd asked me, when I started the website two and a half years ago, if I could've predicted where I'd be writing the hundredth post and what would've happened in the interim, then I wouldn't have even tried to answer you.

April 2012

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Maximum security
/ Australia
Recently I teamed up with some friends to have a closer look at Melbourne's old Pentridge Prison, once home to the infamous Ned Kelly. Our challenge then was to breach the security of this (admittedly no longer active) prison so that we could see what it was like on the inside.

March 2012

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A day out with the Sydney Cave Clan
/ Australia
Australia, land of the 'urban exploration' expo. Siologen hastily conjured up a plan and fed it into the top-secret Cave Clan expo-organising machine. We would journey southward, hit the coast road and see some sights. Beer, sun and beach-tanned honeys were all but guaranteed.

October 2011

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Smoke 'em if you got 'em!
/ Sweden
The dog wheezed, clearly straining at the leash. I pulled the hood tight around my face and then tugged the sleeves of my jacket over my hands. The animal of course knew exactly where we were and it wasn't a surprise when it brought the handler directly to the foot of the ladder, barely five meters below us.

September 2011

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The German invasion - Part 2
/ Germany, Luxembourg, France
The last stop on the trail was Luxembourg with a night camped out in sleeping bags on a grass verge, much to the amazement of the morning commuters. From down here below the southern tip of Belgium it was a long old way back to Dunkirk, deviating once more only so that Larey could go nuts in the hypermarket. And go nuts he did...
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The German invasion - Part 1
/ France, Belgium, Germany
Before casting the machine into that vast pit of despair I decided to take him on his first outing abroad. Quite why I'd got so caught up with air travel and not done this sooner I'm not entirely sure, but nonetheless, it was happening now, with Larey and dsankt aboard and a whole heap of place markers pasted into the netbook...
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Thousand yard stares
/ England
Back in 2004, when I first climbed buildings in the dead of the night it was as much as anything else about finding a vantage point. Somewhere to sit, watch, think. A place which you could claim as your own for as long as you were there, a place to which you could take food, drink, friends or whatever you wanted.

August 2011

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Say hello again
/ England
You won't read about him in Heat magazine, and you certainly won't see his grinning face march onto a Premiership football pitch. It's probably true that unless you're the sort of person that drags themself through sewers, metro tunnels and old bunkers, there's a fair chance you won't even have heard of siologen.

April 2011

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Echoes of a Soviet occupation - Part 3
/ Latvia, Estonia
Plans to stay in Riga had been ditched in favour of putting in a few hundred miles overnight. The Estonian leg was a long one and the only way to get round it all in time to make flights home was to keep going. I don't think there was total agreement in the car about this option, but it was the one chosen nonetheless.
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Echoes of a Soviet occupation - Part 2
/ Latvia
ith the sun going down at the end of our second full day we rolled into Ventspils on the western coast of Latvia. Our encampment for the night would be amongst the smashed remains of gun emplacements, block-houses and bunkers. There's something very satisfying about finding a good spot to bivvy down.
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Echoes of a Soviet occupation - Part 1
/ Latvia, Lithuania
Not a good idea. In Lithuania are many bad people. You have gun?" I laughed - I think we all did. "No. No guns." Was he serious? Apparently so, because when I shot the question back at him he answered by going into the room next door and coming back with a .38. It was loaded, and we were drunk.
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Going postal
/ England
My frustration was cut short as siologen turned in silence and began gesturing wildly. Looking over my shoulder I couldn't work out what he was trying to tell me. The giant Australian crept over and whispered in my ear, pointing to the corner behind him where a security guard sat reclined in a chair, fast asleep. We left, quickly.
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Seven hundred volts
/ Sweden
The three of us had split up around a connection between the two running lines, when suddenly the lights went on. This was surprising at first, but then we knew. I can't remember if the dog started barking before we started running, but I definitely remember seeing siologen

March 2011

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Tying in at the sharp end
/ Scotland
Jonnie stepped outward, placing one foot onto the ledge. And so in front of me began to unfold one of the most gripping displays of steel nerves I'd seen in a long time. This sense of awe was compounded with the realisation that afterwards I would have to follow.

February 2011

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In the ditch (or, how we suffered in Scandinavia)
/ Norway
With the steps in place the door opened and a rush of cold air swept in. It was at about this moment that I wondered why I hadn't packed a scarf, hat and gloves. The temperature was minus double figures already, and tonight it was only going to get colder.
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BCN
/ Spain
Never let siologen choose your accomodation. What he'll probably do is arrive at the hostel, settle himself into a 6-bed dorm with 5 teenage girls before welcoming you into your room by shoving the door open. The Asian girl inside will almost definitely fly off the handle and proceed to go nuts about the lack of manners.

December 2010

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The night they shut us down
/ France
Unlike death, my current situation was entirely avoidable. Lumbering in the dirt beside the third rail I peered past the heads of my accomplices at the dog, frenzied and snarling. It was attached to an equally fearsome looking Metro cop, radio in hand reporting his findings.

November 2010

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9th Ave
/ USA
Today the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) store various junk down there and the rails are shiny because trains from the nearby yard still pass through on a daily basis. The lights are on, at times you may have to hide from maintenance staff, but otherwise it's another interesting little void in the subway infrastructure.
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November
/ USA
It's remarkable how different life is now to how it was just over a year ago. My buddy Shane and I climbed the Williamsburg Bridge once more, for him just a night out, for me as a little reminder of my trip to NYC back in 2009 and the startling realisation that came with it: there's a whole world out here, and it's not going to wait.
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Freedom no more
/ USA
The familiar feeling of returning to the overworld greeted us, climbing back out of this place and onto the streets of Manhattan. Here was a city that had lost something important, but of course nobody knew. They were too busy queueing up to pay the $20 entry fee at the Guggenheim, oblivious to the art theft beneath their feet
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Taking The Subway - Part 2
/ USA
Despite the fact that we weren't dressed as MTA staff this time it paid to be on our guard, especially when there were active platforms not so far away. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the locked doors on the platform passed directly into maintenance areas still in use.
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Taking The Subway - Part 1
/ USA
Jet-lagged and tired I rolled back into New York City aboard a shiny silver NJ Transit service. Frantically I struggled up the stairs, out of Penn Station and into the bright bustling clusterfuck that is downtown Manhattan. I breathed that city air and looked around. It was good to be back.
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How to steal a Jumbo Jet
/ England
If siologen played Mastermind and the subjects of bra sizes and Holden Toranas had already been taken by other contestants then he'd probably choose aircraft loading. Whilst this level of expertise didn't help us actually move the stuff we had to carry, his good knowledge of aircraft anatomy was to prove useful.

October 2010

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Clear air turbulence
/ Sweden
The low whine quickly reached its crescendo, twin CFM International turbofans gunning to full power, the bumps of the tyres on the runway lights as we careered down the tarmac. Here we go again, I thought, looking out through the glass at the small terminal building as it flashed past, and then it all began to fall away.
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The Balkans - Part 6
/ Hungary, Slovakia, Austria
This was one built not around known locations and guaranteed photo opportunities but instead just that basic curiosity of wondering what's around the next corner. Each country had been different, both as a nation and as a stage on which to survey some of the lesser-visited parts.
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The Balkans - Part 5
/ Romania, Hungary
By now we were comfortably into our first full day in Romania having arrived the previous evening, checked into a hostel in Bucharest and chalked-up our first Romanian bust. The manhole was wide open, you see, but we never expected there to be anyone down there...
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The Balkans - Part 4
/ Bulgaria, Romania
Disbanding as we did with bags and cameras only seemed to enthrall the residents even more. By now they looked bemused about the whole thing but made no effort to stop us. They re-appeared en force, one presenting us with a mobile phone. Siologen put the phone to his ear to be met with the expected question.
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The Balkans - Part 3
/ Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria
Bosnia. If you're old enough to remember the news coverage then the very name is enough to conjure up images of burning buildings and cars, weathered soldiers, UN vehicles and refugees. Indiscreet in our red Seat we passed through the border controls with no issue and continued our course towards Sarajevo.
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The Balkans - Part 2
/ Croatia
Two hazards in particular awaited the four of us as we bumped along the track and parked by the nose of a decaying DC-3. The lesser threat was from the border Police who are known to check the area for illegal migrants, but more importantly we were aware that the area is ridden with landmines.
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The Balkans - Part 1
/ Hungary, Austria, Croatia
Five minutes later an attendant arrived and showed us out to the carpark where a gleaming red Seat was waiting. I'm sure the car cowered away as siologen dumped his trademark blue rucksack into the boot, but it was too bad - bitch was ours now. Forty minutes later blue flashing lights appeared in the rearview mirror...

September 2010

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En el vientre de la bestia
/ Spain
There's an amazing feeling being down in the workings of a hydro plant, knowing that there's all that water potential above your head, held back by a man-made wall and a few valves. And of course, hand controls and levers attached to those valves are always going to provide temptation to mischievous intruders...
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The most dangerous pathway in the World
/ Spain
In order to reach the bridge we had to traverse along pathways of varying states. In one corner the stonework has disappeared to leave gaping holes, carefully stepped over. In some places complete sections of stonework have fallen away down into the water below, leaving only a single length of rail with which to cross the void.

August 2010

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Those dark satanic mills
/ England
And there they were, indeed looking dark (at least the windows were) and satanic. Neither myself nor DLB were, however, among them. We were instead being summoned towards a pick-up truck, the driver of which had spotted us as we scampered from one bush to another. For us, the war was over. For the second time.

June 2010

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Enter the wolf pack
/ France
It's not exactly hard to find on satellite images, or indeed on the ground. Put simply, it's massive. Measuring 195m x 165m and 19m tall, it's anyone's guess just how many tons of concrete were poured between wooden shuttering to create the pens (and also the bomb-proofing of the entrance to the dock).

April 2010

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London to Latvia (and everything in between) - Part 8
/ Belgium
Once more we were shepherded off to the side and instructed to park next to another vehicle. Beside the other car stood two worried looking men, roughly the same age as us. Inside the front of their car several customs guys were busy pulling the centre console apart. Wires and plastic were going everywhere.
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London to Latvia (and everything in between) - Part 7
/ Germany, Belgium
This, the second ferry crossing, lasted only an hour or so. The air was bitter and cold, a low mist hung over the Baltic Sea. Our company at such an early hour comprised mostly of 'torn faced' truckers. Shabbily dressed and unshaven, we fit in just fine. On arrival in Germany the border guards paid us no attention and we hit the Autobahn.
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London to Latvia (and everything in between) - Part 6
/ Sweden, Denmark
One dull clunk produced no results, as did the second. The third produced more fascinating results: the fans sparked into life, enveloping me in a cloud of rust. At this point, annoyed and covered in dust, I descended the ladder and barked at siologen to stop messing about. And then he threw the fourth lever...
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London to Latvia (and everything in between) - Part 5
/ Latvia, Estonia
As the time reached 1pm (GMT+1) we rolled up at the Estonian border. For once we were greeted with cheerful smiles from a couple of the officials, but these had dissolved by the time they'd taken in what they had before them. Two British men in a French car neither of them owned trying to drive from Latvia into Estonia, to catch a ferry to Sweden.
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London to Latvia (and everything in between) - Part 4
/ Lithuania, Latvia
As we moved through the place we found some recognisable buildings: a vehicle garage (empty), a sports hall with various murals on the walls and in one corner an oily looking substation building was literally wrapped in barbed wire and wooden shuttering. One can only imagine just how nasty it was in there.
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London to Latvia (and everything in between) - Part 3
/ Poland, Lithuania
Before finding somewhere to stop for the night in Poland we rolled into Warsaw, making use of a big 24hr Tesco to buy more supplies, and demolish at least one toilet. From here until the Latvian capital of Riga we didn't expect to encounter a city of this size, so took it upon ourselves to fill up with hot food.
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London to Latvia (and everything in between) - Part 2
/ Germany
The first night in the car produced two stiff necks and a bemused stare from an elderly lady hobbling past the car. The windows were misted up and siologen lolled to one side in a grey sleeping bag that generally made him resemble a vast slug. I climbed out of the car, had a stretch and grinned at the old bag.
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London to Latvia (and everything in between) - Part 1
/ Belgium
A good while before I ever took the kind of photos that appear on these pages I spent a lot of time riding various kinds of bicycle in places I shouldnt, which is how I came to feel so comfortable with the idea of trespassing, and the realisation that a good majority of the better places to spend ones time are, officially, off limits.

March 2010

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Colossus of the South
/ England
The Internet is plagued with repetition to such an extent that I wonder if the information age damps it's own progress. Such easy access to existing material - be it music, graphic design or, as in this case, drain exploration - makes imitation just so easy.
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Miles to the Sun
/ France
The glimmering arrow moved across the vista almost silently, twin vapour trains scoring sharp lines along the blue sky that would soon begin to fade as they migrated west. This was one of the few times when being up there, encased helplessly in an aluminium tube, seemed an attractive alternative.
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The giants in the mist
/ Switzerland
The clanking of the lift machinery faded to leave the sound of our movements through the snow. The lifts took with them the bustle of resorts further down, their runs cluttered with familiies whose packaged ski holidays seemed to amount to little more than a tentative foot placed in the shallow end of something so much deeper.
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Olympic sized ambitions
/ England
The fence, the wasteland, and then in front of us the stadium itself. An unconventional triathlon, I agree, but it satisfied our thirst. Quietly we spirited up the stairs and out into the seating area, taking immediately to the steel stairs and walkways that would lead us up above this theatre of achievements.

January 2010

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Completing the square
/ England
Quietly the two of us crept across the open wasteland, not far from a perimeter cast by bright floodlights that had been dotted here and there amongst the weeds and the dirt. Before us shone the bright white stacks of that giant cathedral to British Industry, Battersea Power Station.
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Distant Lights: climbing the London skyrises
/ England
There was no activity on site, no reason to suspect one should be caught other than that feeling that such a thing shouldn't be possible. I grasped the top of the board and hauled myself over. Two meters away, the reefdog was doing the same. We dropped onto the slippery wall below and edged towards the side of the building.
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La centrale electrique
/ France
Our particular point of entry into the power station's compound meant clinging to icy barbed wire before dropping down onto smashed concrete and rubble, all the while beneath a battered looking security camera. It was hard to imagine anybody would be watching.

November 2009

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Slaying a black widow
/ England
The inky black of the Medway swirled menacingly. Out there moored in the current was the dark silhouette of an abandoned submarine, listing dangerously to one side. Beyond the vessel the river pushed out to the Thames Estuary and the opportunity for a lonely night upon the waves.

October 2009

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Another late night
/ France
Eventually I chose my moment and deftly snaked past the little yellow sign at the end of the platform, ignoring its warning and dropping down beside the rails and slipping into the darkness. The curve of the tunnel and the whitewash of the walls meant that I was anything but invisible to those still on the platform.
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A trip to the seaside
/ USA
Unlike the two rabbits I can see from the window, which stop now and then and look around, we no longer need to live in fear of our lives. And in fact, you and I never did, not like our distant ancestors for whom hunting, gathering and staying alive was a daily operation. But for us with all this time and money on our hands, what are we to do?
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Slinging the Red Hook
/ USA
Many had been there to explore the various floors and loading bays; many had taken photos. Eric though had other ideas for the Red Hook grain terminal, voiced with intermittent laughter as he threw various rope equipment onto his apartment floor. Crucially there was a 200ft rope, a harness, some slings and then ascenders.
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The Fifth Deadly Venom
/ USA
On arrival back in NYC and with my imminent return to Blighty drawing ever-closer, the risks of being caught trying something like this seemed lessened. Sure, I'd never be let back in to the US, but since I was going home soon anyway what would it matter if I were to be deported.
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Taking the subway drum to Canada
/ Canada
We'd gained entry to the rapid transit system by one of the most favoured means: direct tunnel access. This removed the need to take an audacious run off a platform during service or to find a tunnel portal to dash in from. Instead in a matter of seconds we'd gone from street-level rat-run to trackside in the subway.
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It's cold out there every day
/ Canada
As I'm sure to write about again there's something calming and surreal about having a high rooftop to yourself and your friends on a clear night. The city continues on as it always does but now you're far removed from it, almost like an invisible observer viewing the whole show through some kind of vast skylight...
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The Toronto underworld
/ Canada
In truth siologens makeshift drain opening tool (an aircraft part) had got stuck in the cast-iron lid. There was no option but to tour the neighbourhood delving into bins and skips until a suitable lift-key was found, using which we were finally able to wrench open the cover and drop down the shaft.
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Only in Detroit
/ USA
As I shivered and tried to draw my blanket ever-closer, Shane slept like a baby, nestled in his makeshift incubator. In all fairness he had suggested I move nearer to the center of the room but had neglected to mention the three electric heaters he'd dragged over there and fired up in preparation.
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Paint it black
/ USA
Looking up and around I contemplated the massive open space before me like the cathedral to modern manufacturing that it is. Here within these vast halls Henry Ford conceived the snaking mechanical monster that would shape industrialisation in the 20th Century, radically changing the way of life in the West.
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Welcome to The D
/ USA
In one simple yet alarming movement an arm swooped in through the open window and the keys to the van were gone. The blur of a second officer shot around behind the vehicle, coming to a stop on the other side of the window which for a good few hours now had been my pillow.
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No alarms and no surprises
/ Canada
Opting instead to shove past the barrier at the end of the platform and descend onto the line, we hurriedly completed our manoeuvre and took off down the tunnel, following the shiny rails until they veered off chaotically through complicated pointwork: this was our junction.
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The Canada Malting plant is dead
/ Canada
Standing forlorn on the Toronto Harbourfront, the old Canada Malting silos were no strangers to intruders. For the several decades after they fell into disuse countless people breached the somewhat-fortified exterior. On a bright day in October 2009 a small band of us risked our necks to clamber up and into the remains of its workings.
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Into the belly of the beast
/ Canada
A vertical ladder took me up beneath a hinged steel lid, apparently devoid of locks. Shoulder to the cool metalwork I pushed, swinging the grill upwards and then letting it fall open. Stepping upwards one last time I clambered out of the misty darkness and emerged onto the main turbine hall floor. The method had worked.
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Confluence
/ Canada
Standing near the top of Horseshoe Falls, for the time being just another tourist, I watched the waters never-ending procession with unease. A gigantic cloud of mist and a terrifying persistent rumble completed an experience like no other I can think of, but one that would later that night be completely surpassed.

September 2009

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Through the supply line
/ USA
Through the trees we could see the shape of the High Bridge. This mass of steelwork was built to ferry the old Croton Aqueduct across the river, carrying millions of gallons of water down into Manhattan from the Croton River. Long since disused, we sought a way in to investigate this curiosity.
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The Jet Lab
/ USA
Surrounded by broken fencing and barbed wire, the nature of the enclosure was clear: signs declared it a Restricted Area. And naturally photography was completely forbidden. We picked our bags from their heap on the back seat, said goodbye to Yaggy and dashed for a hole in the fence.
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The Manhattan Project
/ USA
Shoulder on the heavy hatch and a clang as it fell open. Finally a starlit sky was all that remained above, Orion and his belt watchful over the night travellers. We'd made it up to the top of the ornate bridge pylon, and since we were on the Brooklyn side we had the twinkling lights of downtown Manhattan at our disposal.
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The rotting carcass of Glenwood Powerplant
/ USA
The years have been anything but kind, and after the salvage of turbines and generators, the shell has been left to the elements. On rainy days water pours in, rotting wood and metalwork alike. The two chimneys stand tall, but for how much longer?
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A view from the bridge
/ USA
The trick was to avoid being seen by pedestrians, motorists and the police, counter the steel guards built around the cables and then negotiate the big wires themselves. The PBR took care of the first one (i.e. it removed the worry, not the risk), leaving just the second two, either of which could claim lives. Our lives.
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The audacious City Hall infiltration plot
/ USA
For the hundredth time that night Shane's laughter reverberated across the room. With Johnny Cash thundering from the jukebox as her soundtrack the vivacious barmaid, dressed in questionable attire, shimmied along the bar top in her cowboy boots deftly stepping over glasses and bottles balancing two cans of Coors on her head.
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Dark days
/ USA
Being an active railway tunnel, trains do of course pass through. Steve D had advised ds on an earlier trip through the tunnel to 'try to look like trash'. We did so whenever an alcove wasn't available, and so avoided being seen. As we moved further towards Penn station I began to wonder if anyone still lived in the tunnel
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The Hell Gate
/ USA
A rough understanding of block signalling and the fact that there were only three lines suggested there was sufficient time to reach the bridge, unless a wildcard freight decided to pass by. We ran, bottles in bags chinking together, trying not to trip on sleeper-ends and ballast, an experience not unfamiliar to at least half the group...
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Things fall apart
/ USA
To enter Yaggy's Eagle River Power Station we had to cross some exposed wasteland watched-over by a man in a portacabin. Once inside all of us relaxed and toured this mighty ruin. Water ingress has hastened it's destruction, with the beautiful roof above the turbine hall on par with those at the grandest of railway stations
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Blinded by the lights
/ England, France, USA
Five-strong we waited for a gap in the pedestrian traffic on the Williamsburg Bridge, allowed the traffic running on the car deck below to die down and had a last check for cop cars. Deciding that now was a good time we clambered up onto the ironwork of the giant suspension span connecting Manhattan with Queens

August 2009

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Sur la route - Part 4
/ Belgium
On the morning of the last full day in Belgium we awoke on scaffolding attached to a church tower. Daylight had found us and so we reluctantly took this as a cue to get moving. As we climbed down onto the pavement the caretaker turned up and scowled at us but she was too stunned to actually say anything coherent.
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Sur la route - Part 3
/ Belgium
Drifting onto the left lane now and then, I wasn't doing a very good job of driving. Calmly dsankt would point out every now and then that we were hurtling down the wrong carriageway. In the back Marc slept, exhausted from the adventures the night before.
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Sur la route - Part 2
/ Belgium
The bus ride from Paris meant that ropes and the necessary kit to rope into a hole as big as this had had to be left behind. And now there was nothing but frustration peering down forlornly at the base of the shaft where unfinished metro tunnels disappeared in two directions.
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Sur la route - Part 1
/ France, Belgium
Loud French voices announced Paris coming to life, and as it turned out maintaining of Notre Dames grounds was a daily charade. Thinly concealed behind summer greenery the error of my choice of abode was clear: these hard-working gardeners would hardly take kindly to an apparently lazy lowlife sprawled out amongst their hard work.

July 2009

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Real men smoke Yokohamas
/ England
For me, harbouring a deep-rooted hatred of these vehicles, this purple heap was insult enough, but for Sydney's favourite export, who has surely told every person he's ever met about his love for 3 litre straight-six powered rear-smoking-wheel-drive Holden Toranas, it was going to be hard to stomach.

June 2009

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Fear and loathing in Upper Silesia
/ Poland
Feigning compliance we followed the man as he gesticulated towards the hut, positioning himself beside the open door and pointing inside. What, in there? Knowing reefdog would agree without question (it was hardly a difficult decision to make) I countered the guard's offer by indicating the gates and murmuring an idea in English.

May 2009

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Above us only sky
/ England
The roof of the Metropolitan Cathedral remained a shared nemesis, a last hit. The rest had been done: friends made and some forgotten, houses and flats lived in and vacated, girls loved and lost, ideas and plans made, adventures and escpades endured and in my case the survival of a moderate beating in a fast food restaurant.

April 2009

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The abandoned station of Porte Molitor
/ France
Whether the driver had seen any of us or not we weren't sure, but the train was slowing to a halt. Naturally we ran, meeting q-x as the three of us dashed in the direction the train had come from, q-x yelling as we regrouped that he'd seen the driver get out of the cab.
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Reaching Haxo
/ France
Whether they'd seen us or not we weren't going to be reaching the station that night. "Sorry man, just the way it goes with this one..." qx commented as we hurried back along the tunnel. In this fashion Haxo was proving herself, plain in appearance as she was, to be an unrelenting tease.

January 2009

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Robbing the money train (and other short stories) - Part 2
/ France
Yet again moving with all the stealth of a pack of petrified banshee the three of us clanged down the stairs and into the concrete tunnel, passing beneath heavy duty roof supports and alongside various robotically controlled diggers. This side entrance was obviously in its infancy.

December 2008

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Robbing the money train (and other short stories) - Part 1
/ France
Later with cider consumed and bored on a ride all the way to the extremities of the city we decided to open a door we shouldn't have and clamber about on the moving train. Somehow the staff got wind of our activities and at the next station RATP security guards boarded the train.

November 2008

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Going Forth
/ Scotland
As the sun rose on that Saturday morning I may aswell have been flying. The handsome black Volkswagen at my command effortlessly climbed over the summits, swooping down into the valleys with ease, its powerful diesel engine purring softly as together we navigated our way through the Lake District.

October 2008

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Where eagles dare
/ Wales
The following photos are from the last good day of October 2008, climbing up the east face of Tryfan from the Heather Terrace and arriving at the famous Adam and Eve rocks at sundown. We didn't find a forgotten race or one of those sea beasts, but we had good fun anyway.

September 2008

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The Chamber of Horrors
/ Wales
Coming shortly was what the passage is more-or-less famous for: 'the bridges'. And 'bridges' is in inverted commas for the simple reason that most of the 'bridges' aren't really bridges anymore. It's at times like this that you have to keep your brain in gear. If you become lazy, complacent or slack then mistakes will be made.

July 2008

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Zeb's dead
/ France
The only silver train on the network, rarer than the Sprague-Thomsons, was the prototype for the Metro's MF67 stock. For years it kicked around the network, appearing occasionally parked up at disused platforms or tucked away in a lay-up or 'raccord' tunnel.
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Paris Souterrain
/ France
The heavy iron door opened silently. Eyes adjusted to the darkness, inevitably the path ahead was downwards by way of ladders. The clunking sound ceased - quantum-x had reached the bottom. Trying not to breath in the sparkling shards of fibreglass that were now airbourne thanks to our disturbance, I followed.
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The Magic Door
/ England
Loud and fast, always swamped with thousands of people. That's what initial memories of the Tube describe, jam packed into the round-topped cars as they careered through pitch black tunnels beneath the London streets. Faces of all kinds, of all walks, all staring into space, avoiding eye contact, avoiding interaction.
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While you were sleeping
/ England
So a few weeks later when ds invited me down to loops' secret London warehouse hideout to take a look at some of the things they'd been working on, I was hardly going to politely decline.
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Standing on the shoulder of a giant
/ England
Pushing the pain in my leg from my head I began working my way upward, shutting out also, as much as I could, the fear. This wasn't like the ladder-climbed chimneys of earlier adventures: here it was faith only in the woven nylon and the aged and weary concrete to which it was attached.

May 2008

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Anarchy at Moss Side
/ England
Despite an assumed 14 years of neglect, the place didn't seem to be doing too badly. The ward blocks looked sinister: barred windows and little observation slots in the doors. Ultimately we gained entry to both floors of both blocks, but that first time was the most exciting, for we had no idea what was to be found inside.

March 2008

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At the mercy of Poseidon
/ England
And so there we stood, like Papillon and friend on the cliff, the pair of us watching for the 'seventh wave'. With the tide receeding just that little bit further it was possible to reach across for some old ropes and wires and cling on as the surf swept back along the narrow but deep channel surrounding the ship.
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Notching up a couple of trannies
/ England, Wales
After a local newspaper put the idea of doing this into my head I was powerless to stop the chain of events that followed. Oh how I tried to push the horrible visions from my weary skullen. But alas they would not depart, instead taking root and filtering into my dreams as easily as they had invaded my waking thoughts.

January 2008

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Queen of the Meadows
/ England
They stood like giant chess pieces, inanimate, resilient, imposing. For your southern-born author, who as a child had turned a knife over in his soft hands one evening and read the words 'Sheffield Stainless', these towers meant something. Not least if you saw them with your own eyes then it meant you were well and truly in The North.

December 2007

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The death of a swan
/ England
The cranes had been condemned to exile, along with the other parts of the Swan Hunter shipyard that hadn't been earmarked for scrap. Ultimately most of the metalwork would end up in India, China or Singapore, but not before being given a late-night winter send-off.

October 2007

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So long, Inverkip!
/ Scotland
Back then in 2007 imminent demolition was speculated and so it was reasoned that any exploration of the plant should be undertaken sooner rather than later. As it happens - and as is so often the way - the fatal blow has only just been dealt, half a decade later.

September 2007

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Ad astra per aspera
/ England
The big men didn't care anyway - here, apparently, were three more chumps willingly heading for the Skybar to waste the monetary rewards of their corporate-whoredom on overpriced drinks. Obviously it didn't cross their minds to consider that we may have completely different motivations.

August 2007

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Going over the top
/ England
One of the justifications often given to us at school during the drugs (are bad, mmkay) talks was that although a bit of hash may not kill us, it would probably lead us onto harder stuff. The nasty resin just wouldn't cut it anymore, and so we'd tumble down the slippery slope into the minefield of Class As.

July 2007

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Coming up for air
/ England
The five tired, frightened but brave figures stood, waiting, as their crippled submarine drifted down to the sea bed. Somewhere above them the other 47 members of their crew were clinging hopefully to their life jackets awaiting rescue by an Allied ship. Down below, however, things weren't looking so good.

May 2007

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24hrs below Paris
/ France
There's not enough room to stand up, so a half walk, half crawl is required, bag dragged along behind. I'm last, the others waiting round the corner. Reaching them comes with the realisation that my spare torch has detached itself from my belt, so back down the tunnel to find it... I've been underground for all of a minute, and I hate it.

August 2006

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Nothing lasts but nothing is lost
/ England
It's hard to believe that it's over six years since I first explored the semi-abandoned Tate & Lyle sugar silo, and harder still to think that it's three and a half years since I climbed amongst the debris and severed steelwork to photograph the demolition of the conveyor tower.