Ben Howe
music, travel, video, photo and blog etc
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Travel, videos and music written, filmed and photographed by Ben Howe.

How The Lost Flying Nun Master Tapes Found A Home

Flying Nun Records, the iconic New Zealand music label, donated many hundreds of master tapes from recordings made between 1981 to the mid-2000s, to the Alexander Turnbull Library’s Archive of New Zealand Music. There was a time I thought those tapes were lost and this is that story.

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Past & Future: The Others Way Music Festival, Auckland NZ

The Others Way is a music showcase or festival that started four years ago. In 2015 I had just moved on from St Jerome’s Laneway Festival Auckland. I realised what I enjoyed most was releasing albums and working with local New Zealand artists, ones I knew personally.

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Gibara, Sleepy Backwater in Cuba

Gibara is a sleepy town on the north coast of Cuba, Holguin province. Located on the entrance to a small harbour, the settlement is surrounded on three sides by water. To the south, distant low green limestone hills rise above the glassy inlet. Apparently, when Christopher Columbus landed near here, he commented: “it is the most beautiful land that human eyes saw.”

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Old Ghost Road: Mountain Bike Trail Description

The Old Ghost Road is an 85 km single track bike-packing mountain bike trail and walking path in the upper South Island of New Zealand. The Old Ghost Road traverses mountains, deep river gorges, dense forest and rough backcountry. It is remote, exposed, with rocky sections above the treeline.

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Travel in Tropical Baracoa, Far East of Cuba

Baracoa, at the far Eastern end of Cuba, in Guantanamo province is almost the end of the road. Travelling from the big city Havana, on the opposite side of the island, you can’t go much further without disappearing into the sea. We look for things to do, explore the town and travel around the surrounding region.

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Mountain Biking Red Rocks, Wellington, New Zealand

I am planning to ride The OId Ghost Road, so I thought I better test my abilities for the trail. To do this, I rode out from my home in Brooklyn Wellington for the local trails called Barking Emu and Red Rocks.


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Cubadupa Street & Music Festival, Wellington, NZ

Cubadupa is a festival that happens in Wellington, New Zealand, every March. It takes place on Cuba street, the creative hub of the central city. Good record stores, bookshops, cafes, restaurants and second-hand shops are all found in this area. I take along my Nikon FE2 35mm film camera.

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Newtown Festival, Wellington, New Zealand: Bands, photos & 35mm Film

Last week I attended the Newtown Festival in the suburb of the same name, in Wellington, New Zealand. It was the first time I had attended, being a recent immigrant to the capital city. Newtown is an old central area, partially, but not entirely, gentrified. It is located in a sunny valley. I took along my Nikon FE2 35mm film camera and took some shots.

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The Voodoo Streets of Santiago De Cuba

Santiago De Cuba has a reputation. Voodoo, witchcraft; a hotbed of hustlers, pimps and thieves. The home of Bacardi and the country’s most energetic carnival. Apparently, it’s Cuba’s rough and gritty city. The wild east - Haiti and Jamaica just over the horizon. More Carribean. More Pirate. This reputation attracted us to the city, so Sonya and I decided to stop in.

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Exploring Havana, Cuba; a Bicycle Ride and Travel Tips

Travel guide to Havana, Cuba, including exploring Vedado, a city bicycle ride and some useful tips. Although everything looks old, dilapidated and falling apart, there is vibrance and energy to Havana. It is a great walking and biking city.

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La Paz, Bolivia - Travel to the Highest Capital in the World

La Paz, the de facto capital of Bolivia, is a city I’ve always wanted to visit. Surrounded by mountains, between 3000 and 4,000 meters above sea level, populated mostly by colourful indigenous peoples and framed by a crazy cityscape that tumbles into a valley of skyscrapers, La Paz has always held a certain mystique. For a few days, we got to explore.

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Brutalist Architecture; New York, London, Prague & More

When traveling overseas in can be interesting to choose a unique theme and investigate this. For example, when I visit a new city I like to explore it's Brutalist architecture. First, I research the city's notable buildings in this style, then, when I get there, I try to find them. It gives me a reason to visit neighbourhoods or parts of town that might not otherwise be on the tourist trail.

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Exploring Ollantaytambo & Patacancha, Peru

Located near Cusco and on the way to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, Ollantaytambo gets it's share of tourists. But most are just passing through and don't take the time to explore or get out into the surrounding hills. It is worth staying for at least a couple of days, even if you do no more than explore the backstreets and drink coffee in the Plaza.

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Visiting the Brasov area in Transylvania, Romania

Transylvania feels like the forgotten corner of Europe. Best known as the apparent lair of Count Dracula, some people don't even realise it is a real place. Instead, in the popular foreign imagination it conjures images of spooky jagged peaks, medieval castles and Gothic dungeons.

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Travelling to Machu Picchu, Peru

The image of Machu Picchu is familiar; mysterious stone structures almost floating among the misty mountains. A citadel perched high above the deep green river valleys.  Machu Picchu also has a compelling story. Somehow lost and forgotten - inaccessible and buried in the jungle. Then, more recently, rediscovered by an American adventurer, self-promotor and historian Highram Bingham. With this story separating fiction from fact isn't always easy

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