Monthly Archives: July 2010

FeverX Endurocross rocks Port Shepstone!

WOW, what an event!! Dave took part in the FeverX X-treme Endurocross, highlight of the Lions Show in Port Shepstone on the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal earlier this month. I wielded the camera, partly to capture some of the action, and partly to help calm my nerves, because this one was OVER THE TOP. Huge high five to Denzil Torlage, ace Masters class racer, for setting a killer course. The consensus seems unanimous that this format is set to take off in South Africa, and here’s hoping it does. Spectators will flock!

Some of the most talented enduro riders in the country were there, led by Jade Gutzeit, national championship leader and legend in the making. Not to mention the home-town favourite. I’m so proud of Dave, coming third in the Seniors class, no mean feat considering he was the eldest by far! For anyone who’s unfamiliar with the sport, here’s a short sequence of him tackling some of the obstacles. If it looks tough, trust me it was tougher!

I’m sure you can see why my warrior was exhausted by the end:

. . . but not too tired to take over the camera and show me how action photography should really be done 🙂 This is a shot he took of Jade in winning form!

For a bunch more photo’s, here’s a link to Dave’s Facebook album: FeverX Enduro July 2010.
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Captivating Katberg

Every now and then a surprise discovery crops up. Like Katberg did for us. More specifically, the Katberg Hotel and Eco Golf Estate nestled in the Katberg mountains in the Eastern Cape. This is another of the delightful destinations we’ve come across on Dave’s motorbiking trail. It was the venue for the last national enduro event, which he participated in.

Unfortunately, due to mechanical problems, Dave didn’t finish, but we certainly made the most of the trip. The scenery was absolutely stunning, similar to the nearby Hogsback area, which is rumoured to have inspired JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (in particular the fictional forest “Mirkwood”), since he holidayed there during his childhood.

Here are a few photo’s to give you an idea of the surroundings:

KATBERG ECO GOLF ESTATE – Eastern Cape, South Africa

KATBERG ECO GOLF ESTATE – Eastern Cape, South Africa

An ostrich on the golf course 🙂

Just to confirm there was a race going on, here’s a shot of the pits in the morning, as well as Dave and the guys lining up for the start:

From Katberg, we traveled through the old Transkei, now part of the Eastern Cape, en route to an extreme enduro event on the Kwazulu Natal South Coast. More about that later, but here’s a shot of the sunset just South of Mthatha (Umtata), which is too spectacular not to share:

EASTERN CAPE SUNSET, Old Transkei, South Africa

For more photo’s from the trip, you’re welcome to take a look at my Facebook album: Kei National Enduro – July 2010.
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Leisure renews life.

Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

Quotes to consider:

“Leisure is the Mother of Philosophy.” – Thomas Hobbes

“All intellectual improvement arises from leisure” – Samuel Johnson

“We give up leisure in order that we may have leisure, just as we go to war in order that we may have peace” – Aristotle

“Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never” – Benjamin Franklin
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Contrast = Artists’ Ink

No matter the medium, light and shade illuminate.

“Contrast is what makes photography interesting.” – Conrad Hall

“Simultaneous contrast is not just a curious optical phenomenon – it is the very heart of painting.” – Josef Albers

“There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.” – Herman Melville

“We are so made that we can derive intense enjoyment from a contrast and very little from a state of things.” – Sigmund Freud
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Clouds sometimes obscure the sun.

CLOUDS ACROSS THE SUN – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

As we pause our game drive to consult the map, I glance up and notice the sky. My thoughts flicker to the most generous man I’ve known, bar none. For a moment I smell roses, but they’re nowhere around. It’s the sweetness of his memory, which chases the evening chill from my cheeks. Despite dreadful injury at the hand of a nameless criminal, his coma was characterized by complete peace. The gabbering of guinea fowl reminds me where I am. Although I taste tears, they do not fall. Instead, I smile. Charlie Baty, beloved friend, your Sunbeam Soul lights our way forever.

Quotes to consider:

“Tears are words the heart can’t express” – Unknown

“Sorrow is tranquillity remembered in emotion.” – Dorothy Parker

“He who has not looked on Sorrow will never see Joy.” – Kahlil Gibran

“Remember me and smile, for it’s better to forget than remember me and cry.” – Unknown
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Isolation = Illusion

Everything is connected.

Quotes to consider:

“A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one.” – Heraclitus of Ephesus

“Internet: absolute communication, absolute isolation.” – Paul Carvel

“Too much of what is called “education” is little more than an expensive isolation from reality” – Thomas Sowell

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Magnificence gets magnified.

This image is particularly special and apt for today’s thought, because I shot it recently from the roadside South-West of Mthatha (Umtata) and close to Qunu, which is where Nelson Mandela grew up. The region falls within what was the Transkei, a homeland of the Xhosa-speaking people during apartheid years. It was reintegrated into South Africa in 1994, when Nelson Mandela became President, and now forms part of the Eastern Cape province. Shortly after taking this photo, we came across the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha, which showcases the gifts he has received from all corners of the globe.

Since Madiba’s birthday has just passed, marked by Mandela Day around the world, here are two quotes to consider that bear particular relevance to him:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of ‘A Course in Miracles’.

Part of the passage is said to have been quoted by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural speech, although this is apparently not conclusive. I don’t rememeber the speech well enough to say for sure, but either way, Madiba certainly embodies everything contained in these words, as well as the following poem, narrated by Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela in the movie of the same name:

INVICTUS – by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

If you’re interested in my thoughts (as a South African) about this film, then here’s a link to my review: Invictus
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Calm → Connection

SPIRITUAL SCENE – Katberg, South Africa

Quotes to consider:

“Inward calm cannot be maintained unless physical strength is constantly and intelligently replenished.” – Buddha

“Power is so characteristically calm, that calmness in itself has the aspect of strength.” – Robert Bulwer-Lytton

“The pursuit, even of the best things, ought to be calm and tranquil.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Serving humanity on Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela turns 92 today. What better way to honour his contribution to the world than by participating in Mandela Day, declared ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’ by the United Nations last year. People across the globe are performing 67 minutes of community service today, in tribute to the over 67 years that Madiba devoted to public service and striving for social justice.

It was awesome to see him attend the World Cup final here in Johannesburg, along with Morgan Freeman, who portrayed him masterfully in the movie Invictus. In the words of this iconic actor: “Madiba doesn’t want a day of celebration. He asked that we spent 67 minutes on that one day in service of humanity.”

Still in South Africa, Morgan Freeman waved off a group of motorcycle riders on Tuesday, at the start of their road trip in support of Mandela Day. Although not riding himself, he is taking part in the event, which has traversed South Africa, from the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg all the way to Cape Town. This is the final day, being spent erecting a fence at the AIDS Response centre in Khayelitsha, convening at the Cape Town City Hall, followed by a press conference at the One&Only Hotel at the V&A Waterfront.

To set the Mother City scene for you, here’s a photo showing the One&Only Hotel (marked in red) in close proximity to the Greenpoint Stadium, which has been the setting for much World Cup jubilation over the past few weeks!


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Rhino horns belong on their heads!

How does a human stoop so low as to slaughter an animal simply to feed their own greed?

It appears that a cartel of poachers has been doing exactly this, close to Johannesburg, by raiding the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve by helicopter at night. They’ve been killing rhino’s, hacking off their horns with chainsaws, and leaving their young distraught and defenceless, if not dead too.

Game rangers took many hours to find the nine-month-old calf of the most recent victim. He has been moved to a camp with other orphaned rhino’s, in part to alleviate his trauma and loneliness, which rhino’s have been rumoured to die from.

About six weeks ago a pregnant rhino and her calf were massacred in the same reserve, for the same reason: to supply the illegal market for rhino horn. A single one is said to fetch around $1,000,000 in China.

There are no adult rhino’s remaining in this park now, but for the record, here is a photo of a youngster that Dave took some time ago:

WHITE RHINO – Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, South Africa Continue reading

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