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Tag Archives: Africa
OUCH! Eleven days offline following a severe lightning strike – that was frustrating. Our iPhones helped, but let’s face it, they’re not a satisfactory substitute. What a relief to be fully connected again!
In the meantime, the 2011 enduro season is well underway. It kicked off with the Enduro World Cross Country held a few weeks ago at Hartebeespoort Dam near Johannesburg. Regular readers may remember this venue from last year, but here’s a pic to set the scene:
and another to put things in perspective:
Fortunately, the rider was fine. Tumbles aside, it’s a great sport – one that draws an awesome crowd together amid some of Southern Africa’s rural splendour. A case in point was the recent Enduro World training tour to Swaziland. We were hosted at the lodge overlooking the magnificent Maguga Dam:
While the guys (and one gorgeous girl – Kirsten Landman, ’s top lady enduro racer) sweated on their bikes, the rest of us relaxed,
enjoyed a sunset cruise,
and explored the local arts and crafts centre, including the phenomenal Coral Stephens Handweaving industry:
The recent Lesotho Enduro was the first national race of the season. It took no prisoners; unanimously rated as hard core. Way to go, Dave, finishing 5th in the Masters Class and mere seconds off the podium – despite “youngsters” sneaking in from Seniors, while he’s another year older with nowhere else to go 🙂
In between pit stops, we crew kicked back and took in the scenery:
Although there’s always the tension that accompanies extreme sport, enduro is far less demanding on us than the riders. Still, tough as it can be, I reckon this smile tells a story:
It’s the reason we’re preparing for the Enduro World Cross Country this weekend, and the Montagu national the next – another perfect excuse for a few days in Cape Town . . .
- iGO My way Southern Africa hits the AppStore (intomobile.com)
- COMESA Biosafety Policies and Guidelines are Relevant to Swaziland (isaaa.org)
- Thousands Protest Monarchy of Swaziland (onebluestocking.wordpress.com)
- House on Fire – Swaziland, Swaziland (travelpod.com)
Belonging is inescapable.
Acknowledged or not,
there’s no escaping
Born of one,
born of another,
kissed into being
by the same breath
That bonds a baby
to its mother,
and cleaves a leaf
to a tree
The same sacred
of life itself
Know our names,
cradle our souls,
which sing with
At being a part
of the perfectly
Quotes to consider:
“I celebrate myself, and sing myself, And what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” – Walt Whitman
“No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
“See the things you want as already yours. Think of them as yours, as belonging to you, as already in your possession.” – Robert Collier
“Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable”- Kenyan Proverb
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
- Hippos in the Night – Okavango Delta, Botswana (travelpod.com)
- Okavango: World’s Largest Inland Delta (hotelclub.com)
- The Black Mamba Track – Okavango Delta, Botswana (travelpod.com)
- Yay, nearly drowning for the second time!! – Maun, Botswana (travelpod.com)
- Picture Perfect [Snap Judgment] (jezebel.com)
This was certainly the case at Madikwe Game Reserve last week. In a show of sympathy for all those devastated by recent floods around the world, Johannesburg and surroundings have been drenched in downpours over the past while. Madikwe is a mere 3-odd hours’ drive from here, and seems to have shared in the rain too.
It wasn’t all rosy, though, like one morning when a Landcruiser got stuck in the mud 😀 Our ranger saved the day, so we witnessed the good deed:
This was the reason for venturing off-road, which caused it all – understandable really!
Later, we struck it lucky, courtesy of more puddles, when two lionesses squatted to drink right beside our vehicle. Tell me it gets any better than this!
There was more magic in store, thanks to the rain. The pan was a sea of yellow flowers:
This is our head-ranger mate, Marc (of my previous post fame ;-)), getting down low with his Nikon. Don’t you just love it?
As you can imagine, we had plenty to talk about at the gourmet dinner every evening:
- A gift that keeps on giving… (naomiestment.wordpress.com)
- Lionesses caked in mud (dailymail.co.uk)
- Big 5 Travel that assists Local Communities (south-africa-travel.suite101.com)
- Celebrating Southern African Getaways (naomiestment.wordpress.com)
- Lion-el messy (thesun.co.uk)
What a WILD few days – The Roof of Africa 2010, which concluded on Saturday in Lesotho. Fittingly tough for “The Mother of Hardenduro”, it took no prisoners, conceding twenty-two gold medal finishers from a field of about two hundred and fifty. Twenty-four riders earned silver medals and a mere six took home the bronzes. Phenomenal achievements all! The war stories brought tears to the eyes and huge respect to the heart. This event that traverses the massive Maluti mountains, is not for sissies! Unfortunately, after a solid start, Dave’s race ended in a DNF when his motor blew halfway through Friday’s gruelling stint. Here are a few photo’s that tell a snippet of our story:
All in all, this year’s ‘Roof’ raised the bar. It was way better organized and more spectator-friendly than last year’s, drawing crowds of fans and some top international competitors. These were headed up by New Zealander Chris Birch, who won spectacularly for the third time in a row, followed by South Africa’s own Jade Gutzeit and Germany’s Andreas Lettenbichler, ‘Lettie’ for short. Here they are at the Red Bull finish line:
Sincere THANKS to all our friends who helped us tremendously, huge CONGRATS to the winners and WELL DONE to everyone who took part! One thing’s for sure: our deposit will be paid the moment booking opens for next year.
Now, just in case you’re thinking the event is all about the riders, this video explains a whole lot more: Continue reading
Judgement can be unjust.
It’s a steamy summer evening near the Kruger National Park. Anticipation spikes the sunset as we pull up to the ‘vulture restaurant’ at Moholoholo (“The Very Great One”) rehabilitation centre. A simple patch of sand to us, the spot is significant to the birds. Dozens of them. The moment the carcass thuds to earth, they swoop in from their circling. A bombardment of quietly beating feathers flares dust into the air, muffling soft tearing and crunching sounds. Not a single squawk is uttered.
Each species knows precisely what to do. Larger-beaked prey ‘openers’ jostle beside their cousins who pick the bones clean. The ten minute melee is marked by precision feeding, highlighted with huge hops and tugs of war, as well as the intermittent scampering of a warthog. He’s having dinner too, snatching morsels from the heaving heap.
As swiftly as it began, the meal is over; barely a scrap to mark the spot. A flurry of large bodies lifts off and flies away. No wonder Nature is not strewn with waste. Among the less endearing of her feathered set, vultures sometimes receive a bad rap. Perhaps not the prettiest, they each have a part to play. As we all do.
Quotes to consider:
“Judge a tree from its fruit, not from its leaves” – Euripides
“We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.” – Ian Percy
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Gustav Jung
“The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.” – Georgia Harkness
“. . . It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” – Paulo Coelho
“Although I cannot lay an egg, I am a very good judge of omelettes” – George Bernard Shaw
Here are a few more pics taken by Dave:
- Enough Said – Hoedspruit, Limpopo, South Africa (travelpod.com)