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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)
Those of you who’ve read about My Books, will know that our endangered African Penguins are close to my heart. This stems from childhood, when my late father sailed on our national research ships to the Southern islands and Antarctica, sometimes returning with penguins and seals. Despite the passing decades, I’ll never forget them, nor the pungent cocktail of diesel and oil mixed with the sea, so characteristic of the Cape Town docks. The docks of the old days, before the development of the vibrant V&A Waterfront.
So it’s wonderful to learn of support for the world’s penguins. My fabulous Facebook friend, Dyan deNapoli (The Penguin Lady) is in the process of launching her book The Great Penguin Rescue. Documenting a devastating oil spill that threatened 40,000 African Penguins, it will no doubt be a PHENOMENAL read, so take a look! For anyone unfamiliar with these birds, here are some pics of the Boulders Beach colony in Simonstown:
Dyan also recently drew our attention to a stunning new website of the Global Penguin Society, which ‘is dedicated to the survival and protection of the world´s penguin species, fostering integrated ocean conservation through science, management and community education.’ High five to them for all for their amazing effort!
As an aside about sea travel, Dyan offers invaluable advice for preventing seasickness: ReliefBands. She apparently felt no discomfort during five days of crossing the Drake Passage (to Antarctica and back) on a stabilizer-free ship, while others on board were beyond green. The bands ‘have a metal plate that sits against your wrist and provides an electrical pulse that stimulates a nerve, reducing peristaltic activity in your stomach’.
This recommendation came in response to a query on my Mom’s behalf, as she plans to visit ‘The Ice’ next year, shortly after turning seventy. Hard core women, or what? I can’t take the thought of those hectic seas, preferring to stick much closer to coast-lines, but these bands are a definite for future dive trips! I’ll task my Mom with photography 🙂
And how’s this for a cool side benefit? A user testimonial for ReliefBands mentions going on Adventureland rides that kids adore, with ‘NO ill effects whatsoever’! WOW, if that’s possible, perhaps there’s hope for me to read in cars. Now that would be AWESOME 😀 Continue reading
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!
Our recent return to &Beyond‘s Madikwe Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve was a total treat. It’s impossible to convey the full extent of the magic with only a few photo’s, so for many more highlights, have a look at my Facebook album: Madikwe – June 2010
To kick off with, here’s a pic taken in the early morning at one of the dams.
Dave participated in the first SA enduro of the year on Saturday: the EWXC (Enduro World Cross Country) held at Arrow’s Rest near Hartebeespoort Dam (not far from Johannesburg). We took along our cameras to capture some of the mayhem 🙂
Here’s Dave getting ready to race on his Team Pro Action KTM motorbike, not realizing at the time that he’d broken a rib only a few days before…he has a pretty high pain threshold!!
Dave got the hole-shot in the Masters Class, before a sharp rock slashed his tyre during the first lap. This put him out of the race and was most disappointing for him, but surely saved his rib any more harm 🙂
For the rest of the field, though, there was a war to contend with!
A few of the big guns took on the challenge of the extreme enduro event – and boy, was it EXTREME! This is Wild Will Gillitt of www.wildwillracing.com in action. He was also responsible for setting the gnarly EWXC course!
Hope you all have a delightful day 🙂
We began our celebrations early, with a magic ski trip to Switzerland, where we spent 10 days staying with our special cousins Karen and Hérve and their family, in their stunning chalet at Chandolin. This is a tiny village, high in the Alps, about 3 hours’ drive from Geneva, along a lovely route that passes right beside the lake and into the mountains.
The chalet is named ‘Mang èn la Mang’, which means “Hand in Hand’ in the local dialect. It’s too gorgeous for words:
Here’s a pic of the approach into the village:
And us in the snow:
Special thanks to Ida at Ethnic Supplies for the heads-up via Facebook of Blog Action Day 09, which is today! This year’s theme is Climate Change. If you’re a blogger, you may still have time to register your blog at … Continue reading