Saturday, March 16, 2013

A smattering of Africa photos

Dan shows off the amazing Victoria Falls
Vic Falls actually

Sunset over the Zambezi
His female counterparts in Tembe

Ele group at Tembe watering hole
Rhino and ocean, yes please!
Kissing/fighting hippos outside St. Lucia
Another spectacular sunset in Namibia
Spooky Deadvlei

 How did I end up with two travel companions in capes?

View from Table Mountain
View of Cape Town from Cable Car carpark
 Carcharodon carcharias from the surface 

Underwater - water temp, btw, 13 degrees...
Vino tasting outside Cape Town
Stellar venue for an evening concert with Sipho 'Hotstix' Mabuse
Heading back to Cape Town via Chapman's Peak
Robyn was delighted when my trousers split and they were donated to the bin

Friday, March 15, 2013

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack

"And do you have a driving license?" the policeman asked my passenger Robyn when I failed to produce mine at a routine roadside checkpoint.  Robyn's was also back at our holiday flat facing the sea.  Facing a stiff 1000 rand fine (or likely lesser bribe) Robyn offered to stay with the policeman while I drove the four blocks back for mine.  We revealed we were going a mere half block up the hill, and, satisfied with the destination, he simply waved us on with a parting, "you should always carry your driving license."  Shaking our heads in disbelief at our good fortune, we simply did, what as travelers we're so accustomed to do, and carried on.

On the other side of another winter away and uncharacteristically looking forward to temporarily resettling in British Columbia's north, these past three months have not clichely "flown by."  There's been sufficient variety in scenery, animals, people, food and culture that's it's a great mystery to me it was ONLY three months.  

From an English wedding in an impossibly gorgeous (and likely haunted) hotel in the countryside to a home-cooked tajine in Morocco's High Atlas Mountains to Zanzibar's perfect beaches to participating in a Malawian dance night to kayaking alongside seals by day and is-this-real? stargazing in Namibia to OMG scuba diving in Sodwana to exploring what's likely Africa's most beautiful city, Cape Town, it has undeniably been an action-packed trip.  

So much so, apparently, that I've neglected posting.  My schedule has been chockers with fun and little sitting-in-an-air-conditioned-internet-cafe downtime to properly process and share interactions, musing, observations and photos. 

In summary, then:
South Africa is a beautiful, puzzling nation where I felt mostly safe.  While the country has made spectacular post-apartheid progress, it is far from finished.  

Namibia, wow.  I hadn't even heard of this safe, English-speaking (mostly), stunning country until I was looking into visiting Africa.  Loaded with watering holes with Africa's enchanting wildlife, outstanding concerts with their own Elemotho, climbing sand dunes for sunrise, a canyon rivaling it's Grand cousin, I struggle to find a day there that wasn't 10/10.  

Eastern Africa: For ease, convenience and safety it's best explored on an organized tour unless you have some handle of the local language(s).