And so I’m back…

Not from outer space, as Glorious Gloria once proclaimed, although certain bits of Namibia do resemble Mars or the Moon or something similar:

[it’s bigger and better on black]

Did you miss me?

3½ days and 64km down the Orange River was certainly an adventure, taking us way out of our comfort zones, but it was also an enjoyable experience that will stay with us for years to come.

The group was fun – a good laugh – and the beers and G&Ts flowed almost as fast as the river. The guides were helpful, friendly and knowledgeable, and while there were numerous challenges of rapids, capsizings and long days paddling through the heat along the way, I think everyone had a good time. The lack of water in the river did make the trip even tougher though. Apparently, during high flood season, some guides had done the same route that we did over those 3½ days, in just 75 minutes! We actually had to do some work.

I’m uploading photos as I write [update: here they are!], although due to a camera malfunction, not as many as I would have liked. Still, others on the tour have pics too, so there are plenty of memories to be shared. And Florence the Mavic came out on the river with us (you couldn’t have packed a Phantom, #just saying), so there’s some footage from there to come as well. Give me time. My bruised, blistered, aching, exhausted, old body needs a little while to recover. Still, with creature comforts like a bed, a roof and a shower to enjoy, I don’t think it will take too long.

Cold Mountains

Not where I am. And vive le difference. Mountains may be mountains, but the ochre, sandy, heat-baked ones that I’m looking at – majestic and dramatic though they are – are a far cry from these ones at the top end of the world.

They are, I’m reliably informed, Mount Olstind in Norway and the Vestrahorn in Iceland respectively.

Both are places I desperately now want to go, and both are literally half a world from where I am now.

Photos and the NDCA

I have put a whole four photos up onto Flickr. [Author’s note: Actually, there should be another one. I wonder where it went?] You can see them here. We had some fun once the wind had dropped a bit on Monday evening, although my night shots aren’t really improving much.
Sadly, the wind didn’t drop enough for any Mavic fun.

And talking of the Mavic, there’s not going to be a lot more from me today because I’m spending my spare time filling in a FSS-GEN-FORM 081/14 form for the Namibian Directorate of Civil Aviation in the hope that I can take my little flying friend there next month.

They’ve been super helpful with their communication so far, but blimey, guv – they want quite a lot of information!

Oh, Crystal Ball, Crystal Ball.

So sang Keane back in 2006.
Great song. Creepy video.

But that’s not what this post is about. It’s a reminder for me. Yes, whizzing through my Flickr photostream just now, I noted that I haven’t done enough crystal ball photography.

What with the Mavic appearing on the scene and life happening and stuff, I haven’t really got around to it, and I must.

Note to self. You know what.

For the birds

One camera, one tripod, one bird table. And a remotely controlled shutter.

Here’s Mrs Cape Weaver laying into her husband, givin’ ‘im what for innit, after he came back late again from the ‘Bird in the Bush’ pub down the road.

It’s not good enuff, Barry! You’re neva ‘ome! Messin’ abart wiv all those chicks darn the pub! Some of them are ‘ardly out of the egg! Wot abart your family, Barry? Wot abart our children avian offspring? And where on erf did I get this terrible cockney accent from when I’m a weaver bird from Sarf Africa?

Note the world-weary expression of the male Cape Sparrow on the left. He’s seen it all before from his missus. But that was back in the bad old days when he too had an alcohol addiction problem. Thanks to an online (the line in question being the telephone wire to the house next door) support group, he’s been clean for over a year now, follows a healthy, seed-based diet (plenty of omega-3’s, proteins, fibre) and only drinks water. Sadly, it was all too late for his marriage, and Mrs Cape Sparrow moved in with a Speckled Mousebird [I have no idea how this would actually work] despite his (now fulfilled) promises to change.

Such is (bird) life in the Limestone Fynbos of Cape Agulhas.
Like a giant bush-based soap opera.

More bird-table antics and pics of the recent solar eclipse here.