Sometimes, you take photos which you need to edit a lot.
Sometimes, you take photos which you want to edit a lot.

But this isn’t either one of those sort of photos.

Sugarcane Sunset

I was actually running through the fields of sugarcane near the Mozambican border to take a photo of a tractor, leaping gazelle-like over irrigation piping, because that’s the sort of thing I apparently enjoy doing. But then I glanced to the left and there was this, and I stopped because there are just some moments you simply have to record.

It’s the sort of point-and-shoot nonsense that always looks amazing at the time but never quite makes the grade when it comes to actually reviewing  the image later on. Except, for me at least, this one does. And yes, it did go into Lightroom as a RAW file, but it came out the other side without being touched at all, because I couldn’t find a way to make it prettier: even with my new Sharples #RBOSS™ preset.

Sadly, this is one of very few images I took this week that doesn’t need editing. And that’s why I’ve already spent quite a lot of my Sunday in front of the computer. And there’s plenty more work to do.

So let’s leave this here and get back to it, shall we?

The journey home

It’s been an educational week up in the far North East of South Africa, but now it’s time to head West. We were on the road by 5:30 and now we’re racing towards the highveld, past the filthy power stations of Mpumalanga.

If all goes well, I should be Chez 6000 before 2:30. SA is a big place.

I’ve worked really hard, met some great people, heard some fascinating stories – some heartbreaking, some incredibly positive – and seen some amazing things. And I have some half decent photos, too – look out for them soon.

With my previous trip, the kids’ school holidays and our Karoo adventure, the last six weeks have been very unsettled, and I’m actually really looking forward to getting back into a bit of a routine.

That’s not too say that I haven’t enjoyed the opportunity to have some different experiences, though. 🙂

Nelspruit guest house

[Written soon after arrival last night]

Nelspruit guest house. Mbombela guest house.
Same same. Despite the name change, everyone here still seems to call it Nelspruit. All the signs say Mbombela. I can see how foreigners might get confused.

And here in my room, once again, Afrikaner interior design is at play. They haven’t gone quite as far as the relief-tiled ceiling of last night’s place (in adhesive we trust), but we’ve got the obligatory overly ornate headboard and a glass sink perched upon a faux Roman concrete surface, raised by two faux Roman concrete columns.

It’s rather special:

And once again, I am cursed by faulty bedside lights and a barking dog outside the window.

I shouldn’t complain. The welcome was warm and the bed feels like it might be the most comfortable on this trip thus far. I intend to test this theory very shortly.

One more day of work up here, and then a Saturday morning dash to Joburg and a flight back to the cold of Cape Town. It’s been another fascinating experience, but I’m tired and just about ready to head home now.

The Hoedspruit conundrum continues

I have woken up in Hoedspruit this morning. Literally, in it.

This can only mean one of two things: that it really does exist, or that after yesterday’s early start and then driving 550km – much of it on dirt roads populated by cattle, kudu and potholes – I have crossed over to the other side.

Either option seems plausible.


Sidenote: There are a lot of dogs in Hoedspruit. A lot.

Quite barky.


5 day trip to the North.

4am wake up call.

3 Provinces.

2 travelling companions, both of whom I only met for the first time yesterday (and neither of whom I can find at the airport).

1 class B rental car.

This is going to be an interesting week.