And that was it.

The end of the holiday will hit me full on in the earhole early tomorrow morning, as my alarm clock wakes me for another day of toil in the lab. It’s the downside to having a break: the inevitable return to reality. Having been off work for 11 whole days, during which time we drove literally thousands of kilometres and paddled for literally another several, it’s going to be tough to face real life head on in the morning.

And it’s not even as if it’s going to be that bad. Most kids go back to school tomorrow, but thanks to the vagaries of the SA private schooling system, ours have an extra day off. So that’s an extra hour in bed.
Wednesday morning… well… Wednesday morning  is going to be obscene.

The good news is on the horizon. Another long weekend (and another, shorter trip away) at the end of the month. It’s not too long to wait.

And that’s what will keep me going tomorrow. After that though, I don’t know. The next long weekend isn’t until the middle of June.

Killer.

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.

More things I want to do in places I want to go (again)

Because of “regulations”, I’m not allowed to fly my Mavic in Namibia. I applied and I tried, but the rules there are very strict and while I submitted documentation upon documentation to a very friendly and helpful Namibian DCA, there were additional complications in that South African ATC is in charge of much of the airspace over the southern half of Namibia. Add the red tape of two different government bodies in two different countries together, and see how far you get. It’s not far.

Still, all being well, I will have had some chance to fly this side of the border while we’ve been away.
Pictures and video to follow? Maybe. But in the meantime, let’s live vicariously through FPV Customs DE, who went to Norway and had some fun with their Mavic.

HD would be your minimum setting to enjoy that one in, and if you do have 4K capabilities, well why not use them?

Every time I see Norway on these kind of videos, I realise how much I want to go back there. There are plenty of other places I want to go too, but the urge to spend some more time in Norway is currently outshining them all.

Ran

The “old” Future Islands album Singles, was – in my humble opinion – massively underrated. Now, they have a “new” album called The Far Field and it promises great things.

Ran, an intense, desperate tale lamenting a lost love, is the first single off the album. I love it.
The album came out last Friday, and should I have managed to procure a copy in time, may well be providing the soundtrack to this holiday – if I can manage to take any music in a kayak down the Orange River.

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.