South Africa Safari – Kinetic Snapshots

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Armed to the teeth with digital cameras, we rolled into the African bush – Schotia Reserve and Addo Elephant National Park. Few expected to emerge uneaten. And thus we were treated to a pride of lions, a pair of rhinos, herds of elephants, a parade of giraffes and assorted bovines. And the roar of a wild, wild wind. For some reason, they wouldn’t let us climb down from the rover to pet the hungry lions.
Originally published elsewhere on 1 November 2011.
 
 
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Cape Town, South Africa – Kinetic Snapshots

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Spring in the Mother City. On flight fatigued walkabout in the city, I stumbled upon Green Market Square selling tourist junk. After climbing Table Mountain, sans cloud cover, I rode back down on the cable way. I was lucky nabbing a hard to get ticket to Robben Island. We were shown the prison by a former political prisoner named Nande (apologies to the gentleman if I’ve misspelt his name). You’ll have to wait for the photo/video to see Nelson Mandela’s cell. The V & A Waterfront is gentrified and tourista-fied, though still a working port and ship yard.

Originally published elsewhere on 30 October 2011.

The Garden Route – Kinetic Snapshots

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From Cape Town, I hopped the Baz Bus to ride along the Garden Route. First stop – Hermanus. Where right whale watching can be done seasick-free from shore. Whales seen, the next stop was Mossel Bay. Wind swept coast around from the town. Those rodent-like critters are Dassis, whose closest genetic relative is the elephant. Next stop – Wilderness (cool name). Grotty weather till the sun emerged just before I left. Enroute to Storms River Village, we crossed the Bloukrans Bridge with the world’s highest bungy jump (I’d done my once-in-a-lifetime jump in New Zealand). Off the ground and into the trees with a canopy tour in the Tsitsikamma Forest. Taking a walk in the forest, I ran into some baboons – pardon the big foot fuzzy images. I finished in Port Elizabeth with a safari which is another video entirely. Backtracking, I ventured into the Kleine Karoo to Oudtshoorn. Driven up to the Swartberg Pass, I was tossed out with a mountain bike to make my way back. Passed ostrich ranches. A tourist show, where they paid thousands of rand, and which I secretly filmed from the road so you can view it for free. Then regretfully paid to enter an ostrich farm with ostrich riding – yee-haw! Finally, before returning to Cape Town, I ventured as far as I dared on a shitty bike in the vinelands of Stellenbosch.

Originally published elsewhere on 31 October 2011.

Conquering the Cape Peninsula

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Venturing south from Cape Town, we were the first people to set foot on the Cape Peninsula in ages. Three seconds to be exact. The first stop was Hout Bay. I hopped a boat to Duiker Island. There, cape fur seals in solidarity with the Occupy Movement have occupied the island (right on, comrades). Then to Simon Town and Boulder Beach. Here a colony of penguins have claimed the continent as part of Greater Antarctica. Carrying on, on clunky bikes we rode a few kilometers through landscape like the Scottish moors (och aye, and not a piper to be heard… nor Mel screaming) to Buffelsfontein for eating. Finally to the Cape of Good Hope, The southwestern tip of Africa. The Atlantic and Indian Oceans really meet further east at Cape Agulhas. But if you can’t make it there, you can pretend you saw the oceans kiss. The musical accompaniment is Lighthouse by The Waifs.

Originally published elsewhere on 25 February 2012.

Cape Peninsula, South Africa – Kinetic Snapshots

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South of Cape Town to Hout Bay. Hopped a boat to Seal Island for a look at…guess…seals! Then onwards to Boulder Beach to look at African penguins looking at us. A short bike ride on shitty bikes. Finally to the end at the Cape of Good Hope, the most south western tip of Africa.

Occupy DC – Freedom Plaza

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The economic justice, anti-war, anti-corporate capitalism, pro-democracy demonstration in Freedom Plaza, Washington DC. A lot of tents, but not many occupiers. They were even outnumbered by the lunch hour curious. The musical accompaniment is Little By Little by UB40.

Originally published elsewhere on 6 February 2012.

Scandinavia 1979

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Back in 1979, I travelled from Oslo to the west of Norway to work on a farm in a village called Grimo, tacked to the side of a steep fjord. There I picked apples, pearls, plums and strawberries in the chilly rain. The discomfort was offset by inhaling the wonderful scenery that never grew mundane. When that ended, I hopped a train to Stockholm, Sweden. I stayed in a hostel that was once a sailing ship, the af Chapman (cool). In Denmark, I took only one photo, which was a funny billboard advert. As it’s The End appropriate, I’ve included it. The razor sharp imagery was taken with a pocket instamatic camera. And the musical accompaniment is Äppelknyckarjazz by Movits!.

Originally published elsewhere on 11 September 2011.