A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: hasbeen

2012 - STAR PRINCESS - CABO SAN LUCAS

A WHALE OF A TIME IN BAJA CALIFORNIA


View 2012 PRINCESS = RIO TO SAN FRANCISCO on hasbeen's travel map.

BAJA CALIFORNIA...

CABO SAN LUCAS & IT'S FAMOUS - LOS ARCOS..

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GO TO THE BACK OF THE CLASS ALL OF YOU WHO THINK BAJA CALIFORNIA IS THE USA.

LAST TIME I WAS HERE, I WENT TO SEE THE HOTEL CALIFORNIA.

I NOW REALISE WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE.

I AM TAKING A ZODIAC RIDE IN SEARCH OF WHALES.

MY RECORD WITH THIS TYPE OF THING IS NOT GOOD..

LEAVING THE SHIP BEHIND

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WE TENDER AWAY FROM THE SHIP

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AND ZODIAC OVER FOR A CLOSE UP OF THE ARCH...

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A BIT TOO CLOSE?

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WE THE HEAD OF LOOKING FOR WHALES.

I GET THE NORMAL - " OH SENOR - YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE LAST WEEK, THERE WERE SO MANY WHALES ".

WHERE HAVE I HAVE HEARD THAT BEFORE...

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BUT, AYE CARAMBA

- IS THAT A WHALE.

MAYBE -

TIME TO GO BACK.

THAT'S MY USUAL LUCK FOR THE DAY.

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BUT - NO.., THERE ARE TWO WHALES !!!!

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THE OTHER BOAT HAS SPOTTED IT TOO...

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WHOA -

HOLD THE PHONE.

JUMPING JEHOSAFAT.....

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JUST A WORD TO THE WISE NOW - IF YOU DO NOT LIKE WHALES, YOU CAN LEAVE THE PAGE NOW...

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THAT WAS BEYOND EXCITING

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ANY MORE TO COME?

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AND FOR A SWAN SONG.....

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TIME TO GO BACK TO SHORE.

THE DRIVER MUST HAVE BEEN IN A HURRY. THESE ZODIACS ARE NOT THE MOST COMFORTABLE OF BOATS. AND DID YOU KNOW THAT WATER IS MADE OF CONCRETE. THAT'S WHAT IT FEELS LIKE AS YOU CREST A WAVE AND SLAM DOWN AGAIN.

GREAT FUN.

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MAYBE I WILL TRY THIS NEXT.. OR, MAYBE NOT

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AND THAT'S IT FOR THE CRUISE.

A QUICK SAIL TO SAN FRANCISCO, STRAIGHT ON THE PLANE & HOME.

THAT'S THE PLAN ANYWAY

Posted by hasbeen 15:24 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

2012 - STAR PRINCESS - SAN FRANCISCO & HOME


View 2012 PRINCESS = RIO TO SAN FRANCISCO on hasbeen's travel map.

SAN FRANCISCO

COMING INTO THE BAY UNDER THE BRIDGE SHOULD BE AN EXPERIENCE.

IT PROBABLY IS, BUT NOT SO MUCH AT NIGHT.

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AS IT TURNS OUT, I HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO GET SOME BRIDGE PICTURES.

MY FLIGHT WAS AFTER NOON & I WAS DUE TO BE JUST ABOUT FIRST OFF THE BOAT - SO PLENTY OF TIME.

PRINCESS & THE SHORE AUTHORITIES PUT PAID TO THAT IDEA.

MY GROUP WAS INDEED AMONG THE FIRST TO BE CALLED BUT THEN WE STALLED ON THE STAIRS GOING DOWN.

PEOPLE WERE GOING DOWN USING THE ELEVATOR & HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO CUT IN LINE.

THEN THE CUSTOMS PEOPLE WERE HAVING THEIR DOG SNIFF EVERY SINGLE PASSENGER BEFORE LETTING THEM OFF THE SHIP.

I MISSED THE FLIGHT BY A BIT.

NINE HOURS TO KILL AT THE AIRPORT DID NOT SOUND LIKE FUN SO I CHECKED MY BAG IN FOR THE FLIGHT AND TOOK THE BART TRAIN INTO THE CITY BY THE BAY.

THAT WAS TWO FIRSTS - A BART RIDE & CHECKING MY BAGS & LEAVING THE AIRPORT.

ANYWAY -

SAN FRANCISCO.

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ALCATRAZ I THINK, & THE P & O ORIANO, LAST SAW HER IN THE FALKLANDS, OR THE CHILEAN FJORDS..A LIFETIME AGO

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AND A COUPLE OF THE CN TOWER OF TORONTO PEAKING THROUGH THE CLOUDS - AND FINALY THE END OF THE CRUISE

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AFRICA IS NEXT UP

Posted by hasbeen 15:23 Archived in USA Comments (0)

2012 - A TANZANIA SAFARI

TEN DAYS ROUND TRIP FROM ARUSHA TO THE SERENGETI


View 2012 CAR - A TANZANIA SAFARI on hasbeen's travel map.

GETTING THERE

I knew my flight to Africa included a connection in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia but was surprised that it would be stopping at Khartoum, on the Nile in the Sudan...

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where there is currently a war going on. No sign of any fighting of course and the stop was uneventful. Addis to Kilimanjaro was on a 78 seater plane. I knew there would be space to spread out when I overheard a reply 'there are only 6 people on board so you can sit anywhere you like sir'.
Three people got off in Kilimanjaro and three went on to Mombasa. More crew than passengers & pretty crew at that. The plane vibrated so much the cups slid off the table.

Did not see Mount Kilimanjaro since I passed it at night.

ARUSHA

Drove to Arusha for the 2 day wait for the start of the safari. Mount Meru Hotel was 5 star,,,with a fine view of .. you guessed it, Mount Meru

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and poverty right across the street. ...

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Took a stroll into town along a back lane which was quite nice but Arusha itself is not a nice place to visit. The fly boys never left me alone. Did not even take my camera out.

START OF THE SAFARI & TARANGIRE PARK

For the safari I was expecting a 4x4 with 6 tourists and a guide and a convoy of cars so it was a bonus when I found there were only 3 other tourists in the car plus the guide, and only the one car.

The drive from Arusha to Tarangire park ( never heard of that? Me neither. ) was along tarmac with lots of cattle being herded alongside and some nice views of the Rift valley and mud huts.

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Some poor villages and towns. But no wild animals. The guide spent the time explaining the 'rules'. Well 'rule' really. Whatever he said to do, do it - but said in nice way.

We made a pee stop at the entrance to the park

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and immediately saw our first wild animals. A wart hog & some gazelle

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The guide said the Gazelle were Impala. We would never stop making that mistake. Entering the park we were no longer on tarmac & the land got hilly and really beautiful. Wonderful views Giraffes, Ostrich and smaller birds.

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Then a car parked by the side. We would learn that this usually meant someone had seen wildlife. In this case a cheetah - off in the distance. I couldn't see it but clicked away anyway at a brown shape. Lots of photos of a termite mound but just the smallest image of a cheetah sitting on top.

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If you look close you might just make out the back & tail of the cheetah. No? Well you will just have to take my word for it.

& then these ELEPHANTS - crossing a dried up river. A-MAZING! or what?

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& that ended the first hour in the park.

Ok - I can go home now.

Heres another day

After a night at a lodge - my first night under a mosquito net - very exotic.

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it was off into Tarangire park again. Nice birds and...

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lots more Elephants &...

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the cutest little bambi-like creatures called Dik Diks, that look like they are crying.

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The odd ostrich, set against wonderful African skies. It was the rainy season but no rain yet.

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Then it was back to the lodge, with vevet monkeys on the roof, cleaning each other.

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Animals everywhere you look & still 7 days of the safari to go

Heres a few more pics - Still in Tarangire park.

This is a Serval., a smallish cat. - Quite rare apparently. The guide got quite excited about it.

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And a Blue-balled Vervet monkey - cannot imagine why it would be called that! Vervet?

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Wonderful to see sights like this, with more than one species close together.

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No idea how I spotted this in the bush......large_P1080708.jpeg

Just saw a bit of movement & a touch of brown I guess and shouted for the guide to stop. We sat for a while and the guide suddenly left the road and headed towards where he thought she was, & she got up right in front of us.

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That would have been my best photo ever if the car had not bucked and I got the rear view mirror. The Cheetah really was that close.

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Absolutely hair raising to see. We were all in awe and since this was only day 2, we had no idea how best to react. I was clicking away like crazy and the guide was anxious since we were off road and not allowed to do that. If a ranger caught us.....who knows.

Switched parks & now at LAKE MANYARA

( never heard of it? me neither)

Lots & lots of Storks in the tree tops. Bringing babys....

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Ooh - look at the tiny baby Baboons. While mom was distracting us at the front, dad was getting in the back. Got shooed off before he stole anything.

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A cute little monkey? Maybe not..

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but there are Hippos with birds on their backs....

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& these quite stunning Crested Cranes. National bird of Uganda, but we are in Tanzania

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More of the delightful Dik Diks. Such delicate little legs. Someone said 'just a mouthful for a lion'.

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Even nIce looking bugs....

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And father baboon

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then on to the hotel and the infinity pool looking over Lake Manyara

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this guy thinks I am late to dinner...

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Then an after dinner drink ....Couldn't resist a Tusker beer...

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..,,,at the bar overlooking the lake.

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So, finally....to bed.....

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The adventure continues

So, we leave Lake Manyara heading to the Serengeti plains. What I had not realised was that we would have to climb the slopes of the Ngorongoro crater, drive the rim and down the other side.

But first we pass a lady on her way to work...Carrying the weight of the world on her head. It's a constant fascination to me to see these ladies carrying things on their heads.P1090087.jpeg

before heading to market... Not your local Superstore..large_P1090114.jpeg

Our first glimpse of the famous Ngorongoro crater. As we will hear numerous times, it is mis-named because it is a caldera, a collapsed volcano, over 100 K round. Hard to believe that one person once owned it. A German. The Brits kicked him out. Too bad for him. Imagine owning that.
We will be staying at a hotel on the rim but not til 4 days time.

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Meanwhile we head in the opposite direction, around the craters ( make that caldera ) rim and meet the locals......large_P1090221.jpeg

We come over the crest & get look at the outside of the crater.....
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for a glimpse of a Masai village.....

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And our first Zebras - the first of thousands & thousands. At this point we are not in the park. It's called a conservancy area so people ( count that Masai ) can live here. The Masai got kicked out of the parks - Brits again. Seems they (we, or me) can kick people but cannot kick a ball.

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A cast, or a committee, or a meal of Vultures - take your pick - could even be a wake of Vultures. Whatever - there's something dead out there, but hey, that's life.

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Some rain coming & we meet Wildebeest. Is that the first time? Also called Gnus. & that's the end of the Gnus & now for the weather forecast....Rain, with a touch of Gnu.
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Still on the way to the SERENGETI

passing lots of Zebra & Gnu... The horizon was full of them as it was the tail end of the migration. P1090367.jpeg

and Gazelle ..... this time they are Gazelle, not impala. Don't know if they are Grant's or Thompson's though.

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Which of course become lunch for laughing boy.....

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who might also like a taste of an ..

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Inside the Serengeti now & getting up close to some big game....

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And the aptly named Superb Starling....

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We have now crossed the plain where the animals had mostly disappeared until we approached the light forest close to the hotel where the woods were alive with .....P1090528.jpeg

but not so many of these....

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although there were lots of these - Water Buck I think. What lovely ears you have.

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And more of these.....P1090513.jpeg

Before finally getting to the hotel & slumming it again but, hey - flush toilets, as always.

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Must have covered over 200 KM during the day & very tiring but exhilarating too. Great to see that there really is wildlife out there that really is wild & not in a zoo.

During the night I was woken up by the most amazing noise. The hair stood right up all over me. Something was crying very loud outside & then I heard the unmistakeable cackle of laughing Hyenas. The boys in the hotel said a lion got a Cape Buffalo or Giraffe or wart hog. You name it & they came up with it. & then the Hyenas were taking their portion. It was way too dark to get a photo & I had no success recording the laughing - & there was absolutely no way I was opening the windows to get a better view.
Incredible!

Heading out for an evening drive into the Serengeti.

No rest for the wicked.

This little fella was on the outside window ledge of my room....P1090548.jpeg

And this one this one in the grounds......

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The view from the hotel overlooking the Serengeti. I never get tired of that name. Been hearing & reading about it my entire life.

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We had barely set off from the hotel when we saw these large Antelope , the name of which escapes me for the present.

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Ann mentioned - how come they are looking away from us. This was was unusual. Usually animals check us out, see we are not food or a danger, before going back to whatever they were doing.
Then she said that she could see something way off in the distance.
Kervishe - the guide said he could see a Lioness & a warthog off to it's left.....
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& so could the Antelope - i'll get it's name in a second.

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Then there was a baby Warthog the Lioness briefly chased and killed before Hyenas came in .....

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and drove the cat off her meal.....

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before the scene became placid again.

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PHEWWW!!!!! That was something else & just amazing to witness, unless you were the Warthog of course. Not something you see in a zoo. Pictures got a little crazy there. Maximum zoom.

So - On with the drive and I think our first sight of a Cape Buffalo, that we kept calling Water Buffalo, which are in India not Africa.
There is a safari "thing", called the sighting of the Big Five - & this makes 3 of them. Lion, Elephant and Buffalo. 2 more to go...which are????

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And we saw yet more Giraffe ( my favourite ), Dik Dik, birds, Gazelle, Water Buck & etc til bed time behind the mosquito netting....

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And the antelope were Hartebeest, but then you knew that already - right?

Another day starts in the Serengeti

with the neighbours in the hotel getting an early start...
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Breakfast.... at least 6 people were needed to set up this meal in the bush. Note the his & hers toilets, are not flush though.

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just for 4 tourists & the guide. This is the only time the guide took a meal with us outside the car. We got a little of his life. This is only part time during the holidays away form university where he is getting his Phd. Hope he gets to use it more than just carting tourists about.

Then it's off again through the plain with lots of birds and animals we have seen before. Getting a little blase about Zebra and Impala by now. The lions were good fun but mostly hidden in the long grass. Saw our only crocodiles of the trip but wouldn't know it if I hadn't been told
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Have a little interlude stuck in a rut for an hour or so. Kervishe gets on the radio to call for help but before it arrives he digs us out. The ladies kept offering their advice, & I'm sure it helped...P1090832.jpeg

But - whats this in a tree....
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Could it be?...Yes it's number 4 of the BIG five. But only a glimpse. On another day we sat for 3 hours in a spot where there was supposed to be a Leopard but it did not show it's spots. At least this one did a little.

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We saw some of these a long while ago...P1100046.jpeg

And I finally got a shot of the blue tongue on a Giraffe.large_P1100110.jpeg

This little fella was a highlight of my trip. I have a cute little video of him rolling the ball of Elephant dung up the hill. Getting on top - looking around - & setting off again. Apparently they have a destination in mind.

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Then after another wonderful day out, it was time for a quick clean up back at the hotel before bed. Far better than watching the olympics.

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The long things hanging from the tree with the Leopard I suspect were seeds.

Still in the Serengeti

.... Another day, another Impala..Ho hum..
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These are new.. bat-eared foxes...

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The odd lion

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& a Hyena with a baby between her paws. Once she decided it did not like us, she moved off to try to draw us a away for the baby. Even Hyenas can be nice.
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& these mongooses / mongeese / mon-whatever are really cute.. Making a home in a termite mound

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These 2 were on a recent kill..

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There were lots of lions out today. & baby's to boot. Pity the grass was so long.

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Can't get enough of the tiny Dik Diks.. Looks like she's crying.

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& a good shot of a Warthog. Careful with those tusks now.

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Vervet monkeys trying to get in &..

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succeeding. Jumped on a table, took the top off a server & stole a cookie..

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Still a couple of days to go...

Heading out of the Serengeti

, we pass a few more Lions..Ho hum...

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& a really nice little fella that may be a fox or a coyote. Not too sure. They should come with labels it's hard to keep up..The Ladies were writing them all down. Smart!!

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Getting back to the migration again & in among the Wildebeest..

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And this is overlooking the Olduvai Gorge. The Cradle of Mankind. Course there were women thousands of years ago too & they needed their flush toilets.

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This was on the agenda and everyone else was extremely exited about seeing it, but not me. We did not get to go down to the gorge where the earliest Humanoids have been found, which I would have enjoyed - maybe. Just stayed on the rim where there is small museum. I had read up about the area before leaving home and had no need to go in the museum. Museums I can see anywhere, & this one does not even hold the real stuff found nearby.
A view of the monolith in the gorge....

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There were lot of nice birds in the area though, including these .. which make these intricate & quite wonderful looking nests. Weaver Birds - aptly named.

This one just starting..

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& this nearing completion..
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Then it was time to meet the neighbours at a Masai village..

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One of these guys asked me where I was from.
"Ontario" says I.
"Canada, eh" says he. "Toronto?"
"No - Ottawa'
"The capital of Canada" says he.

All this in pretty good English.
I have the same conversation with a lot of Americans on board cruise ships, except nobody knows Ottawa is the capital of Canada.

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Must be Scottish Masai but I don't recognise the tartan..Perhaps they ate a few Scots way back when.
Anyone know what happened to Dr. Livingstone?
They look pretty happy about it.
Looks like she's measuring me for the pot.

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& these get the joke.. P1100757.jpeg

Sign these guys up for the Basketball team

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We get to visit inside their little huts. Made of sticks and cow dung.
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Pitch black inside but the flash shows what they look like.

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& we get to go to school..

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Before heading out of the Serengeti plain and look back down from the outside of the Ngorongoro Crater.

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Next up we get to go inside the Crater. Can't wait.

The early morning view from the hotel on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater

before heading down into the crater...

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on a misty morning....

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a distant herd of Elephants...

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& a Zebra crossing

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& a Cheetah crossing..

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Here's a little movie of the cheetah being 'Herded' by the Gnus. She walks across the face of a few and they get as close as possible before the cheetah turns and rushes them. The Gnus flow away as if a pebble were thrown into a pond & immediately come back & do it again. Fascinating to watch & we spent a good long time with her. My video taking & editing skills need some honing but you get the idea.

You can see these people were enjoying it too.

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What big eyes you have...
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Fabulous looking creatures..
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These must have eaten already

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until, right down at the lake there are thousands of Flamingos and ....

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Right on the outer limits of my zoom. We had sat there for a good while with the guide insisting it was a Rhino. & then it got up & you might just make out bird on it's back. That makes the famous Five..

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Getting up close you don't need a big lens..

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That's it for the safari. A last look at the Crater from the hotel...

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& few street scenes on the way back to Arusha

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The white face painting on this young Masai indicates he is is the rite of passage into manhood. As part of the rite, the boys go through an anesthetic free circumcision - & so do the girls.

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But - it's back to civilization...

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With a final goodbye to the ladies and thanks for their company. One Californian, one from Main & a very spritely 80 something lady from Quebec. A magnificent trip.

So - that's it for that. Hope it wasn't too boring. It certainly was not for me.

It's now the 27th april having left home on the 14th. The actual safari was 10 days but feels like much more. Well worth the outlay which while expensive was not outrageous & the single supplement was only around 90 dollars.

The cruise comes next but not before a quick flit to......

ZANZIBAR...The Spice island. Finally - after waiting 52 years....

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Posted by hasbeen 04:07 Archived in Tanzania Tagged video Comments (0)

2012 - ZANZIBAR

FOLLOWING THE SAFARI & BEFORE THE CRUISE, A SIDE BAR TO - ZANZIBAR.


View 2012 PRINCESS - CAPE TOWN TO DOVER & 2012 CAR - A TANZANIA SAFARI on hasbeen's travel map.

PREVIOUS DAY....

ZANZIBAR HAS BEEN ON MY MIND SINCE ABOUT 1959 or 1960

My father worked for the now defunct Colonial Office, in London.

This, back in the day when Britain actually had an Empire & colonies.

He was offered a two year posting to Zanzibar, doing what, I know not. Certainly not ambassador or anything like that. A lower level flunky of some sort I imagine.

A doctor advised my mom to get prescription sunglasses made to help with her Asthma & she took the advise.

Whether it would have helped or not we will never know.

My dad came up with an excuse for not going that sounded plausible at the time.
40 years later he told me a different excuse.
I think he just bottled it.

My sister & I would have been going to school in Nairobi and traveling 'home' to Zanzibar for Easter, Xmas & such.

Imagine that!

A kid from the outer-most suburbs of London, living in Tanganyika as it was then I think.

What an adventure!

The Mau Mau were very active in Nairobi at the time so maybe not being there was for the best, but I am still annoyed at my dad

Anyway - all that to explain the attraction of Zanzibar & the reason for the side trip.
I wanted to send my sister a postcard with "ZANZIBAR - FINALY".

In the event I did not do that, so here are some photos for her.

AS I WAS LEAVING KILIMANJARO, A DIGNITARY WAS COMIMG IN FOR THE RWANDA CONVENTION. AND HERE'S ME THINKING THE RED CARPET WAS FOR ME.

SUNSET ALERT - THERE ARE A LOT OF THEM IN HERE.

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THERE WAS NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE GETTING OFF HERE. I WENT TO THE LUGGAGE AREA - AND - NO BAG.!
A GUY RUNS OFF TO FIND IT AND THEN DEMANDS A TIP.
HE GETS A DOLLAR FOR BEING SO CHEEKY.

OUTSIDE THERE IS A TAXI RAMP & THE CAPTAIN HOOKS ME UP WITH A TAXI DRIVER, WHO HANDS MY BAG TO ANOTHER GUY - WHO ALSO WANTS A TIP, ANOTHER DOLLAR. FOR TAKING MY BAG ALL OF 10 FEET TO THE CAB.
NOT THE DRIVER, MIND YOU, THE OTHER GUY.

MAN - THIS COULD GET EXPENSIVE...NOT REALLY!

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THE HOTEL - VERY EXOTIC...

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RIGHT ON THE BEACH...

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THIS COULD BE MORE FUN THAN I THOUGHT...

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THE RECEPTIONIST ARRANGED A TAXI DRIVER TO TAKE ME ON A TOUR AROUND STONE TOWN.

FIRST STOP IS TO VISIT INSIDE THE OLD SLAVE QUARTERS BESIDE THE ANGLICAN CHURCH.

A OLD GUY TOOK ME AROUND THE CELLARS WHERE YOU CAN SEE SHACKLES & INSIDE THE CHURCH. HE HAD SOME INTERESTING & SOMETIMES AMUSING ANECDOTES ABOUT BOTH, NONE OF WHICH I REMEMBER.

EXCEPT, MAYBE, THAT DR LIVINGSTONE'S HEART IS BURIED HERE.
WHICH OBVIOUSLY WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR TONY BENNETT'S SONG - I LEFT MY HEART IN ......

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THE MOSQUE IS NOT FAR AWAY...

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ON TO THE NATIONAL MUSEUM - I DID NOT GO LOOK INSIDE...

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DOWN TO THE OCEAN......

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AND INTO THE SIDE STREETS OF STONE TOWN. THE TAXI DRIVER KNOWS LOTS OF PEOPLE HERE & HE WOULD STOP TO CHAT WHILE I FOUND A STEP TO SIT ON TO WATCH THE PEOPLE GO ABOUT THEIR DAILY BUSINESS...

ALL VERY RELAXED. NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE ANYWHERE.
LOOKED AROUND THE FORT.
LOTS OF WALKING AROUND AND GENERALLY TAKING IT EASY.
HAD A DRINK WITH THE TAXI DRIVER AT THE GARDEN OVER LOOKING THE SEA.

THIS IS 2012 - IN 2013 THERE IS THE TERRIBLE INCIDENT HERE OF THE TWO ENGLISH GIRLS HAVING ACID THROWN AT THEM. VERY SCARY I KNOW, BUT I WOULD NOT LET THAT STOP ME FROM VISITING ZANZIBAR AGAIN. BAD THINGS CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE. IF WE WERE TO WORRY ABOUT THEM ALL WE WOULD NEVER GET OUT OF THE HOUSE - WHICH IS WHERE MOST PEOPLE GET HURT ANYWAY.

HOPE THOSE GIRLS GET WELL & MAYBE EVEN GO BACK. THAT WOULD BE A FANTASTIC THING.

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AND HEAD BACK TO THE HOTEL...

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AND.....

LOOK OUT,

"HERE COME THE SUN.... DOO DOO DOO DOO"... ( WITH APOLOGIES TO THE BEATLES )

WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE THE CLIP HERE BUT FEEL FREE TO SING ALONG.....

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IT'S THE NEXT DAY NOW AND AGAIN THE RECEPTIONIST ARRANGED A TAXI FOR ME.

THIS TIME TO A SPICE FARM - ZANZIBAR BEING KNOW AS THE SPICE ISLAND.
CLOVES USED TO BE THE BIG THING.

WE AGREED A PRICE BUT THE TAXI DRIVER SAID IT WAS TOO MUCH & GAVE SOME BACK!!!!
AYE, CARAMBA!

I ENJOYED THE TOUR BUT IT IS THE WRONG TIME OF YEAR TO SEE TOO MUCH IN THE WAY OF SPICES. THE RIDE WAS GOOD FUN ANYWAY & HOW OFTEN DO YOU TAKE YOUR CHICKENS TO MARKET?....

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THEN IT IS OFF TO CAPE TOWN VIA DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT, THE CRAZIEST AIRPORT IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, PASSING THIS RATHER LARGE LAKE, THE NAME OF WHICH I DO NOT KNOW...

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AND LANDING IN A RATHER SOCKED IN CAPE TOWN

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TO WAIT FOR THE CRUISE TO ENGLAND.....LATER

Posted by hasbeen 04:05 Archived in Tanzania Tagged east_africa Comments (0)

2012 - OCEAN PRINCESS - CAPE TOWN

FOLLOWING ZANZIBAR I HAVE A FEW DAYS IN CAPE TOWN WAITING FOR THE OCEAN PRINCESS


View 2012 PRINCESS - CAPE TOWN TO DOVER & 2012 CAR - A TANZANIA SAFARI on hasbeen's travel map.

CAPE TOWN.....

I'VE HEARD PEOPLE CALL IT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITY IN THE WORLD

MIGHT WELL BE THE CASE.

BUT WE ARE NOT QUITE THERE YET.

THIS OVER AFRICA SOMEWHERE

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AND THE ONLY PHOTOGRAPH I HAVE OF JOHANNESBURG., OUTSIDE THE HOTEL.

IT IS IN GAUTENG I THINK. WHICH IS AN AMAZING COINCIDENCE BECAUSE I AM READING A BOOK RIGHT NOW WHERE THE CHARACTER IS FLYING TO GAUTENG.
IT'S A GOOD BOOK IF YOU LIKE DETECTIVE STUFF. TRANSLATED FROM AFRICAANS, ITS BY DEON MEYER. CALED SEVEN DAYS. HE HAS WRITTEN A LOT.

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SO - WHAT TO DO WITH A FEW DAYS IN CAPE TOWN

HAS TO BE TABLE MOUNTAIN

I CAN SEE THE MOUNTAIN FROM MY HOTEL BUT IT LOOKS CLOUDY SO I DECIDE NOT TO GO TODAY.

OUTSIDE THE HOTEL THERE IS A TAXI RANK & I CHANGE MY MIND, NEGOTIATE A PRICE WITH THE TAXI DRIVER AND OFF WE GO.

IT MIGHT HAVE ESCAPED YOUR NOTICE, BUT TABLE MOUNTAIN IS A MOUNTAIN.
THE CAB I AM IN IS OLD. IT CONKS OUT TWICE ON THE WAY BECAUSE THE GAS CANNOT REACH THE ENGINE ON THE INCLINE. THE THIRD TIME I GET OUT - WE ARE NOT GOING TO MAKE IT TO THE CABLE CAR.

I START WALKING, UP HILL OF COURSE. PASSING THIS ON THE WAY.

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I AM STILL A LONG WAY FROM THE CABLE CAR & SEE A SIGN SAYING IT IS CLOSED TODAY. AYE, CARAMBA?

THERE IS A TOURIST HUT AT THIS CAR PARK & THE GUIDE CONFIRMS THE CABLE CAR IS NOT GOING TODAY. I FORGET WHY. MECHANICAL? WEATHER. NOT UNUSUAL APPARENTLY.

STILL - A NICE SHOT OF CAPE TOWN SPREAD OUT BELOW. AND A WALK A LITTLE FURTHER ON..

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THEN I BACK TRACK AND WALK BACK TO TOWN.

NOW WHAT TO DO?

THE BIG RED BUS SOUNDS INVITING AND AFTER WALKING UP & DOWN TABLE MOUNTAIN I WILL ENJOY A REST ON THE OPEN TOP BUS

THE BUS GOES TO HOUT BAY, PASSING SOME ROUGH AREAS....

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BUT THE BAY IS DELIGHTFUL..... I HOP OFF HERE FOR A VISIT,,

KIDS PLAYING ON THR BEACH

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A GIRL SURFING... WILL SHE MAKE IT ???????

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WIPEOUT....

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HERE SHE GOES AGAIN. WILL SHE MAKE IT THIS TIME?????

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THEN IT'S BACK ON THE BUS FOR THE RIDE BACK INTO CAPE TOWN.... BEACHES, BAYS, BAYS & BEACHES

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& BACK TO MY HOTEL, JUST THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROUNDABOUT.

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I SPENT THE EVENING WATCHING FOOTBALL ON TV IN THE HOTEL BAR.

I STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION WITH A TRADITIONALLY BUILT YOUNG LADY. SHE SHOWS A GOLD TOOTH WHEN SHE SMILES & I ASK IF SHE MINED IT HERSELF. WE CHAT FOR A LONG TIME. WATCH THE FOOTBALL. LISTEN TO STUFF GOING ON AROUND THE BAR.
THEN SHE ASKS, QUITE POLITELY, IF I WOULD LIKE SOME COMPANY & THE PENNY DROPS..

I DECLINE.

SHE'S PERFECTLY PLEASANT. SAYS GOODBYE & LEAVES. THE RECEPTION GUY NODS TO ME.

HOT & COLD RUNNING HOOKERS IN THIS HOTEL. A NEW ONE ON ME.

THATS ENOUGH FOR ONE DAY.

Posted by hasbeen 04:05 Archived in South Africa Tagged southern_africa Comments (0)

2012 - OCEAN PRINCESS - CAPE of GOOD HOPE

ROUND CHAPMANS PEAK, ON TO CAPE POINT AND BOULDERS BEACH FOR MORE PENGUINS AND FINISH AT THE BOTANICAL GARDENS


View 2012 PRINCESS - CAPE TOWN TO DOVER & 2012 CAR - A TANZANIA SAFARI on hasbeen's travel map.

THIS WAS A BLUSTERY DAY OUT WITH ONE OF THE BEST GUIDES EVER ON A TOUR. PERFECT PACE, GREAT DIRECTIONS & KEPT US ALL ON TIME. THERE IS NOTHING WORSE ON A TOUR THAN WAITING ON A TOUR BUS FOR THAT TOURIST TO BE LATE GETTING BACK ON - AGAIN!

STARTED OUT FROM CAPE TOWN & HEADED SOUTH TOWARDS THE CAPE.

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PASS A BEACH & A SEAL OR TWO. THE SIGN SAYS DOLPHIN BUT THAT IS A SEAL....

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THIS INVOLVES A RIDE ALONG THE SPECTACULAR CHAPMANS PEAK ROAD OVERLOOKING THE OCEAN..

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THE PEE BREAK IS AT A STORE SELLING LOTS & LOTS OF CARVINGS,,,,

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A TROOP OF BABOONS ALONG THE ROAD. ONE HAS A BABY ON HER BACK....

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ANOTHER STOP AT AN OSTRICH FARM.....

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AND WE GET OT THE CAPE & I AM GLAD I HAVE MY EAR MUFFS TODAY....

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I EXPECT MOST PEOPLE, IF THEY THINK ABOUT IT AT ALL, THINK THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE IS THE SOUTHERN MOST POINT IN AFRICA.
NOT SO.
AND IT'S ALSO NOT SO, THAT CAPE POINT WHICH IS RIGHT NEXT DOOR & UP THE HILL A BIT, IS EITHER.

IT'S CAPE AGULHAS - A WAYS AWAY TO THE EAST OF HERE. I SHOULD HAVE GONE THERE BUT WILL GO ROUND IT IN A SHIP IN A YEAR OR TWO, SO NO MATTER.

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THIS IS CAPE POINT....

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WE HAD TIME FOR A SANDWICH HERE. I SAT ON A BENCH, OUT OF THE WIND. LOTS OF THESE BIRDS CAME TO LOOK AT ME. MORE AND MORE. THEN ONE OF THEM JUMPED FROM BEHIND AND SNATCHED MY SANDWICH RIGHT OUT OF MY HAND.

SCARED THE BEJESUS OUT OF ME. THESE WOULD TOO....

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THE GUIDE HAD WARNED US TO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR BABOONS WHICH CAN BE VERY AGGRESSIVE, BUT NEVER MENTIONED THE BIRDS...

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I HAD TAKEN THIS LITTLE FUNICULAR ON THE WAY UP TO THE LIGHTHOUSE & WALKED BACK DOWN

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THEN IT WAS TIME TO SEE THE PENGUINS AT BOULDERS BEACH.

HANDS UP. WHO KNEW THERE WERE PENGUINS IN AFRICA.

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BOULDERS?

AT BOULDERS BEACH....

AND A STOP AT THE LOVELY BOTANICAL GARDEN BEHIND TABLE MOUNTAIN.

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Posted by hasbeen 04:04 Archived in South Africa Tagged cape_of_good_hope Comments (0)

2012 - OCEAN PRINCESS - CAPE TOWN WINERIES

A WINE TOUR OF CAPE TOWN


View 2012 PRINCESS - CAPE TOWN TO DOVER & 2012 CAR - A TANZANIA SAFARI on hasbeen's travel map.

A TOUR OF SOME WINERIES

THREE MAYBE - IT'S A BIT FUZZY

THIS IS ONE....VERY NICE.

MUST BE SOME SERIOUS CASH IN THE WINE BUSINESS...

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SLAG GATE!!

WHATEVER IS THAT?

THEY WOULD GET PROSECUTED FOR THAT IN THE UK...

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THIS TOUR WAS NOT JUST WINERIES. WE STOPPED AT A COUPLE OF LITTLE TOWNS & INSIDE A LITTLE MUSEUM.. AND A BONSAI SHOP...

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AS YOU CAN SEE, IT WAS A WET & WINDY DAY, BUT A NICE SENTIMENT ON THE VAN

WE ACTUALLY SKIPPED A SCHEDULED STOP AS IT WAS JUST TOO WET TO GET OUT OF THE VAN...

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SO - WE HAD TO SPEND A BIT MORE TIME IN SAMPLING.

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AT ONE OF THE TASTINGS WE HAD THREE WINES TO TASTE & COMBINE THEM WITH CHOCOLATE.

TASTE A WHITE WINE - PUT A PIECE OF WHITE CHOCOLATE IN THE MOUTH - ADD WINE.

REPEAT WITH BLUSH WINE & STRAWBERRY CHOCOLATE,

AND ETC.

VERY INTERESTING - TRY IT...

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THIS IS THE GROUP, NOT TOO SOZZLED YET.

GOING ROUND THE TABLE TO THE RIGHT.

A LADY FROM CALIFORNIA. SHE IS ABOUT TO SET OUT ON A MASSIVE JOURNEY FROM HERE TO KENYA OR THERE ABOUTS. STAYING IN TENTS. SAFARIS. BY HERSELF - VERY ADVENTUROUS.
SHE TOOK PHOTOS OF ANYTHING. THE INSIDE OF HER GLASS WAS ONE.

NEXT AN ENGLISH COUPLE AND A BRAZILIAN COUPLE - AND ME.

ANOTHER ENGLISH COUPLE ABOUT TO GO TO THE MALDIVES TO GET MARRIED.

I HARDLY DRINK SO I WAS HAVING A SIP TO TASTE & THE GUY WAS GETTING THE BALANCE. PLUS HIS WIFE'S. PLUS HIS OWN.
WE ROLLED HIM OFF THE VAN AT HIS HOTEL.
HOPE HE MADE IT TO THE WEDDING.

AND AN IRISH GIRL WHO AMAZINGLY ENOUGH WAS DOING THE SAME TRIP AS THE CALIFORNIAN BUT ONLY A QUARTER OF THE DISTANCE OR LESS.

A GOOD CROWD.

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AND THE DRIVE BACK TO CAPE TOWN WITH SOME UNUSUAL VIEWS OF ABLE MOUNTAIN

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THE 'BRIDAL VEIL' FALLS ON THE MOUNTAIN OFTEN AT AROUND THIS TIME OF DAY.

ANYTIME SOON, I SHOULD BE GETTING ON MY BOAT. IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME GETTING TO HERE..

Posted by hasbeen 04:03 Archived in South Africa Comments (1)

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