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2007 - CELEBRITY MERCURY - HAWAII to NEW ZEALAND

IT"S A LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY, BUT A LOT FURTHER TO NEW ZEALAND


View 2007 CELEBRITY - HAWAII TO NEW ZEALAND on hasbeen's travel map.

Leaving a cold & snowy Ottawa in November 2007,

Looking like a winter wonderland. It was a very good time to venture south to warmer climes.

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Had to wait for the plane to be de-iced

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but soon away, up and over the US prairies, if that is what they are called outside Canada.

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and then coming in to land at Honolulu. My second time here so not quite so exciting but still very exotic.

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Time ashore before getting on the cruise allowed a quick flit to the North shore, famed for big waves & surfing

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But no surfing today..

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The waves were too big..

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And the cliffs on the east coast. Met my nephew & his future wife who actually live here, silly people.

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My nephew dropped me off at the Celebrity ship, the Mercury for a voyage to New Zealand. Taking in French Polynesia on the way.

This is leaving Honolulu..

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FIRST STOP IS HILO on HAWAII'S BIG ISLAND

I don't know why, but I have no photos from here.

I remember walking the not very nice road into town looking to find a postcard to send.
I did find one but was told by the girl who sold it that they do not sell stamps & the post office is closed. I gave her 10 dollars & asked her to post the card for me on Monday.
And told her I would come back and ask for my money back if the card was not received.

It did arrive - about 2 weeks after I got home.

Good girl

NEXT STOP IS TAHITI

Tahiti - what a name! Just rolls of the tongue. Doesn't everyone have an image of Tahiti in their head?

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A lot of people do not like long ocean voyages. If they do not they should not be on this boat It took 6 days to get here.

I had said they were de-icing the plane when I left & that I still managed to get to Hawaii with plenty of time. That was a good thing. A lot of people were from Montreal & these poor souls missed Honolulu, and embarked in Hilo but their luggage did not catch up to them til Tahiti. Ooops!

This ship has formal nights so I did my James Bond impression, & borrowed Fred's wife

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& and had a Martini.

I asked the barman what the difference is between shaken & stirred
"Well sir, one is Shaken, and one is Stirred"
Very helpful.

He added that one might get more diluted than than other, or one more cold than the other.

Anyway - mine was so big & so strong it lasted from pre-dinner drinks to desert.

Getting here, we had to cross the equator, a first for me.
5 seconds north

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and a 80 seconds south

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And this is what the equator looks like, & no, there is no white line on the ocean.

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And a Squall at sea..

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This guy was either dead or enjoying himself. Either way, I left him there,

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A rainbow in the squall.

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Finally, Papeete, Tahiti

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Where it was raining. I went for a bus ride to Paul Guagin's gallery but he wasn't in so I left

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It was very wet...

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a

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This lady is a nurse from England whose name I forget. We met up for some tours & breakfast occasionally.

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MOOREA

I was a little disappointed with Tahiti. Moorea on the other hand, I liked a lot.

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Local ladies looking very nice on their way to church..

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This little boat was in the process of sailing across the Pacific. A French couple with a young girl of about fourteen.

Quite the adventure for her.

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I went out on a little boat with a Doctor whose specialty is Dolphins.

Naturally, I did not actually get to see any Dolphins, but that is par for the course with me.

A tip - never go on a Whale watch, Dolphin watch or any other sort of watch with me. I am a Jinx for that.

But you might want to have a look at this though, if you like whales.....

Anyway it was a great little boat ride & we did get to see things like this..

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And this view of Tahiti

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More on Moorea later we have moved on to

Bora Bora

What wonderful names. I have wanted to come here since reading James Michener books - Hawaii, Tales from the South Pacific etc.

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Some fish from a glass bottomed boat

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some more fish

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Not laundry, but sarongs that have just been dyed IMG_2187.jpg

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And now another 5 or six days at sea until reaching New Zealand.

so - what to do?

Of course - line dance. What was I thinking?

Here's Fred's wife again, kicking up her heels. And the lady next to her has finally done something other than eat & play Bridge. Like a lot of cruise ship passengers, she plays Bridge. But all the time.

FIrst time I heard about Bridge on board I was disappointed we were to play cards & not tour the Bridge.

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Say goodbye to the crew, a bit early, we don't get off til Auckland

Surprise Valerie. A long time breakfast companion.

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Bay of Islands,

north of Auckland. I went for a ride on this sailing ship

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Is this where the expression 'three sheets to the wind' comes from?

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The nurse was really enjoying this & pulling her weight....

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My favourite occupation - watching people work...

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Here's the nurse again taking over. She asked me to take these photos for her but unfortunately, I never saw her again.

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My favourite barman

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Valerie took these of my sailing ship coming home but missed the cannon going off in salute..

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NOW IN AUCKLAND

Just about to disembark in Auckland.

My ship with the Tower in the background. Come 2011 & I will be in that hotel,,

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Say goodbye to two more breakfast companions, Diana & Peter.

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GreenPeace in the harbour.

A ride on a sailboat out on Auckland harbour. Nice & windy. I decline the offer of steering ..

It's New Zealand & you learn to be careful of the Bungy jumpers .. even on the Ocean ,,,

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I see there is a drug problem here too...

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At Kelly Tarlton's Undersea World, we by-pass the line up & into a snow-cat for a ride to the Antarctic

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Then a visit at the Botanical Gardens.

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Lilies - a favourite of mine. Always look good.

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for yet another final goodbye to Diana & Peter..

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A last look at Auckland from the top of the hill & it's time for the flight to Rotorua, a bit further south, about the middle of North Island

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ROTORUA

Four days here to explore the thermal stuff around about..

It's all over the place .. Formal tourist spots where you pay entrance fees, & local parks & beaches. Even houses making use of the geothermal heat.

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A KIWI - Not real though, a model..

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A sheep shearing demonstration & beauty pageant outside Rotorua

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The MC asks for people of different nationalities to shout out.

US - two people
UK - one person.
NZ - Ten

Korea - & the place erupts - must have been over a hundred....

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Time now for the famous New Zealand sports.....

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Canadian Ice Hockey on TV

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A stop to look at the Lady Grey Geyser erupt ... right on time.

They force it to erupt by putting a little washing up liquid on top. It creates some tension & up pops the Geyser.

Magic

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An unusual looking apartment block & nature taking over a street light

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One of my first memories of New Zealand is the Black Swans on their stamps...

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Howie the Pig Hunter is a member here.

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The back of a bus....

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Some one has a nice spot for their house.....

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Near here is the Rotorua tourist place. I got advice & booked excursions there. Could not have been more helpful & even sent a van to pick me up from the hotel to bring me here to meet the tour bus.

Excellent.

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Make very sure you go round the round-about the correct way.

JET BOAT RIDE AT TAUPO

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The Earth in action

Boiling mud & wonderful colours

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A rather bad little video, best played full screen...

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& back to the lake at Rotorua

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Homeward bound with a stopover in San Francisco

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The hotel in Japan Town was excellent & I was able to walk most places from there.

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We have a spider like that in Ottawa. I should check the artist..

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I have crossed the bay & am now in the very pleasant town of Sausalito

Nuclear & Cholesterol free zones....

And a nice touch with the parking....

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After walking around Sausalito I move out of town a little

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I see this float plane & as luck would have it, there is room for me on a sight seeing flight over the bay.

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After the flight it is a meal at a lovely little restaurant with a view of the city in the distance

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Best not mess with the locals. They carry large weapons...

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A longer stop in Chicago than anticipated - this guy died waiting. I know how he feels

more de-icing. Back to reality.

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A very long trip. I may do it again one day. I love those long days at sea..

Posted by hasbeen 09:02 Archived in French Polynesia Tagged video south_pacific Comments (0)

2011 - H & A WORLD CRUISE - TAURANGA

A SAILBOAT RIDE TO SEE DOLPHINS.


View 2011 H&A - NEW ZEALAND TO RED SEA on hasbeen's travel map.

I FOUND A TOUR ON-LINE WHERE THEY TAKE YOU OUT ON A SAILBOAT IN SEARCH OF DOLPHINS. THEY SAY THEIR SUCCESS RATE IS HIGH BUT NOT GUARANTEED.

AN INTERESTING THING ABOUT THIS TRIP IS THAT THE BOAT HAS A BAR ACROSS THE BACK, AT THE WATERLINE. THE IDEA IS THAT PEOPLE HANG ON TO THE BAR AND THE DOLPHINS SWIM ALONG BESIDE YOU. ALL THIS OF COURSE IS WHILE THE BOAT IS UNDERWAY...

HOW COOL IS THAT?

I HAVE NO INTENTION OF GETTING IN THE WATER, BUT IT WILL BE AN EXPERIENCE ANYWAY.

THAT'S THE PLAN TODAY

THE AMSTERDAM LEAVES AUCKLAND BEHIND

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THIS IS THE PLACE I WAS AT YESTERDAY MORNING...I FORGET THE NAME

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NO EXCUSE FOR NOT KNOWING WHAT DAY IT IS.

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AND OVERNIGHTS TO MOUNT MAUNGANU

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THIS WILL BE MY RIDE FOR THE DAY

I LIKE IT ALREADY..

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DOLPHINS ALREADY....

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AND I AM LOOKING PRETTY PLEASED ABOUT THAT.

BUT WE ONLY HAD ABOUT EIGHT OR LESS AROUND US. TOO FEW FOR ANYONE TO GET IN THE WATER WITH THEM. THE MATE TOLD US THEY WOULD BE FRIGHTENED AWAY.

ANYWAY WE HAD THEM AROUND US FOR QUITE A WHILE, RIDING THE BOW WAVE, WITH THE BOAT SWISHING ALONG UNDER SAIL.

VERY EXCITING...

I HAVE A VIDEO THAT I HOPE TO INSERT HERE

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TIME TO ANCHOR FOR A SNORKEL FOR THOSE WHO LIKE GETTING WET.

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A NICE RIDE BACK TO THE AMSTERDAM WITH A SISTER BEHIND HER.

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GOODBYE TO THE GALAXSEA

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WHEN MOST OF THE PEOPLE GOT ON BACK IN JANUARY, THE CAPTAIN & OFFICERS WERE PRESENTED ON STAGE. A BIG PRODUCTION.

SINCE THERE WERE ONLY ABOUT FIFTY WHO GOT ON IN AUCKLAND, WE WERE INVITED TO MEET IN A LOUNGE FOR A CHAT WITH THE CAPTAIN & OFFICER & TO WINE & SNACKS.

A BIT OF A BONUS FOR US..

THIS IS THE NEXT STOP - NAPIER

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Posted by hasbeen 07:23 Archived in New Zealand Tagged video Comments (0)

2011 - H & A WORLD CRUISE - WELLINGTON

LEFT THE GANNETS BEHIND, NOW FOR SOME SEALS


View 2011 H&A - NEW ZEALAND TO RED SEA on hasbeen's travel map.

BUT FIRST A LITLE TOUR OF THE AMSTERDAM.......

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AND A WALK ROUND WELLINGTON.

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PIES WITH REAL MEAT!

ANYONE UP FOR THE ALTERNATIVE?

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THE GIRL ON THE RIGHT IS A STAFF MEMBER.

THE LADY IN THE MIDDLE IS THE CHARACTER ON BOARD.

WELL. ONE OF THE CHARACTERS ON BOARD.

TODAY SHE HAS A WHAT? ON HER HEAD? CHICKEN MAYBE.
EVERY DAY SOMETHING NEW.
MUST HAVE A TRUNK FULL.

ONE DAY SHE HAD A TEA POT!

ADDS NEW MEANING TO THE EXPRESSION 'MAD HATTERS TEA PARTY'

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THEN CLIMB UP FOR A LOOK OUT OVER WELLINGTON.

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SOME CHARLIE THOUGHT TO BRING BINOCULARS....

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COULD BE THE SOUTH ISLAND IN THE DISTANCE. WE WILL BE THERE IN A FEW DAYS....

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WE ARE HEADING DOWN NOW.......

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.....TO THE BEACH...

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AND ON TO THE BEACH.....

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.... WHERE WE START TO SEE THE SEALS....

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THE SHIPS PHOTOGRAPHER. AN ENGLISH GIRL. VERY PLEASANT.

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IS THAT PADDY FROM ALBERTA? MAYBE. YES - I RECOGISE THE SNEAKERS!

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AND LOAD UP THE CARS FOR THE RIDE HOME.

WE WERE LUCKY APPARENTLY AS IT IS NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE TO DRIVE THIS FAR ALONG THE BEACH.

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JUST OUT OF VIEW ARE BJ & JACK.... GONNA SPEND A LOT OF HAPPY HOURS WITH THEM...

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and a little video

its a little bumpy. Ok - a lot bump.

I still chuckle when I hear B J in the car on the beach.

ON WE GO TO THE SOUTH ISLAND.

Posted by hasbeen 07:20 Archived in New Zealand Tagged video Comments (0)

2011 - H & A WORLD CRUISE - CHRISTCHURCH

A RIDE HALFWAY ACROSS NEW ZEALAND TO FLOCK HILL STATION & A JET BOAT RIDE

NOW CHANGED TO SOUTH ISLAND

AND AMSTERDAM IS DOCKED AT LYTTLETON, THE PORT NEAR CHRISTCHURCH

CHRISTCHURCH HAS BEEN IN THE NEWS OF LATE ON ACCOUNT OF EARTHQUAKES. A COUPLE OF DAYS AFTER WE LEFT, ANOTHER DEVASTATING EARTHQUAKE HIT THE CITY.

THE TOUR TODAY IS TO GO FAR INLAND & INTO THE HIGH COUNTRY WHERE THERE IS A SHEEP STATION. THEN THE HIGHLIGHT SHOULD BE A JET BOAT RIDE.

LORAINE & SANDY FROM MY DINING TABLE WERE ALSO ALONG.

CHRISTCHURCH

NOTICED THIS ON THE WAY INTO DOCK & WONDERED IF IT IS THE ACTUAL CHRIST CHURCH. NEVER DID FIND OUT

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FIRST A STOP AT THE GARDENS IN CHRISTCHURCH & A WALK ALONG THE RIVER HERE.

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SOME PRETTY LOOKING GRAFFITI FOR A CHANGE...

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AT THIS POINT, I FOUND MY MEMORY CARD WAS FULL. I THINK I DELETED SOME OLD PICS & REDUCED THE SIZE OF FUTURE PICTURES. ENOUGH ANYWAY TO GET SOME SHOTS.

I ALSO MET THE LOVELY MARTHA HERE.

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IT WAS NOT LONG BEFORE WE WERE OUT INTO THE COUNTRYSIDE & SEEING OUR FIRST SHEEP OF THE DAY.

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EXCEPT THAT THOSE SHEEP WERE LLAMAS...

GRADUALLY CLIMBING HIGHER

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A PARTICULARLY NICE FENCE.

I DON'T KNOW WHY I LIKE FENCES AS PHOTO SUBJECTS, BUT I FIND THEM VERY PLEASING.

I LIKE LAUNDRY TOO FOR SOME REASON.

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A MEAL BREAK

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DIDYMO

WHAT'S THAT?

SOUNDS BAD WHATEVER IT IS.

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THIS IS OUR VAN

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AND SOME OF THE PASSENGERS. I GET A FRONT SEAT - VERY NICE.

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WE ENTER THE SHEEP STATION & , NOW THERE ARE SHEEP. BUT NOT MASSES OF THEM.

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NOW WE ARE UP HIGH. GREAT VIEWS IN EVERY DIRECTION...

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AND WE REACH THE RIVER & IT'S TIME FOR OUR JET BOAT RIDE....

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TAKING ON A HITCH-HIKER...

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AND A VIDEO - HOLD ONTO YOU HATS.

YOU CAN VIEW THAT IN FULL SCREEN IF YOU WANT...

Posted by hasbeen 07:17 Archived in New Zealand Tagged video Comments (0)

2011 - BUS TOUR - YELLOWSTONE

ALL YELLOWSTONE - AND A LITTLE VIDEO RIGHT AT THE END.


View 2011 YELLOWSTONE on hasbeen's travel map.

I MAKE NO APOLOGIES FOR THE NUMBER OF PHOTOS. THERE COULD EASILY HAVE BEEN THREE TIMES AS MANY.

Y E L L O W S T O N E

IT REALLY IS..

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A BIRTHDAY

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MAKE THE VIDEO FULL SCREEN & SIT BACK. WAY, WAY BACK

Posted by hasbeen 11:20 Archived in USA Tagged video 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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As the intrepid explorers follow the spoor to.....large_P1090747.jpeg

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)

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