Thursday, September 29, 2011

On The Road Again ...

Hey Friends - I've just come back from a few days camping in the Richtersveld and tomorrow I head back North again, this means that I effectively have very little Internet access for awhile.

I have a lot of work to do on the house and, in a way, I'm not looking forward to it because October and November are our hottest months - the weather all over the world seems to be wonky so I guess anything could happen.

I have a lot of images to edit and hope that I can put a few posts together when I return to Space ... In the meantime, a few random pics:

Succulents along the road between the Orange River and Ai Ais Hot Springs - the window for seeing these plants at their best is only a few days.

A mushroom growing on Elephant dung - taken on a visit to the Etosha Pans.

Summer Butterflies gather at a puddle on a road in northern Nam.

A Fish jumps up a weir at Ai Ais - it looked like the fishes were playing and having fun.

A harmless Variegated Bush Snake at my home.

I don't know what kind of ducks these are - I like the way their wings are opposed.

A kid does a somersault off a sand embankment as his buddies look on - I took this photo from a moving car.

Tumbili grooming me while I hold the camera at arms-length and try to get a pic ...

I'm out Friends and I'll be on-line again in early December - Ciao and take care of yourselves hey.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I love this story ...

I've been waiting for ages to slot this sad image into a Blog Post and today I came upon this heart-warming story in The Namibian:

A KITTEN had the adventure of a lifetime when it stowed away in the chassis of a 4x4 travelling through the Kaokoveld, to Windhoek and finally to Germany where it now lives with two other cats in Munich.

Wolgang Morhart was on a self-drive tour of Namibia at the end of January 2011 and on the way from Otavi to Orupembe, after driving about 90 kilometres on a dirt road, he stopped to stretch his legs.

When he got out of the car he heard a whining noise coming from under the car and immediately investigated. He found a dusty little kitten clinging to the undercarriage of the Land Cruiser.

He took the shivering kitten, immediately named Kaoko, into the cabin and continued his journey.

Little Kaoko was starving and devoured the macaroni and mince Morhart had for dinner. That night Morhart woke up with Kaoko sitting on his chest. After a while he pressed himself tightly against Morhart and shivered, and the next moment an elephant trumpeted close by.

Kaoko loved to be in the car and together the two of them travelled for three weeks through Namibia.

“I have cats and I am used to getting the odd mouse as a present, but Kaoko brought me a scorpion the one evening,” says Morhart.

After returning to Windhoek Morhart stayed here for two more weeks and Kaoko did not leave his side, which made Morhart decide to take him back to Germany.

“I tried to find a suitable home for him here but he would not leave my side so I though we were meant to be together.”

He inquired about the red tape involved in taking a cat from Namibia to Germany, and the process eventually took six months.

“It was a long fight, lots of money and the help of good friends and people who made it possible for Kaoko to finally land in Munich,” says Morhart.

On August 18 Kaoko landed in Munich and although he was a bit drowsy he immediately recognised Morhart, climbed onto his lap and did not leave his sight.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Fish River Canyon

Pics of a trip to the Fish River Canyon two weekends ago - it's just up the road from my present location, about 200 kms:

The deepest part of the Fish River Canyon is situated within the Ai-Ais/Richterveld Transfrontier National Park and the northern Entrance Gate is at Hobas.

Hobas is like an oasis in the desolate landscape and also a convenient Camp site 10km from the Main Canyon Vantage Point.

The camp looks pleasant enough. It's neat and tidy, the sites are shady and there's a small swimming pool and kiosk.

The Main Vantage Point overlooking the Canyon - a new structure, it wasn't here at my last visit a few years ago.

Hell's Bend - The view from the Vantage Point.

The Fish River Canyon is reputedly the second largest in the World after the USA's Grand Canyon. It is one of Namibia's main tourist destinations.

Two kilometres north of the vantage point, a group of hikers prepares to set out on the tough, 5-Day Fish River Canyon Hike.

There are no facilities along the way; hikers sleep under the stars and must carry their own supplies. Water is normally available in the Fish River but must be boiled or cleaned with purification tablets.

The trail is 85 kilometres long and, once in the canyon, there is no way out except for one or two emergency exit points. Earlier this year, a group of hikers had to be evacuated when the Fish River came down in flood.

Hikers must present a medical certificate of fitness and complete an indemnity form prior to commencing the trail.

A group of hikers descends into the canyon.

Many people claim that this 2-3 hour descent is the toughest part of the whole trail.

I'd love to walk the Fish River Canyon but I fear that this jarring, steep decline would mess my knees up completely.

The view from another point a few kilometres south of the main vantage point.

In total, the Canyon is 160 km long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 metres deep.

Rain had fallen in this arid area and patches of tiny red succulents, combined with the natural colour of the rock, gave the ground a pinkish hue.

To commemorate their visit - in a 'Kilroy Was Here' kind of way - many people build little cairns. There are probably a few hundred on the edge of the canyon.

Above is one of the more creative examples.

A last look at the canyon from another vantage point - photographs can't really capture the magnificence of the scene - you'll have to come check it out yourselves - April to September are the best times if you're planning a trip ... :)


Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Secret Magical Desert Garden

A few years ago I 'discovered' a strange Magical Garden in Namibia's southern Desert, close to the mining town of Rosh Pinah:

The garden is on a hill which is capped by a snow-white Quartz outcrop.

Scattered along the sides of the hill are thousands of small quartz rocks, many with patterned black Lichen growing on them.

Many of the plants on the hill I've not seen growing anywhere else.

I've got no idea what the botanical or common names are.

Some of the plants are so small or inconspicuous that they can be easily missed, I usually find something new every time I visit here.

I think that this is some type of Aloe.

Such a weird looking plant, like fat fingers sticking out of the Earth - I was lucky to find them in flower once.

These are two plants, the thorny one on top with flowers and, underneath it a small succulent which looks like a Lithops or 'Living Stone'

These two plants have fat roundish stems with cabbage-like leaves.

I only tell trusted people where this Magical Garden is because, when I showed some images to one woman, she immediately suggested that I should dig them up and transplant them to my garden ... grrrr.

I haven't been here for quite awhile now and, in fact, I'm a little scared to visit in case some dingbat has discovered it and ripped some of the plants out.