Canals and Boats

Venice has a main touristy area that stretches out around San Marco square and the Rialto bridge, venture further beyond that and it’s still just as beautiful and there are way less tourists crowding your photos.

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Leopard at Night

I’ve been sick for the last couple of days which is why there haven’t been any posts, got a case of the stomach flu, the joys of sending a little one to daycare.

I generally don’t post much about cameras and settings, but this shot is worth a mention. It was taken at 10000 ISO, 1/60 of a second handholding a 200-400 on a D4, the D4 can focus in near darkness and the VR really does work.

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Torekov yachts

We’ll be heading back to Torekov in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to it, the last few weeks have been pretty tough on us with Louise having a broken foot. It’s amazing how limited you become in that situation and how dependant you are on other people helping you out.

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Whats for lunch

You never know what you’re going to see when you are on Safari, sometimes you’ll see a bit of everything. Sometimes you’ll see a lot of one thing and not much of anything else. We spent a few nights at the Shindzela tented camp in Timbavati next to Kruger national park. We spent most of the time hanging out with this cackle of hyena who spent a good few days devouring this giraffe carcasse.

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Winelands of South Africa

Well I still seem to be stuck on photos from our big trip, we spent a few nights in Franschoek with some friends. It’s very different to the rest of Africa, it’s kind of like being back in Europe.

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Santis from afar

And suddenly the journey is over, I realised just now that I have covered every country we passed except three,Gambia, Burkina Faso and Togo, which I have to admit I don’t have a single good photo of. We passed through these countries very quickly Gambia and Burkina were unbelievably hot. And we just drove from border to border in Togo, about 50Kms.

So here is a photo from Switzerland, the place where our trip truly started and ended. 1 and a half years down by car, 8 hours back by plane.

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Grand Popo

I stood on this beach for the first time when I was 14. Some of my fondest memories of that trip are from our time at Grand Popo. It was one of those places that overlanders used as a break from the road. These days it seems to be have been a little forgotten. By these days I mean when we were last there in 2008. Perhaps the travellers stops have moved further along the coast to Big Millys in Ghana, that had a similar sort of vibe to the one I remember from Grand Popo. Everyone having a good time, telling tales of their adventures on the road, sharing food, drinking singing and laughing together and forgetting about the rest of the world.

It was also a very different time when I was 14, the internet didn’t exist when I was 14, no one had a GPS, most people hadn’t heard of a Laptop. Photos were taken on film. You couldn’t get info on roads from websites, it was all word of mouth, we had heard rumours that the border to Zaire had closed. So we had to come up with an alternate plan, by we I mean my step dad and the 2 british couples we were travelling with at the time. Suddenly out of the blue some locals showed up and offered to buy the cars, after a whole day of discussing and haggling and talking it ended up being a con, and they stole our video camera. Later that night there was an incident involving the local restaurant owner and one of our brits complaining about the size of a pig we bought being no bigger than a chicken. I have many other stories from our week or two on that beach. When we returned It felt like it had been hit by some kind of plaque, there weren’t any woman selling eggs and bread on the beach in the morning.

No matter how many times I return to a place, it’s always different, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. At least I will have those first memories of Grand Popo. Going through and sharing these photos from our trip has stirred up many memories.

Reflecting on what you have done in the past sometimes help in providing perspective on what’s next.

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Man Trucks

I first saw this model of MAN truck on my first overland trip through Africa when I was 14. I even helped some of the overland truck drivers repair them, they were pretty basic machines. I still remember one of these rolling up to Grand Popo in Benin, I thought the french foreign legion had arrived or something like that.

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Senegalese Sunrise

Whenever I look at these older photos, I remember where on a map, what time of day and what we were doing when they were taken. I can never remember the name of the place they were taken at though. I find myself regularly looking at google maps to figure out where I took a photo.

This was was taken close to the Saloum Delta national park in Senegal.

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Mauritanian Sands

We didn’t spend much time in Mauritania, just a few nights. Right before we left a couple of french tourists had been shot by terrorists, so we were a little concerned and only transited through the country. A bit of a shame really, had we done the trip the other way round we would have most likely spent quite some time here.

We found that the more remote or the poorer the place you are in, the friendlier the people and the more genuine they are. Even though they have nothing people were more than happy to share whatever they had with us.

This was taken in the Parc national du banc d’arguin. It’s supposed to be a great place for sea birds. Perhaps one day, I’ll return.

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