No cover charge! Dancing girls! Open All Night!
Too much time behind a desk. Too much time with techmology. Too much time dreaming of other places. Too much time surfing the Internets looking at photos of places that inspire. Too much time wanting to be psyched. So how is there not enough time? Mr. Earle's reply: “This is the best time of the day, the dawn, the final cleansing breath unsullied yet by acrid fumes or death’s cacophony, the rank refuse of unchained ambition.”
After spending too much time doing the aforementioned, he realized he was a dull boy. He changed his mind, he changed his course. This blog is an account of his travels around the world -- or as far as he can get until the money runs out. Take heed: there are nimbler tongues, ignorant people, well-deserved rewards and excuses. They say there is not enough time, second guessing, more battles, more followers. Just don’t say you tried when you didn’t.
Now, brace yourself for impact.
There will be more time in the white stuff. More time riding the water mountains. More time on the sharp end of the rope. More time on the wheels. More time as a hobo. More time peak bagging. More fresh fish. More raw vegetables. More fresh air. More time as a pirate. More gazpacho. More time in the desert. More time.
It will inspire. It will show you no mercy. Like a sound you hear, it will grab your ear. It will sooth, nourish and hydrate. And, it’s open all night. It's a preposterous project.
I hope you enjoy the reading and the photos. Let me know what you think. And don't forget to subscribe.
For more photos, click here: Flickr Photo Page
To purchase photos and help fund my fun, click here: Alamy
May 15th 2009
Below the surface of the ocean, a diver's senses are more aware. The only sounds you hear are the hissing of your air regulator and the bubbles gurgling out and up, eventually to the surface. Occasionaly another diver gently knocks into you and you feel their fins, or your own fins graze a piece of rock or coral. Light loses its colors the deeper you descend, so it's easy to see that you're diving deeper because objects turn a dark blue or gray. Most of the time when descending the water turns colder and when going up, the water is warmer. But on one occasion a few weeks ago, something caught me completely by surprise. I was more than 60 feet below the surface of the Indian Ocean. A warm, yellow light made its way from ... read more
May 14th 2009
1993 Land Rover Defender 200 Tdi For Sale Asking $6,900 US. 249,000 k.110 Series “bakkie” pick-up is “Safari Ready,” registered in South Africa and is ideal for someone wanting to do a tour back to SA. Available May 15 in Malawi or June 1 in Tanzania . We are flexible about drop off location. Price includes MANY extras, spare parts, recent mechanical work and camping gear. Buying this Landy will cost less and give you more flexibility than long-term renting. Here’s what you get: --An incredible 4x4 with hi- and low-range and diff lock. This truck has gone on roads, in mud, sand and water that we didn’t think was possible and we have photos to prove it! -- Canopy gives you a place to sleep in the back, which is better than a roof-top tent, ... read more
March 15th 2009
March 15, Kasane, Botswana The African bush was more than 10 feet high on both sides of the Land Rover. It was so thick and so close to the truck, we wouldn’t have been able to open the doors if we’d tried. All that was fine considering we were in the middle of the best wildlife viewing of our African adventure. And, frankly, why would we want to open the doors, given that a large male lion was about 10 feet from us, peering at us through a small window in the bush. We were in the middle of the Kalahari Desert, more than 100 kilometers and a full day’s drive from the closest town. We sat with the truck turned off in complete silence and watched the lion for a good 30 minutes. He lay ... read more
March 2nd 2009
March 2, 2009 Opuwo, Namibia Our guide asked us to wait near the truck while he asked the village elder for permission to enter and visit his tribe. A few minutes later, Kambambaki, our 20-year-old guide who went by the name of John, was back, having been given the okay by the man in charge of the Ovahakaona tribal village. John told us that he would introduce us to “the father.” Sarah and I walked up to the old man, both a bit uneasy. Dozens of curious naked children ran circles around a nearby mud hut. Their bare-breasted mothers sat in the dirt and watched. The father, wearing a sort of African sarong, sat down in a chair as we arrived. I reached out and offered a handshake to say hello, knowing full well that English ... read more
February 25th 2009
Feb. 24, 2009, Spitzkoppe, Namibia I sliced my knife through the crispy exterior. It cracked and then crackled back at me. I dug my fork in, lifted it to my mouth and tasted a small bit. It was the best tasting Eisbein I’ve ever had. In fact, it was the only Eisbein I’ve ever had. Eisbein, as you might imagine by the sound of it, is not traditional Nambian food. It’s grilled pork knuckle, a German dish. My meal, Sarah’s schneitzel and the restaurant we were eating at were a testament to the colonization of this part of Namibia by the Germans more than a century ago. We nibbled on the sauerkraut side dish and then took a slug of weisbier, a German wheat beer. We barely finished our dishes, but had just enough room for ... read more
February 13th 2009
Keetmanshoop Karma Keetmanshoop, Namibia February 13, 2009 As we drove north a few days after a hassle-free entry across the border into Namibia, we decided to take a lunch break in the shade on the side of the road. We pulled over and got some food out of the cooler. “I smell diesel,” Sarah said as we unpacked the cooler. With too much confidence, considering our past problems with the truck, I didn’t even think about what she had said. But then, before I even realized it, it hit me -- both the smell and then the sight. There, coming from the diesel tank, was a steady drip. This one, mocking us in all its glory, dripped faster than the one from a month ago. ”How could that be” I yelled aloud. I crouched down for ... read more
February 13th 2009
The Long (and not the Fastest) Road to Namibia Rocklands, South Africa February 2, 2009 After leaving Jeffrey’s Bay, we headed west with a plan to make our way along South Africa’s Route 62, an alternative to the well-traveled Garden Route. The road traverses the high plains desert of the Karoo and winds over passes and down into valleys. But, to get to Route 62, we chose an even less-traveled road through the Baviaanskloof wilderness area. About a quarter of the Baviaanskloof can only be done with a four-by-four, so the Land Rover had its first shot at some off-roading. The driving was tough and a bit stressful. Some small boulders blocked parts of the road, but these were the lucky ones. Others had made their way off the road and down the cliffs into the ... read more
January 14th 2009
Braai, Biltong and Croc Circles Jan. 14, 2009 Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa About a week ago, Sarah and I were sitting under a tree taking a break from the sizzling African sun. In a heat-induced daze, I glanced down and thought I was hallucinating. On the tops of my feet were a half-dozen dime-sized brown circles. I started to smile. Then a giggle. Then a full-blown laugh. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There before me, staring back up, was a sign from the heavens. All of my hard work since leaving London -- two weeks in the Corsican mountains, two months at sea on yacht Cleone, a month and a half in South Africa -- was complete. I now had a Croc tan. The sun (lots of sun, apparently) had made its way through ... read more
December 27th 2008
A Lemon in Paradise Dec. 27, 2008, Agulhas, South Africa “Where ya headed,” asked the girl, who was probably eight years old. I rolled my eyes and chuckled. She was cute, but after her fiftieth question, it was getting to be a bit much. I was busy with some last minute fixes on a Land Rover that my girlfriend, Sarah, and I just bought. I can only do one thing at a time. Sarah, thankfully, was handling most of the girl’s questions and organizing our stuff, helping us to get on our way. Sarah met up with me in Cape Town after my Indian Ocean sailing trip and we spent two weeks looking for the perfect touring truck. And we’d found it. And, thankfully, our down time in Cape Town gave us the freedom to see ... read more
November 24th 2008
Under African Skies Nov. 11, Richards Bay, South Africa Somewhere, about 1,000 miles southwest of Ile de la Reunion in the southern Indian Ocean, I saw the first signs of Africa. It was about 3:30 a.m. and Yacht Cleone, pointing westward, cut through the dark black water. The splashing at the bow, and the occasional flap of the sail, marked the time. The wind was hot and at my back, as it had been for most of the past two months. Cleone was less than a hundred miles off the tip of Madagascar, but far enough that I couldn’t see the island. The stars were visible, but barely, overtaken by the yellow-amber glow of the moon, just above Cleone’s bow. Out here, there is no manmade light, except the light on the top of the mast, ... read more