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Africa » Tanzania October 16th 2020

We were woken up by Frank at midnight after having a few hour long nap that was too short but thankfully pretty restful considering. The wind was howling and it was painfully cold making it hard to get started, but luckily it wasn’t raining, which really was all I had hoped for. As much as we didn’t want to get out of our warm sleeping bags the summit called. We quickly drank some coffee and ate some popcorn and cookies and were off. We were instructed to wear 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of gloves, 4 layers on the bottom and 5 on top so we both slowly waddled up the mountain at the mountaineering pace we’d established. We had to put warm water in our camelbaks and had to blow the water from the ... read more
Dawn above the clouds on Kilimanjaro
Mount Meru in the distance
Ice fields around Uhuru peak

Africa » Tanzania October 15th 2020

“There, ahead, all he could see, as wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun, was the square top of Kilimanjaro. And then he knew that there was where he was going” – Ernest Hemingway: The Snows Of Kilimanjaro Kilimanjaro has been one of those trips Dennis and I have always wanted to do since we were both teens, the highest free standing mountain in the world. Mom and I had talked about climbing it “one day” during the peak of our frequent Appalachian trail hiking trips in her younger years before the start of her pulmonary issues, but it just never came to pass. I finally bought our tickets in January long before Covid was a worry, when I saw fares finally just too good to be true and impossible to ... read more
Several hundred year old Giant Groundsel tree

Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Saint Francis Bay October 9th 2020

“Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.” – J.D.Stroube 2020 rolls on towards its inevitable end but for many, many people around the globe, it will be a year best forgotten given the turmoil unleashed on humanity by Covid-19. Whilst it is no longer centre stage, this pandemic remains on the radar screen and will be there for some time into the future. How long? Well, the reality is that no one knows which in itself is scary as we humans would rationalise that by ... read more
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Covid-19

Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Saint Francis Bay October 2nd 2020

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” - Bertrand Russell Covid-19 is now off the front pages and the media is not nearly as fixated with this pesky virus as was the case in recent months. Lock-downs are on hold, South Africa is on Level 1 and there is this far more relaxed mode and mind set suggesting the worst is done and dusted. The key word defining our current human view on Covid-19 is undoubtedly, complacency. How wrong could we possibly be and what will be the upshot of the increasingly “relaxed” outlook on Covid-19? The compulsion to write further blogs has waned and this edition follows a 3-week break. This suggests it has slipped to back of ... read more
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Covid-19

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira September 13th 2020

On Thursday, October 17th, we arrived in the coastal city of Essaouira from the vibrant city of Marrakesh. As much as I enjoyed that great city, and even earlier visiting the red sand desert climes of the Sahara, I could't wait to be near the ocean again. Visiting Essaouira and reveling along her Atlantic shores is a panacea for anyone who, like me, cannot resist the siren call of the sea. Surprisingly, the strong draw I always feel for being near the ocean was nearly eclipsed by the charms of Essaouira’s terra firma. I knew then I would be forever under the spell of Essaouira. It combined all the features I find most interesting about any town – geographical beauty, history, architecture, culture, and most definitely a friendly disposition. Essaouira had all of these. Its medina, ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Saint Francis Bay September 11th 2020

“Myth is an attempt to narrate a whole human experience, of which the purpose is too deep, going too deep in the blood and soul, for mental explanation or description.” – D.H.Lawrence Interesting times to say the least! Here we are in early Spring still trying to figure out how a virus could possibly have hijacked this year’s late summer, winter and then autumn seasons. Spring is a month of renewal when plant life recaptures it’s calibrated growth DNA and the animal kingdom looks to the urgent task of reproduction to ensure the survival of each particular species. Homo sapiens, on the other hand, has endured months of a rampaging pandemic which to date has recorded 27.9 million infections and caused 905,426 deaths. Bizarrely, the daily updates and incessant chatter on TV networks about Covid-19 have ... read more
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Covid-19

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo September 11th 2020

Hello everyone, I hope this blog finds you and your loved ones well. I have started, stopped, and restarted this blog more times than I can count. At first I delayed out of normal procrastination habits; then every month since life-as-we-knew-it was interrupted, I've questioned if the timing and message of this post were right. I was holding out for some glorious day when this virus would be gone, this pandemic would be over, and travel would be able to safely resume. But it's becoming increasingly clear that I don't know when that day will be, and I don't know that the luxury of international travel will ever exist in the same capacity it did before. And so for that reason, I've realized that any day is a good day to share a blog with you, ... read more
Eye of Horus
Walk like an Egyptian
Steppe Pyramid of Djoser

Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Saint Francis Bay August 29th 2020

“Every human has four endowments; self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom…. the power to choose, to respond, to change.” - Stephen Covey Someone once said “Every sunset is an opportunity to reset” and if there is one critical step, we all need to take in these repetitive, exhausting Covid-19 times, it is the need to “reset.” Our minds have numbed as we struggle to remember when, why and how this unprecedented intrusion on our lives all started. 2020 is now almost at the three-quarter mark and most of us talk about writing off this year noting it as one of very little by way of personal achievement. Many dreams, plans, activities, adventures have simply vaporised and disappeared into the mists of time. Against this backdrop, the past week ... read more
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Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Saint Francis Bay August 16th 2020

“We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.” – Blaise Pascal If there is one word which now underpins the current Covid-19 journey, it has to be “uncertainty”. What was put out on media platforms as fact and latest update last week on the trajectory of the coronavirus is turned on it’s head a week later. Consider the following; schools are under huge pressure globally to re-open on the basis that people younger than 18 years of age don’t get infected at the same rate as older folk. And yet, in America there are current reports of a 40 percent spike in school children infections in one state. The jury is truly out as to whether it is wise to re-open schools and the consequences will play out in ... read more
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Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Saint Francis Bay August 10th 2020

“Man, do not pride yourselves on your superiority to the animals, for they are without sin, while you, with all your greatness, you defile the earth wherever you appear and leave an ignoble trail behind you…and that is true, alas, for almost every one of us!” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Russian novelist and philosopher in the 1820’s) There is a classic saying one hears from time to time; “don’t mess with Mother nature”, and it sort of resonates for a short while before our minds leap forward not really wanting to confront what we have done to our planet and sadly, continue to do. The scorecard in terms of our impact on the physical environment is mind boggling and includes; overpopulation, pollution, burning fossil fuels and deforestation all of which in their own unique way have triggered ... read more
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