Page 7 of swanningaround Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Zambia » Livingstone November 8th 2014

Geo: -17.8573, 25.8429Maun to Livingston 27 October - 8th NovemberOn the Namibia/Botswana border we stayed at Ghanzi camp in San country. The San people (bushmen) of the desert are fascinating. Their life, like that of most aboriginal people, is changing quickly. It is more difficult if not impossible to remain nomadic as their children have to attend school. However, they want their children to retain the Bushman skills so they go off into the bush whenever they can. They move around the Ghanzi camp area and our guide arranged for a group to take us for a walk and show us some of their skills. Robert from the camp came to interpret as these San do not speak any English. What I really liked was the San spoke to us directly, and we to them asking ... read more
Inside our big red bus, cool boxes for beer!
The San people
Plant to protect against mosquitoes

Africa » Namibia » Windhoek October 22nd 2014

Geo: -22.5648, 17.0931As it is difficult to write a blog while camping and impossible to post for at least 14 days I shall try to make a few notes in the van so please excuse note form and any errors. It is not easy to type as we receive our 'African Massage' in the van travelling on sand and gravel roads.The evening before we met up with our companions for the trip Jim and I went to the nearest restaurant for a meal. We were surprised to find game such as Warthog, Impala and Springbok on the menu. We were not sure if it was a good thing to indulge as it seemed somehow to conflict with the purpose of our trip. We tried it anyway. Jim had a slow cooked warthog and I took the ... read more
Colourful Grasshopper
Seal off Cape Peninsular
The Sunway big red van beautifully equipped

Geo: 10.4594, -84.0039 We have now completed the circle, starting from San Jose in January, down through Costa Rica to Panama, back up and through CR again and then into Nicaragua before finally returning to CR.As we only had a few weeks left after Nicaragua we decided to visit the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, then the volcanic Arenal area and before finishing off in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui.On the Nicoya Peninsula Samara is a small town on a pretty beach and a pleasant place to spend a week. Tico Adventure Lodge, where we stayed has a small pool to cool off in and a television in Reception where we managed to see a couple of the Italian Tennis championship matches, including the Final. However, like many of the small Costa Rican towns, people from the ... read more
El Castillo pool and jacuzzi
View from pool, El Castillo
Rescued porcupine, with acid green spines.

Geo: 11.94, -85.96Granada and surrounding area, 30 April - 13 MayWe used Granada as a base, leaving one bag here as we visited first the Caribbean coast as described in the last blog, and then Lago de Apoyo, a crater lake quite close to Granada, where we spent 2 nights. Unfortunately we had 2 bouts of minor illness during this time, a flu type virus and then a stomach bug. We suffered in tandem! It was one reason we retired to the lake, to rest and recover in a slightly fresher spot by the water. Our problems were not too severe but lasted a long time and left us feeling weak.Despite that we love Granada, it's delightful colonial buildings and churches, it's fascinating history, restaurants, little central square with trees and cafes and the people. It ... read more
Elegant interior
Internal courtyard garden
Tradional way of carrying goods, frilled 'pinny'

Geo: 11.94, -85.96The day before we were due to leave Tortuguero we asked the receptionist to call Jungle Tom's Safaris to confirm we were on their list, as they had overlooked us on the way out. She did and told us they would arrive at 2.00pm the next day. We waited on the jetty until 2.30pm and then asked her to call them again, 'just in case!' They said the boat would arrive in a few minutes and it did. It was the same boat and driver who brought us to Tortuguero and we jumped in and set off. We were the only people on the boat which we thought was strange. I asked the driver if there were other people but he gave a long, breathless, stressed response which I could not understand. Then he ... read more
Ferry struggling to land
Lake Nicaragua (local name Cocibolca) beach
Ometepe Island, Concepcion Volcano

Geo: 10.5414, -83.5021Costa Rica 1 - 8 AprilAt the end of the previous blog we had arrived at Trogon Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota. What a contrast with all our previous stops. It was very cold at night and although the sun shone during the day there was only about 3 to 4 hours that were pleasantly warm. We never managed to be comfortable despite the fires and hot water bottles.Plus, we were at an altitude of 2,500 metres, rising higher as soon as we left the Lodge to walk and increasing to 3,500 metres at the highest point.I had not realised how little oxygen there was at this altitude. The first morning we went on the early morning Quetzal hunt and had to climb a hill. I raced up with the guide, not wanting to ... read more
Jim by Black Eyed Susie arch
Catching trout to clean ponds
Or they could be lunch?

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Veraguas April 2nd 2014

Geo: 7.54575, -81.7822 Panama 9 - 31 March 2014At the end of the last blog we had reached The Golden Frog Inn, El Valle, and said it was a beautiful place. We liked it so much we stayed 11 days and only left then because we had to, it was fully booked. Everything about it appealed to us, the view, as we were high up on one side of the crater valley and looked across to the hills on the other rim, the climate, warm during the day, cooling just enough at night so no air-conditioning or heating is required, and the wildlife. But the bonus was 'Happy Hour' when Becky and Larry the owners, and Adrian the manager invited everyone to join them from 6-7pm for drinks and nibbles. It made a lovely social occasion ... read more
We found a wooden Macaw in the freezer.
Competition to press sugar cane
Flowers everywhere in El Valle

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Coclé March 11th 2014

Geo: 8.6, -80.1333 19th February - 10th MarchWe arrived in Boquete and queued at the Taxi stand. A Taxi pulled up, and although we had been there first, everyone else, 5 individuals, all jumped into the Taxi and off it went. People share the Taxis so it was a matter of getting in first, something we could not achieve with our bags! After observing this a few times we decided it was not going to work. I had seen other Taxis turn a corner from the main road a little way off so Jim and I hauled the bags between us to the side of that road and, in desperation, when the next taxi came round the corner I jumped out in front of it waving my arms. Thankfully it stopped, was free and the driver ... read more
The Resplendent Quetzal
Jim & Feliciano enjoying home grown coffee.
Colourful but unflattering dresses

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica February 22nd 2014

Geo: 8.69371, -83.6581We were in Drake for a week and enjoyed the truly horizontal life style! Everyone snoozed, anywhere, at any time of the day. It is so hot and humid that it becomes natural to doze, but we did manage to walk and fit in some excursions.First we did a night walk along a creek in the jungle. Jim and I set off just before sunset to be fitted with wellington boots and then followed our guide into the jungle as darkness fell. From then on I loved every minute of the following 3 hours It was like being a real explorer, splashing up the creek, shining our torches to spot any life at all, and there was an awful lot of life. The main attraction was the numerous different types of frogs, many of ... read more
More frogs.
Glass Frog
Tree Frog

Geo: 8.68664, -83.6662Costa Rica has provided plenty of interest to date. We stayed at Anita's in Manuel Antonio for 8 nights as planned and that gave us time to visit the National Park twice, the first time with a guide. We saw deer, two coatis, a couple of species of bats and strangest, of all, a three-toed Sloth. It does look like an abominable snowman, covered in long fur, slightly greenish in colour. He was definitely not photogenic but we did take some photographs. It is difficult tophotograph their faces as they are so high in the trees and very shy, turning away and hiding. Like the Koala in Australia, they eat leaves which provide little energy, so they move very slowly. In Spanish they are called 'Perezosas', meaning 'Lazies'. Why they have so much fur ... read more
Two-toed Sloth
Jim's favourite photograph.
The Teak House verandah that rocked!

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