Category: Picture

VictoriaFalls

From left to right:

  1. Sunset over the Zambezi River.
  2. Hippos seen from a safe distance.
  3. Me standing at the edge of Victoria Falls, on the Zambian side.

On Friday, 22 June, hours before I was to board my plane from Cape Town to Victoria Falls Airport, the fear and anxiety I had felt when I first booked my tickets, had not dissipated. My imaginative mind kept making a detailed list of all the things that could go wrong.

  • My shuttle would arrive late and I would miss my flight. (And if I were to be honest, I would admit that there was a little part of me that was hoping this would happen. A “real” excuse not to do something that scared me.)
  • There would be some problem at customs and I’d be forced to fly back home.
  • There would be another National Shutdown in Zimbabwe and I wouldn’t find anyone willing to take me to the Zambian border.
  • I’d have to argue with every taxi driver about the fare.
  • I’d get lost and wouldn’t know how to get back to my hostel.
  • I’d be underwhelmed and disappointed by the sight of the falls.
  • I’d be painfully and achingly lonely. That after spending only a few hours in Victoria Falls, I’d want to flee home.

 

These negative thoughts would occasionally be offset by the highlights reel of previous travel experiences. I remembered each an every stranger, who helped me when I lost or didn’t quite understand how to use the subway. I remembered the old Turkish guy, who gave me a lift to the bus station on his scooter, placing my unwieldy suitcase firmly between his legs. I remember taking a “taxi” in Mozambique. The taxi was a bakkie*, with a canopy made of wood. And I remember marveling at the men, who stood on the edge of the bakkie, arms clinging to the wooden frame. And I remember wondering about safety standards of this particular automobile. But only briefly. When we started moving and I felt the wind in my hair, this momentary doubt was replaced by a feeling of being free.

 

And I remembered all of these things, and I smiled. For a moment, the fear and anxiety I felt about travelling, was assuaged.

*Bakkie is also known as a pick-up truck in other parts of the world …

Shot from above. Durban 2016
Two things I’m proud of:

Booking plane tickets to Victoria Falls

Ever since completing the Comrades Ultra, I’ve been plagued by the relentless question, “Now what?” After hours of contemplation and staring at my 2016 bucket list, I decided that I needed to travel.

 

Picking a destination was easy. I wanted to go away almost immediately and didn’t want to go away for too long, a week max. These two factors meant that I had to select a country that didn’t have lengthy AND expensive visa process (hi America), and had a maximum flight time of 8 hours. (If I was only planning to spend 7 days in a country, I wasn’t going to spend a large proportion of it cramped up in a plane.)

 

After briefly considering Malawi (for all of 5 minutes), I eventually settled on Vic Falls.

 

Actually booking the flight took A LOT more time. For a week or two, I kept visiting the Travel Start website on a daily basis. I’d type the dates into the search engine and then I’d sigh. I did this every single day. And every single day I’d say, “Tomorrow.” I’m not sure what exactly I was waiting for. I guess I was afraid of making a mistake. I was afraid that Vic Falls might turn out to be a disaster; that I’d be underwhelmed; that I’d be lonely; that something would crop up and I just wouldn’t be able to handle it. And then I remembered feeling THIS exact scared before booking my flight to Turkey. And yes, there were times when I was incredibly lonely, scared and confused. But there were also some beautiful moments; moments that I will cherish forever. So in the hopes that I will have some beautiful and memorable moments in Zimbabwe and Zambia, I booked the damn ticket.

 

Frame the Instagram pictures I printed 6 months ago

Nuff said.

 

One things I’m grateful for:

My sister and her unflinching honesty.

A few weeks ago, I was a little too heavy handed with the blush. My sister’s the only one who said anything about it. She didn’t sugarcoat the truth. She didn’t say maliciously. She said it, because it needed to be heard. I need more people like her.

 

My intention for July is:

I read the following quote recently and it rung true, “I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t.” My intention for June is to speak up, ask questions and be interested.

 

I also plan to take a SHIT TON of photos on my trip to Vic Falls. I plan to document everything – the food, people, conversations and adventures.

 

Two things I’m most proud

1.Completing the Comrades Marathon
ComradesWeeks before running the Ultra, I’d told my dad that this was the first and last Comrades. I was convinced that I would hate every second of it. I was afraid that I would fail badly; that I wouldn’t make it pass the 20km mark before I would start vomiting, cramping or crying.
Well, I did it. I managed to run 89km in under 11 hours, earning my second bronze medal for an Ultra this year. And I only wanted to cry at the last 5km of the race.

Insert quick rant: To get the start of the race, my peers and I took an official Comrades bus from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. Our bus driver got lost IN Durban and we arrived to the race late! At some point my fellow runners and I told the bus driver to stop, we bolted out of the bus and sprinted the last 1km to the start line. By the time I arrived at the start I’d miss the national anthem and the race had already started.

 

2. Hiking Lion’s Head on my own
LionsheadHiking up Lion’s Head is something I’ve wanted to do for ages now, but it isn’t always easy to find a partner in crime. In the end, I simply decided to go up by myself.

 

Two things I’m grateful for:
1. My brother-in-law
He found me at the last 5km of the Comrades, the point at which I finally hit the wall. The point at which I’d decided that I’d simply walk the rest of the damn thing. It was at the point that he delivered some vital information. He told me that I had 38 minutes to do this in under 11 hours. Realising that this was achievable, my body responded positively.
2. My Comrades running partner
On the day of the race, I met a guy who would pace me for 90% of the race. He told me when to run, when to walk and urged me to eat. Unfortunately, I lost him at the last 10km when I stopped to use the portaloo. Without him by my side I found it really hard to urge my body forward.

My intention for June:
To track every kilometre I run during this period.
Try to figure out my next big goal or adventure. I want to hike the Fish River Canyon but I’m not really sure how to make this happen. This isn’t something I’m keen to do on my own. This is something I would need to do with a group.

I generally spend my Friday evenings swimming at a public pool, but after learning that rain was predicted this Friday, I decided to tick one more thing off my not-so-bucket list.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition

Here of some of the photographs I snapped at the exhibition. WildlifeExhibition

Middle photograph: A wide aperture lens was used to focus on the two butterflies and blur the flowers in the background. The female butterfly is more transparent due to an unexplained tendency to rub their wings more.

I absolutely LOVED, LOVED this exhibition. I absolutely admire the amount of patience is required to take photographs of wildlife. Not only did I get to see some amazing works of art, but I also learnt a great deal about climate change. Did you know that jellyfish numbers are increasing due to climate change? (If you go, DO read the notes beneath each photograph.)

This exhibition runs until 15 April 2016.
Where: Chavonnes Battery Museum, V& Waterfront
Time: 09:00 – 20:00
Price: R50p/p – R240p/p (depending on whether you’re a student or pensioner).

You can read Part I over here.

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It’s round about this time that I lose track of time. I no longer keep track of the days.

I regret not hiring a kayak while in Wilderness National Park. I’d seen the shape of the waves and been afraid.

I walk elephants. I hold an elephant by it’s trunk. At one point it hits me, I walking a fucking elephant, an animal large enough to trample me to death.

I meet a Canadian, who plans to walk from Cape Town to Cairo. The journey will take him two years.

I share an eight-man dorm with a snorer. His snoring isn’t consistent. There are long pauses between the roaring noise. His snoring wakes everyone up. At one point, one of my roommates jumped from the top bunk bed and screamed at the snorer, “Jy snork poes erg!”
Translation: You snore fucking badly!
The snorer does not wake up.

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I’ve just finished reading the book, “Into the Wild“. Below is two of my favourite passages. It’s on ice climbing.

All that held me to the mountainside, all that held me to the world, were two thin spikes of chrome molybdenum stuck half an inch into a smear of frozen water, yet the higher I climbed, the more comfortable I became. Early on a difficult climb, especially a difficult solo climb, you constantly feel the abyss pulling at your back. To resist takes a tremendous conscious effort; you don’t dare let your guard down for an instant. The siren song of the void puts you on edge; it makes your moments tentative, clumsy, herky-jerky. But as the climb goes on, you grow accustomed to the exposure, you get used to rubbing shoulders with doom, you come to believe in the reliability of your hands and feet and head. You learn to trust your self-control.

 

By and by your attention becomes so intensely focused that you no longer notice the raw knuckles, the cramping thighs, the strain of maintaining nonstop concentration. A trancelike state settles over your efforts; the climb becomes a clear-eyed dream. Hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-today existence – the lapses of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison from your genes – all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand.

I wish I could attempt something this scary. I want to be brave and strong. 

SeaPointOn Sunday something weird happened – weird enough for me to want to put my fingers to keyboard and blog about it.

 

Let me start by setting the scene.

 

It’s 19:00 on a Sunday. I’ve just been dropped home after having a rather eventful day. I’d spent the afternoon at the Root 44 Market in Stellenbosch, where my friends and I hustled for seats in the shade, mocked each other mercilessly, and after eating delicious ice-cream, declared that we’d made some good life decisions. It was a good day.

 

You’d assume that after spending hours in the sun, I would want nothing more than to climb beneath the covers. But I wasn’t tired and the sun was still out. I wanted to see what else life had to offer. So grabbed my iPod and my car keys, and headed to my favourite place in Cape Town.

 

Once at Sea Point, I immediately plugged in my iPod and gracefully glided down the promenade. Fine. There’s nothing graceful about the way I walk. I bounce. Perpetually. I give the impression that I am completely unaware of ISIS, Donald Trump and the consequences of global warming.

 

So there I am, bouncing along the promenade listening to the dulcet tones of Frank Ocean, when I notice a woman taking a photo of a guy. The guy is approximately two meters in front of her. Two things come to mind.

  1. She should be pointing her tablet in the other direction to bathe him in the pastel shades of the setting sun.
  2. I better move fast to avoid accidentally photobombing the guy.

 

And just as I’m busy scurrying away, the woman beckons towards me. I’ve got Frank Ocean blasting in my ears, talking about forever, and I can only assume that she wants me to take their photo. I graciously agree. And just as I’m walking towards her, right hand outstretched towards the tablet, the weirdness happens.

 

In lightning speed the guy is besides me. He wraps his arm my shoulder and smiles. She snaps a photo. I’m dumbfounded. Did that really just happen? And before I can react, the guy smiles at me and points both index fingers towards my face. It’s a friendly gesture; there is nothing sinister about it. The type of pose you’d strike with your best friend. I smile awkwardly. The woman snaps another photo. My instincts FINALLY kick in. Flight or fight? I hightail it out of there. A million thoughts whirl through my mind. The movie, “Taken” comes to mind. I check my handbag to see if my belongings are still in place. I wonder where my photo will land up. Will he tell his family and friends, “This is what women in Cape Town look like?”  I tweet about the moment.

 

November15Left to right

1: I look my two-year-old niece to the aquarium. I trying to turn her into a budding zoologist.

Me: Touch the seaweed.

Her: No. It’s wet.

2: I participated in the Stragglers 15km on Saturday and only managed to finish it in 1:24.  I simply couldn’t will my legs to run harder.

3: Last weekend I celebrated the union of two good friends. The wedding was held in the most beautiful setting ever.

November Instagrams

What do I do with all these feelings tearing me up inside?
What do I do with all these wasted hours dreaming of you at night?
I’d like – Freshlyground

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Lineup for the Summer Sunset Concerts available here.

Can we just take a second to acknowledge the fact that San Francisco has some of the most beautiful buildings in the world? That is all.

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