acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

just chatting

Today is a beautiful peaceful sunny cool day. The mountains are shrouded in a white veil of dust haze. The warthogs stroll past stiff legged, tails swinging, off to the dam for some mud treatment.  There are two male lions sleeping out there somewhere in the green mopane trees.  They have had a couple of busy nights calling loudly to distant prides. It is the most awesome sound on a dark moonless night – to be enjoyed when in a safe vantage place i.e. bricks and mortar as opposed to grass, or reed huts with cattle shuffling restlessly outside your door.

I am home alone. It's very quiet. Rayson is outside sweeping leaves. The rhythmic swish of the rake is, I am sure, a meditative process, and sounds like gentle waves on a sandy shore.

Oh the monkeys have just arrived so now it's not so quiet any more. They are so funny.
We took a painting of a leopard out into the sun the other day to photograph in natural light and the troop of monkeys went berserk – hanging in the branches of the ebony tree, making alarm calls and showing off their impressive upper teeth.  "Hey you guys, it's just a painting ok?" but they weren't to be reasoned with and when we went back inside they hung around the windows looking in. Amazed that there was a leopard INSIDE THE HOUSE.  The troop is dramatically reduced in numbers at the moment. They were absent for quite a while.  Possibly a leopard has been preying on them recently so the fear is very current.

There have been some wonderful blog posts lately. Have you been to Spiny Marshmallow yet?  Read her latest take on a recent safari guide experience in Livingstone Zambia. And Lori Times Five's heart wrenching tale that belies her wonderful sun filled Californian tales of family and travels.  And Letters from Usedom where Geli wrote of her childhood experience in post war Germany.  And and and…. So many actual and thought provoking facets of life on this crazy beautiful planet. How amazingly different can each one be!

From very far away I have been fascinated by the recent volcanic activity in the north. What a show of power.  I suppose it could be irritating to have ones travel plans upset, and have to extend the budget – but for once let's let nature remind us who is boss.
I still haven't learnt to pronounce the name of the volcano in Icelandic.  Are the wee folk safe there?

I am also fascinated by the upcoming Cosmic Cross event, which apparently astrologers have been anticipating eagerly for years.  Whether we read our daily horoscopes or not, it's hard to ignore the fact that we are affected in strange and magical ways by the great wheel of heavenly bodies that shift and travel magnificently beyond the perfect blue of our earthly dome.  We love our sun and moon, but rarely give the others a thought except sometimes at night when the skies are clear and bright.

This forthcoming event promises an intense time with themes of truth telling, accountability, challenging long held beliefs and self examination. Whoa!  'Running through mud' versus 'go for it initiating' and 'who I am in the world'  Reya from The Gold Puppy will be able to explain this so much more fully, but a print out I received from a friend in SA gives me so much food for thought. Its about aligning with the energies in order to release the past, support new beginnings and propelling ourselves forward; opportunities to change and grow; unleashing our potential and creativity; and profound shifts in consciousness.  Sounds like the ride of our lives so far. Let's buckle up and see where it all goes.

As luck would have it we have the football world cup occurring in South Africa at THE VERY SAME TIME.   Already the promises of chaos and over exuberance are very evident.  What a time to be here – in a good way I hope!

So much more to chat about – crazy stuff going on in wild places here, but you have probably all wandered off to stretch and get a cup of tea so I'll let you go – reluctantly – till next time ok?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


these guys met us at the gate

the dot in the sky is the moon

daylight comes in softly and swiftly


Sunday, May 2, 2010

road trip and flip

we are back from a six day road trip round Botswana
here are some of the scenes along the way

crossing the 'great grey green greasy'  Limpopo River

a donkey cart - a more civilised mode of transport
commonly used in rural areas
and accounts for the off duty donkeys that hang around the roads

sunflower fields at Pandamatenga

kalanga horse races in a drive-by
the ghostly flare on the window is me

road rage - an elephant bull reacts to a passing truck

recycling is alive and well at Planet Baobab
was wondering what to do with that bottle mountain

Lucky me -  I went for a flip in Bruce's flying machine out of Elephant Sands
a view so wide and it made the word big again

elephant herd moving towards the pans

the great north road - we know it well
this puts it in perspective

elephants drink from the swimming pool in the evening
at Elephant Sands

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Khama Karma Calmer..

The Khama Rhino Sanctuary in central Botswana is a nature zone that feeds the soul.  It is good Karma. It makes you feel calmer.
Just west of Serowe on the road to Orapa, we have passed the gate many times and wondered, craning our necks to see beyond the fences and into the open pans.

This time we found ourselves on the road, at that time of day, when the sun is making long shadows and the choice is to find a stopover – or to push on and drive in the dark along the donkey infested roads.  We pulled up at the gates – we were unprepared for camping. Yes! They have chalets – and a restaurant!! Perfect.

The reception ambiance was efficient and welcoming.  We followed directions to our quaint little A frame chalet, set in a clearing beneath a benevolent Mongongo tree.  The air alive with bird calls and squirrels made it feel like a fairy tale landing after the roar of traffic and the rush of road hazards – many narrowly missed.

I loved that the bed had been turned down neatly – as if some maternal figure had prepped the room for us.

But it was still early so we took a drive to look for rhinos.  We didn’t have to go far. At the first pan a female white rhino and calf were sleeping – the calf playing dead and the cow snoozing on her feet. A gigantic bull wandered past on the far side.  Caked in dried clay they looked like a gathering of ghost dinosaurs.

At the main pan, a group of six white rhinos grazed peacefully below a giant dome of evening sky.  It felt so good looking at these ancient ponderous beasts – to know that here in the heart of Botswana, is at least one place where they are safe and protected properly.
I salute the efforts of those whose vision has created this unassuming sanctuary in a world where rampant destruction of our natural treasures seems to be the order of the day.

We slept like babies in our cosy chalet and woke early to the clarion call of crested francolins.  Opening the door to the fresh morning, brought birds and squirrels to our feet looking for scraps. Making a mental note to always carry a small pack of wild bird seed on our travels, we  packed the car feeling rejuvenated and restored, ready to hit the road again.