A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: julesfsmit

I'm an aunty now!!

overcast 17 °C

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So ... the timing worked out perfectly. The day the tour ended, 29th July 2009, my sister was scheduled for her C-Section and all went very well. Kayley Mae Jensen was born and she is sooooo cute. Absolutely lovely. I love her to bits.

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Because I haven't got a job yet (I'm in the process of applying for a job), I've been able to spend quite a bit of time with my little niece, yip helping out with feeds (not the breast part! the bottle part!!), nappies (ok, only one but it was traumatic enough), bath times, burping, winding, weekly weighing appointments, etc. It's been absolutely fantastic!! I'm glad I don't have a job at the moment cos I don't know how else I would have been able to spend time with her like this.

I'll post some pics later on, maybe a few weeks time and then do a quick update on my life. Hopefully I'll have a job, be going to gym regularly (get my jelly-ass into gear, I'm so unfit!), and maybe a bit more of a routine. I can't believe it's "Real Life" now. It's a good and a bad thing. Good cos I can't travel forever and I am approaching 30 and need to start considering settling down :( Bad because I still have so much more of the world to see. I'm on the wrong side of 50 (I mean in terms of country counts!).

So I'll catch up with you soon. Please email me and tell me what's what with your life and I promise I'll try to get back to you within a decent amount of time - I need to turn over a new leaf and email people back within the same century as receiving it!

Keep well ok. And thanks for reading my blog - I really appreciate it. :)

Posted by julesfsmit 15:46 Archived in South Africa Tagged events Comments (0)

A glimpse into "Truck Life"

WARNING: Skip over if you not interested in finding out about what it's like to overland...it might be really boring for you to read otherwise!!

all seasons in one day 20 °C
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So Mel, our tour guide, often described living on and out of the truck as "Truck Life". It's definitely a mindset and something to get used to but when you do and you in the swing of things, it's fantastic!

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So the truck is huge and yellow and is designed brilliantly. the seats are facing each other, so it isn't like a bus at all, and you actually got into trouble if you called "Barbara" (the name of our truck) a bus. and then we put cooler boxes in between the seats so we could put our feet up onto them - increased comfort on a long travel day. there was a section at the top of the truck with a lying down area called the "VIP Beach" section and usually if people were ill or had a terrible hangover, they would bag that area.
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You could also open up the roof section of the Beach and stand up and look at the view whilst the truck was moving. In the main section of the truck where most of us would sit, there weren't real windows but plastic flaps which you could roll up and then check out the amazing view as we drove for hours. But it would be extremely cold at times cos the wind would blow right through the back of the truck. So we often would get right into our sleeping bags to get at least some warmth through us!
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There is a better design of the truck in their website: http://www.oasisoverland.co.uk/
Check it out!

We didn't drive every day and we would sometimes have a couple driving days in a row and then two or three days in one place. Sometimes we would get up really early and head off at 6am and sometimes only arrive at 6pm at our destinations. So some days were really looong travel days. What did we do to pass the time??? Our truck had a radio and amp system where you could plug in iPods and listen to music...really really loudly sometimes...we blew the amp a couple times! Also, the truck had a little library so we were constantly reading and putting ourselves in queues to read certain books. Also people watched movies on iPods and laptops, slept, played cards, played word games, eye-spy was a hit at one time, drawing on each others' faces with marker pen and we made up stupid games like surfing on cooler boxes or seeing how long you could stay on a cooler box with "no hands" on bumpy dirt roads - all really mature games! and lets not forget the occasional parties - we used to keep our alcohol and mixers in the cooler boxes so all really accessible if the time came!

we had a buzzer in the truck to communicate to Franco, our driver, when to stop for example for a pee or poop. we soon had to get over the stage fright of peeing in front of people and Mel said that she knew the group was broken into when the girls would choose to pee right at the side of the truck instead of making the effort to find a bush to pee behind! Classy. We would even got to the point of comparing the size of our pee stains on the soil. Even classier. And discussing the inconvenience of pee backsplash on our shoes and feet. Yip, all-time low.

We didn't have chefs on the truck like some more expensive overlanding companies have. we were split up into groups of three and then were assigned cook group duties on a rotation. When it was your group's turn, you would have to decide on what meal you were gonna make, buy the food with the budget you were given, then cook dinner, breakfast and sometimes lunch the next day. I'm a terrible cook but it was lots of fun actually - thank goodness I was with Avis most of the time - an absolute dream in the kitchen!

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This is a picture of lunch being prepared at the side of the road on a travel day.

We of course camped most of the way. We upgraded occasionally to dorms but it was rare and it was mainly in the last section of our trip. The tents were cool, two-man tents and I got put with the best tent mate ever - Emma. What a relief. I was really worried, especially after my bad South America roommate debacle, that I was gonna be stuck with a really irritating tent mate. But no worries, Emma was the best. She would even set out my sleeping bag and mat sometimes when I got back late at night (she was usually in bed first!). I hope I didn't irritate her too much - I was always up super early in the morning cos I absolutely feared being late for our departure time!

DSCN6455.jpg Check out Ems in our tent one freezing cold morning - you can't even see her face - every part of her is covered cos of the cold - she looks like a worm!

DSCN7055.jpg We also had this tradition where every night we would nominate people who did really stupid stuff that day. And whoever had the best nomination got to wear this disgusting old dummy (pacifier) on a grubby dirty rope around your neck the whole day called "Numpty". If you got the dummy three times, then you had to wear these absolutely Fashion Crime huge luminous orange croc shoes for the day. The photo above shows Shona demonstrating both the Numpty and crocs brilliantly! Examples of Numpty nominations: Shona tried to push a shopping trolley through turnstiles in a supermarket, I woke up freezing cold in my tent one night and could find my beanie so I put my undies/panties on my head for warmth (desperate times I tell you), Leslie fell backwards onto a fire and burnt her bum badly, Antony drank excessively and had an messy incident at a hammock in Kande Beach, and the list goes on and on.

DSCN7177.jpg Anyway, we shared a huge luggage locker with one other person. The lockers were so big three people could stand up in each one. Very cool. Then we would take out just what we needed for the night so we didn't have to take our entire backpack each night to our tent. You also got the hang of putting up and taking down your tent...to the point where you wanted to scream at the thought of putting it up, taking it down, putting it up, taking it down, putting it up, taking it down.........but now....what I would do for just one more night in the tent and one more day on the truck! Nostalgia.

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Alright, I'm not gonna say too much more. If you are considering this kind of trip, let me know if you have any questions ok, cos it's totally different to backpacking but most people loved this kind of travel. Some found it a bit restrictive, especially with a fairly fixed itenerary and stuck with 26 other people constantly and with a tour guide, but when you think of what you have seen, how far you have travelled, the friendships you make and the fun you have, it is totally worth it!! I recommend it! totally...go for it!! :)

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Posted by julesfsmit 02:28 Archived in Kenya Tagged lodging Comments (0)

You know you've hit a low-point in "Truck Life" when...

(A collective experience from the people on our truck)

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…you average one shower every three days and think it’s a great running

…what you thought was your tan washes as soil, dust and grime down the shower drain

…you prefer to pee in the bush than use proper toilets

…you have constant PMS - pre, current and post menstrual cycle

…you become hysterically I’m-gonna-pass-out happy when you hit a campsite with hot running water

…you don’t even smell yours or others’ rancid, stinking, manky, rotten feet anymore

…even your bra and undies have prickles inbedded in them from bush camping

…you are considered totally uncool if you brought a hairstraightener with you

…you are considered totally cool if you brought your head torch with you and even cooler if you regularly wear it as a neck accessory

…you get horrendously cranky if you don’t get your cheap-instant-coffee-and-powder-milk fix by 7am

…you wear three layers of clothing, gloves, socks, beanie, use two sleeping bags and a blanket and you STILL freezing cold at night sleeping in your tent

…eating extraordinarily huge amounts of biscuits, chocolate, crisps, peanuts and crackers at one snack time is considered normal

…you don’t think twice about finishing off the next table’s left over chips in a restaurant - please note - a table of people you don’t even know! (yes..it really happened…Duncan and Antony)

…you would choose to have a shower instead of going on a safari game drive

…vodka made in Mauritius is considered acceptable for human consumption

…you get a fright when you catch your reflection in the mirror

…you buy baby wipes instead of shower gel

…you start fantasising about doing laundry

…you prefer to wear DEET instead of perfume

…you have a hangover five out of seven days and think it’s been a good week

Posted by julesfsmit 10:15 Archived in Kenya Tagged events Comments (0)

Summary of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa

Reaching Number 45 country count - yay!

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And from Zim, we went over into Botswana, to Chobe first and then headed over to Okavango delta. We did a two day trip out into the Delta and we got taken in little canoe/boats with a poler who pushed us for about 3 hours to get to our bush camp. Some people got seriously soaked cos the boats were so low and close to the surface of the water - shame!!
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And we stayed in a really remote part of the Delta, right on the river bank and in the bush. We used the river water for food prep and some used it for drinking water, cooked our food on the fire, and of course used the bush for our pees and poops. The following morning, right at our pee area which was about 10 metres from our tents, the local guides pointed out fresh lion prints in the soil. Scary stuff!!! We did a few walks right into the bush with our local guides and although we didn’t see that many animals cos of high water levels, it was great to be out there. A scary moment was when we saw this huge African Elephant bull that was literally 100 meters away from us - and we were on foot! (They often "mock charge" but still means they run at you at full speed!) And another highlight was a ride in the canoes at sunset where we saw four hippos in the water and we were really about 12 metres away from them in our little boats - the boats so low your elbows almost touched the level of the water. Scary again!!

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We didn’t spend that much time in Botswana cos we spent stacks of time in Namibia. I loved Namibia! Not that culturally rich and different in comparison to some places I’ve seen and been to (e.g. I loved Rio and Beunos Aires and Rome and Banyos for their culture). But in terms of landscape and topography…amazing, brilliant and beautiful - highly recommended! And it changes constantly from lilac mountains and yellow grass to grey mountains to red orange dunes to white coast. really stunning.

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Etosha National Park was cool in terms of seeing loads of African animals again, especially the waterhole that was lit up at night right near our campsite and we saw three black rhino, one hyena and about seven elephants coming to the waterhole, and the waterhole is about 15metres away - it was so close I could hear the hyena lapping the water and the rhino’s feet crunching the soil. Awesome. Others saw a leopard also coming to the waterhole - rare.
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DSCN7129.jpg DSCN7171.jpg We also had fun in beautiful Spitzkoppe. Camping was cool there cos we could pitch our tents on the rocks. Namib-Naukluft Park and Sossusvlei was absolutely beautiful - the huge orange dunes, Dune 45, and the dry river valley with the dead trees that are hundreds of years old. We did a tour through the dunes and the river valley and it was so interesting to find out about the desert life - flora and fauna and how it survives with limited water, as well as the history of the bushmen.

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DSCN6963.jpg We also checked out cool Cheetah Park where we got up close and personal to cheetahs. Some are tame enough for patting and stuff and others are pretty wild and we saw them feeding in the bush. Great experience.
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And then swakopmund - yay!!!!!
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We partied for three days solid. Seriously sleep deprived but so much fun. I love that place - it’s small but pretty, right on the coast, lots of people did adrenaline stuff again like sky diving and I did sand boarding.
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Loads of fun except for walking up the bloody steep dunes - such hard work climbing in the steep soft sand with a really strong wind blowing and blowing your massive board as you gasping and trying to reach the top of the dune - hard! And its actually quite scary when you look down this flippin massive dune and knowing you gotta get down there on this flimsy board and on the biggest dune we boarded down there was someone measuring our speed and I reached 69km/hour but the fastest ever recorded was 82km/hour!! The funniest were the wipe-outs - sand everywhere!

Shona and I decided, cos we wanted to save money, to have a few drinks before going out to a local club, so we came up with a drinking game involving vodka, cream-soda and that game “ching-chong-chung” - do you know it??? (Some people call it "Rock-Paper-Scissors".) Anyway, here are some photos of our pre-club drinks!

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The last photo is staged by the way! I absolutely loved swakopmund and highly recommend it. Stunning. Go check it out ok.

We did a lot of bush campinging in Botswana and Namibia and I counted, within one of the weeks, we bush camped five out of seven nights (although we actually bush camped a lot more than just five nights). Hardcore. I really struggled with that cos of course there usually isn’t any running water or loos and no electricity and we cooked on fire usually (didn’t really use our gas burners) so food took long to make and then the baby wipes…no showers of course so baby wipes were absolute lifesavers for our underarms, feet, and other essentials! I realised im definitely not as hardcore as I thought I was and in the bush camp days I really started to struggle and lose my sanity after a while. I think that’s also why I enjoyed swakopmund so much cos it was luxury. We got put in dorms instead of camping :) However, it wasn't total luxury - there were 10 of us absolutely crammed into a dorm room so small that you could touch each of the five bunk beds when you stretched out your arms and twirled around the room in a circle - seriously cramped.

Anyway, a quick story. At one of the bush camps in the desert area of south Namibia, I got up in the middle of the night for a pee, and looked up whilst peeing and got the fright of my life! The sky was soooo bright and filled with luminous stars, it was freaky. Now usually, the stars have been fantastic in the bush camps, the best star-gazing I have ever done in my life. But this was extraordinary - absolutely extraordinary. Imagine the brightest star you have ever seen, now times that by literally thousands and thousands of stars! It was the brightest and most stars I have ever seen and the sky was almost an electric blue and it felt as though it was an arc shape (not flat like usual). I couldn’t even look up at the sky cos had the feeling that either the sky was going fall on my head or an even stronger feeling was that I was going to get sucked up into the sky. So strange. I managed another quick look but then scrambled back into my tent. The next morning my tour leader said that out in the desert and particularly in that area, there is some optical thing were the stars are like, seven times brighter than normal. She wasn’t sure about the technicalities of it but does anyone else know what the phenomenon is??? Tell me ok cos it was totally freaky!!

We then stayed on the Namibian side of Fish River Canyon.
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DSCN7491.jpg We also had the infamous “cheese and wine” night in fish river canyon. It got seriously messy for some of us, i.e. Hugh and Allie! Classic having nice wine out of stainless steel mugs. But a totally fun night and was so nice to have some luxurious cheese, crackers, biscuits and lots of lovely wine!

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Finally, we crossed over the South African border and it was a really weird feeling. Check out the pic below of us 3 Saffa's - yip, we were quite excited actually!

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It was lovely to drive through Namaqualand and some of the flowers had come out already.

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We then had our final night in our tents at Cedarberg. Ems and I had to have a really cheesy pic of us in our tent. It was called Primus - all the tents were named after African beers. Aah, I actually miss my tent at times...is that strange or what??!!

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We then headed into Stellenbosch and had a fantastic few days, visiting the wine farms, going out locally, etc. I managed to see my sister two days before she was scheduled for her Caesarian section so it was great to see her huge and pretty and glowing and pregnant! I really feel like I missed out on her pregnancy stage so it was nice to be able to see and feel that big bump.

After that we made our way into fantastic Cape Town! Our hostel was great, very comfortable and it was strange to be staying in a hostel in Cape Town, my home city I suppose. I've never done that before! And we had a good few days of restaurants, Waterfront, sightseeing, others went shark cage diving, and of course, we hit the clubs and had a good few very very late nights out - all loads of fun! It was especially fun to go dancing with my two "homegirls", Rachael and Emma. I call them "homegirls" cos I have never seen white girls shake their asses like that! (except in "Step Up 2"...yes I watched it...and enjoyed it). It was sooo sad saying goodbye to the others that were continuing on to Jo'burg. It was such a weird feeling to see the truck leave and I wasn't on it! So sad. I've had such a fantastic time, despite all the niggles and difficulties and irritations that comes with camping and being with 25 other people all the time. And it was especially difficult to say goodbye to the best tent buddy ever, Ems (she went on to Jo'burg). I know we will keep in touch though.

These are pics taken in Cape Town on our last night on tour.
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I just can't help myself...I always have to take these stupid "dork" shots where I hold the camera out and take a picture! I really can't help myself! So excuse my nostalgia as I post these next photos!
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As a bit of an afterthought, I have to say that there were some seriously well-travelled people on the truck. People that had travelled to 50+ countries and Beate, a German girl, who had travelled to about 90 countries!! it was great to get to know people sooo well on the truck, they end up feeling like family after a while cos you spend 24/7 with them. Sometimes this isn't a good thing though, some clashes and arguments at times, but the good thing is that when you have a big group of people travelling together, the personalities can kinda get diluted and you have other people you can spend time with if others are annoying you. ag, it's all part of overlanding I suppose, and for me, overall, it has been an amazing way to travel and see Africa and I totally recommend overlanding!

Ok, well that's most of my news in a massive nutshell. Let's call it Macadamia-On-Steroids issue. I'm just gonna add a couple more entries after this, one about truck life to help you understand a little more what it was like living off a truck for 54 days and then one more current, about lovely beautiful Kayley, my tiny niece.

Thanks so much for hanging in and reading so much - hope it wasn't too boring!!

Posted by julesfsmit 12:22 Archived in Botswana Tagged events Comments (0)

Summary: Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi & Zim (plus a video link!)

Also some pics of course

all seasons in one day 20 °C
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So I had the most fantastic Africa overland trip that I could ever have wanted and soooo much happened that I’m not sure what I would write and it would bore you entirely. So I’ve uploaded quite a few photos cos they usually say more than words and I’m gonna just summarise some of the highlights of the trip, as well as a bit about living on the truck, or “truck life” as mel, our tour leader, would put it. It definitely is something to get used to but you know what…I’m totally missing truck life and really would love just one more day on the truck…preferably a party day on the truck though…those are the best!!!

i also want to say that i have loved the beauty and culture of africa. it's been so good for me, as an african who previously hadn't travelled on the continent of africa apart from my home country, to have seen so much of africa and other african cultures. truly amazing. and all the animals too...wow. i love our continent, despite it's many frustrations and downfalls, it is still so stunning and diverse and beautiful and ... fun.

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I would like to forewarn you that I might sound like a raging alcoholic in the summary of news below...but I'm not - I promise!! it's just that a lot of the highlights of this big overlanding trip somehow happened around the time of alcohol consumption cos that's when people are crazy-funny, when often strange things would happen and generally when the most memorable events occur!

Ok, so I started out in Nairobi where there were another 4 people starting out with me, but the rest of the crew (the other 19) had already been travelling for 19 days through Uganda and Rwanda to see the gorillas (which was a fantastic experience apparently). As I said in a previous blog entry, it was totally scary and intimidating meeting all the people and being a “newbie” as they put it (and constantly reminded us of that status which I hated!!). But it was pretty easy fitting in and within a few days we started to have location / in-jokes and I started to feel part of the truck. We didn’t spend lots of time in Kenya but passed on through quickly to get to Tanzania, which was fantastic and we spent stacks of time there.

There was a section that I'm not sure if it was in Kenya or Tanzania, I'm terrible with remembering names and places! It was called Snake Park and it was Neil's 30th birthday so we had a surprise party for him. Because he works in the medical field, we decided to have a casualty-themed party - it was so much fun! Mel made us a lethal punch and when that was finished, Avis (in her drunken state) decided to make another punch that was even more potent than the first and the only mixer that was used was one litre of diet coke, the rest was a mix of random alcohol - so most people were feeling really rough the next day. Clever.
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A big event was the Ngorogoro crater which was a safari/national park but it was totally weird cos the animals were seriously densely crammed into this crater area, it was so awesome to see so many different wild animals so close to our jeeps. Incredible really. I had a seriously stupidly bad camera so I didn’t get any good animal close-ups but other people got pics that could really be published in National Geographic!!

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Then we hit the famous Serengeti - totally cool! We didn’t see a huge amount of animals but it was great to see how vast the Serengeti really is. A highlight was two rare leopard sightings and one of them was extraordinarily close. But it was loads of fun and actually quite scary camping in the middle of the wild. No barriers/fences/gates or anything, just camping in the bush with some bush toilets. It was so scary going to the loo in the night cos you had no idea what was out there and what could be watching you!! We heard lions during the night and some heard hyenas close by to our tents. But in a span of 24 hours in the crater and Serengeti, we saw all of the Big Five (buffalo, lions, leopards, rhino and elephants). Very cool! And we also had three flat tyres during the Crater and Serengeti and the third was actually right in the Serengeti - in the open and wild - scary!

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The next big event was hitting dar es salaam (which wasn’t great at all, hot humid dirty sticky) but we camped at the most incredible campsite. The campsite was like heaven, right on the water, open beach bar, swimming pool, right on the warm sea, stunning! Then from there most of us caught a ferry over to Zanzibar and spent a couple nights in Stonetown, which I didn’t rate very highly. Not sure why, just not that pretty although right on the beach, but a redeeming factor was an open-air fresh fish market where you could choose your fish and shellfish and they would braai it for you. Very cool - not that I'm big into fish at all but it was a great experience. Oh yes, we also hit a really cool local club where we got “jiggy wid it” to reggae music and drank hideous local brew - clear liquid that we bought in a clear see-through baggie!! Oh my word, that stuff was potent!!! I felt soooo rough the next day - do you remember that day Ems???!!!

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We then headed off to the coolest place in northern Zanzibar and stayed in what we thought was absolute luxury - two bedroom hotel type rooms right on the beach. Awesome! Now, I don’t know why but I havent got any pics of Zanzibar - I just didn’t seem to take any pics. But I might try snag some off some other people. Must be cos Zanzibar was a mix of lots of stunning beach time, snorkelling, incredible (garlicy) food, limited sleep and loads and loads of partying on the beach til late-late!! It was seriously soooo much fun. Had a fantastic time and loads of cool memories for sure (a few that stand out are: Avis's crazy-stubbed-toe-life-and-death-incident; breaking up a knife fight on the beach, frisky Beate's escapades and spotlight swimming!).

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(This photo was taken at Kande Beach.)
Then we headed over to Malawi and stayed in a really cool campsite right on lake Malawi - huge fresh water lake. Lotsa cool local beer and volleyball - yip those are the things I remember bout that first campsite - can't remember the name - I'm terrible at remembering those details. Then we headed onto one of the highlights of the whole trip - Kande Beach on Lake Malawi. This campsite was like heaven, soooo pretty, all sand, little beach huts, hammocks, right on the beach, cool bar area. All fantastic.
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We had this one day which is a Oasis tradition - spit roast day! We had two spit roasts going which started at 9am and tradition is to crack open the first drink at the same time. So it was good old hardcore Scottish lassie, Leslie, who had the first drink at 9am, crazy girl! We then had the best time ever with “truck Olympics” - we split into teams and our teams name was “team AVRO” aka “team average” - classic! And HA we bloody well won! Between each event though we all had to drink shots…so by the afternoon it was pretty messy. It was a loooong day and a looong night with some people really struggling aka Shona and her early night and Antony and the hammock incident! Yes…you know what im talking about. Anyway, Kande Beach was just so memorable cos it was beautiful and we could have three days in one place, not moving on too quickly, and just chilling out on the beach and in hammocks… and of course lots of dancing and music too (and hideously huge bar bills Dr Nick - how did that actually happen???!! And more skinny dipping…but it was mostly the boys this time!).

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DSCN6272.jpg From there the next big event was entering into Zimbabwe. Now the infamous “MJ Day” happened the day of the border crossing i.e. Michael Jackson tribute day combined with Leslie’s birthday with the celebrations kicking off at 08:45am.
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Very wild and very cool but check out the details for that in one of the previous blog entry. I have tried to upload a video to this blog but it's too big. So I put it on YouTube and try to click this link and see if it works - hopefully so! It's a video of us singing and dancing to "Thriller" and Lesley was doing a dance on the cooler box/eskies. Check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq4czXQmtYE
(if the link doesn't work, then search for: "MJ Day and Lesley's Birthday")

Let me know if the video works on youtube ok!

DSCN6478.jpg Zimbabwe was great, very cold but great. It was such a priviledge to go through Zim as it was the first time in many years that Oasis went through Zim and we were the only tour group that travelled through it, all the others went through Zambia instead. We froze to death in Antelope Park but we did fantastic activities, like walking with lions and lion cubs, elephant rides, watching lion feeding, etc etc.
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I think I gave more details of that in another previous blog entry. All very cool. We also did a safari on horse back, so you got up close and personal with the wild african animals!
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We also went to an orphanage in Zim which was quite sad but good to see the great work they are doing for the children in need.

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Oh yes, before that we also went to Bird Park which was so much fun - the place was brilliant, so beautiful and we upgraded to a dorm room for $1 per person per night which was a steal - I mean a ceiling over your head and a ensuite bathroom - amaaaaazing!!! We had fun checking out more lions, birds, doing water skiing, hanging out with the locals zimbo guys, etc. we had a party where, a few days earlier, we each had a very small budget and we had to buy a hideous outfit for someone else on the truck. then we had to do the big exchange at Bird Park and dress up for Fashion Crime Night. Lots of fun again! Hugh bought a teenage mutant ninja turtle outfit for me that is meant to be for a young boy - I couldn't fit my arms through - it was far too small...and really tight...thanks very much Hugh!! check out Mel, our tour guide and Franco, our driver. crazy! DSCN6333.jpg DSCN6347.jpg DSCN6340.jpg DSCN6339.jpg

There were a few of us though that caught a truck tummy bug (a bug that went through the truck - a flu bug which is better than a real tummy bug!). So Bulawayo wasn’t that fun for me cos I stayed in my tent most of the time. But by the time we hit Vic falls, I was up and running so we really enjoyed it over there.

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The Falls was stunning and lots of people did adrenaline junky stuff (I had done a lot of it in USA and NZ so I didn’t repeat it - limited cash). We also had fun a local bar meeting other backpackers and …oh yes…we went to the coolest restaurant. There was limitless wild game meat (warthog, ostrich, kudu, etc etc) and other dishes and we got our faces painted and wore local dress and we got taught how to drum with African drums and then did local African dancing (or at least we tried to!) and some people got their fortune told with a dude who used bones to tell the future and it was just a great night. Very cool.

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Oh yes, we only spent one night in Mozambique and we bush camped i.e. you pull off the side of a road and camp in the bush, sometimes you have to masheti the shrubs and bushes so it’s flat enough to camp on (and even then you camping on rocks and thorns and stuff - uncomfortable - but I highly highly recommend Thermarest sleeping mats - worth their weight in gold!!!!!). We just transitted through Mozambique to get to zim so I have to go back to it sometime and stay along the coast I think. Someday…

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(This photo is actually our last bush camp in Namibia but gives a good feel for bush camping right next to the road.)

Posted by julesfsmit 11:26 Archived in Kenya Tagged events Comments (0)

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