"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." (Mark Twain : The Innocents Abroad, 1869)

Friday, 3 September 2010

Death of a Disco

It is with great sadness that I must announce the death of my Disco.  After taking me on many adventures around southern Africa and being my trusty steed for a number of 4x4 RTV competitions, it has finally succumbed to the dreaded corrosion and must be consigned to the great scrapheap in the sky.

For those of you with a similar vehicle and want to pick over the carcass, there are a number of goodies that I've taken off that might be of use.  Have a look here for more information

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Two Sun Rise

Another piece I wrote for the Serian blog :

Peering into the Stygian starless black that cloaks a vista that you know stretches into the far far distance you can barely see your hand in front of your nose. The dark gradually leeches away, colours start to return as black surrenders to shades of grey. Then to purples as the pink harbingers of the day start to show the horizon.

An orange orb - the harbinger of another glorious day - starts to float into the sky, seeming to speed up as the seconds pass and then to slow as soon as it breaks free of the horizon.

. . . and then another red orb appears, rising from the distant plain but this one doesn't float in serene silence but bursts from the ground with a roar that would have put many dinosaurs to shame. Slung below the orb is a large basket full of guests that have risen from their comfortable beds at a very early hour.

With a couple of bumps they rise into the cool air and, with a couple of more saurian bellows, they are floating up to where only the eagles and vultures usually venture. Slowly they drift across the plains, with a whole new perspective to what had before only been seen from the back of a vehicle.

Soaring over the plains, the lines of Wildebeest extend even further, the herds seem even bigger and the distances infinite. With shrill trumpets, families of Elephants turn, protecting their young in their midst, to challenge this new avian monster. As its shadow passes over the water startled Hippos grunt their displeasure and slip below the surface leaving only their eyes, ears and noses above the water to monitor its passage.

However, many animals completely ignore this new passing cloud. Below the Hyena still lopes along looking for an easy kill or somebody else's left overs. The male Impala still tries to keep his unruly harem together and away from his rivals. And if anything so insignificance could disturb his regal slumber, the pride male remains oblivious to anything but his dreams of fat Wildebeest.

Every type of sun must eventually set and the balloon borne passenger eventually drift earthwards. Awaiting them, under a sheltering Acacia tree is the reward for their intrepid adventure : a champagne breakfast.

Unfortunately, the photos not mine as I didn't have a King's Ransom to go balloon flying - even if I could have got up by 0430 !