Doors of Valparaiso 19 November 2011

It’s taken quite a while to get this together. Kate and I spent a wonderful time in Chile and Argentina last November and one of the highlights was a day spent with an old school friend of our daughter – Rocio – who kindly showed us around the old quarter of Valparaiso.

I only had the camera on my Garmin GPS with me but the colours were so vibrant and the subjects so clear that these pictures almost took themselves. The first picture shows the famous ‘ switch off the TV, live your life’ display.

!Xaus Lodge, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park 3rd to 6th July

It was a quiet night for us after the Klipspringer Trail, the campsite was pretty busy but we didn’t really care and got to sleep nice and early.  Then it was back along the Gariep to Upington and the drive north to the Kgalagadi Park and a night at Twee Rivieren camp.  We spent it in the overflow from the main camp site which more resembled a crowded village – still the water in the showers was good and hot and we had a nice spot under the thorn trees for our little tent.

!Xaus Lodge is a community lodge (and a successful one, bringing in R8 million to the local communities who own it so far ….), a lovely drive through the grass covered red dunes – all 91 of them!  Here we are at halfway.

The next three days were spent out in the wilds, we had an early morning walk with trackers, game drives, sundowners and the night sky for company.  It was quite wonderful. Our game drive along the Aoub River was special with 14 lions and a beautiful leopard!  We were so privileged.  Here’s a selection of the pictures.

Klipspringer Trail, Augrabies Falls 29 June – 1 July 2012

Midwinter is about the best time to hike the Klipsringer Trail, actually you can’t hike it in the summer months due to the extreme heat and lack of water on the route .  We broke up the long drive (900 kms) by overnighting at the Mountain Zebra Park and you can see just how cold it was for camping by this picture … it’s Kate clearing the table of overnight frost (minus 8 we reckon, my water bottle froze inside the tent).

Then it was off in lovely sunshine to Augrabies and the three day trail.  There are two overnight huts and the parks board kindly deliver wood for braiing and drinking water, they are both much appreciated.  The first day goes up and down and along the plateau skirting the deep trench of the Gariep River with spectacular viewpoints.  It also has lots of black fly even in mid-winter … The second day you leave Visarend hut and descend into the gorge itself for the day which is quite hard work with soft sand and scrambling over boulders by the river’s edge.  We were pleased to get to Berghut and spent a pleasant night before heading back over the Swartrante and Moon Rocks to the campsite.  A cold beer or two at the park restaurant was a fitting end to an excellent time!  Here’s a map of our route and then a gallery of pictures.

Söderåsen with the Davy’s 3rd June 2012

A day out in Söderåsen nature reserve and a picnic with the Davy’s.

Sjöstorp and Dalby with George and Dylan 2nd June 2012

Out walking at Sjöstorp and Dalby with George, Dylan and Kate.