Tag Archives: local

1745 KM in 2days: Botswana to Namibia road trip

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Lunch stop selfie

1 car… 3 adults…5 kids.. That’s all it took for my family road trip to get underway. I have always wanted to take a road trip with my family, having traveled extensively by myself I really had no expectations for this trip. I was a little scared that it will not go off according to plan, with 5 kids( 4 of them under the age of 10) I

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The night before the road trip

knew it was going to be a challenge traveling with all of them. The one year old basically needed us to have everything of hers, diapers, food, milk, car seat, constant attention and not to mention all her bottles and milton, the 4 year old needed constant coddling and the twin 8 year olds needed a referee to keep them from killing each other every 5 minutes.

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En route to the Namibian border

I am getting a bit ahead of myself, let me back up and start from the very beginning. We started off in Lobatse, Botswana and our final Destination was Swakopmund, Namibia( approximately a 1700 km drive through 2 very beautiful countries) and we planned to make the drive in 2 days, with a layover in Gobabis Namibia which is about 100km from the Namibian border. The plan was to try and make it into Namibia the first day so that we would not have to travel too long the following day and we could enjoy the lastimg20161222145544 remnants of daylight in Swakopmund. We left Lobatse at 5 am on the 19th of December, driving through the beauty that is Botswana, the sky was clear and blue, and what makes this road special is that after you pass Jwaneng you get to experience driving along a high way with wild animals gracefully gracing on the banks of the road since the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is along that road. You can spot different animals from horses, cattle, warthog to Ostriches, Springboks, Foxes, Elephants and

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nom…nom…nom..

if you are lucky even Lions( though those usually come out during the night and it is advised that you should not drive on this road at night since there are high chances of

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At the Namibia Border

accidents because of the animals), this was a treat for the kids as they tried to identify the different animals along the road. Spending the whole day on the road like this meant we had to pack food for breakfast and lunch pit stops and along the whole road there are different rest stops with shades and benches for one to relax, stretch their legs and take bathrooms which is exactly what we did. We got to the border around 6pm and the rush to get through everything as quickly as possible was imperative because there were a lot of people crossing that day, seemed like everyone was on their way to the ocean for their Christmas vacations and the Namibian border

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Welcome to Namibia

officials were the friendliest and most accommodating border officials I have ever encountered, they made sure to help everyone quickly and sufficiently with a smile on their face the whole time. For the next 2 hours after crossing the border we were awed by the beauty and cleanliness of Namibia, not a rogue plastic bag in sight, the country is beautiful, with mountains and sand dunes along the sides of the roads, watching the sun set behind beautiful sand dunes was an amazing experience.

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You havent been to Swakop unless you have this picture

After a night spent in Gobabis, driving through the capital of Namibia Windhoek( which is planned beautifully, the buildings cascade down the mountains and sand dunes) and many other cities, we arrived at our destination( Swakopmund, Namibia) at 12 mid day and took the customary tourist picture in front of the welcome sign. Let

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Swakopmund

me give you a brief introduction of Swakopmund. Sandwiched between Atlantic rollers and the Namib Desert, Swakopmund is one of those great traveler way stations along the African road. At once Namibia’s adventure capital and surreal colonial remnant, part destination in its own right and part launchpad for an exploration of the Skeleton Coast and Namib Desert, this is a city with as much personality as it has sea frontage. Like Lüderitz on the south coast, the half-timbered German architecture, seaside promenandes and the town’s pervasive Gemütlichkeit, a distinctively

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Dolphin Park Resort

German appreciation of comfort and hospitality, Swakopmund, especially out of season, can feel like a holiday town along Germany’s North Sea and Baltic coasts transplanted onto African soil. But the city is also thoroughly African and its multi-dimensional appeal means that most people end up staying longer than they planned.We had just enoughimg20161219125823 time to find out hotel which by the way was in the most convenient and breath taking location. Dolphin Park resort sits midway between Walvis bay and Swakopmund which is perfect because its the midway point between where you can enjoy the beach( Swakopmund) and the huge sand dunes( Walvis Bay).

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Rent a quad bike for a very reasonable price

There is tons of things you could do in Swakopmund, you can take a helicopter tour of the dunes and even sky jump if you are an img20161220144936adrenaline junkie like myself, or if you prefer an on the ground tour you can rent quad bikes and just spend the day cruising up and down the sand dunes or even pay for a camel ride around the dunes if you are brave enough to get on one. If you feel like you have had enough of that you can even take your own 4 whealer and follow the tour guides as they drive along the dunes, going up the dunes in fast speeds( though you need to have experience with driving in the desert otherwise your car might not survive img20161220164206the drive). If you get tired of the scotching heat of the desert you can go and spend a day at the beach swimming in the beautiful Atlantic ocean, Surrounded by the Namib Desert on three sides and the cold Atlantic waters to the west, Swakopmund enjoys a mild desert climate (BWn, according to the Köppen climate classification). The average temperature ranges between 15 °C (59 °F) to 25 °C (77 °F). Rainfall is less than 20 mm per year, making gutters and drainpipes on buildings a rarity. The cold Benguela current supplies moisture for the area in the form of fog that can reach as deep as 140 km (87 mi) inland. Fogs that originate offshore from the collision of the cold Benguela Current and warm air from the Hadley Cell create a fog belt that frequently envelops parts of the Namib desert. If you love surfing then the Swakop Atlantic ocean is the perfect place for you to surf in Africa, historically the rest of the surfing world has overlooked the country’s 1,572 km of daunting coastline.

But in 2008 an expedition by an American surfing magazine changed all this when it img20161221164459revealed a wave peeling for two kilometres along the edge of the Namib Desert. The wave, dubbed Skeleton Bay, was so perfect and cylindrical it allowed surfers to ride deep inside the curl from start to finish.

Word of this phenomenon quickly spread across the globe and today the tubes of Skeleton Bay are as coveted as the diamonds that wash up along Namibia’s shores. Well, by surfers at least, who jet in from as far afield as Hawaii and Australia to pit themselves against the never-ending wall of water.

However, contrary to popular belief, Skeleton Bay was surfed long before 2008. In fact, a group of Namibian diamond divers used to ride it on their windsurfers back in the 1980s. So you can be sure you will catch the best waves in Swakop. The trip was an absolute adventure and the kids had the best time especially since it was their first time to see an Ocean and the desert, 2 birds, 1 stone. And as we were headed back on the long drive back after a week all they could talk about was swimming in the Ocean, riding Camels and quad bikes, and driving through the country in grannie’s car. Not only did they get to experience all of these, they also got to see their first sun rise as we were headed back to Lobatse.

Namibia is definitely one of the best places I have been, the people are beautiful and friendly, the food is delicious, the police love foreigners and they are very welcoming and treat everyone with the utmost respect, the scenery is out of this world and leaves you in awe and there is more than enough to do for all the time that you are there so you would never be bored. If you are the type of person who loves partying, this is the number one party spot, there is nothing like a Bon fire party on the beach and there are lots of night clubs and bars as well as casinos for all your pleasures.

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Meet the Kabomo Clan

 

Journey Across the Silk Road.. Part 3..

Day 3: Destination Xian to Tianshu

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img_20160622_162153Day 3 was for sure the day that I felt more like a foreigner than any other days during the whole trip. Tianshui City was once the first stop that the Silk Road made upon entering the Gansu Province. Situated in the southeastern region of Gansu, it lies halfway between Lanzhou and Xian, and along the upper branch of the Weihe River, where Shaanxi, Gansu and Sichuan provinces converge.

We went to the Fuxi Temple, now let me give you aimg_20160622_151150 little bit of history about the temple. Fu Xi Temple was originally built to commemorate Fu Xi, a legendary ruler of great antiquity. It is said that Fu Xi was born in Tianshui. Fu Xi Temple was built in 1490 of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and rebuilt in 1524 of Qing Dynasty (1616-1911). The temple has three rows of buildings, with the front gate facing south.

myxj_20160623071029_saveFrom south to north are the memorial archways, temples, the terrace, stele pavilion, the main hall and the ancient cypresses in the 3,700 mu (1 mu equals 0.0667 hectare) of the temple yard. The construction of the temple is of typical Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) style with symmetric structures, formed and precise layout, and marvelous carved beams and painted rafters.

The Hall of the Deceased King built on the open terrace in the central yard is the main building in Fu Xi Temple. With double eaves and corbel brackets (set of brackets between crossbeams and columns, each set consisting of tiers of outstretching arms called gong, cushioned with trapezoidal blocks called dou), colored glaze pantiles and the ornamental design of dragon mouth, the whole building looks very primitive but elegant.

img_20160622_162744The moment we arrived at the temple we were given a task to take the funniest picture we could take as a competition of the day. Whenever I go to a small town in China I always end up being the tourist attraction of the day, resulting in me taking countless picturesmmexport1467276339466 with Chinese people, so I decided that since I was already attracting so much attention from the locals in Tianshu, I wanted to see how much more attention I could generate just from standing there. So I found a high stoop in the Temple and just stood there to see if people will come forth to try and take pictures with me.

 

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Needless to say that the experiment went further than we expected, within a few minutes we had people lining up like a concert to take pictures. One after the other they posed withmmexport1467276550997 me, each one wanting a picture. The moment we decided we were done they kept following us throughout the temple wanting more pictures. It was controlled chaos for the next 2hours while we were in the temple grounds. The plan completely backfired on us and we ended up having to leave sooner than we wanted to because we caused way too much commotion.

I would say if you wanna see how friendly local Tianshu people are and how beautiful the temples and historical places are definitely book your ticket today..

Journey Across the Silk Road..Part 2

Day 2: Terra Cotta Museum

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Terracotta mausoleum

The second day of the trip we went to visit the Terra Cotta museum where we would learn about all the history of the clay sculptures of the armies in the museum.

img_20160621_093649The Terracotta Army, aka Terracotta Warriors and Horses, are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum in Lintong, Xian, Shaanxi Province.

img_20160621_104028Let me start off by giving you a quick history about the army, upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life. It is also rumored that the people hired to build and bury the mausoleum were all img_20160621_092150killed in order to preserve the secrecy of where it was. Some locals even claim that the museum was built in order to confuse enemies into thinking that there was a massive army waiting to slaughter them when they charged into their territory, i’m not sure how true this is or if it is just a folk tale but I personally believe this is an ingenious idea.

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Selfie in front of the army

A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. It caught the attention of archeologists

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Masters in International Journalism class of 2017

immediately. They came to Xian in droves to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond doubt that these artifacts were associated with the Qin

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Destroyed statues

Dynasty (211-206 BC). Most of the statues have major damage because of the many years they have been buried and most of them got destroyed during their unearthing.

 

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Trying to figure out how to work my selfie stick

We were taught about the different roles of the different sculptures and why they were created and I found it fascinating that the museum has been preserved so well for thousands of years and the Chinese government is really astonishing when it comes to taking careimg_20160621_104126 of historical places for decades. I believe this is the only country in the world that takes historical and cultural monuments so seriously and respectfully, the preservation of historical monuments in China is of no comparison with any other country that I have traveled to and it would do many countries good to bench mark on their methods of preservation in order to attract more tourists

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Shaanxi History Museum

After the Terra Cotta museum we went to the Shaanxi History Museum where we got to see all the inscriptions on the walls that have been there for thousands of years and it was an educational experience.

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the couple bike is even better for lovers

After the long walk around the mausoleum, we went to have lunch then set about going for a tour around the wall around the city the best way you can, with couple bicycles(that you rent on site) which was in no way an easy feat, but the view

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failed jump short

from the top of the wall was well worth it. You can see all of the city below from the top and the mountains do not make for a bad picture as well.

img_20160621_233803After a day well spent walking around and learning and soaking in history we wanted to paint the town red, we decided to go out and explore once again the small town at night and managed to find a few

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A night out on the town

bars open and because of the large amount of tourists that pour into the town the bar promoters were all over the streets trying to lure us into each of their bars with promises of a good time, alcohol and music, which we got in spades. We ended up in a small pub which served foreign bear and offered us an opportunity to play our own music and even sing up on the stage if we wanted to.

Xian is definitely a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China

Oh To Be Free..

lana

Have you ever felt like you were born in the wrong place, the wrong era, the wrong time?!? Like the people around you, the people in the space that you exist in just do not understand the workings of your brain, your heart your soul, your every being?

Like you are just not living the life that you should? Like there is a greater purpose and you are just wasting your time with the current life that you are living?

Maybe like, dare I say, you just don’t belong? Cliche I know but I have no other way to put it..

Like you are living for everyone else but yourself, living a lie, day in and day out pretending to be someone that you aren’t just to please the people around you, to make them happy, content, comfortable with the you that you are parading around. Just so they would not feel weary, uncomfortable with the real you. The weird you. The you that you hide from the rest of the world?!

Like anything that you say just sounds wrong, your ideas about the world, people, life are not acceptable?! Even though in your hearts of hearts they feel so damn right?!

Sometimes I feel like i’m losing my mind. Going absolutely bonkers. Just because I feel so trapped, like a tiger in a cage, just waiting for the chance to finally break free and go wild, be me…

But then, then you meet that one person, or you see them on TV, or online, or hear that one song, that just gets you you know? That just describes you to a T.. And then you don’t feel so alone anymore..

Like there could be hope, somewhere, out there in this vast, great, big earth, that you will finally be home.. Finally find your people. Finally live, and not just exist, taking everyday as it comes?… For me that person, that song, that moment was when I discovered Lana Del Rey. And my all time favorite song of hers is  Ride.

I cant wait for that day when i’m finally free of all these flippin, ooh hell we are all adults here, fucking shackles.. And I can freely from the society, from the expectations..free to be me… 🙂

*sigh* I know I must sound like a blabbering idiot, but I just wanted to let out my feelings in an environment that I know I won’t be too harshly judged for my craziness and all around oddness..

Passion..

A person who has a passionate soul can not change who they are.. It surfaces into all areas of their lives, A passion who speaks, acts and breathes passionately can not be tamed..

Everything affects them wholly and completely… Music.. art… words…dance… feelings.. It all overly affects them

dance

 

They are naturally inquisitive.. They question everything.. sometimes to a point of exasperation. Until they find what their soul is searching for…

Their highs are insanely high,lifting them up to the peaks of the clouds..
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And their lows are gut wrenchingly low, burying them deep beneath the cold ground..
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One might say they are over baring, that they are clingy, or maybe dramatic.. But the truth is they just feel every single soluble of emotion to the very deepest of their core.. They love passionately..They mourn with fervor… They go through life with an unstoppable, unbreakable zeal..

Men Kicked Out Of Saudi Arabia For Being Ridiculously Good Looking ..

Three men attending the annual Jenadrivah Heritage and Culture Festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia have been kicked out for being too good looking… Too Handsome for a festival!

The Arabic Elaph newspaper reports the man were thrown out by religious police as it was believed they were just too irresistible, and the local women folk who are forbidden from interacting with men outside of the family, would not be able to control themselves.

Jezebel claims to have lifted the veil on one of the trio ,Without further ado, meet Omar Borkan Al Gala, a photographer, actor and poet from Dubai.

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Though he has not yet confirmed he was indeed one of the infamous three, Al Gala has modestly posted a link to the original news report on his Facebook page, along with such musings as: “The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.” Sigh.

Emirates 24/7 states the three men in question were delegates at a stand promoting the UAE, which had attracted the attention of the religious police due to the unexpected presence of a female Emirati artist.

A spokesman for the UAE delegation issued a statement confirming: “Her visit to the UAE stand was a coincidence as it was not included in the programme which we had already provided to the festival’s management.”

Arabian Business, which has also fingered Al Gala as being one of the trio, points out the strictly conservative Sunni Muslim society prohibits women from interacting with unrelated males.

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As ridiculous as this sounds, if your going to get kicked out of anywhere for anything, let it be for that reason. Because although you’re being excluded, it’d be hard to take offence from that. 😀

Do You Believe In Soul Mates?

Today’s post is short and to the point.. 😀

Do you believe in soul mates?
soil
That there is one special person out there that you are destined to meet and fall hopelessly and shamelessly in love with?
That there is one human being out there in this big world that fate has kept for you and for you alone?
The thing is i am a hopeless romantic, I believe in one time love, a kind of love that drags you by the heart towards that person that you just cant be away from..
The kind of love that lasts a life time even if the other person dies..
I believe one can not love more than 1 person and that when one finds this love their life suddenly makes sense..
The kind of love that. rocks the very world that you live in..
The kind of love that’s filled with passionate embraces, lustful glances, stolen kisses out of this world earth shattering love making..
The kind of love that binds two souls together in a fevered dance of the heart..
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So my question to you is.. Do you believe in soul mates?
Because I do and I have found mine.. 🙂