My mate, Marmite

How do you feel about Marmite?

Me, I love it. In fact I could eat it with a SPOON.
Obviously, some people hate it. I mean REALLY hate it.

But what if, just imagine, you’d gone through your whole life without ever trying it. Ever.

Well, one morning, out in the middle of Damaraland, that’s exactly what we discovered Manzoor had done.

Something which, of course, we had to rectify…

It wouldn’t be a NaVloPoMo post without tipping you off about someone else’s efforts…
So why not go give one of Benny Crime’s videos a whirl.

You’ll never feel the same again…

πŸ˜‰

Windsocks and toilets

“Houston. We have a problem.”

It would seem that the 30-day video marathon that is NaVloPoMo has arrived slap, bang in the middle of the first decent writing stride I’ve had in donkeys.

This is largely in part thanks to the wealth of written content I have hidden away in my new best friend and travelling partner, my moleskine.

Alas, as video cannot be held inside its tender pages, the ‘tales from my moleskine‘ series may have to take a back seat for the time being.

We’ll pick it back up again in December. Promise.

If you’ve missed it all so far and fancy a dive, by all means, just click on the word moleskine and you’ll be magically transported. However, if instead you’d rather stick around and see what ocular treats I have lined up for you today, then please, make yourself comfy… We’re off to Africa.

The date is July 8th, we – the first batch of Lucozade Winners and I – had left Damaraland that morning and boarded our own private Cessna to fly up to a place called Haartmann Valley. From there on in, it’ll be a three hour drive to our next camp. Eesh.

It’s pretty remote, but we’re told it’s paradise.

This short video, put together soon after we arrived, hopefully gives you some kind of insight at just how remote ‘remote’ is when you’re in Africa.

Hat tip to @reyes who duly pointed out the base for this month’s shenanigans.

Notes from Namibia

Moleskine entry: July 9th, 2009

I’ve never flown this far South before. Cape Town is 10hrs straight down. Damaraland, Namibia 2hrs back up again.

The stars are very different here.

Last night we slept out under the skies, in the middle of a half-million hectare concession, where people, wildlife and animals all co-exist together. Rhino, Springbok, Zebra, Giraffe, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant and Ostrich. We’re told there’s no real danger, but we’re quiet all the same.

On the way out, Eric – our guide – remarks that the stripes of a Zebra are as unique as that of a human fingerprint.

“Zebras have human fingerprints?”…asks a not-really-listening Suhel.
“Yes Suhel, Zebras have human fingerprints.”

We laugh, uncontrollably.

Lions walked past through our camp, right past them. There are paw prints outside my door. I heard them late, out there in the dark, purring their deep, low grumble. Not quite a growl, not quite a roar but still… that sound.

A glimpse through the window revealed nothing. I could see the light from a distant toilet-tent knocking gently in the trees, but that is all. The moonlight, so bright out here in the middle of nowhere, shines down clearly, basking all in pale illumination.Β  But I see nothing.

Still, I hear them mumble.

6000 miles from home: Cape Town

Apologies if this is a little out of time, but – as I mentioned in my last post – that’s how things are going to roll around here for a bit, at least, when it comes to talking about my epic Summer of travel.

Cheers and as always, your comments and questions are welcome πŸ™‚

_______________________________

Moleskine entry: July 5th, 2009

All aboard...

Day one of my epic Summer of travelling so far has consisted of… well not very much really.
Admittedly, I’ve moved a certain distance, what with hurtling through the sky at 500mph and everything, but I’ve actually spent most of the time sleeping.

Night flights are my favourite kind.

There are six of us on this trip. Me, your official storyteller. Sam, my partner in crime and also my one and only constant over the next ten weeks… and of course our first four competition winners.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Lucozade Energy Challenges as a concept, let me tell you that it was a brand new one on me too. One winner, plus four of his/her friends, every other week taking a particular challenge for which a new skillset is required. Each activity is set in a different far-flung part of the world and they all require the chosen four to learn said skill quite quickly before partaking in a competition of some kind. All in the name the new Lucozade Energy tag-line ‘Do More’.

The full list of competition details can be seen on the Lucozade Energy Challenge website, meanwhile – let’s get back to our story shall we?

Me, as you know, got this gig just a couple of weeks back. Sam? The same. However, his role is different to mine in that he to be the group’s designated ‘Chaperone’ over the coming weeks and, judging by the first few hours, he’s going to be good very company indeed… πŸ™‚

Time to meet the winners of the first competition; Manzoor and his three friends, Shofat, Suhel and Foyce.

They’re a good bunch of lads. Football players from Brum would you believe, and they’re just a little bit excited.

Heh.

At the time of writing we’re about 10mins from touchdown in Cape Town, Shofat’s just woken up and we’re discussing the prospect of seeing some Black Rhinos over the next few days. You see, this particular challenge – Sandboarding in Namibia – isn’t all about the taking on the extreme sports of the Skeleton Coast, it also involves tracking down the aforementioned huge beasts as part of a desert safari.

What?

There’s got to be something to fill in the gaps between all the epic sandboarding, right?
Next stop: Namibia!