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Old 03-24-2012, 10:05 AM   #211
MasterMarine
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Wow! The pictures and thoughts in that last post were truly inspiring. Beautiful!

Great job making it to your goal!
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:47 AM   #212
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Great pictures! Subscribed!

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Old 03-26-2012, 03:43 AM   #213
Madiv
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Awsome report and outstanding photos, I admire above all else, your guts to eat all the local food :).

And i got a small question, how are u satisfied with the scout tires?
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:30 PM   #214
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hi friend, and I have set 2 times very good pictures this would be the third lol.
but would like to know what action or use to put the truth a tone to the photos if I may ask.

Thank you.
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Old 03-30-2012, 02:20 AM   #215
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Flash Forward

Thanks guys!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madiv View Post
Awsome report and outstanding photos, I admire above all else, your guts to eat all the local food :).

And i got a small question, how are u satisfied with the scout tires?
After 15000km with 2 sets of TKC on the back and MT21 in the front for me is clear that the Scout will be less grippy especially in deep sand or crazy mud. The rear is aggressive enough imho for normal offroading but the front is not. To compensate that some riders use TKC for the front (or MT21 which I find one of the best rallyraid tires I used).
It all come down to durability. Heidenau designed a rear tire who is supposed to last more than 10k and who offers enough on and off performance. Probably it would have been useful if the front was a little more aggressive and less durable (less than 20k).
After riding them for more than 3000km I guess is the right tire for east coast.
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Stay tuned for the continuation of Into The World.



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Old 04-09-2012, 02:25 PM   #216
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:56 AM   #217
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The End of The Endless Summer

Cape Town 11- 21/03



The last border of the first part of our Africa tour proved to be the easiest. West Africa was now behind us, next there were the South African subcontinent and the presumable easier East Africa. More tarmac and more fences ahead, less freedom, no more random wild camping, but more untapped wilderness and many unknowns. After the sharp looking immigration officer ruined yet another page of Ana's beaten passport, we were in. No taxes, no bullshit. The only direction we were given was to use the "white people exit".

It was the first bell to ring. Next, we needed to retire some money, fill up the tank and replenish our food supplies. That was going to be a long day: Reiner was already far ahead of us, but his example had inspired us to do the same and ride all the way to Cape Town no matter what. Over 800 kilometers that is, but 100% exceptionally good tarmac. Our pit stop happened to be in Springbok. On a Sunday, the sleepy little town looked like a life-size papier-mâché model. All crisp edges, bright colors, wind sweeping brittle grass on empty streets in the milky haze of early morning. At any turn we would expect to see people swarming out of this Trojan horse. But we were alone. We rode about the ghostly assembly of houses and supermarkets Everything looked brand new, like an experimental settlement implanted in the bony mountain. It soon became evident that we were subject to a different kind of illusion, one more subtle than a deus-ex-machina. The illusion of simple, perfect life in a provincial town.

Springbok was our second warning. Corporate power and consumerism were about to assume dominance to our everyday world. But for the moment, we couldn't be bothered with that. Out of Springbok we were giving our Tenere a beating on the thrilling roads that wind through Namaqualand.

After the adrenaline-pumping race, the road became smoother and shy. Namaqualand is a top destination for flower watching. In full bloom, this daisy paradise must be mesmerizing. As we arrived at summer's end, the flowers had shed their bright petals months ago. The spring glory was gone. The curvy field was blanketed in dry grasses. And the sun shone surgically precise over this charming geometry.

The ride started in high pitch, thrusting across a hefty chink of rock, a solitary giant in a surreal, empty landscape. The air was filled with dense colors that blurred our perspective.



At a red light, we received the first proof of the proverbial Capetonian hospitality. Charl and Carla, a young couple waiting alongside in their car curiously inquired about the language we were speaking. Our story appeared to interest them, and at the next stop we met again. This time we exchanged phone numbers and the promise to hang out or braai together in the upcoming days. Hours later we were feeling exhausted by the long drive, having to make seldom stops for refreshment. We had eaten breakfast in a fast food joint in Springbok and lunch from our supplies in a gas station somewhere. All we had to do is hang on and keep pushing. In Citrusdaal we received a second offer to overnight, from a local family who happened to spot us while filling up with petrol at the Total. We kindly declined, but what a good feeling that gave us! We had arrived in South Africa quite battered and we planned to speed up our pace. Already the journey to there took us 3 months more than the original 6 we had allowed. And our financial resources were ever dwindling. So the idea was to exit South Africa in less than 3 weeks. But the first encounters invited for a more lengthy stay.
We arrived at the outskirts of suburban Cape Town by night. But this was a whole different ball game than the other 19 countries we had visited so far. Fancy saloon-shiny cars were speeding by, navigating a well appointed infrastructure. There were persistent, well designed directions everywhere and the highway was flushed with lights. The city was a patch of twinkles, beyond which we guessed in the darkness that filled the horizon the Atlantic ocean. The full moon was up. We had finished the first half of our African adventure. The mud, sweat and tears in the Congo were now yesterday's news.
The following morning, at 6.30 a.m., we woke up to start packing, only to find ourselves surrounded by walls. We had machines to cook breakfast and brew tea for us and hot water was again at the press of a button. We were staying for the next week in Hout Bay, with Iulia and her capetonian boyfriend Zak. Iulia is a Romanian girl who has come to live in Cape Town 4 months ago and who discovered our blog and had the generosity and inspiration of inviting us over. In the coming days we would discover that we share many quirky habits and a common passion for food.








Fish and chips at a Capetonian legend


Hout Bay


No comment




Seals love basking in the sun on these shores













The sheer scale of Cape Town started to gradually down on us as the days passed. We had arrived in the night, and all we could make of it was the fragrant smell of pine trees to Kirstenbosch and the scintillating downtown under the huge full moon. Hout Bay, our home for the week, is one of the pouchiest, most chilled areas of the town: low rise residential developments, but mostly sunny villas tucked along a gentle bay. People walk barefoot even to the shopping mall and their dogs roam the beaches sometimes unaccompanied, accustomed to enjoy the odd pat and cuddle from the tourists or any animal lover really. We were lured by this peace and epicurean, holiday-village life. The drive to town was even more intoxicating. The perfectly smooth tarmac was wrapped in heart-pumping curves: on one side the crisp mountain was splitting clouds, on the other the cold surf pounded white sandy beaches. Loud sun, fresh air, we felt high with enjoyment.





The first thing that jolted us back into the reality of a modern metropolis was the traffic: we were feeling more at risk in this dandiest city of the continent than in the deepest bush of the Congo.
The city has a population comparable to Bucharest, but it is scattered on a huge area. Most locals reside in single-family homes in the suburbs, the business district and the industrial port are located north of Lion's Head, in Table Bay. To the south there are several national parks with exhilarating hikes and the iconic Table Mountain, covered in a layer of intricately beautiful fynboss. The swankiest properties and the trendiest al-frescos line the Atlantic Western coast, especially in Camp's Bay and Clifton, but also in Hout Bay and Seapoint. To regulate traffic both in DT and in the residential neighborhoods, Cape Town has employed an original solution: STOP signs instead of red lights, and we must vouch that it's one that works.







We had lots of business to cater for: passport pages running out and a bike in need of spare parts. We payed a visit to the Romanina Consulate and the welcome was beyond any expectations. The Consul, Mr. Silviu Rogobete, made substantial efforts to offer us the best solution to be able to continue our tour of Africa, while his wife kindly entertained us with cake and quick bites. We may not have many diplomatic missions in Africa, but the ones we visited are top notch. Thank you, Silviu!



Thanks to a tip from Charl, a fellow Capetonian advrider, we arrived at Trac Mac, a friendly and well appointed service and fitting centre. Remember our enigmatic clutch slip that has been bugging us since Windhoek. Well, the synthetic Bel Ray 20W50 was the culprit (thanks to the questionable customer service of Yamaha Windhoeak): I switched back to Motul 5100 10W40 and the clutch works. After a quick assessment we also concluded that unfortunately the chain we fitted in Lubumbashi (DRC) must be changed, after only 6000 km: already 2 (two!) security clips had fallen off and again there was a lot of wear around the connection link was damaged. This time I went for a riveted connection link with a DID X-Ring. Time to change sprockets (after only 10k, because I had to fit them with an old chain in Matadi and because most of this mileage was off road) and brake pads also.















The rest of the week we chilled. We had fun playing a game that we used to wrongfully dismiss for being commercial and stupid: Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Especially for Iulia's b-day.







And hanged out with Charl and Carla at the legendary Blue Peter and a farmers' market, sampling local olives, olive oil, wine and biltong. The evening we braid and finally stayed over their chic crib, decorated in French country style. They are talented, sporty and ridiculously attractive people. Charl is an entrepreneur and Carla recently started a photography venture, have a look here: link facebook










Braai

After 10 days we moved to a 'surf house' in Table View, which is exactly what the name says: a house where the kitchen, living room and toilets are shared spaces, whilst several rooms and garden cottages are rented out to long term vacationers. This was 'Endless Summer': a place located in a very quiet residential area, 200 meters from the beach with the best view of the iconic mountain. The locals have a cool name for the daily show of cloudscapes creeping on top of the flat rock: Table Cloth.



The business relies on word of mouth to attract the aficionados of some of the coolest water sports around. People from the Netherlands, Norway, France, Switzerland and the UK are flocking here in summer to surf, SUP, kite surf and windsurf. They stay anywhere between a couple of weeks to season-long terms, spending their holidays in the cold crisp waves, or enjoying other cool stuff that Cape Town and South Africa have to offer. Safaris, game drives, cage diving with great white sharks, seal snorkeling or diving, paragliding, skydiving, bungee jumping. Or wine tasting, hiking trips, or clubbing on Long Street, where party buses arrive loaded with old and young sardined together high on booze and imported weed. BTW, the dudes who appear to be selling clothing hangers at junctions, are actually in a different kind of business.

It's all good fun, but it comes at a substantial cost, way beyond our budget. We felt apprehensive about moving in this fun hub, fearing that the temptation would be too big, that we would get sucked into it. But the price of fun kept us at bay. Regrets that we couldn't enjoy the opportunity to discover some fantastic sports aside, we had to remember we were on a mission to overland. Already we had arrived there with our budget in shambles, butchered by systematic visa problems, DHL fees and enormous import duties for parts. And for the last 5 weeks we had been struggling to cope with the high costs of living in Namibia and South Africa, while still trying to enjoy some of the good stuff available.

We ended up staying longer: the magic flowed, we enjoyed cooking, relaxing in a real bed, reading books, updating our CVs and scouting for jobs in SA or elsewhere, thinking about the future and how we can solve our immediate financial problems. The long, tapering breath of Friday braai fire became a catalyst for sharing stories and making friends.








Sheree, the godmother of this joint

And how did we feel to be the first people to travel by motorbike from Bucharest to Cape Town? Well, it didn't feel like quite an achievement. Last June it was too vast to grasp, now it was too full of memories to summarize in a few words. The innumerable hours of riding, the peaceful nights wild camping, the freedom, the fragrant dawns, the breakdowns, the weeks of living and sharing everything with the French family, it all needs time and space to sunk in, to become real. I guess we felt pleased with ourselves. Whatever would happen next, we knew now something that should have been evident before we even begun to plan this journey, something that we should all know: we can do anything we truly want to do.

mrwwwhite screwed with this post 04-12-2012 at 05:03 AM
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:11 AM   #218
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"we can do anything we truly want to do"

And don't you forget that.
It was awesome to meet you guys and I look forward to coming back to this thread to read how the rest of your journey goes.


Cheers
Charl
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:17 AM   #219
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Great job!

You've got yourselves some lifetime memories out there! Many thanks for sharing them with us! Best regards from home.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:38 AM   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Adventure View Post
"we can do anything we truly want to do"

And don't you forget that.
It was awesome to meet you guys and I look forward to coming back to this thread to read how the rest of your journey goes.


Cheers
Charl

Likewise! Thanks a lot with everything man! It was a real pleasure to meet you!

PS Your Lesotho trips looks fantastic! What a drive, what amazing views... not to mention the rally! We had no idea you went alone, you sure are a tough cookie. Kudos for that!


Cheers,

I+A
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:04 AM   #221
mrwwwhite OP
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Two Hundred And Seventy-five Sunrises

We have been riding across the longest inhabited continent on Earth for over 9 months, its time to share with you some interesting numbers.

As you already know, this ride is not a race. We begun in Morocco, riding from the heights of the Atlas, to the fringes of the Sahara desert. We crossed Al-Qaeda afflicted Western Sahara and Mauritania, and entered Mali via the infamous La Route de l' Espoir. After the vibrant Burkina Faso and Togo, we arrived in Benin, the land of the voodoo. In Nigeria, Africa’s economic and cultural powerhouse, we stopped to volunteer at one of the most successful captivity breeding and wildlife sanctuary projects in the world. In Cameroon we reached the lowest point of our trip - the first major technical breakdown, but also the highest –conquering Mt. Cameroon. The lush Gabon was followed in Congo by a mad rush to the border with the DRC, that was heating up after controversial presidential and parliamentary elections.

In the DRC we faced our most challenging task yet: with the Angolan borders closed for over landers, the only way out of the country was to ride over 2000 km off-road, across remote rural areas, in the middle of unforgivable equatorial rainy season. It took us 4 extreme weeks of mud, sweat and tears to arrive in Lubumbashi, the capital of the Copper Belt. We marveled at the natural wonders of Zambia and Namibia, from Victoria, the world largest waterfall, to Etosha, one of the biggest concentrations of wildlife in Africa, to Namib Naukluft, the oldest known desert and to the Fish River Canyon, world’s second largest.

During this journey we rode often in harsh conditions from deserts to high mountains, had our passports retained by corrupt officials in Mali, our GPS stolen in Morocco and got stranded with a burnt clutch on a sketchy plantation in Cameroon. We had to rebuild with the villagers a washed out bridge and to improvise from scratch a temporary fix to a broken chain, so we could ride out of a remote Congolese region. We had been bitten by Tsetse flies and suffered from malaria in the DRC and Namibia. We ate - sometimes unwillingly - unusual dishes such as porcupine, kudu, oryx, camel, grasshopper and caterpillar. We visited the ancient medinas of Meknes, Fes, Marrakech, the Roman ruins of Volubilis, the largest mud-brick building in the world in Djenne and the millennia old civilization of the Dogon. We slept in villages in Mali, Benin, Congo, DRC and in a traditional Himba kraal, but we also met the ex-president of Nigeria, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo, while working as volunteers. We shared our wild camp under the vast African sky with desert elephants and jackals. And if riding around the continent wasn't enough, we climbed Mt Cameroon, hiked in the equatorial forest in Nigeria, into the gorge of the mighty Zambezi and up the iconic Table Mountain.

Into The World is our work in progress. Every day teaches us more, and we are continuing to improve, as we move through our over-land trials. May our humble story of travelers on a budget inspire anyone who has ever dreamt of breaking away from daily routine.

9 Months of Africa in numbers:

Journey

• Countries visited: 20 (Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa)

• Number of days spent on the road: 275 (10.06.2011 - 11.03.2012)

• Nights in the tent: 182 (minus 1 in car, 2 on ferry, 90 in real beds - of which 57 while volunteering in Nigeria)

• Distance covered by bike: 32 300 km

• Distance covered towed by another vehicle: 370 km

• Distance covered by public transport (bus): 600 km

• Distance covered by car: 750 km - with the Vidals in Cameroon, while bike was broken

• Distance covered together with other motorcycles: 550 km (50 ks with James and Bryce @ www.bloodsweatandbeards.com; 500 ks with Reiner from Cape Town)

• Distance covered together with other cars: 3600 km ( 700 km in Congo with Alper & Esther + 2900 km in RDC with Vidal family)

• Fuel burned: 1776 l

• Other teams of overlanders met: 7 (Nadine & Roger by Toyota Land Cruiser, Switzerland; Liana & Denis by Land Rover Defender, France; Oli & Emily by Land Rover Defender, UK; Franck by motorbike, Germany; Julien by Yamaha Super Tenere, France; Vidal family of 4 by Land Rover Defender, France; Alper & Esther by Toyota Land Cruiser, Germany; James & Bryce by BMW 650 GS, South Africa)

Records

• Most economical mileage: 4.5% @ average speed of 90 km/h off-road

• Least economical mileage: 6.5% @ average speed of 120 km/h on-road

• Highest daytime temperature: +46C (114.8F) (Nouadibou-Nouakchott road, Mauritania)

• Lowest daytime temperature : +11C (Ring Road, Cameroon)

• Record continuous riding (km): 810 (Fish River Canyon Namibia - Cape Town R.S.A.)

• Record continuous riding (hours): 13 (Namibia - R.S.A.)

• Highest speed: 147 km/h

• Highest altitude reached on foot: 4090 m (Mount Cameroon, Cameroon)

• Highest altitude reached by bike: 3050 m (Imilchil, High Atlas, Morocco)

Maintanance

• Engine oil used: 9 l

• Engine oil filters used: 2

• Air filters cleaned: 10 times

• Front tires used: 3

• Rear tires used: 3

• Punctured tires: 0

• Front brake pad sets used: 2

• Rear brake pad sets used: 4

• Rear brake disks used: 1

• Sprocket sets used: 2

• Chains used: 3

• Biking gear washed (times): 7

• Bike washed (times): 5

• Tent washed (times): 1

• Mattresses washed (times): 2

• Haircuts: 4

Problems

• Offroad crashes: stopped counting on Kinshasa - Lubumbashi off road

• Onroad crashes: 0

• Crashes with other vehicles: 0

• Stops by the police: 5 (excluding checkpoints and military posts estimated to have exceeded 100 in Morocco and Western Sahara alone, and over 100 in Nigeria alone)

• Fines for speeding: 3, never paid (Western Sahara, Zambia)

• Breakdowns: 2 (burnt clutch on Ekok - Mamfe, Cameroon; broken chain - DRC)

• Technical issues: 9 (abnormally worn chain with o-rings missing & frozen links - Morocco; plastic top box damaged & repaired in Togo; cracked rubber caliper sliders - will change in SA; broken rear brake lever - welded in Kamina, DRC; broken right mirror - DRC; gear lever - DRC; damaged frame for alu boxes - Congo; totaled alu box - DRC; totaled jerrycan - DRC; completely shaved front tyre - DRC)

• Damaged gear: 9 (tent - punctured, waterproof seams damaged, leaking; mattresses - valves broken; dry sacks punctured; bike rain cover punctured, waterproof seams damaged; helmet air vents cracked & broken; 1 pair gloves kaputt; bike pants torn in several places; Kinddle screen broken, manufacturer fault; broken GPS - Burkina Faso; inverter broken - Namibia)

• Health issues: 5 (altitude sickness - Ana @ Mt. Cameroon; malaria - Ana @ DRC; malaria - John @ Namibia;bee sting - John @ Morocco; dog bite - John @ Togo; dehydration - John @ Mauritania, Mali & Cameroon; skin ulcers caused by bacterial infection - both @ DRC; 3 fallen nails - Ana after Mt. Cameroon climb; contusions due to offroad crashes - John)

• Stolen items: 3 (GPS - Morocco; mobile phone - bus in Cameroon; radio - DRC)

• Lost items: 15 (pocket knife + whistle - Morocco, tshirt - Togo; 2 tent pins - Cameroon; metal bar for securing aluminum box - Congo Brazzaville; toothbrushes + toothpaste + floss + dry sack - Zambia; insulated water containers - Mauritania, Mali, Nigeria; plier - DRC)

Money & Visa

• Most expensive fuel: 2600 Congolese Franc/liter (2,15 Euro/l) - DRC

• Cheapest fuel: 65 Naira/liter (0,31 Euro/l) - Nigeria

• Most expensive accommodation: 25 Euro/night - lousy auberge in Kiffa, Mauritania

• Cheapest accommodation: 20 Moroccan Dirham/night (1,79 Euro) - camping near Meknes, Morocco (bushcamping is free :))

• Local SIM cards bought: 4 (Morocco, Mauritania, Nigeria, Cameroon)

• Countries with Vodafone roaming available: 5 (Morocco, Nigeria, DRC, Zambia, Namibia)

• Countries not requiring visa for Romanian citizens: 3 (Morocco, Togo, Zambia)

mrwwwhite screwed with this post 04-26-2012 at 08:09 AM
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:16 AM   #222
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Hi Guys,

Well, this is an amazing RR and an inspiration for others. A report with a huge amount of detail.... can't believe you kept note of all that stuff, but one thing is for sure, it'll help others doing a similar trip.

So, what are your plans now?

Cheers
Potski
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:19 AM   #223
mrwwwhite OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potski View Post
Hi Guys,

Well, this is an amazing RR and an inspiration for others. A report with a huge amount of detail.... can't believe you kept note of all that stuff, but one thing is for sure, it'll help others doing a similar trip.

So, what are your plans now?

Cheers
Potski
Cheers Potski!

those memories (infos) are well tatooed on our brains :)

East Africa is calling so we'll have to gave in to the lure.

We have been struggling for the last month and a half to find solutions to recover financially (after a longer then planned west coast adventure) - jobs, sponsorship, partnership but not very successfully so we have to rush our adventure to arrive in Europe and postpone our dreams for other continents.
You can check our route so far and our east coast planes here.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:14 AM   #224
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I have only just briefly looked at a few pictures, and I can say three things:
1) %$#@! me, this is awesome
2) You know what you are doing with that camera
3) Hey, you must be in my neighbourhood right now? Still in CT - or Blouberg - or have you move east yet?

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Old 04-26-2012, 03:33 PM   #225
mrwwwhite OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westfrogger View Post
I have only just briefly looked at a few pictures, and I can say three things:
1) %$#@! me, this is awesome
2) You know what you are doing with that camera
3) Hey, you must be in my neighbourhood right now? Still in CT - or Blouberg - or have you move east yet?

Thanks!

Sorry already in Durban heading to Lesotho tomorrow morning (shit ... in a few hours actually so I better get some sleep).

Cheers,
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