The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Forest Shepherd on Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:04 am

New York intimidates me a lot more!
Well, that and places where I don't know the language. Which is much of the world...

Anyway great photos. I liked the elephant in particular; good action freeze.

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by bungobaggins on Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:19 am

Forest Shepherd wrote:New York intimidates me a lot more!

Oh, yeah, that one too. Laughing
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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Lancebloke on Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:23 am

I have thought of California as a whole I intimidating. L.A a little maybe but only so much as I would make sure I know what to expect and where not to go.

But that might be because I spend 4 days a week in London.

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by halfwise on Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:00 pm

What would make california intimidating is the sheer size and the fact that you actually have to drive all of it. New York you just have to figure out the subway system, but it's mainly walking.

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Lancebloke on Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:29 pm

We did drive a lot. Couldnt work out why it took us 7 hours from Morro Bay to Venice Beach though. Should have been 4 or 5!!

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Norc on Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:01 pm

so here's a few pictures from the trip. I already shared them on facebook (because instagram!) and since my computer is acting up a bit, i dunno how many more i'll post.

this first one is taken from Sjugurstinden, and you can see the edge (Besseggen) we walked along, not the entire way though, but i think the path is kinda clear.


there were some pretty steep places


the water was green because of minerals and stuff that the glacier melting water .


this is Bessvatnet, a little lake right before the enormous, crazy, bit of the journey. we ate lunch here and some people took a swim in it. between this water and the green water there is about ten meters of mountain, then straight down to the green water.. like 700 meters or something Very Happy


here that is more visible. this is taken right after the crazy-shit part. i didn't take any pictures because i was busy not freaking out and dying.


this picture is taken earlier, before Bessvatnet. lovely colour. i know there is a hipster-filter on all these pictures, if my computer is still breathing i might post some originals.. but the colour of the water is still exactly what it was in real life Wink



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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Norc on Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:02 pm

i have more.. some panoramas and shit Very Happy i'll see what i can do.

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by bungobaggins on Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:03 pm

You fjordians and your scenic vistas. It's not fair. Sad
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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:09 pm

That's... um... yeah... steep. Shocked

Georgeous though. Very Happy

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:13 pm

Amarië wrote:
Pettytyrant101 wrote:What kind of music uni are you at Norc that they send you up mountains! Shocked

A Fjordian one, obviously!

You are always encourage to head out and up on a mountain to meet the locals. Nobody says hello to you on the streets unless they already know you. But while hiking Fjordians always says hello and may have a little chat. And then if you do get to speak to a local at the store or something you have something to say. "I went up on *insert local mountain top*" "Oh how interesting! Did you start at this spot or that spot? Etc.... Have you been to...?"

You know, I'd say that's pretty much spot on. Nod  Though we don't have mountains here, so you have to go for a trip in marka to say hello to someone.

I have to admit though, I did think had written "Did you start an avalanche" when I first read that.

And, no. Not just because northerners tend to be a bit loud..

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:43 pm

Cool hey hipster filters
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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by halfwise on Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:05 pm

bungobaggins wrote:You fjordians and your scenic vistas. It's not fair. Sad
Bluebottle wrote:Gorgeous though.

The response I think you were aiming for was "Gorges, though."

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Ringdrotten on Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:11 pm

Stunning pics, Norc Smile

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:52 pm

halfwise wrote:
bungobaggins wrote:You fjordians and your scenic vistas. It's not fair. Sad
Bluebottle wrote:Gorgeous though.

The response I think you were aiming for was "Gorges, though."

Ah, I knew I had gotten it wrong somehow. Razz

Gorgeous gorges, Nora. Nod

Still... um... yeah... pretty steep. Shocked

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by azriel on Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:52 pm

Bloody lovely country you have there Norc ! Very Happy stunning views !

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Lancebloke on Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:45 pm

Nice pics norc. Still on my 'to do' list as I would love to see that view at some point.

What was the 'crazy' bit?

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Lancebloke on Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:41 pm

Ok then.... so here we go!

As most of you know, I spent last week in Zambia on a Charity Challenge mission to kayak the Upper Zambezi followed by some white water rafting on the Lower Zambezi in the Batoka Gorge.

The total distance over the 5 days was 115km with Zambia on one side and Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe on the other.

After landing in Livingstone (via Jo'burg), we transferred to our lodge for the night and met our main guides for the trip, Sven and Rue. If you look at rafting pictures from the Bakota Gorge, you will see them at work. Sven actually body boarding the rapids as a guinea pig for Bear Grylls (who I now have a little less respect for!!).

The lodge was nice, right next to the river and had some wildlife of its own...





The croc was just across the pond from my room!!!

So we started our travel at 6am on day 1 and traveled to a village to meet some local fisherman as well as our third guide (Titus who knows the river very well) and our protection (Sikou with his AK-47). The point here was to give us a taste of how the locals travel the river which is via a hollowed out tree called a Mokoro. To paddle, you stand up and hold a big paddle which can be used as both an oar and a pole. We did about 4km before switching to our main mode of transport for the next 4 days... a 2 person kayak.



Sikou and his gun!



So, the next 4 days were spent paddling along the river. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to share as water and cameras don't tend to mix too well. Hopefully I will have some video to post when I get a chance to edit it.

I will however highlight a couple of stories...

1. There are lots of hippos that call the Zambezi home... I would say we went past about 50 of them. A few close encounters but the one I will highlight was unexpected. We were in a nice line (like chicks following mother duck) and about to head in to a little rapid when all of a sudden I heard 'HIPPO!!!' followed by all of the boats in front of me turning frantically around and Titus shouting 'Get to the bank.'

Up on the bank I got an explanation of what had happened while staring at a big hippo right in the middle of a narrow piece of the river that we had be merrily paddling towards. Basically, a baby hippo was slightly up stream and upon seeing our big yellow boats approaching, its mother had charged off of the bank and in to the middle of the river to protect it. We were probably within 15ft as we had swung round to get out which is a lot closer than you want to be when a mother is in defensive mode. But we all survived and made our way around it.

2. Our epic finale to the kayak section of our trip. We had lunch and got in our boats.. temperature probably low thirties which meant we were all hot in our life jackets while paddling away. We got in to the middle of the river at which point a nice cool rain started which was quite refreshing. The rain got a little harder but was still ok. Then the wind picked up and the rain began to start stinging... I was forced to put my sunglasses on as it was raining so hard that I couldnt see. Then the lightning started all around us hitting the river further upstream... the wind was in the opposite direction to the way we were going causing big waves to hit the boat and large amounts of time where we we literally not getting anywhere at all. 45 minutes later we reached the river bank where some trucks came to meet us earlier than intended. As we rolled up the kayaks a bolt of lightning struck probably no more than 100ft away causing everyone to quite literally jump.

The rain continued for about another 30 minutes as we traveled back toward civilisation in the trucks. We had a little chat with our guide Sven who told us it was the first time he had been genuinely scared on the river. It is actually illegal to be out there during lightning, however we only had 2 options. The first was to carry on as we did as there were 2 pods of hippos on our left and 1 on our right. The second option was to turn around and head for the closest bank which would have taken us to Zimbabwe where we would need to tough out the rest of the storm without anyone being able to come rescue us.

I hope that one of the rest of the team has that on their camera as I have never seen weather like it. The first big rain of the season had hit while we were on the water with no options but to soldier on. Epic finale to laugh about now but wasnt so fun being out there.

3. White water rafting. We came out of the boat 3 times while rafting, one of which you will see below. The first we thought we had killed a safety kayaker who got caught in a rapid in front of our boat. The third was the really hairy moment though. For whatever reason, we smashed all the big grade 5 rapids but couldnt get our head around the smaller ones.

In the case of rapid number 17 we managed to get ourselves stuck on one side of the river where the boat got pinned against a rock. The boat slid to the side and the water pressure duly pushed the boat up the rock and all of us out. I came up out of the swell to see our guide on top of the rock (no idea how he got there) and several terrified people being rescued by equally panicked guides.

We managed to all get back in the boat and were all safe, however in similar situations in has been known for people to be pinned against rocks like the one we hit. In fact our truck driver had been pinned against a similar rock while he was underwater. With 900 tons of water per second in the narrow channels, it was only that someone spotted him and pulled him out that he survived. We were later informed that the situation was as bad as it could have been without anything bad actually happening.

Anyway, those are the 3 highlights I thought worth talking about although there were plenty more I could go on about. Here are a couple more pictures that were taken along the way.

Wild camping by the river:



Scaly friend:



Team walking around rapid 9 which you are not allowed to run



Out guard getting some rest:



Village on the river:



Camp number 4:



Nice camp fire at camp 3:



Victoria falls during low water:







Our boat on the rapids:







And the official video. The start of the video is actually a different group... you first see our boat bobbing around in the river as they make their way down to the gorge floor. Rue was our guide on the rapids. Sven was also part of our larger group and the tour leader... he took the other half of the team on the rapids.



Other notable mention... the Devils Pool was unbelievable!! We sat right on the edge of the big waterfall in a calm piece of water with the rest rushing past and over the cliff either side of us. Truly breathtaking experience!

Excuse my feet at the start of the video, haven't been able to edit just yet. The little fish you can see kept nibbling but I wasn't sure what it was until I put the camera under. Actually trying to draw attention to the bit out of the water!!



So.... in a nutshell... that was my trip!

Hope you enjoyed the story!!
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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:32 pm

spectacular lance!! Razz that rainstorm sounds like it was scary but a great memory once its over. I will watch the videos when my computer decides to load them. so glad you are home in one piece. Very Happy
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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by azriel on Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:15 pm

That was staggering Lance ! truly fantastic ! what a wonderful experience ! And such great memories ! Still got the smell of Africa in your mind ? When I spent time away from home I noticed England in a very different light when I got back, it looked different, smelt different even, food tasted different.
Well done you !! You say this is a charity challange misson, what is the charity helping ? & will you know the outcome ? Any chance of you doing this again or something like it ? Do love the pics ! Very Happy

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Eldorion on Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:36 pm

Fantastic pics and videos, Lance! Thanks for the comprehensive write-up, too. Looks like a great time. Thumbs Up
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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by bungobaggins on Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:53 pm

Amazing pics! Very Happy

"our protection (Sikou with his AK-47)"

Was the guard more of a protection from wild animals? Those crocs don't look too friendly. No
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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Ringdrotten on Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:56 pm

"Sven actually body boarding the rapids as a guinea pig for Bear Grylls"

My world just came crumbling down pale

"Epic finale to laugh about now but wasnt so fun being out there."

These experiences tend to make the best memories Very Happy Looks like you had an amazing trip, great pictures and vids too. Stories like this one are always an inspiration to go out and see the world Smile


Last edited by Ringdrotten on Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammarz)

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by halfwise on Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:10 pm

Very cool! Yeah, a tropical rainfall can be something else. Most trips are planned to miss the rainy season so tourists never experience it, but the scenery basically disappears behind falling water! Shocked

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:23 pm

Stories like this one is always an inspiration to go out and see the world- Ringdrotten

They inspire me to stay safely in the pub Nod drunken

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Re: The road goes ever on and on - A Travel Thread

Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:04 pm

I dreamed about being chased by crocodiles last night. cheers lance. Suspect

they didnt catch me though Razz
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