Namibia Prologue: Africa a decade ago.

Trip Start Jun 04, 2009
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Where I stayed
Mi Casa in Mesa Arizona!

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Thursday, May 28, 2009

So I've not left for Namibia yet. I'm getting ready and I leave on June 4th. I thought I would start this blog with a flashback to almost a decade ago because it puts everything about this trip into perspective and helps explain why I'm going to Namibia. A little over 10 years ago, I did one of those - the rat race sucks, is this all there is to life, I really fancy doing something totally exciting, fun and a little out of the ordinary. At that point in time, I was a post-doc at Arizona State University doing research in biology, publishing papers, and doing some really cool research. I had already made several trips to the Amazon, Mexico, Europe (I'm from England), and really life was pretty good. But deep down inside of me a little voice had always quietly whispered "Africa, go there, just do it D, make it happen". Sometimes I'd hear that voice whisper clearly, and at other times I would just feel it faintly, so very faintly that maybe it was just a ripple whispering to me. You know sometimes when you think about living somewhere different, or wearing a particular item of clothing, or driving a certain car, or seeing a particular piece of furniture or artwork, or meeting someone who you know you'll be best friends with instantly, and your eyes open wide and you think "that's it" and it just seems to fit, it just seems right? Well for some reason when I used to think about exploring Africa, it just seemed right, it just seemed me. I had always been fascinated with Africa, everything about the place fascinated me. The people, the culture, the wildlife, the history, the archeology, the paleoanthropology, the politics, the danger, the adventure, and of course did I mention the wildlife?

So I said, right, I'm going to do it. Why not? In a nut shell, and I'm going to totally rip off (in the past tense) Nat Geog Traveler magazine's tag line here, I "dreamt it, planned it, and did it".

So here was the dream - travel Africa in an old series (1970s style) Land Rover, seeing wildlife, people, places, and taking loads and loads of photographs. I was going to be the great white hunter, but shooting pictures, not bullets, yeah thats right, the great white hunter. Hey, its my dream, so don't knock it.

So here was the plan - start in South Africa, kit out a 1973 Land Rover for a year-long overland trip that would end with me driving up the Edendale Road hill to my parents house in Barnehurst, just outside of London. I had walked, run and peddled my bike up that hill literally 1000s of times as a kid, and now I wanted to drive up that hill in the Land Rover that I'd just driven the length of Africa in. Oh, and while on the trek, take loads and loads of pictures, hang out in some amazing places, fill my soul, and grow into a more worldly human being. Not too much to ask really, is it?

I pretty much really did just what the plan said, in a nut shell that is. The trip was 24 000 miles long and took about a year. One of the places we drove through was Namibia, and one of the places we visited was the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). And thats where I'm going in a few days.

I've posted two video slideshows and a video that highlights the first trek 10 years ago. They might take some time to download, but I think they are fun and well worth watching. Enjoy them!

Click here (Hi res) or here (low res) for the super-fantastic movie from this trip.
Click here to see a short movie on the Musi Tribe from Ethiopia - the woman have lip plates.
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