A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Rainbow


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Apologies for last week’s word and misleading photo.  Most of us must have a picture of a rainbow or two in our files.  I once saw orange rain though I didn’t get a picture of it unfortunately but rainbows I have plenty of but very few of a double so when these appeared over suburban Melbourne I was out in the streets with my camera.  What rainbows have you taken and where?

As most of you know, but for the newbies once a week I dip into my old English Oxford dictionary and pick a word on the page that it falls open at.  The challenge is to post a photograph you like best to describe what that word means to you. Please put a link back to my challenge post in your post so others can follow the thread and take part and also put your post link in my challenge post comments section so people can follow it back to your blog, see your take on the subject and peruse your blog.  Good luck.

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Opaque


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This Jelly fish I found on the beach is so see through that I can see the sand it is lying on

It’s been a hectic week so far,  I’ve moved back to Aussie, moved into a new house, got internet up and running, Peter has started a new job and I’m in the process of hunting for one.   Time to sort out the challenge and start 2015 with a new resolution to keep it going for another year.

As most of you know, but for the newbies once a week I dip into my old English Oxford dictionary and pick a word on the page that it falls open at.  The challenge is to post a photograph you like best to describe what that word means to you. Please put a link back to my challenge post in your post so others can follow the thread and take part and also put your post link in my challenge post comments section so people can follow it back to your blog, see your take on the subject and peruse your blog.  Good luck.

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Pots


 

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Shiny Pots – Peruvian Market

It’s been a hectic week so far,  I’ve moved back to Aussie, moved into a new house, got internet up and running, Peter has started a new job and I’m in the process of hunting for one.   Time to sort out the challenge and start 2015 with a new resolution to keep it going for another year.

As most of you know, but for the newbies once a week I dip into my old English Oxford dictionary and pick a word on the page that it falls open at.  The challenge is to post a photograph you like best to describe what that word means to you. Please put a link back to my challenge post in your post so others can follow the thread and take part and also put your post link in my challenge post comments section so people can follow it back to your blog, see your take on the subject and peruse your blog.  Good luck.

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Cross


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Happy New Year to you all and may it be a good one.  New beginnings for 2015 for me.  I’m finally back in Australia after a marathon backpack around Africa and a short stay in Greece and the UK.   Posting the Word A Week Challenge on a regular basis has been very difficult at times due to travelling and access to the internet.  So I appreciate all my readers efforts to continue to support the blog and the challenge.  Moving into  a new unit this week and internet should be up and running within 3 weeks – yes it takes a long time here to organise these things.   After this I will hopefully be dipping into my dictionary again on a regular basis.    At the moment I’m thinking of changing the challenge so any ideas are welcome.

Once a week I  dip into my old English Oxford dictionary and pick a word on the page that it falls open at.  The challenge is to post a photograph, poem, story – whatever the genre you like best to describe of what that word means to you. Please put a link back to my challenge post so others can take part and put your post link in my comments section so people can follow it back to your blog and take on the subject.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Yellow

MERRY XMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR


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A wonderful xmas and happy new year to you all.

A Word A Week Photograph Challenge – Shell


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Better late than never!  A word a week challenge seems to be turning into a word a month.  Sorry guys.  The pictures you see are shells collected in Zanzibar from the local beach and the solid ‘shell’ the Giant Tortoise uses for protection.

Once a week I will dip into my old English Oxford dictionary and pick a word on the page that it falls open at.  The challenge is to post a photograph, poem, story – whatever the genre you like best to describe of what that word means to you. Please put a link back to my challenge post so others can take part and put your post link in my comments section so people can follow it back to your blog and take on the subject.

Away With The Fairies, Hogs Back, South Africa


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Magical, mystical mountains, verdant forests and valleys, plunging waterfalls and towering trees, bathed in sunlight or enshrouded in white semi-translucent mist, make this a welcome break from the beaches. Good food restaurants abound but the slightly eccentric theme of fairies, elves, standing stones etc can be a little twee for some people’s taste. But get away from the main drag and be transported into a kingdom that Tolkien would be inspired by. We stayed at away with the Fairies run by an Englishman, Dan, and his South African girlfriend.

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Dan picked us up at Chintsa, although he looked a little confused when we dropped first our backpacks down by the truck and said hello. No one had let him know that he was supposed to be picking us up and he had booked a weekend away in East London. We called into the shopping mall and picked up food and alcohol supplies for the hostel and ourselves then headed off to meet Dave who was driving down from Hogsback to meet us halfway and pick us and the supplies up. Now this is where Chris comes back into the story.

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“I had a staff member staying in Chintsa” Dan told us
“We met him” we replied.
“I had to send him away to get his head together after he took a two day trip on magic mushrooms and lost the plot”
“Oh we thought he lived there the way he talked”
“He’s been working just over a month and he’s been tripping most of the time.
“I think he still is” I replied “we also met ????? said he was doing work for you.
“He was building patios, and we had to take them down as they were dangerous” said Dan
“Ahh I heard him talking to you on the phone. You refused to pay him”
We met up Dave and left Dan to enjoy his holiday. An hour and a half later Dave decided to divert to the township in Hogsback to check to see if a car was ready to be picked up from the garage.
“If it is” I pondered “who is going to drive it?”



Luckily it wasn’t so I wasn’t called upon to drive it up the mountain. Later when Dan returned and told us he was relieved that we’d made it as Dave could be a little unreliable at times I told him about the unscheduled stop that added another ½ hour to the journey, including my panic when I thought I’d be asked to drive one of the cars.
“That wasn’t the plan” Dan replied “What on earth was he thinking?“
And that’s what I love about travelling. People.

The Wild Coast, South Africa


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Rugged cliffs, green forests and mountainous regions, deserted white sand beaches, plunging seas populated with whales and dolphins. Stretching 350 km from East London to Port Edward, home of the Xhosa people. Known as the Transkei, name of the apartheid era homeland that gave birth to Nelson Mandela and became his final resting place.
Chintsa. Where lagoon meets sea and wind whipped sand scuds along the beach. Comprising of two small hamlets, East and West Chinsa that have a basic supermarket, reasonably priced food, camping grounds and a hostel.

After traversing the Garden Route and encountering the South African equivalent of the Australian Schoolies’ holidays, an annual event where school leavers hell bent on getting drunk, laid, stoned, obnoxious and sometimes aggressive gather on the Gold Coast for a big 2 week long party, we arrived in Chinsa. On the border of the Transkei and at the start of the Wilderness Coastline, Chinsa is quiet and unspoilt with stunning beaches and a wild, sand whipping, wind,
Unfortunately, it was still school holidays (see the previous garden route post). We’d booked into a safari tent at one of the hostels, which just happened to be pitched below the bar that pumped out seriously loud, bad music all night into dawn. The tent also happened to be on a rat run from the bar to the camp site/dorms/car park. One night, about 4.30am in the morning, some revellers fell out of the bar and helped their friend into her car because she was so drunk then waved her off as she drove to hers or some other innocent bystanders potential death. They then proceeded to vomit, scream at each other, fight and have a piss next to our tent. Nice! Now I remember when one of my friends got hammered, decided to drive home and got decidedly shitty with us when we asked for his keys. Did we guide him to the car, tuck him in and wish him a safe journey? Did we hell! Five of us jumped him, wrested him to the ground and took the keys off him. Then I drove him home under the threat of killing him if he didn’t tell me to stop and let him out if he needed to be sick. Of course he threw up in the car. Now that’s what I call friendship.
Luckily we still had the 3 man tent so after two nights of no sleep we set it up at the bottom of the valley and at night moved down there. We could still hear the music but at least it was a faint thumping bass in the distance.
It was on the camp site we met two interesting characters. Chris, who walked around with large headphones clamped to his head with a dreamy smile on his face 24/7 and claimed to have a famous brother who was a DJ.

Mike, who claimed to be a builder who also had a famous brother – a helicopter pilot to the Australian Prime Minister and world leaders. Hmm last time I heard the PM moved around by plane and worked out of Canberra not Perth as he claimed. Too much dope and a vivid imagination I thought.
Chris told us that he lived and worked in Hog’s Back region and had been told by his employer to take a couple of weeks break and ‘get his head together’. Funnily enough Chris’s work place was our next stop Away with the Faries hostel at the Hogs Back. He asked us to say hi to his two best friends George and Chasey who lived there and then wandered off nodding to the beat.

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Mdumbi and Coffee Bay. Many backpackers and travellers head towards Coffee Bay or Port St Johns to carry on the party. I heard one young volunteer say of Coffee Bay “I like to get away from the beaten track” which is rubbish. Overrun with tourists, full of rundown backpacker hostels, noisy, no views to speak of, lots of hawkers hassling tourists and a rubbish beach. If you really want to get away from the beaten track forget Coffee Bay and head to Mdumbi River Mouth and stay at Mdumbi backpackers 15kms further South which is perched on a hill with stunning views of the lagoon,beach and coastline. Sleep in traditional roundel huts, eat delicious and reasonably priced meals or cook your own in the fully equipped kitchen, check out the local catch of oysters, prawns and fish, walk along deserted beaches or check out the local village. All the adventures are community owned and the Mankowsi community owns part of the business.

The owners of the hostel assist locals to set up their own businesses and train and employ staff. They have a pre-school for the village children on site and are currently helping build a clinic. Your money will go to a very good cause and you can be part of it.

Christmas in Wilderness, New Year in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa


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Christmas in Wilderness, The Garden Route, South Africa

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Wilderness. Rolling breakers, lonely coves, national parks, tumbling waterfalls, white sands and stunning sunsets. Transport is needed to access most of the above as public transport is non-existent, a taxi costs a fortune and walking in the heat for long periods is not recommended.

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Despite booking in advance for the tent site (a small piece of grass that accommodated two tents max it was already occupied and we ended up camping on the hostel’s concrete patio. Views from the balcony over the beach made up for it but the dirty kitchen and toilets didn’t. The owner after dealing with a complaint about the noise from neighbours confided in us that one review on trip advisor said that it was the dirtiest hostel he had stayed in and that included the ones in India. She felt that the review was a little harsh and that he only had to say something to her at the time and she could have sorted it out. Having been given licence to speak I said
“In that case, you might want to ask the staff to clean the toilets” There are half empty beer bottles in them, toilet roll paper pieces all over the floor, dirty showers and peanut butter covered knives in the kitchen that have been left for days” .

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Unfortunately they had no wifi so we couldn’t contact friend and family to wish them happy Christmas and had to send good wishes via ESP over a superb 4 course Thai Christmas meal that was so big that we shared. Tom Yum Soup, Chilli Prawns, Chicken Satay, Beef Masamum Curry, a version of profiteroles, tea and coffee.

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A walk along the old disused railway that ran along the coast lead away from the main beach through a long tunnel and out into a small cove. Outside the tunnel was an adjoining cave occupied by a hermit who had decorated the adjoining cave. He gave us a tour, enclosed tunnels decorated with kitsch led to double beds, kitchens, lounge chairs and sofas . It was a place for homeless people he explained – except there was no one living there apart from himself! We gave him a donation anyway. I chickened out at the viaduct bridge – it looked very unsafe.

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We headed to Plettenburg Bay for New Year. Same old same old, hostel was rammed, young drunk South Africans, dirty kitchen, etc etc. Again this place would be wonderful out of season for a short stay as the beaches and views are lovely. Plettenberg Bay. South Africa.
I can’t think of anything else to say about this place so let me relate a conversation I overheard whilst sipping my G and T.
8 year old pointing at swimmer in sea not swimming in between life guard flags – “He’s going to die”
Her 5 year old sister “Why’s he going to die?”
8 year old “because he’s not swimming in between the flags”
5 year old “how do you know?”
8 year old “Because Daddy told me” Daddy would die, I would die and you would die if you didn’t swim between the flags”
5 year old voice raised in wonder “Daddy would die”
8 year old “Yes”
3 year old brother who has not been listening “Who’s going to die/”
5 year old pointing at swimmer “he’s going to die” “But he’s a teenager and you know that they don’t listen”.
Final stop Jefferies Bay – surfers’ paradise and a run down town where we stayed in a hostel full of drunk, loud young men who partied all night.
With relief we left the Garden Route and headed to the Wild Coast.

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