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xelas last won the day on May 31

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About xelas

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    Traveling. Exploring. Communicating with people around the world. Self driving.

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  1. Aiming at #500 in 2017, @Tdgraves ??
  2. Also my congratulations on reaching #100, @Soukous !
  3. Yes; follow D1986 till the entry to saltworks, folow alonside pans, then more or less along the coast (but ocean is far away) If you switch to Satellite mode is easier to understand: The sand road continues till it ends at a little roundabout where people likes to have their picnics: How far you will be able to drive depends; on our first attempt the dense fog rolled out of the ocean so we turned back about half way. In the afternoon the visibility was great and we have reached the "roundabout". Other cars on this route were mostly fishermen; you know them by long poles sticking out in front of the bonnet.
  4. ... put them all on a sturdy tripod. Then set the camera to RAW, shutter speed 25-30 sec, exposure f/1.8, ISO 3200, WB 3500, and use the remote control . Next time, Peter! Until then, I will prefer to enjoy in your fabulous photos .
  5. Thanks for liking Zvezda's photos ... and our trip report. Those vendors might be quite intimidating when they all swarm on your car ... but they just want to do some business.
  6. Those granite rocks really looks like they are in fire when the sun hits them at the right angle!
  7. It surely is, Chak, at least to our limited knowledge! There is already one resort there, Spitzkoope Lodge (will show you in next post) but is on the other side of the mountains. I have no knowledge of anything else to be built there. They do work on some improvements, like adding communal bathroom closer to the campsites, but still outside the main perimeter. No meerkats/suricats spotted. Will post first one that we will encounter.
  8. Hi Peter! It is easy to take pano shots with Sony, even handheld. But thank you for your words of encouragement !
  9. Finally we have decided for campsite #4; it has a gorgeous view over the inner amphitheater of the Spitzkoope group, it has a long drop toilet, and a braai,. What else one could ever need for camping?! While me and Tanja were busy working on the RTTs, Zvezda put some steaks on the braai, while taking many photos. Below is my feeble attempt to capture the majesty of the place using the panorama option on my little P&S camera: From the ground floor ... ... and from the balcony Granite itself is high on iron, thus reddish, but when the sun started to set down, and the angle of the light becomes more horizontal, the nearby rocks explodes in a fire! Firefighter on duty Looks like lava flow Deep red and long shades Not only flamingos are pretty in pink The sun is already deep below horizon I have seen some of the @Peter Connan night sky photos when we met him in Solitaire; enough to effectively surprise any idea of trying to compete with him. That one is the only one I have done. Just for fun, with Sony RX100 MkII, in JPEG, etc. If not for its funky colour that matches the previously posted photos, it would end up in the "round bin". Milky Way the wrong way Everything idyllic, one would though?! Not exactly! Well into the deep of the night, a strange noise woke us all up! And then the shaking of the tents, and finally, the whole car was shaking !! Nope, no elephants or buffaloes here, only a very strong wind, and our site, while having perfect views, was also perfectly exposed to it. It was quite scary as on some moments the part of the tent that is not attached to the roof was blown upper 10-20 cm. Me and Tanja's (we have shared one tent) combined weight was just enough to countermeasure the force of the wind while Zvezda has had much bigger problems. While no-one was looking at the clock, the wind died down in about 2 hours. Lesson learned: next time we should tied the tent down to the ground or to the bottom of the car.
  10. There is a shortcut road that goes first to Spitzkoope Lodge and then crossing the whole camping area to reach the main reception of the community camp. IMO it is better to follow the signed approach road. After a brief drive through local community village, and local "shopping mall" there is the small reception to check in. The map of the camp is basic, and as the camp covers really huge territory with only about 15 campsites, chasing the right one is not that easy. They work on "first come first serve" basis. Some of the photos from our exploration of the camp to find the right campsite for us: Reception hut Two iconic items of Namibia More granite mountains This one is occupied already ... ... and this one also ... ... maybe this one? No, there are tents ... Anyone sees any bears? The famous Rock Bridge ... also taken This couple obviously likes its home ... ... so why not staying next to them?!
  11. Still Day 6: Granite On Fire After the coffee break, and salt licking experiment, it was time to head inland, to our first "not been there yet" stop of this year itinerary: Spitzkoope! The gravel road D1918 which turns off coastal salt road C34 right in Henries Bay showed its ugly face right away. The gravel was deep and loose, and car was dancing all over the surface as soon as the speed goes above 60 km/h. Luckily it only lasted for about 50 km, then the surface hardened and the speed reached the usual 80 km/h. It is a barn and desolate country (but not as boring as the one along the C14 toward Walvis Bay). Then there it was: the Spitzkoope group! A collection of bald granite peaks, the main one also referred to as the "Matterhorn of Namibia". Me and Zvezda loved the granite boulders at Ameib Ranch in 2014 and I have read enough praise for this camp to brave its otherwise quite basic standards. Spitzkoope group in distance Coming closer the contours becoming more dramatic. The Spitzkoope itself is a very pointed (for Namibia anyway) and high granite mountain. Sign to the campsite Matterhorn of Namibia This Black-chested Snake Eagle is able to get to the best viewing position over the magnificent mountains!
  12. Ah, @monalisa , trying to make Hulk turning red ? If not him then me then . Thanks for your kind words, and there is more to come
  13. Yes, @Levante, saltworks are south of the Walvis Bay. Just follow the road, and turn right before entering the compound. From there on follow the road which ends at Pelican Point (not where the hotel is, as there is only a 4x4 track going there). It is pretty obvious, just keep on what you will think is a drivable road.
  14. Fantastich shots, @Soukous ! Opening photo looks like it was taken somewhere in Scotland ... and by googling I can see Farne Islands are not that far away .! The puffins are ... well, puffins ! They do avoid me even more than leopards ... Which month have you been to Farna, and are you planning any similar trip/GTG in next year(s)?
  15. Yes, @Elsa Hoffmann, in Marina de Gama; see you there between Wednesday, 10 January till Sunday, 14 January 2018 ! How could we lure @Peter Connan to join us in a birding trip?! Oh, I know; what about a huge Gorenjka chocolate ??

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