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xelas last won the day on May 31

xelas had the most liked content!

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About xelas

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    Order of the Pith

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

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  1. Day 8 & 9: The Wonders of Ameib Ranch Ameib Ranch is one of those places that really captured our hearts on our first visit in 2014. Ranch itself is huge, and most of it out of the reach for regular visitors, and that is for good reasons. But the rest of the place has so much to offer. What we liked above all is the feasibility of walking on your own. There are several walking trails in the vicinity of the lodge, some shorter and others longer and some of them only for accomplished hikers and rock climbers. And everywhere one goes, there will be gorgeous landscapes awaiting. While wildlife is not as prolific as one would hope for, birds are always around, and if lucky enough, a mammal or two can be encountered. For accommodation, ranch has a smaller in size but well equipped campsite, with a small and clean pool, and there are two self-catering cabins within the campsite (which is enclosed with a fence. Then there are ranch rooms (where we have stayed) and separate bungalows, all within walking distance to the main building, the boma. Breakfast and dinners can be ordered, and dinner is a buffet style. We have had one late lunch prepared by ourselves, in the campsite, and two dinners in the lodge. The first one was very good, while the second one was just good. Beware that, as explained often before, I am not a gourmet type of eater. It is difficult for judging the quality of the food simply based on my words. Entry gate to the ranch Ameib ranch is hosting the Ameib Rhino Sanctuary which is part of the Erongo Mountain Rhino Sanctuary Trust. They are very serious about their job. Even after staying there for three nights, and having multiple discussions with the property manager, he was still very undisclosed about anything related to rhinos. And that is a highly positive approach, IMO. The ranch is vast, almost to the point the eye cannot reach the end of the property. Two photos that might give you the impression of how large the property is (both taken from the relative vicinity of the lodge): Main building, also in this place, its The Boma: the place where guests will have their breakfasts and dinners and will congregate to share daily stories. The bar was mostly operated by the manager itself. Outside of bona, a couple of chairs where you can have your pre-breakfast coffee with birds on the feeders, or your sundowner. We only got there for early morning coffee. Rooms are in the good old farmhouse fashion: large, rather basic, and bathrooms are always the cutest parts. No A/C but none needed in May. If you are spooked by small animals in the room, well, better skip the rooms. We have had all kinds of visitors: while geckoes are normal, and so also spiders, a small frog was a nice surprise, and so was also a juvenile rock agama. They all are harmless so we have made no fuss around them.
  2. @Bush dog the constructive critique is what I appreciate! Myself I have some "problems" with evaluating the perceived "sharpness" (which in fact is an increase contrast) when I am looking at end results on iMac and then on iPad or on my office PC on a Dell computer. While some of photos do paper too "sharp" on iMac they loose a lot of that effect on PC. To help me out improving on my workflow, and post-processing skills, please be so kind and send me a list of those photos that are over-sharpened. If I would have to chose by myself, those most likely candidates, in last post above, would be the beetle and the prinia (mostly on branch). Thank you so much for your help!
  3. Thank You, @JohnR ! All the kudos goes to the photographer; post-processing is basic at best.
  4. Oh my, @PeterHG , I completely overlooked your Big Year 2017, and you have not reminded me of this huge mistake of mine ? It will took me days to like them all, my birding friend. BTW if there will ever be a BIF Big Year, you will be on top of that count!
  5. The scenery is what we will stop for at Karoo NP next January for 2 nights, so very glad to see what an expert photographer like @Elsa Hoffmann can achieve! I am a bit surprised by your words about rough roads; my idea is to rent an SUV only type of car. Will tag be good enough if not venturing too far from the Karoo Rest Camp (cottage)??
  6. We have ended our stay at this fantastic site with a quick birding. African Hawk Eagle Black-chested Prinia juv Red-faced Mousebirds Rock Kestrel Pale-winged Starling A beetle Spitzkoope is indeed such a special place. If one is a rock climber, or a serious hiker, this is the place to go. But even for others, like us, it offers so much: beautiful views, easy hikes, birding, and even mammals if one is lucky. While campsites are basic at best, the community has also chalets, and a restaurant, and for those looking for better creature comfort, there is Spitzkoope Lodge. We have stayed only 1 night but next visit it will be for sure longer!
  7. Little Bushman Paradise is site with rock paintings. They are much better visible with bare eye, yet some animals are clearly identifiable also on photos. Entry to the site Rhino and cheetah Lioness Hunting party Explores and their guide
  8. There are at least two possible guided hikes; the one named Bushman Paradise is more demanding so we have opted for one named Little Bushman Paradise. At the reception we have paid for the guide who entered our car and guided us to the far end of the Spitzkoope area. More beautiful sights we waiting for us. A herd of zebras in golden grass Close-up Paradise for rock climbers Spitzkoope Lodge Picture perfect A giant sleeping Deep rock pool filled with water Refreshingly clear and cold
  9. Day 7: Paradise Made of Granite The previous night we have been stirred but not shaken! Early out of the tents, into a beautifully calm and peaceful morning. And immediately with camera ready. Day started with same colours as it has ended Famous Rock Bridge The View
  10. Aiming at #500 in 2017, @Tdgraves ??
  11. Also my congratulations on reaching #100, @Soukous !
  12. 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.
  13. ... 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 .
  14. 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.
  15. Those granite rocks really looks like they are in fire when the sun hits them at the right angle!

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