Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
While most of my photography has been in black and white, before digital all my color was done with Kodachrome film. When we were kids my dad used Kodachrome film in a Argus C3 camera to take pictures of us then showed them as slides with the Kodak slide projector. Today, December 30, 2010 is the last day Kodachrome will ever be developed. There is one lab in Kansas that still processes it and that line will be shut down today. The chemicals, made only by Kodak, will never be make again. One of it's main advantages was that it was long lasting color film. I have some of my families slides from over 50 years ago and the colors are as good as when first taken, no other color film comes close and with digital no one knows how long the files will last to say nothing about the life of the media we store them on. Can anyone still work with files we saved on floppy discs? If I could put sound on the blog I'd put on Paul Simon's "Kodachrome" which is playing as I type this.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
While he looks just like a big lazy cow in the barnyard, the Cape Buffalo is responsible for more human deaths than any other African animal. Later we saw hundreds in a migration, everything stays out of their way. The most common animal we saw killed by Lions was the Zebra but early one morning at Chobe we saw two Buffalo that had been recently killed by Lions and one Lion was left as a guard. Our guide pointed a large pride of Lions sleeping off their meal in the bushes a short distance away.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
I don't know what kind of shop this was but it was common to see shops and vehicles named. One name seen on a bus and on several trucks was "Monica Lewinski". One truck at the border in Kenya had the slogan "Revenge is not a Sin" painted on it, the area had been having what our guide called "troubles" in recent weeks and we saw several areas that had been recently burned. Another truck sign just said "Boom" and one truck that had been wrecked in front of us had the sign "One Day at a Time".
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
It seems like everywhere you go in the world kids are all alike. If you have a camera you will draw a crowd of kids all wanting their picture taken. You start to photograph one and soon there are two, then five, and soon more than you can count all pressing forward to be in the front. These kids were in a village by a lake in Malawi that a guide at our camp took us to. I had taken photos of some of his relatives and a lot of the kids in the village planning on sending back photos to them. The guide was to bring me the address in the morning before we left camp but he never showed. I went looking for him but found him drunk on the beach. If I know I will be back I will bring the photos back and have taken back hundreds to Turkey, Cambodia, Cuba and the Middle East. I think many times these are the first photos some of them have ever seen of themselves. Going through these photos from Africa makes me want to go back again, then I could take photos back. Some of these areas I not sure mail will get through. I did get some photos back to the town of Tire in Turkey were there was no address just a lengthy note of how to get there from a nearby larger town. The gentleman must have never gotten any mail as he had no formal address so he wrote out a note on where to find him.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
We were on a game drive in a jeep with three rows of seats with each row slightly higher as than the row in front of it. The driver warned us to stay seated in case he had to accelerate quickly. We saw a group of elephants with several baby's in the group. When we stopped to watch this guy took issue with us and stomped his feet and flapped his ears then charging a few feet closer. One of our group was a lawyer from England and from the back seat he yelled "lets get out of here". The driver held his ground as the elephant got closer and our back seat passenger got louder. He was almost close enough for me to touch his tusk when the driver accelerated away and the even louder voice from the back pleaded "can we please get out of here". The driver later told me that this was a young elephant just trying to exert himself. He said if some of the larger, more mature, we saw later got that close they would have easily flipped the jeep.
The next day when we pulled into camp we were warned there was a young male elephant that had chased two people up trees already that day. We never did see him but that night heard a lot of loud elephant sounds. I doubt the young elephant was trying to hurt anyone, if he was he certainly would be fast enough to get them, I think he just liked watching people scramble up trees.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
On one night drive we saw several lions that had been spotted by a couple other vehicles, Our driver drove on then turned off the track and stopped a hundred yards off the trail and turned off the lights and told everyone to be quite. After several minutes we saw a lion moving towards us. She passed only a few feet from the jeep when I took this shot. Unfortunately my flash took too long to cycle because as soon as the flash went off she turned and looked directly at me from only a couple feet away but my flash didn't go off. The spotter had turned on his flashlight and all I saw was those two big green eyes but no photo.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Leaving Portland, I flew to Seattle to see the Granddaughters and go to a basketball game where one was a cheerleader. Two of them have SLR cameras, one a film camera,so we got to experiment with cameras and tripods. Will have to get some of there photos on the blog. Got to see the Picasso show at the Seattle Art Museum as one of the Granddaughters is a art student and got tickets in advance.
Yeah, a wall of gum outside a restaurant in Seattle, guess it could be worse. The very smart and beautiful ladies are Lexi, Kaija, and Samia.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Drove up Mount Hood, Mom had been up there this summer and wanted to go back. Its not summer any more the snow was higher than the car. The mountains are supposed to get 15 feet, yes fifteen feet, of snow this weekend and then winter comes next week.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
It was cloudy and rainy all day but at Coos Bay saw this happy face outside the restaurant at the dock. Also had very good fish and chips. Ever notice that you can get great fish and chips at the ocean but as soon as you are more that ten miles from the coast, forget about it.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
No trip is complete without a stop at Graceland. The highlands of Kenya were the most prosperous area we have been in Africa but Malawi was a shock. I was reading a book that said if you came into an African village and the first two shops you saw were coffin makers, you must be in Malawi. Indeed the first village we entered in Malawi had a couple shops and bars but two coffin makers.
We had people in our group from several countries which always made getting visas at the border a real adventure. The cost of a visa depended on where you were from and at one border varied from $20 to over $200. In addition some countries would give some of us multiple entry visas and charge others over $100 additional for a multiple entry visa. One of our group was from Austria and he was told at the Malawi border that he couldn't get a visa as Austria was not a country in spite of what his passport said. Finally they charged him $100 for a one day visa and told him to go to the police in the next town. At the police station in the Town of Muzuzu they decided he could have a visa for another $70. When our guide asked a list of countries and visa charges they said they didn't have one but would write one out. They started to write one out for us but Austria was not on the list.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
On our last day in Tukuyu we were supposed to go to a waterfall. The driver picked us up in an old Toyota van that looked like trouble. There were ten of us plus driver in a van the size of VW van for what was supposed to be a all day trip through the wilds. It really had a strong smell of gas in the van and as the driver stopped as a gas station a couple blocks from the hotel he not only filled the tank but also a small gas can without a lid that was under his seat. That's when I decided I would rather not take the drive in such a crowded and smelly vehicle. When I got out a few others decided they also didn't want to see a waterfall so we started to walk back to town. We stopped at this banana stand to buy 4 bananas. One of our group thinking they knew the language talked to the proprietor and determined 4 bananas were about twelve cents. we gave the lady the money and she gave us two big bunches, it seems the twelve cents was not for 4 bananas but for 4 kilos of them, so we walked back carrying our bananas. we never did eat them all.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Stayed the night in the highlands at Tukuyu. Our camp was in the compound of a hotel and the manager offered us rooms for two at $15. It was cold at this altitude so stayed in the hotel, it was a new hotel and we were the only guests. Tuyuyu is an area of tea and banana plantations and at harvest time buyers stayed in the hotel. Adjacent to the hotel there was a large celebration going on, perhaps a Kenyan version of a country fair, with lots of drums and loud singing. Several of us went to check it out. They were selling home brew out of buckets and even in the late afternoon it was a rowdy and noisy crowd. At midnight in was much louder and I was glad to be in the hotel. The old Africa explorers would describe the drums, the drums going on all night and always getting louder now we knew what they meant. In the morning there were a lot of passed out drunks even in the hotel lobby.
Monday, December 6, 2010
We were at the plantation as school was letting out for lunch so were soon surrounded by school kids. They all want there picture taken and to see it on the camera screen. Hopefully they will stay in school and not end up working at the plantation where they would earn $7 a day on good days. The guide explained that there were not many good days.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
This canyon was next to our next camp on the road to the highlands. I was filled with interesting formations and a archaeological group was doing excavations here as it was supposed to be one of the spots where evidence of the first Homo sapiens were found.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
After crossing back to the mainland we headed up into the highlands and camped in Baobab Valley next to a river. Great camp, if you started a fire under the 55 gal drum, you could have a great hot shower. We found a lot of the camp spots in Africa had similar set ups. You learned to look for a fire burning by the restrooms or what passed for rest rooms.
At the Baobab Camp, as like a lot of place, you never set anything down while out taking photos as the monkeys would grab anything you set down. Same thing in camp but there it was jackals and hyenas trying to grab food. After dark they would really get bold, sitting by the fire as it was burning low it would be common to have one run by your chair to grab something from the table in the dark.