Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Best campsite yet!

We are almost finished our three and a half week camping safari tour of Namibia and arrived at our last scheduled campsite yesterday.

And they saved the best till the last!

Friday, November 29, 2013

4 Wheel Drive Required at Fish River Canyon!

We have this nice Nissan 4x4 from Namibia Car Rental. And we've had to put it in 4 wheel drive mode twice since we've been here. Once was on a sand road at Sossusvlei, and the only other time was when we almost got stuck in our campsite at Waterburg Plateau.

So when we saw a 10 km (6.2 mile) road at Fish River Canyon that said "4x4 only"...we went for it!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Our thoughts on Africa so far

First of all, we have to remember that Africa is a VERY large continent containing many countries. We have only visited one country so far. Namibia!

So we can only give our views of Namibia. Other parts of the continent of Africa will be very different!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Watching the Social Weavers. And other Namibian wildlife!

The social weavers?

Here in southern Africa, there is a type of bird called the social weaver. Or sociable weaver. We happened to be camped under a tree that contained a social weaver nest, so we spent a fair bit of time watching these interesting little birds go about their daily affairs!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gorgeous hiking at Klein Aus Vista, Namibia

One of the things the Klein Aus Vista property is known for is it's hiking and mountain biking! There are over 100 kms (62 miles) of well maintained and well marked trails for all levels.

So yesterday, we decided to do one of their intermediate to advanced level hiking trails. A 12.7 km (7.9 mile) route that promised a couple of fantastic views!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sesriem to Klein-Aus Vista, Namibia

Another long driving day yesterday, but what a location we ended up at!

We did 344 kms (213 miles) from Sesriem to the Gondwana Klein-Aus Vista Resort where we had camping reservations for three nights.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A baking hot day at Sesriem Canyon, Namibia

We tried to get an early start to Sesriem Canyon. And we did pretty well because we got there about 8:45am. The canyon is located only 4 kms (2.5 miles) from our site at Sesriem Campground.

But it was already getting hot.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Amazing sights at Deadvlei and Sossusvlei

We were up at 4:30am Friday morning.

We had been told that in order to get the best photos, you needed to have the early dawn light on the huge sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Also, we had grand ambitions of climbing the highest sand dune in the world, something that needed to be done before the hot sun got too high in the sky.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Swakopmund to Sesriem, Namibia

It was going on 9:00am by the time we left our site at Swakopmund. Again, we had a long drive ahead of us with most of it on dirt roads.

One thing we've learned about driving around Namibia is that there can be long stretches of nothingness in between worthwhile attractions!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Flamingos and Baby Seals

Yesterday, we did a day trip to Walvis Bay. Only 30 kms (18 miles) south of Swakopmund. We have to drive back to that area this morning, but we have a long drive today so would not have had time to stop and see the town.

Glad we went, because we saw some interesting things.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The seaside resort town of Swakopmund, Namibia

This is a strange town. A seaside resort with expensive beach houses lining the shore, only a few hundred miles from people who live in huts without enough to eat. But we've noticed that those extremes are common in this part of Africa.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Now we're camping in style!

We were up early Sunday morning. We knew we had a 320 km (200 mile) drive to do, and it was all on dirt roads! Plus, we were headed for the seaside town of Swakomund and we wanted to get there early enough to enjoy the afternoon there as we only have two more days in the area.

We hit the road by 7:20am.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Flush toilets with bush showers

Okay, so we're always up for a new experience. We had read in our itinerary that our campground at Aabadi Mountain Camp had "flush toilets with bush showers". So we were kinda curious about that.

I showed in today's earlier post that our campground here is pretty basic, and we have no problem with that. But we hadn't seen all of the facilities yet.

Etosha to Damaraland

We had a long drive ahead of us on Saturday. Besides the 360 kms (223 miles) to our next destination, we also wanted to check out along the way two of the Gondwana resort lodges that we hope to be staying at for a few nights in December.

Not only that, but as we were departing Etosha National park, we still had a short route where we could do an hour long safari in case we were lucky enough to come across anything interesting.

And it turns out that we were lucky enough!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Another animal stroked off the list!

We did a bit of a longer safari drive through Etosha National Park on Friday morning. It started off really good, with a group of wildebeast crossing the road. And shortly after that, we saw a head stick up beside a culvert under the road.

It was our second hyena sighting!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Safari day 4 and evening waterhole excitement!

Another restless night because of wind and rain. But we were still up before 6:00am in the morning. We crawled down from the rooftop tent, and what do we see? Something else crawling!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Namutoni to Okaukuejo campgrounds

We didn't have a great sleep Tuesday night. A big windstorm came up, and there were even a couple of raindrops. But it was so dusty, and it blew the tarp off our tent just as we were going to bed.

I figured we would be okay because it hasn't rained here in ages, but sure enough we woke up in the middle of the night to raindrops.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Can you spot the cheetah?

Day two out on safari here at Etosha National Park. And, our second cheetah sighting! This one, we found all on our own.

We planned a shorter day out yesterday. We found that six hours sitting in the vehicle was too long, and unless you go to one of the fenced washrooms, you do not get out of your vehicle. We ended up doing the loop around Fisher's Pan, 57 kms (35 miles) in four and a half hours.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Our first Namibia self drive Safari...what a day we had!

We were up at sunrise yesterday morning, along with most other people in the campground. Sunrise around here is at about 5:50am.

There is a wildlife viewing area at the Namutoni Campground in Etosha National Park and we had heard that if you head over there first thing, you might see some animals. So we went over right away before coffee. There was nothing to be seen for us at that time, but fortunately that wasn't the way the rest of our day was going to be!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Waterberg Plateau to Namutoni Campground, Etosha National Park, Namibia

We knew we had a 384 km (240 mile) drive and so we tried to get an early start. But it was still 9:30am or so by the time we hit the road. We had to stop for more groceries because we are going to be six days in Etosha National Park.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Camping, Hiking, and Wildlife at Waterberg Plateau National Park, Namibia

When we left you yesterday, we were on our way to do a hike to the top of the Plateau. The campground is located near the entrance and administration building, and we had to walk up past the restaurant and chalets to get to the trailhead. It's not really far, but it was uphill and even at 9:30am it was starting to get warm already!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

First day camping in Africa!

What a great first day in Namibia.

We were up in time for our English breakfast at 7:30am that was included in our night at Rivendell Guest House. A couple of girls from Denmark, and a couple from England joined us at the table. Breakfast was fine, and at 8:00am we met with Leigh and Monica from ATI Holidays, the tour company that arranged the camping portion of our trip.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Arrived in Namibia, Africa!!!

We are so excited (and so tired!) that we don't know where to start. Of course it makes sense to start where we last left you...we were leaving our couchsurfing host Ike's apartment (thanks again Ike!) yesterday morning and heading for New York's JFK airport to catch our 10:40am flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

So we had left the apartment at around 6:30am...figuring that was enough time to get across New York City during morning rush hour traffic...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fun last day in New York City

We took our time heading downtown this morning. Before we left, we made our way to the main street near the apartment and bought some toiletry items that are easier and cheaper to get here than in Namibia. Razor blades, sunscreen...that kind of thing.

Then, we hopped on the subway again.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

There is too much to see!

Every corner you turn in New York City leads you to a new street that you've never been on before. We could easily spend more than one full day just in Lower Manhattan. Good thing we're coming back here for three more days in March.

We did at least another 10 mile (16 km) walking day yesterday.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Walking New York City

We didn't leave the apartment until almost 10am yesterday morning. We planned it that way though, partly because the New York City marathon was taking place and we were going to walk from the apartment in Washington Heights to the northern corner of Central Park in order to see some of the runners nearing the finish line. And partly because it was a little chilly out and things might have warmed up a bit by then!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Let the Adventure Begin!

Son in law Justin drove us to Halifax airport yesterday morning. It was just easier for daughter Lindsey to stay behind with the young ones. Made it to Halifax airport with lots of time to spare for our 12:39pm departure to Newark, New Jersey.

We checked in and got our boarding passes. Figured we may as well go through security and wait in the boarding area. Oddly, U.S. customs has a pre screening area in Halifax airport. This means that you actually go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Halifax, once you cleared security. That way you don't have to do it in Newark.

But this was a strange experience...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

October Expenses

Well, I figured that October was going to be difficult to budget for. We came within $200 of our budgeted $1,400 worth of expenses. Too bad it was $200 on the high side of things!

Fuel and entertainment were quite a bit higher than expected, but groceries were lower. Miscellaneous came in on the high side too. Here's how it all broke down...

Friday, November 1, 2013

We scored Letterman tickets!

And so we better tell you how we did it in case you want to get tickets on your next visit to New York City!

We'll be going to the show on Tuesday November 5th. They don't make it easy to get tickets, and there's a bit of luck involved but we're proof that things can come together if the stars line up the right way. And hopefully we'll be seeing a star or two...we don't know what the guest lineup is for that night's show yet!