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Greatest Hitz

For better or worse, this little corner of the internets has been sitting on ice cubes for awhile now. I no longer write on it because I no longer feel like I have anything exciting and noteworthy to say, and I'm not really dedicated or skilled enough to try and write interesting thoughts about mundane topics. I'm back home doing normal home things, which is kind of a let down after my life of fighting murderous baboons and drinking lumpy beer from gas cans. In the process of trying to find a company willing to give me money on a regular basis for use of my skill(z), it came to my attention that in this modern world of ours people really do Google your name to find out if you're some kind of weirdo. Such that this is the cornerstone of my web presence, I figure I should probably give my little soapbox one last lick of paint.

So without further ado: Picture Me Walkin's Greatest Hits, as determined by a committee of one and in no particular order.

5 Sweeping Generalization…

The End of Africa

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(The end of Africa. Indian Ocean on the right, Atlantic on the left.)

Cape Town, the end of the journey. I'm here. Forgive me if I get a bit nostalgic.
I retired from my illustrious career in aid work on January 1 with the goal of traveling until I either reached Cape Town or ran out of money. On Monday, April 19th I pulled into the city limits of the southernmost city of note on the continent. Three and a half months, nine sovereign nations and roughly 11 thousand kilometers over the road. I spent most of this time not really thinking about the bigger picture of where I'm going or doing any significant planning. The map in head rarely extended much past the next town, and decisions were pretty exclusively made on a day to day basis.

(Cape Town and Table Mountain as seen from the V&A waterfront.)

The one constant, however detached, has been the symbolic destination of Cape Town. It's been my Mecca and I haven't turned away from it many times since I left Uganda. Havin…

Oh Cape Town

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It's all but obligatory to rant and rave about Cape Town. It's one of those cities that everyone who visits loves. It's beautiful, laid-back, warm (so I've been told, I'm freezing) and definitely happening. The clich├ęs come pretty fast around here, the biggest being "it's not Africa, it's Cape Town." I hate to buy into it, but it's the truth. Cape Town is a world apart from Africa, even more so than the rest of SA is. It's full of beautiful architecture and parks, classy bars and restaurants and tourists galore.
( The Company's Gardens, basically the Central Park of Cape Town. The white building is the National Art Galleries.)

In short, Cape Town is great, with a surprising amount of things to do in close proximity of such a big city.

(More Company's Gardens, museum of natural history in the background)
The other day I took the opportunity for a visit to the cape of Good Hope and it's resident penguins. Visiting the penguins is pre…

Just call me Feather Baron

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I seem to constantly flip flop back and forth between whether I want to on the beach or in the mountains. Honestly it's probably the enduring struggle of my life right now, which is a crystal clear indication of just how lucky I am. It's a clear cut case of the grass is greener: the beach is too easy and homogeneously beachy, everywhere else things just seem to go awry. After leaving the Drakensburgs after a great and very fun- if slightly ill fated- hike, we decided to stick to the beach for awhile and tour along the Wild Coast and Garden Route. The garden route and Wild coast are classic tourist brochure material, as the names would indicate. Perfect beaches, beautiful indigenous forests, amazing flora and fauna resulting from unique ecosystems created by the meeting of the icy Atlantic and balmy Indian oceans. On the beach is world class surfing, just back from the beach world class hiking. It is as great a travel destination for all ages as you're likely to find anywhe…

T.I.A.?

South Africa never ceases to surprise me with random reminders that I'm in a different world than I started in. Not to be a broken record, but South Africa really is not your grandfather's Africa of bumpy buses and mzungu mzungu. Yesterday I was driving down the silky smooth highway at the speed limit of like 90 mph, in itself a pretty huge contrast to East Africa. Then cars started whooshing by one after another. I took a closer look at what kind of machine could possibly be that much faster than the wicked matchbox car we had rented: 16 Ferraris, one after the other. I guess they were going for a little Sunday morning cruise session. Don't you fellas know that if you rounded a corner and found a herd of goats in the road at those speeds, eh!
To continue with the theme of where the hell am I: On Saturday, seeing as I was in Stellenbosh, the wine heartland of Africa, I went on a bicycle wine tour with a couple friends. It was a nice day (which around here means a nice clou…

Man vs Mountain (who do you think will win?)

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The journey continues, the clock ticks on. I woke up yesterday and realized that I only have two or three weeks left in Africa. After being here for so long and having no real timetable for most of the time, the return of a sense of time is not altogether welcome addition to my life. This is the first time in which time has had a significant effect on my life in quite some time. I've developed a disdain for doing anything that could be considered racing against the clock, anytime I hear anyone say the words "hurry" or "schedule" I kind of go glassy eyed. But on the other hand I have finally stopped wasting time. Not having anything to do other than exactly what I want to when I want to, I have no need for "killing time". I'm doing my best to live every moment, and since there's no one but me to judge me for the ways in which I choose to do it, I spend virtually every moment doing what I want. I have finally gotten over the idea of doing what I…

Cash or card?

I am in South Africa. I have made it, more or less, to the end of my journey. I never really thought I would make it this far, not at the beginning nor in any place along the way. Certainly when I booked a ticket to Uganda I didn't think that I'd by flying home from the other side of the continent, and I had a plan for how to fly home from every country I've stopped at. It's been a long and interesting trip, and luckily it's not over yet. Next up for me is lots of hiking in the Drakensburgmountains and possibly Lesotho, depending on whether our little car can handle it.

So I'm in South Africa, obviously. At the moment in Pietermaritzburg, a medium side city in the middle of I'm not sure where. I spent a few days in Durban, a big city (4 million or something) on the coast. No qualifiers about it, I am squarely back in the developed world. No more Japanese- Tourist pictures of the tall buildings or street-scapes, it looks like any other city you've been to…