Monthly Archives: January 2020

African Adventure 2020 – Namibia: day one (and full of surprises).

All righty. Finally, let me get this African series fully underway. On today’s menu, my initial impressions of Namibia, particularly – its roads and the scenery viewed therefrom, plus its sandy beaches, and whatever else I’ll be reminded of as I sort through my many photos…

Now, for various historical reasons, it turns out that Africa is my least-traveled-to continent. Out of the 50+ countries I’ve visted, only 10 have been African (not including the Seychelles or Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, which technically are also African). What’s more, only four of those were business trips (with a spot of tourism on some); the rest were visited exclusively for a vacation.

My impressions of the African continent tend to coincide with those of the majority – especially as concerns the Sub-Sahara: poor, and in some places – unsafe. Astonishing nature and wildlife, but with poorly-developed governments. But when in May of last year (2019) I visited Rwanda, my impressions started to change. // Have a read of that link – it truly is an extraordinary, curious place. Rwanda is sometimes called the ‘African Switzerland’. It’s a most atypical country for this continent.

I’d heard a few things about Namibia before: about it’s natural beauty, and its, too, being something a bit special for Africa – a cut above its neighbors somehow. Well, having now been there myself, I can confirm this to be true. Namibia isn’t Africa as we tend to know it. At first, it felt like we were in Australia! The bluest sky, endless expanses, excellent roads, pretty houses and neatly mowed lawns. For example, as you drive through the Namibian coastal city of Swakopmund, it feels like you’re in a provincial Australian town/city like Katoomba or Warrnambool.

Read on…

Africa 2020 – aperitif.

Once upon a time, my like-minded exotic-travel-buff friends and I spun a globe, closed our eyes, and placed our fingers on said globe. The continent with the most ‘pokes’? Africa!…

And the rest, as they say, was history: it was with this highly-scientific method that we chose the destination for our next spot of adventurous tourism. Then, one early morning just after New Year, we were up early, grabbed our packed bags with photo-video kit with fully-charged batteries and empty memory, and headed for the airport. Hours later, we were up in the air; direction: south…

…I wish! I wish it were so simple! But no – it isn’t. It’s a lot more difficult…

Read on…

Flickr photostream

  • F1 Grand Prix Turkey 2020
  • F1 Grand Prix Turkey 2020
  • F1 Grand Prix Turkey 2020
  • F1 Grand Prix Turkey 2020

Instagram photostream

The extraordinary things I’ve done and seen – in the year of the Lord of twenty-nineteen!

Hi folks, and – belatedly – Happy New Year!

Trust you all had happy, jolly, merry holidays. I sure did!…

All righty. Let’s get on… by looking back.

So, as per usual on these here blogpages of mine around this time of year, herewith, my round-up of last year: a summary of the facts and figures and countries and flights and tourisms and volcanoes and excursions and monasteries and walkabouts and treks and all the rest; woah – already for the sixth time (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)!

But… why?

Well, over-self-indulgence plays a part, for sure (especially when it comes to things like my total number of flights and other stats:). However, I’m lucky enough to travel to and experience a lot of highly interesting places/stuff, which I’m fairly certain will be of interest to some of you, dear readers. And you might not have read every post of the year (there are a lot of them). Accordingly, surely, a pint-sized review of the ‘greatest hits’ of the year (including ringing in the New Year in the Ecuadorian mountains in a hot-spring swimming-pool some 3600 meters above sea level!) will be worth something? I hope so, anyway. OK, so – ~rationale out the way, let’s get on with this…

The just-mentioned hot springs in Ecuador:

Read on…

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A port with the fragrant smell of incense.

As part of my plans I have a brief one-and-a-half-day stopover in Hong Kong. If memory serves me correctly, the Chinese name of the city 香港 means “fragrant port”. It’s always useful to check these things though… Well, I was almost right – it’s closer to “incense harbor”. The meaning of these hieroglyphs were once explained to me a long time ago by a Chinese man who wasn’t that fluent in English :)

“Incense harbor”. What a beautiful name! For some reason, I got to singing the golden oldie by Vertinsky: “Your fingers smell of incense, and sorrow sleeps in your eyelashes…”.

A beautiful city! … I’m not here to discuss prices and the quality of housing or any other problems or troubles. As a tourist with less than two days to spare, the city is fantastic! Both at night and during the day.

Read on…

Hanoi by night.

My lightning business trip is coming to an end. It started with the Moscow-Delhi route, but now I’m sat on my suitcase again and am about to fly more or less back the way I came. It all worked out well, almost like the last time I spent three weeks to a month travelling around the world :) But there’s no need for such heroism now. All the lands have been cultivated (except Antarctica, Atlantis, the Moon and Mars); the right people are tending them, weeding and watering them, pests are kept away and the crops are harvested. In some places several times a year :) And by doing so, they are saving everyone from global cyberthreats. But I still have to travel back and forth to boost the yield and to access new crops.

It was especially fun this time. India-Vietnam-Hong Kong. There were 15 business meetings and interviews, mostly in a suit (but without a tie), they were most welcoming everywhere and there are some great prospects. That’s the very brief summary. More details can be found on the internet – it has already been covered in various local media. There was one and then two installments sent from Vietnam (I should warn you that clicking requires a knowledge of Vietnamese). And I’m starting to learn Vietnamese… as long as it’s spoken. For example: “kaamoon”, “tsuk-tsuk-kwe”…

And for those who can’t, here you go :)

I try not to forget about the touristy things too. After all, every story should be accompanied by at least some interesting photos or video material (ideally, both). And since the report from Delhi was quite downbeat, I will try to compensate by highlighting all the positive things that followed.

So, let’s start. Hanoi – the view from my room in yet another hotel:

Read on…