Let’s go back to last night. Finished the blog and then opened up my sleeping bag to crawl in. Two hot water bags were in my sleeping bag. Of course, I took them out and tried to go to sleep. I normally read before sleeping, but all six men are sleeping in a row near each other and I did not want to disturb anyone. After tossing and turning, I eventually fell asleep. There is something very surreal when you look up and see a planetarium of stars. This was my ceiling. No windows, doors nor walls. How beautiful is that.
Woke up briefly at around 5 AM and then went back to sleep when I was finally awoken at 6:15 by others moving around . When I got up, I realized that my body was not stiff and my back did not hurt. I was sleeping on the hard ground. Andy was up getting really to shoot daybreak. My camera was on a tripod and I had set it up for time lapse photography last night. Went to get my camera down and saw that a 64g card had taken 864 images until the camera died. I then will process those images through specific software that creates star trails around a baobab. This process will take several weeks after I return. Missed the daybreak photography. Had some great African coffee and breakfast. The cook makes eggs on an open fire and the bread is also toasted that way. We all eat on one long table and outside in the open of course. Very cool.
Our first morning activity was to take around a two hour quad cycle ride over the Makgadikgadi to take pictures of the patterns on the Salt Pan. We all got into our lines and off we went. The exhilaration you feel speeding over the salt flats is a feeling that will stay with me for a long time. We stopped at our first location. The ground felt like a hard foam sponge. Most of us laid down on the ground and took images. The patterns in the soft ground was very unique. It was then onto our next location and more of the same thing with patterns and lines making different images and shapes. You can find beauty anywhere and in the most desolate place I had ever been to, was awesome.
It was then back for lunch and resting until 5 PM. After lunch I downloaded some more images. What does one do in the bush on safari? You could either take a nap, talk or take a bush shower. I picked the bush shower. What is a bush shower.? A stall is set up as a tent with no roof. There is a bag that hangs from a pole and a man brings a large bucket of warm water and pours it into a box that flows down to the shower line. A shower head is set up at the end you can shut the water by turning a valve. The problem was taking off your clothes and then putting them back on. There was a small wooden platform under the shower head. I first rinsed off, then shut off the water and soaped up and then turned the water back on. The water on my body was very refreshing. I dried very fast, got dressed and felt refreshed. Only two of us took bush shower, Andy and myself Traveling over the Makigadikgadi via quad cycle creates large amounts of dust and dirt that gets all over you. The problem is your eyes. Even though you wear sunglasses, the dust eventually gets into your eyes. You also need to put on lots of sun protection. Even though you do not feel hot, the sun is intense.
At 5 PM we all met to go out and shoot the sunset. What a sunset it was. The setting sun created a golden look on the grasses and the lights hitting the baobabs created a truly great location.
Dinner was served at 7:30 and lamb shank was on the menu. I gave a toast. My toast was that I wished the baobabs lived another 1000 years. Will told us that some of the baobabs have died because of the climate is changing so much. Baobabs are not really trees, but succulents. They are normally found as one tree and never as a group. This is only one of two locations in the world where there are numerous baobabs in one area. The other baobab forest is in Madagascar.
It was then time to shoot the Milky Way again. The Milky Way is so prominent in the sky. With a baobab as the prop, the Milky Way created a beautiful setting. We then went to set up our cameras for a night of time lapse photography again.
We are driving back to Camp Kalahari tomorrow to rest up, take showers and pack for our bush plane flight to the Okavango Delta.
I am growing to love the real Africa. The beauty is all around us.
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