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While Lisa is away I (Lisa’s friend Kev) will be posting her blog entries via SMS. so I’m just logging on to say hello. Hello.

Ok I know, I’ve been playing.  Check out CKFA.  Like the acronym?

Also – a suitable Bronte quote and finally – Rhett Butlet.  I’ll put any photos that I take up on Flickr but this site pimpampum  – has some great toys for Flickr.

OK no more playing – well for a while anyway.

My pal Kev has just found a new toy and come up with this.

Cotton Knickers for Africa

We have an ongoing bovine theme – see also Cows

LOL!!

I’ve just been talking to Pia my sister in law who is still in Denmark and travels out to Africa next weekend. They have lots of visitors the weekend that I arrive so Steve won’t be able to meet me. Instead they have arranged for me to stay on the beach just south of Dar es Salaam at a place called Kipepeo Beach Camp. It looks just idyllic and I’m not at all fazed by being on my own and am really looking forward to it. I’ll stay there two nights then get the bus up to Muheza just inland from Tanga on the Wednesday. Just to give you a flavour of the camp here is a picture of the beach.

Kipepeo Beach

Looks idyllic! The last time I was in Africa we stayed in Mombasa and the beach there had such white sand that you had to shield your eyes from the reflection from it. So instead of putting your hand over your eyebrows, you had to hold it sort of over your nose. You can see more about the camp intself here. It is situated at Mjimwema which is a small fishing village south of Dar es Salaam. 20 days to go!

I’ve also just found this!

billy.jpg

Click above, the top picture doesn’t load properly on this page, but scroll down for an explanation.

I’ve just been pointed to a fabulous album which first came out in 2002 and is just superb.  Once again thanks to Kevin.  It is called 1 Giant Leap and is a couple of guys who went round the world and recorded people, singing, talking, playing music and generally having a good time.  The result is a fantastic collection of music which just makes you feel good.  There is one track which included Robbie Williams which I think was released in the UK in 2002 which was familiar but the rest is just as good and just blew me away.  I’m told that the DVD is even better so have just ordered that.

Talking of Kevin, I’ll add him to this as a contributor and we’ll have a go posting something collaboratively next week.

A comment by Dave on the Guide Book posting prompted me to post this. I’ve been really thinking hard about what books to take. The Sunday Times reviewed an interesting book this week on the war between German East Africa (Tanzania) and British East Africa (Kenya) as a remote but intense part of the First World War which Dave mentions in his comments. It was a particularly bloody and bizarre conflict which lasted 14 days longer than the war in Europe – probably as a result of the limited communications. I’ve created a tiny url with a preview facility so folks don’t have to worry about opening something a bit dodgy. http://preview.tinyurl.com/25dhgr

Much as I would like to read that sometime, it is a hard back and not I think suitable for travelling. I’m torn between something relevant – Dave suggested Flame trees of Thikka or Out of Africa – both of which I’ve read. I have a number of unread books on the shelf, but knowing me will buy something specifically for the trip. I’ll need something interesting but also some trash for the plane/hanging around in airports. (I have a 3 hour wait at Dubai!! – more of which later) All suggestions gratefullyrecieved.

I’ve just spoken to the practice nurse at my local medical centre and was discussing which innoculations that I’ll need for my trip to Tanzania. As well as the usual Hepatiis and Typhoid, I asked her if I would need a rabies jab. She asked if I was going anywhere remote, and I answered yes. However, I wouldn’t be more than 24 hours from medical help so thankfully I won’t need it. I say thankfully because as she explained, you have to have a private prescription – £13, then the vaccine itself costs £100, and you have to pay to have it administered – another £30. Wow.

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On the blogcard front, I’ve handed two or three out and every single person has asked if I had done the cartoon. I should have said yes, but someone may ask me to reproduce it and as you can see above – not an easy task.

My blogcards have arrived and are all that I expected.  They have a Gapingvoid cartoon on one side and then the URL for this and for Tukae, plus my name and telephone number on the reverse.  I’m delighted and they are a horrendously eye popping bright orange.  There is a link to the blogcards on the Gapingvoid home page.  I hadn’t realised how obsessed I was becoming with this until someone asked me how I managed in the storm last week and I answered – ‘Read my blog’!

On a seperate note, I’m going to move the post ‘I’m going to Ahrfricaa’ which is post number 2, to the About section of the blog as essentially it says why I’m doing this.

I bought a guide book for Tanzania last week – not a lonely planet but a publisher I hadn’t seen before – footprint guide. I just liked the look of it. Briefly flicking through it last night I found the north coast and would you believe it Amani, which is the nearest village to Steve and Emau Hill where they actually live is mentioned – yay.

For those without a detailed knowledge of the continent of Africa here is a map showing Tanzania two thirds of the way down on the right hand side (Known as the East to geographers!) It is south of Kenya and north of Malawi and Mozambique. A more detailed map of Tanzania showing the coastal region of Tanga opposite the island of Pemba. Amani is about 50 Km inland from there. Apparently you can see the Indian Ocean from there.

The official capital is now Dodoma where the administration and government are now based, rather than the traditional capital Dar es Salaam. If you click on the link to Dodoma it gives the meaning of the name being ‘It has sunk’. Not terribly romantic is it?

I know this isn’t about my trip to Africa but I had to put something down about my trip to South Manchester yesterday. The forecast was for strong winds and most of the rain had already fallen, although the river at the back of my house was at the highest I have ever seen it. I eventually got to the college in Cheadle Hume but did see a lorry overturned on the North bound side of the M60. I left at 1 pm to set off home in what is normally a one hour or so journey. Remembering the overturned lorry I decided to go north via the western half of the M60. Whether this was a bad idea I’ll never know but it became a nightmare. All went well for about 4 miles, then the traffic backed up and I crawled along for about a mile and eventually passed the inevitable HGV vehicle on its side. It looks wrong, these great big beasts laid on their sides, with all their undersides exposed. My relief at getting passed was short lived as the traffic slowed to a standstill almost straight away. An hour later I had reached junction 9, Trafford Park. The traffic wasn’t moving at all and all HGV’s were being directed off the motorway as the bridge between 10 and 11 was closed to them. I decided that it would be quicker to try and battle my way through the city. Unfortunately, so did a lot of other people. The place was gridlocked. By the time I’d been in the car for 3 hours, I had travelled 8 miles. I did consider finding a room and staying the night as I’m due there again today but I battled on. I crossed the M60 again just south of Bury and it was still crawling so I went through Bury centre to reach the M66. Despite my now lifting spirits, I hit yet another backlog of cars and pulled aside to let the 10th emergency vehicle go passed. I finally got home five and a half hours after setting off – totally exhausted! Ho hum – back down there again this morning.

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