2017 - Africa and North America
South Africa - Namibia - Europe - USA - Mexico
From USA to Mexico
Crayfish in Mexico
At the first beach we drove to in Mexico we were offered freshly caught crayfish. We cooked the spiky crustaceans in a large pot in salt water for 30 minutes. A feast!
La Bufadora, Ensenada
Tourist-trap close to the American border. Cliffs and an extreme surge as well as a geyser-like fountain are reason enough for
Nevada and California
Alabama Hills, California
The "Alabama Hills Recreation Lands" are situated close to the village Lone Pine at the foot of Mount Whitney, the second highest mountain of the United States, at the edge of the Sierra Nevada. Unbelivable impressive landscapes! The rock formations are beautiful and one is free to climb up and around everywhere. We were caught up for ten days at this amazing piece of land.
The museum of Western Film History in Lone Pine is worth a visit. It demonstrates the history of the 400 western movies shot since 1920.
Getty Center, Los Angeles
After a whole day visit to the J. Paul Getty Art Museum we were simply overwhelmed.
Utah, Arizona and Nevada
Page and Lake Powell
Hordes of American Tourists with own vehicles, but also uncountable international guests with hired cars.
On the Glen Canyon steel-arch bridge you cross the Colorado River and the retaining wall of Lake Powell. Most activities take place in the turquois water. The two impressive marinas hold hundreds of medium sized and large speed and home boats. The 299 km long barrier lake which stretches over the area of Arizona and Utah one can find numerous recreation areas.
A lot of locals visit of these in their gigantic mobile homes carrying along a second vehicle, mostly SUV or a trailer with a motorboat, motorbike or beach buggy. With these they then paint the sand beaches, the dunes or water surface red. Generators are allowed from 6 am to 10 pm. These hours the Ami’s need indeed to run the their up to three aircons per vehicle. And of course, the television is on from early in the morning till late at night.
Lonely Rock Beach
Due to the strong winds we did not stay directly on the sand shores of Lake Powell, but preferred the higher terrace 250 meters inland. Undisturbed vistas over the shrub landscape onto Lonely Rock in the lake waters. We enjoyed our sundowner.
Four young Asians set up camp behind us. And the inevitable happened.
Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah
Island in the Sky National Park with solar eclipse
On arrival we were astounded by the amount of busses with uncountable tourists. Numerous rangers granted the tourists to look through very dark sun glasses into the sun. Only then did we realise that today the solar eclipse hysteria ruled.
We enjoyed ourselves just watching the behaviour of the international tourists. Mostly lean Asians, of which some were loud Chinese and some more quiet Japanese. The local Americans of which the majority was not so lean and of which some women were wearing hot pants more suitable for elephants. After all the fuss was over the very busy tourists rushed off to the next highlight.
We were even more impressed by the amazing nature when it became quiet.
Lockhart, the barbeque capital of Texas
The restaurant Cross Market is described as one of the best barbeque venues in Texas. We were hungry and wanted to find out. Luckily, we did not visit during the main eating hours – apparently the queues of the hungry get very long then. Even before we got there Brigitte was laughing about me as she knows about my dislike for eating hot food with only the hands and no cutlery. I already have problems with the burgers here.
The really superbly prepared meat is served on a small piece of fat resistant paper and is charged by weight. No sauces, no cutlery, and so you sit as a little cannibal in front of a mountain of meat, not looking really appetizing. So, no restraint of fatty fingers – just enjoy.
The pieces of meat were really prepared perfectly. Nevertheless, for the next two days I stuck to the motto: nothing fatty anymore.
Luckenbach, a handful of houses
Due to the description in a travel companion we reached Luckenbach with much to high expectations.
Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana
Nashville, Music City in Tennessee
Jonny Cash rang a bell.
He as well as the longest lasting radio show in US broadcasting history “Grand Ole Opry” are connected to the Music City Nashville in Tennessee. The live music presently on show in the old bars – also during the day - were really enjoyable.
The concert in the Grand Ole Opry was absolutely amazing. The concert is broadcasted live on radio and television. Six different, well-known groups inspired with their show and musical performance.
We witnessed the first gig of a young singer. Accompanied by his priest father on the guitar and both delivered a superb vocal performance. The Grand Ole Opry is known as stepping stone for grand musical careers.
Jack Daniel‘s Whiskey in Lynchburg, Tennessee
Who would drive pass the only place where Jack Daniel‘s Whiskey is produced for the whole world?
North Carolina and Tennessee
Blue Ridge Parkway
The 755 km long panoramic road led us along the Blue Ridge Mountain range from North Carolina to Virginia. Hundreds of kilometres high green walls to the left and right. A bit like on the Transamazonica in Brazil, just tarred. In between viewpoints worth their name. Unusual for America: not one traffic lights along the whole way.
Little goes in America without memberships
Which means wide ranging discounts.
AAA, Automobile Club of USA - KOA, camping franchise - Good Sam Club – membership card of department store chains (Walmart, Kroger etc.) which connect to customers by offering discounts on the card.
Due to a positive coincidence, we are now owners of a US Senior Pass.
Retrospect Southern Africa
Retrospect 10.2014 to 05.2017
Southern Africa – wildlife paradise – imposing landscapes – encounter with simple, endearing people – a continent that elated us, but also stimulated reflection.
- Johannesburg „Jo’burg“, amazing, fascinating, ugly, millionaires villas, slums with shacks, compact traffic, morning and evening traffic jams for hours
- Purchase of vehicles with own traffic register number
- Kruger National Park, home of the Big 5
- Kwazulu Natal Province with stealing baboons, hopping hornbills, snakes, lizards, screaming, cuddly, sweet bush babies with mega-Bambi-eyes, lurking crocodile
- After the discovery caught fire purchase of the Land Cruiser;
From Africa to USA
Goodbye Africa and Welcome to the USA!
The last few weeks in South Africa were filled with preparations for our continent transition and the handover of vehicles.By arranging the complicated formalities, we were able to help the new owners up front. This enabled them to register and insure the vehicles on their names although they only have a tourist visa. This time the handover of the fully paid vehicles went smoothly and problem free.
Flight with Emirates Airline from Johannesburg via Dubai to Frankfurt
As we had a substantial amount of luggage we decided against Swiss Air and rather took the longer flight via Dubai to Zurich. This allowed us to take double the luggage weight for less. The flight in the huge Airbus A380 was comfortable.
The consequences of the very tasty meals were dramatic for both of us.
Campsites in Namibia
On our visits to Windhoek we often make a turn for a light lunch or a cappuccino at Wecke & Voigts. This time the large side entrance made of glass was covered by boards and the entrance was closed. We asked the waitress for the reason. Apparently, a minister had driven over the 6-meter-wide sidewalk and had crashed into the glass door.
We asked if he had been drunk and she answered: No questions asked when it comes to ministers!
Spitzkoppe is an amazing nature reserve with community campsites.
Unique campsites between huge, colourful rock formations. Only long drops, but
Savage porcupine at Solitaire Guest Farm in Namibia
Our Conqueror Companion Trailer was parked in the shade underneath a tree. As the private ablutions were a bit further away we needed two 20 m extension leads. I covered the connecting plugs with a plastic bag to avoid them getting wet should it rain. So far so good. At 02:00 o’clock that night there was a loud bang and the outside electricity was gone. In the light of the torch we detected that other plastic bag had been torn open and that the cable on one side had been ripped from the plug. Consequently, a fuse had
Garden Route and Table Mountain
Interesting encounters with long-time travellers
In order to visit the wine-growing estates of the Robertson area, we chose Silwerstrand Resort as our basis for over a week.
Dirk and Live, www.worldtravellers.be, parked their Toyota FJ Cruiser with roof tent next to our lot. The two have been traveling the world since 2008. The afternoon and evening was spent with lively conversations and went by much too fast.
We met Babsi and Jörg two years ago, for the first time in Windhoek www.welterfahrung.com. After a couple of nights at the camp fire our journeys parted once more. A sporadic e-mail contact was the result. This finally led to...
Christmas in South-African National Parks
Turn of the year 2016-2017
During the African summer holidays over Christmas and New Years the national parks and campsites in South Africa and Namibia are packed. The South Africans book their favourite camping spots up to one year in advance. Campsites are thus mostly booked out.
We acted anti-cyclically and spent one months on our home spot Camping Country Park in Johannesburg.
The Swiss Schami and Rita ...