My experiences living in Cape Town and travelling in Africa

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One of the first to see ‘Into the Mind’

Into the Mind feature film

Recently I got the opportunity to watch the worldwide premiere of this feature film. In fact, thanks to time zones I was the one of the third group of people in the world to see it. From this auspicious beginning the night just got better.  Having been invited by a friend I didn’t know that much about the film but I trusted their judgement and knew it would be worthwhile. Some research the afternoon before attending the screening revealed the Into the Mind “is is a story of rising to the ultimate challenge. Having the courage to risk fatal exposure and the perseverance demanded on the quest for achievement. These are not solely physical feats, they are mental conquests.”

Intrigued I watched the trailer (see below) after which I was really looking forward to seeing the movie. Shot on location in Alaska, the Himalayas and Bolivia the cinematography was beautiful, the scenery breathtaking and the sound track moving. The movie looks at why we are inspired to rise to challenges in our lives and what we learn on this journey to attain them with a series of chapters that I didn’t always follow and there were a few sequences which I feel didn’t fit with the tone of the piece but on the whole it was a really interesting film.

I am not sure when it will be screened again in South Africa but there are still screenings going on around the world but if you get the chance I would recommend you watch this film of for nothing else but the scenery, cinematography and sound track. Find out more at http://intothemindmovie.com/ otherwise here is a taste of what to expect from ‘Into the Mind’.

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Squash Olympic Bid 2020

I first started playing squash when I was just 8 years old back in junior school in Zimbabwe. In high school I played other major sports that I was better at like athletics, tennis, hockey, swimming and rowing where my true talent lay. However it was after moving down to South Africa and having to contend with a different climate that I took squash up again. Anyone who knows Cape Town knows that the weather isn’t particular well suited to outdoor ball sports. Between the howling South Easterly winds in summer that often exceed speeds of 50km/h and the rain in winter you could probably count on one hand the number of days you can play an unbiased game of tennis. The solution, an indoor sport that I could play night or day, rain or shine – Squash.

Over the past 10 years I have played Western Province League Squash and really enjoyed it. I don’t play in a particularly high league but I have fun and you get to meet lots of Cape Town locals in the process which has been good to make new friends in South Africa after we immigrated. So I don’t pretend to be a professional squash player but when I got an email last week from the squash league administrators about the Squash Olympic Bid for 2020, I was slightly embarrassed that I didn’t know squash wasn’t an Olympic sport but also really surprised.

Here is a video that the squash bid team put together to strengthen their case which they presented to the IOC and they were hoping to get to 150 000 views before the crucial vote tomorrow, 8th September 2013, when we will find out if squash will be included in the 2020 Olympics. They have already passed that target number of views but the more the better I say and I think it’s a pretty compelling video as to why squash should be included. But maybe it’s just me, why don’t you watch the video and let me know what you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBGox9mV49Y


Legends & Heroes

What do you get when you take a clear winter’s day in Cape Town, have a helicopter filming from the sky, three more cameras on the ground, a huge Freightliner Argosy truck and trailer rig and Table Mountain as a backdrop?

A pretty rockstar filmshoot that I was part of a couple of weeks ago and here’s the end result…


An afternoon overlooking Bitterpan – Timelapse

On a recent holiday in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park we decided to give ourselves a break from sleeping on inflatable mattresses and stay at the Bitterpan Wilderness Camp. This exclusive camp is elevated above the red sand dunes of the Kalahari and situated on a one way only 4×4 route. Half way between the Nossob and Mata-Mata, this camp is in the center of the wilderness and seemingly in the middle of nowhere. About a two and a half hour drive from Nossob, up and over dune after dune, we couldn’t believe our eyes as we pulled up to this tented camp. Looking out over this brilliant white salt pan surrounded by red dunes was just surreal. Watching the clouds grow and dissipate over the pan I thought it would make a great timelapse so set up my camera to take a shot every 15 seconds for about 5 hours from mid afternoon till after sunset.

NB: Look out for the pride of lion that cross the pan to come to the water hole and their attempt to catch a lone eland about half way through the video.

For more photos from the Kgalagadi, click here.


Looking back at Rory in South Africa during 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


It’s official, Table Mountain is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature

This morning I was privileged to attend the inauguration of Table Mountain as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The one thing about nature is that we can’t control it and the weather wasn’t the best with Table Mountain shrouded in cloud this was the view from Tafelberg Road at 6:45am as we arrived for the plaque unveiling at the Cableway’s lower station.
TMOI-1

The low hanging cloud didn’t dampen the mood though as  Bernard Weber (Founder-President of New7Wonders) spoke about how the voting process had been continue reading + 4 photos


Learn to beat the burn

Yesterday I went along with my nephew and brother-in-law to the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) Open Day at the Newlands Forest Station. This wasn’t an entirely new experience for me as I had signed on as a new recruit with the VWS back in 2009 but ended up relocating to China before I could complete my training for that season. I really enjoyed the people who make up the volunteer group and vowed I would sign up again when I returned. You too can register for the next recruitment drive which should be in March next year for the 2013 fire season.

VWS Open Day-2

For my nephew though the Open Day was all about seeing a fire engine and watching the helicopter display (which I was really excited to see too) and we weren’t disappointed. We kicked off the activities with a ride on this old fire engine with sirens blaring, then it was on to continue reading + 6 photos


Garden Route Rally 2012 – Photo Essay

A couple of weekends ago I was invited to the Garden Route Rally with stages being held over two days between George and Knysna. This was the final round of the South African Rally Championship and I was lucky enough to follow Jon Williams and the Sasol Racing Team who took 1st and 3rd in the overall for the year. The spectator points could have been better but thanks to the wonderful hospitality from the Sasol team it was still a great weekend and I did get quite close to the action on a few of the stages as you will see. Enjoy.

see 11 more photos


Waking up in Wilderness

Last weekend Guy McDonald and I travelled to the Garden Route area for the final round of the National Rally Championship. Friday’s stages were in George while Saturday’s were to be in Knysna so we decided to stay in Wilderness, right in the middle of the action. Set behind the seaside village, along the banks of the Touw River is the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park where you can either camp under the stars or stay in the log cabins like we did.

There is something about the smell of a log cabin that reminds me of continue reading + see 13 more photos


Touring Table Mountain National Park

On the third of a series of weekends away with SANParks we did a tour of Table Mountain National Park including some of the lesser known attractions of this diverse and rather spread out park. Although we all live and work at the base of Table Mountain there is a lot more to this National Park that stretches all the way from Signal Hill to Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope. Once again transport was provided by the Green Cab meaning we could sit back and enjoy the views as we made our way to our first stop Boulders Penguin Colony.

We were shown around by the Section Ranger for Boulders who told us a little more about the penguins, in particular how some of looked a little unkempt with fluffy feathers and even patches of no feathers. However this is perfectly natural when they malt and starve for 2-3 weeks while they can’t fish because of continue reading + 15 more photos