Overlander Car Issues With ‚Tina Tortuga‘

A bright lamp enlightened all the issues of my newly named landrover Tortuga, #tinatortuga. I was standing under the lifted car with a mechanic to check the state of it. There’s an oil leaking and some unsolved problems with the prop shaft, what brought me to this mechanic. The source of leaking was founded quickly, but as I requested we went trough the entire vehicle, more or less.

Beside the leaking from transfer box there’s also leaking from oil filter housing, Even the tank is leaking and had to be repaired as some bushes and hoses has to be fixed and replaced too. Despite there isn’t much electronics in that vehicle it turned out difficult to find the bug which is blowing my indicators and hazard lights continually. In short, quite an overhaul.

I need a stay for the time of repairs. The estimated period of four to five days was doubled, as the costs of repairs was too, due some difficulties, mainly with the transfer box. All bearings of that part must be replaced. I didn’t care so much about the time, since there was heavy rain predicted. All i needed was a quit and dry spot to be.

Luckily I found a beautiful place outside town of Mbombela/Nelspruit. Friendly hosts welcomed me and showed me around the self catering house where I got a nice room with a glass door towards pool side and amazing view to the valley. That’s the place to stay for a few quit days. Reading, writing journal and sorting photos next to the pool. Having a beer or a glass of red wine in the evenings, after cooking myself a tasty meal, and chatting with the owners, while waiting my car got fixed. That’s all part of traveling too and must try to use the time as good as possible. 

Just the day before I could pick up ‚Tina Tortuga‘, another Landrover Defender arrived at the Lodge. Same model as mine and even the same color. A couple got off the car and settled in the accommodation. It turned out they are from Brazil and already four years on the road. So there was lots to chat about and share travel stories and experiences. And of course, as a Landy driver there’s also about workshop stories. That lovely couple gave me a lift to the landy-workshop and get a oil/filter change for their ‚Pandora‘ too. Who wants to see more of the journey from Eduardo and Rafaela visit their website: www.pandoraontheroad.com.br

Ten lazy days later I checked out of ‚Highland Creeks‘ and got ‚Tina Tortuga‘ back from the workshop. Since it was late of the day and weather forecast predicted another storm with heavy rain, I decided to stay another night at an apartment on my way out of town. Another jewel in the mountains as I found out. After all, the day ended beautifully with a glass of wine and a bath in a tube with a view. 

Photo Shooting In Forest

A nearby forest was a quite and perfect location for a short photo shooting with Marie.

No Shit: Hollywood In Nairobi

A friend called me, there are need of people joining as statists for filming. There is some money offered, but surely i wanted have a glimpse behind the scene of movie making too. The location was held on Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), an impressive building complex, especially at night. Inside that futuristic looking building is a big conference room, called the Amphitheatre. Rows of empty seats around a red carpeted centre when i get there. Just a few people sitting and standing spread around. No camera or film team in sight. A busy looking lady giving out a form which claims all right on filming on that spot. An amount of money for compensation is promised by that form too. To my surprise i’m told, it’s not a Kenyan production but Hollywood itself shows up, making a science fiction movie. Around 30 people gathered this evening to pretend being members of a parliament or council. Due the delay of the film team, we got coffee and sandwiches first, got fitted in suits and dresses and finally seated in front of the camera, which arrived meanwhile. The next three hours or so, we shifted from row to row, from box to box, from level to level. In the movie, the 30 people of us will appear as around 300 people in the council. Before midnight, the film director was happy with the take. With the welcome cash in my hand and new experience in my head i stepped out in the nightsky.

Ngong Hills Photo Shooting

Ruth, who showed me around, was keen on a photo shooting on Ngong Hills. I was just as excited to fulfill her wish. Here some shots from there.

Kenya; Ngong Hills

Just out of the city of Nairobi are the Ngong Hills covered with windmills, satellite antennas and communication towers. Can’t cost anything to hike there around, i thought. In the village on the way to the hills were children playing. Some hide shyly, other ones showed up curiously about the stranger passing trough. Just a few adults were around, as curious as the young ones. A father peeks over the fence and ask me to take a photo from him with the kids. Over the village circling the blades of the massive windmills, making a sonorous, deep sound. You get used on it, the villager told me.

Despite the forest is almost gone, replaced by a wide access road and the wind generators, it’s called still a conservation park and a fee is to pay. With Ruth, a new friend and model, i entered the park and hiked around the huge generators. Some women and children followed along a trickling creek. Near the source of it they scooped water into buckets and carried them back to the huts.Three siblings got curious about the white/black couple doing a photo shooting. The youngest got scared, start to cry out loud, but got then overwhelmed by his own curiosity. With the support of the older sister he dared to get closer and play with the cam and the looked at the photos i made of him. At the end we all had a laughter about funny pictures.

Fun Group Hiking At Mt.Longonot

Mount Longonot a quite volcano about two hours drive out of Nairobi, is the destination for a group of friends for a hike. I got invited and joined it with pleasure. Too long time i didn’t hike, and with that funny, open minded and nice people it’s pure pleasure too.

There’s many photos in purpose of giving the people of the group the chance to see them and download it. Have fun along the „photo story“  …and many thanks for the group letting me join in for that day!

Solita’s Fashion Shooting

We had to talk with the guards, but then they let us to the roof top for a photo shooting. The location was perfect, my model Solita (instagram: @solitacruz) has been once more enthusiastic and the afternoon light just came right.

with Solita at hot springs

Early morning gives us a clear sight of Mt Kilimanjaro, while the natural hot springs are still deserted. Perfect condition for a photo shooting with Solita (instagram: @solitacruz), the queen of selfies, as she called herself. And indeed, she put herself in great poses and i just had to push the shutter. But yes, you wanna see the results now…

Photo shooting with Maasai woman

The idea was to travel to the Maasai village of her family to make photos in genuine Maasai  dresses. Unfortunately we didn’t make it so far, but found nice location around Arusha for photo shooting…

Visitors from India

A few years back i met that nice lady in Bangalore who invited me to her family stay. Now she’s on a trip trough Europe and i had the honor to meet her again in Zurich for one day. There was a lot to catch up, so we had coffee and chat with her friends who accompany her. Between all the luxurious shops on the famous Bahnhofstrasse we bumped in a guy offering „free hugs“. Big fun and bright smiles guaranteed.

Despite the cool temperature and overcast we had a stroll trough the inner city, seen some ancient spots and cultural highlights. The weekly flea market caught the attention of the visitors. Just before the rain started we made it back to the main train station, where the local „Oktoberfest“-party started…