The Cold-Wet In The Italian Apennin

Bad weather forecast for all the Northern Italy. Not only cold, but also lots of rain was predicted. No fun for camping at all.

I had to move on anyway. So i looked up for an alternative route and accommodation.

Go to the Apennin, they said. It’s fun, they said.

Fortunately i booked an apartment, i thought, when the cold creeped in the car as i gained more and more altitude. Around 1200 m a.s.l. the narrow, winding road got snow covered and icy.

Happily and safely i arrived that small unknown village, hidden in the thick fog,

Nobody to see on the street. Even the building, where i booked my apartment seemed abandoned. Only the neighbor opened his window, glared to my car and let me know, i’m parking on his property and have to move the car on the right place. The neighbor watch works all over the world, i thought amused.

Eventually i got into my warm, heated rooms and went out to explore the village. I passed the church and the memorial, which looked even more sad in the cold. A board at the pharmacy shows 4°C only. Many shops are closed down for the season. So are most restaurants and bars.

On the main square were some cars parked. Indeed, there’s a cafe open. Old men were sitting on tables, drinking coffee or beer and playing cards, while other watching and commenting the game. I could feel the eyes following me, when i entered and approached the waitress behind the counter.

Eventually they turned back to the game and to their conversation, while i sip on my cappuccino and observe the scene. The fog made the glass door milky, as if it try to push into the room. I felt like in a time capsule, thrown back 50 years or so, when the only bar in the village was the meeting point and source of the news, inside and outside of their world.

On my way back i found a little store, where i got some groceries, but most important some fresh bread, a small, typically cake, called panettone, and a bottle of red wine. What a cosy evening was awaiting me.

Autumn – mystic moods

The day hides behind clouds.

The landscape disappears in the mist.

The colors vanish slowly between shadows.

Autumn in its late days brings up mystic moods in nature.

I embrace the dark times with its smells, its sounds, its secrets.

Where the eyesight comes to its boundaries, there’s more space for fantasy and dreams.

Autumn – the colorful

There was this occasion of a family reunion in a small valley. As a boy i used to spend our family holidays in these mountains in Northern Italy.

Blue sky invites for a hike in nature. From the top of the mountains shines the first snow of the season, and the colors of autumn burst from the forest.

A good opportunity to grab my Nikon and take some shots of this colorful world in autumn…

Fine Art Nude In Pilanesberg

It was in a shopping mall outside Pilanesberg Nationalpark, where i met this young, beautiful lady the first time. The talk lead to photography, more specific to beauty and fashion photography, modeling and so on. Thembi admits she wants to have a photo shoot, but there wasn’t any nice location around but Pilanesberg, the beautiful national park with its stunning landscape. The idea of having esthetic photos from her body in beautiful nature raised.

From the start, Thembi was a natural talent. She felt comfortable with the environment, moved smooth and confident and gave that look of a strong woman to the camera. We had so much fun, visited different locations, where it was not only beautiful, but of course, also safe to leave the car. After hours of photo shoot, we brought home a bunch of really nice, interesting pictures, but see, and judge, for yourself.

However Thembi had so much fun, she asked me for more photo shoots, but that’s another story for the next blog. Stay tuned!

Pilanesberg National Park

It’s a long time since my last update here. However, my journey didn’t stopped, but leaded me further west. At the time i got near to Pilanesberg National Park, i thought it’s worth a visit.

Pilanesberg National Park is roughly three hours drive from Johannesburg. Situated on an ancient vulcanic area, it shows a distinct landscape with many hills, valleys and small lakes and ponds. Although the wildlife is not dense as in other national parks, it has a superb birdlife and the stunning landscape offers beautiful viewpoints.

So, i took my time for birdwatching, explored different corners in the park and climbed up the hills for splendid views. I did not encounter many other people here, except that truck got stopped by a white rhino. You can guess who got the right of way.

After a long, peaceful day in the park i still didn’t get enough from the landscape. That leaded me to another idea, together with a young lady i just met outside the park. A plan to combine her request with my fascination for the landscape in the park started to build up. But that’s another story will be told in my next post. Keep tuned!

May I Introduce You: Tortuga, Tina Tortuga! 

Cars, especially travel cars and camper vans, needs to be named by their owners. I always denied this practice for my vehicles. Officially. But since many years I used to think, and tell in secret, if there’s a name for my beloved Land Rover, it must be „Tortuga“, the Spanish word for tortoise. 

„Tortuga“ is not beautiful, but adorable, slow, but strong, nice green, but colored inconspicuous. 

My friend Christa told me from a lady, who makes stickers for cars. After a few gin tonics and nice talks, I decided to give my motorized travel companion finally an official name. Now it was to find a nice turtle pictogram or drawing to put it on Tortuga as a sticker.  It should be simple, rather cute, but not too childish. I found something appealing, I think. Watch the pics and tell me your opinion on the comments, please.

Marloth Park, the place for the official naming ceremony, couldn’t be better. Free roaming wildlife all over the estate. Lots of green, lush trees and a beautiful riverside to walk or having a sundowner with friends. A spot which means freedom, security and lifestyle at same time. 

My friend Christa honored me to be the godmother of Tortuga for this event. After she helped me with the stickers, we got a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate that event. From now an, my Land Rover discovering the world with me not nameless anymore, but as 

Tortuga, Tina Tortuga! 

#tinatortuga

Tina Tortuga (#tinatortuga) is officially named 🙂

Bikini Shoot With A Beauty From Mozambique

Do you do photo shoots? That question aroused when i took a picture of that young lady with her friend at the beach of Ponta Do Ouro. I do for fun, not professionally, i replied. She explained to me, she never did a photo shoot in bikini but like to have some pictures. So it came to her first bikini shoot on next day.

And she did very well, right? Naturally and confident she moved at the shore of the Indian ocean. Smiled, laughed or gave me a stern look. It was pure fun even when more people arrived and gave us a curious gaze. The crowd also attracted the police, which said, it’s too much water around our feet. So we had to stop. But hey the result is impressive, isn’t it?

The Beach Of Mozambique In Times Of Corona

The waves crashing to the rocks at the shore. Uninterrupted, everlasting energy of mother nature. It’s the first sound I hear when I wake up. The cool breeze brings me to the sandy beach. A tractor is pulling a boat for a fish trip to the sea. Those fishermen are early birds too, or are they called ‚early fish‘ then? 

At the end of the beach the sun rises between the rock and the ocean. Very slow and deliberately the first rays hit the rocks, caress the waves and finally warm my skin. Beautiful colors unfold and pushing the dark of the night aside. The day started just now.

It’s weekend and since Maputo isn’t too far away from Ponta Do Ouro, many weekend visitors are expected. Loads of pick-up cars with picnic-families, sun-seekers and partygoers falling into town and beach. There’s just one obstacle: the beaches are closed for swimmers and sunbathers due the covid pandemic. It is allowed to walk on the beach, though. 

Couples, families and groups of friends are moving along the beach. Among them are police forces watching no one steps into the water or even dare to swim. As soon a few dove their toes too deep in the water a sharp whistle brings them back to dry sand. But this is not stopping them from chitchatting, playing in the sand and making photos from each others.

With my camera in hand, I notice the gazes of three friends making selfies. Do you want me to take a photo of the three of you, I asked. A quick answer confirmed it. And so begins the first of many spontaneous photo shoots. There are kids, jumping around, friends want to immortalize themselves in the picture, families enjoy an image as souvenir. Other photographer showing proudly their camera, while girls showing me their best beach poses. I can’t tell when I saw last time so many smiling faces, so much laughter by jumping for the photos. 

Only when the sun sets, the last light was fading, the beach emptier from the day visitors. The silhouettes of the last group disappears in the dark and the hidden crabs taking over the beach again. In the distance party music echoes across, but soon even this ends due the curfew. The last thing I hear are waves crashing to the rocks. Uninterrupted, everlasting.

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Greece – Arrival In Igoumenitsa

Greece. Since my brief visit in 2017 i knew i’m coming back. Due the pandemic it was difficult to make any travel plans. However, i just went off, needed a break, needed to get a glimpse beyond the horizon again.

The last working shifts was planned as nightshifts. That’s how the idea came up to travel by night since i’m in that rythm anyway. On lonely Swiss and Italian highways i covered dark 800 kilometers trough the short night. Coffee along the roads kept me awake and focused as the distance was melting with the rising sun.

Ancona was awaiting with the “Superfast” Ferry. All went smoothly. I just wished the floor i lied down was smoother too. Another night with almost no sleep was ahead me.

To my surprise Igoumenitsa wasn’t as bad as expected. A nearby campsite right at the sea offered a lovely place to camp. And in the small city of Igoumenitsa wasn’t crowded with tourists, but i found everything i was asking for. Some nice little coffee shops, few supermarkets and a shop selling me a SIM card to stay online on my trip. Not a bad start.

Tanzania, Safari at Lake Natron, in Serengeti and Ndutu Conservation Area

After my safari trip i went to the coast, where in Daressalam my entire photo equipment, laptop and external HDD with all my photos got stolen. It was stolen out of my locked hotel room just an hour after check-in. A common thing in Tanzania, as i found out, that some hotel owners working together with police, who is protecting the thieves when they steal cameras, laptops and cash from their own customers. I actually chose that hotel to sort out and edit my safari photo. Unfortunatly the hotel owner and his son from the „Daisy Comfort House“ (aka „Saadani Tourist Centre“) was quicker by stealing my stuff before i could upload on my cloud. However, i found some pics and vids on my iPhone and cut some simple video together….