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Thread: Sundowner musing......

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Brisbane
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    Christmas approaches

    Hello again from Sherwood - I trust this finds the SLOw Inc collective well and getting busy winding down for the Christmas - New Year break.

    I am anyway.

    Clinking glasses and general chattering from the back deck suggest that sundowners has already started and I intend to get into the spirit of it myself fairly soon.

    So, all the best for the festive season and I hope 2019 is a good one for all of you.

    Cheers,

    Neil
    Hon Secretary - SLOw Inc

    1975 S3 88" - Ratel

  2. #52
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    Jul 2012
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    Africa musing

    Hello from Dullstroom - a small and pleasant dorp set on the highveld roughly halfway between Johannesburg and Kruger National Park. Claim to fame is a well established trout fishery and all the touristy trappings to go with it. Plus the local pub has long been a favourite and scene of much sundowner musing. Good for rugby tests too.

    Last day of a three and a bit week traverse across Southern Africa with Ms S3ute. Started in Namibia, back to the Cape, up to Victoria Falls and now just finished five days in Kruger playing animal spotto and indulging in a bit of sundowner musing over a cheery braai.

    The Skeleton Coast and Etosha Pan were new landscapes and really enjoyable. Ditto the dunes around Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. The Cape winelands are always enjoyable as was Cape Town itself. Overindulged at Victoria Falls, but that’s to be expected - have to feel sorry for the natives watching the economy tank again. Finally, Kruger threw up the usual menagerie including lots of cats and in this case a lot of my truck’s namesakes - ratels or honey badgers. All very nice.

    Added bonus is a suitcase crammed with four wheel drive and camping kit. The South Africans and Namibians just make this stuff well and at a considerably lower price and generally higher quality than at home. Says something about local labour costs as much as experience I suppose.

    Anyway, a quick run in the Polo back to the airport for the long haul home tonight. Were it possible to stay longer no doubt I would.

    Cheers,

    Neil

  3. #53
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    Oct 2007
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    Arcadia N.S.W.
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    G'day Neil, Good report. Can you show us some pictures? Long time between big cats and stuff like that over here.
    Don.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don 130 View Post
    G'day Neil, Good report. Can you show us some pictures? Long time between big cats and stuff like that over here.
    Don.
    Don,

    Hello and thanks.

    Yes, I will get around to posting some photos in due course. For some reason, which is probably a simple one, I don’t have a lot of luck posting photos with the iPhone.

    Should be back in Brisbane late tomorrow evening and will have an opportunity during the week to download and edit stuff from both the phone camera and my digital SLR camera.

    Cheers,

    Neil
    Hon Secretary - SLOw Inc

    1975 S3 88" - Ratel

  5. #55
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    Jul 2012
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    Brisbane
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    Hello again from a 737 - on the last leg home to hearth and kin.

    Got through immigration, customs and quarantine without grief which was nice considering that my inwards traveller card had a few of the more serious red buttons ticked - food, wood and visitation of wildlife areas in Africa.

    Now just waiting for the traditional welcome from Mrs S3ute - “jeez you’ve put on some weight ......”. Unfortunately, all too true.

    Glad to be home.

    Cheers,

    Neil

  6. #56
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    Jul 2012
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    Brisbane
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3ute View Post
    Hello again from Brisbane.

    As noted in the last post, Africa looms and the lounge room in Mrs S3ute’s convenient absence (temporary with work) is starting to look like those grainy photos of the Mombassa docks in days of yore.

    Dusting off the binocs and sun helmet, torch, pocket knife and flask, passport and club introductions and getting the old Melvill and Moons ready for packing. The Maui Jim’s are a concession to modernity, but in the main packing follows a well established routine of amassing a pile of useful what-not, placing an empty valise beside it and up-ending one into t’other - easy peasey. After that it is all up up and away and leering at the hosties. That or a good book and plenty of glazed sedatives.

    The half-chewed Andre finally came good with securing a booking for the week of a modest lodge on a rock overlooking Maleme Dam in the Matopos National Park - Cecil Rhodes of African colonial infamy had the good sense to be buried in a similar rock just up the hill. In another age I might have thought to do similar, the view being (were you not dead) quite stunning. Actually, on the topic of the great tycoon - the Bill Gates of his age - I discovered once that we share/d a common simple pleasure. Apparently despite his immense wealth (and my lack of the same) his favourite meal was gravy mince on toast topped with sprinkled cheddar cheese and a poached egg - accompanied with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and morning paper and not a smashed avo or jus in sight. Makes you hungry just contemplating it.

    The second week might involve a short safari in Hwange - hopefully in a little deeper than the previous excursions with either Sinamatella or Robins camps as the evening braai and beer base. Again, planning has been left to the natives which means that it could turn out to be seeking out a homeless shelter around Bulawayo - hopefully not.

    To take advantage of Mr Joyce’s episodic fits of largesse I have to fill in a third week to get the flight discount to and from Johannesburg. Not altogether an unappreciated inconvenience - retirement and lack of an office diary are both useful things to respectively have and not have these days. Decided to take the now well worn track across the highveld and down to Kruger for 5 days mixing it a bit between bush tents, rondavels and cottages. Usual digs at the Dullstroom Inn both ways should cap off a balanced mix of pub crawling, star gazing and animal gawping - hope so anyway.

    Reports in due course.

    Cheers,

    Neil
    Hello again from Sherwood.

    I well recognise that this long ago musing about plans to head back to Africa never got a finale - such were the distractions etc applying at the time.

    In an effort to redress that oversight I dug out a few snaps from the trip - I hope these are of interest.

    Firstly, the yurt (Black Eagle lodge) in Matopos NP, Zimbabwe, one of my favourite places on the planet:

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0337 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0093 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    The Matopos Hills are dominated by balancing rocks and whalebacks:

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0182 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0168 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    and full of bushman art from way back when:

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0172 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    My usual digs out on the farm near Kezi:

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0368 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0377 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Leopard trap near the back door in case nature let the cat out:

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0379 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Camp back in town:

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0063 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0024 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0037 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    During that trip I travelled with the half-chewed Andre and his lovely assistant Violette around the back blocks examining entries for last year's "my beautiful (Ndbele) home" competition:

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0561 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0535 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0648 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0572 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0460 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0602 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Who needs a flash kitchen?

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0499 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Close to the shops:

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0426 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0429 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    And handy to transport:

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0554 by Neil Mac, on Flickr


    But take care of hazards:

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0392 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    This was the first prize - don't laugh it draws hundreds of entries.

    Zimbabwe_Oct_Nov17_0621 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Moving on.

    Headed back to South Africa and the usual detour via Kruger NP:

    SA_Oct_Nov17_0619 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_0580 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_0506 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_0446 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_0336 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_0322 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_0235 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_0219 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_0327 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_0548 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_0698a by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Always a few Land Rovers around the veld:

    SA_Oct_Nov17_136 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_128 by Neil Mac, on Flickr
    SA_Oct_Nov17_134 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Then back to my other home away from home - the Dullstroom Inn:

    SA_Oct_Nov17_109 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    For some serious sundownering:

    SA_Oct_Nov17_028 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    SA_Oct_Nov17_027 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Then all too soon, the long flight home.

    Always fun.

    Cheers,

    Neil

  7. #57
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Guanaba, QLD
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    452
    Been waiting a long time for that Neil.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Brisbane
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    2,000

    More from Africa

    Quote Originally Posted by S3ute View Post
    Don,

    Hello and thanks.

    Yes, I will get around to posting some photos in due course. For some reason, which is probably a simple one, I don’t have a lot of luck posting photos with the iPhone.

    Should be back in Brisbane late tomorrow evening and will have an opportunity during the week to download and edit stuff from both the phone camera and my digital SLR camera.

    Cheers,

    Neil
    Hello again from Sherwood.

    Got to thinking over sundowners last night that this musing lark was getting a bit out of hand - but also vaguely recalled being in arrears on the last trip to Namibia and places thereabouts.

    So, again I've dredged through the relevant stack of photos and tried to find a few that captured some of it better than others. To be frank, I was fairly disappointed in what was on offer and got to thinking that it might have been age, weather or just a little good old fashioned safari deja vu creeping in - because I hadn't bothered to take a lot of photos of things that I probably should have, and duffed up the lighting or focus on a lot that I did.

    Whatever:

    The trip started in Namibia - a country that I hadn't previously visited, although it was on the bucket list. As time was short, and I was travelling with Ms S3ute who wasn't terribly interested in much of what I might otherwise have detoured to see, the leg was restricted to the coast around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay with a short run up the Skeleton Coast to Cape Cross and then across the desert(s) to Etosha Pan NP. There is, of course, much more to see and do in Namibia than that - but that's what we are working with.

    Walvis Bay is a former British Navy base facing the Atlantic and is a great place to sail and play in the dunes.

    This African pelican was one of the many birds that hang about the place.

    IMG_0181 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Had a great few hours punting around the dunes south of Walvis - but since the vehicle was a Toyota 90 wagon, I thought it better to leave it out - instead here's Ms S3ute adding a human scale to the scenery.

    IMG_0217 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Heading up the coast towards Hentiesbaai the source of the name Skeleton Coast starts to become more apparent - an ex-Angolan trawler the Zeila that took too close a look some years back.

    IMG_0235 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Cape Cross was one of the first landfalls of Europeans on the southern Atlantic coast before they discovered the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Agulhas and the gateway to the Indian Ocean - it has a huge colony of Cape Fur Seals. If the scenery didn't take your breath away the smell of many thousands of seals certainly will.

    IMG_0274 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Many years ago to kill some time I took a course in designing recreational facilities - even without those insights I think I can see the hidden fault in this well meant but poorly executed amenity.

    IMG_0255 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    From Cape Cross we headed inland across the desert towards Outjo on the way to Etosha - the dominant landmark for countless miles is the Brandburg range.

    IMG_0345 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Etosha Pan is a huge former salt lake that attracts a zillion animals each year from the surrounding deserts - so, despite the region's general aridity it has one of the more prolific assemblages of wildlife including most of the so-called "big five" (Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Black Rhino). Really the "big four" since there are actually no African Buffalo in Etosha NP.

    It's hard to capture the scale of Etosha Pan in a single photo - think Lake Eyre or large tracts of Western Queensland.

    IMG_0414 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    IMG_0498d by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    The main public camps - Okaukuejo, Halalie and Namutoni - were originally German military outposts and parts of the old forts remain, such as the one at Namutoni.

    IMG_0391l by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    These forts were subject occasionally to native attacks with significant loss of life for the defenders, but more often were used to restrict livestock movement to control the spread of rinderpest and other contagious animal diseases.

    Being dry, the main sites for playing animal spotto are the artificial waterholes which get visited at pretty much any time of day - and by a diverse array of species at any one time. It's a bit different to Kruger in South Africa where the animals are more common early morning and evening and with less mixing. So, you can pretty much park up at a singe waterhole for hours and the wildlife basically comes to you.

    IMG_0383m by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    IMG_0385p by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    IMG_0400f by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    IMG_0393d by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    IMG_0543 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    The sunsets are spectacular, especially over the waterholes which get a steady stream of visitors at all hours throughout the night.

    IMG_0470 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    And especially by rhinos - in this case Black Rhino. I noted before that these are part of the Big Five which many folks taking a short cut now substitute with the much more common White Rhino. Too easy a cop out! I have literally spent days crawling across the landscape of countless national parks, up hill and down dale, from dawn to dusk trying to find a Black Rhino with little luck. However, Etosha Pan is a welcome exception - the beasties are there in mass for some reason. Plus, and as a bonus, unlike their sulky and singular reputation they are fairly gregarious often congregating in small to medium size groups. Especially in the early morning and at night.

    IMG_0476e by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Southern_Africa_July2019_532 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Of course, all the regulars are there too and most are interesting to watch for a while.

    IMG_0438 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    IMG_0392a by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Including the elephants which in Ethosa are often coated in a white dust for cooling.

    Southern_Africa_July2019_414 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    But, it's the big cats that everyone wants to see, and with that many animals wandering about, the park has an extremely healthy population of lions dotted around it.

    Such as this lady enjoying the late afternoon sun.

    IMG_0403l by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    This sole lioness out on the open plain wasn't immediately visible - the wildebeest carcass was the give away and then the ears.

    IMG_0397a by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Until she stood up.

    IMG_0397s by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    And then got sufficiently ticked with a jackal and some vultures to make a charge.

    IMG_0397zj by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    She kept that up for quite a while and it was going to be a race between her pride or the myriad scavengers getting there first.

    I thought I'd better throw in a couple of Land Rovers for interest. Heading back to Windhoek I came across these two in a dealers window in Otjiwarongo - presumably part of a collection

    IMG_0624 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Earlier at Hentiesbaai there was another - but I failed to locate the owner for the secret handshake.

    IMG_0302 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Later in the trip we headed across to revisit the Victoria Falls staying on both sides of the Zambezi in Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Livingstone (Zambia). In both cases, we parked ourselves in fairly comfortable surrounds.

    Victoria Falls Hotel.

    IMG_0802 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Royal Livingstone.

    IMG_0979 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    And took in the Falls from many vantage points.

    IMG_0924 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Also paid homage to the great man himself - Blantyre's most famous son. One of the few white people who is still genuinely revered by many black Africans.

    IMG_0900 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    To dispel the impression that a good sundowners session must necessarily involve alcohol....

    IMG_0810 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    However, that was short lived and this is a real sundowners session Zambezi style.

    IMG_1007 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    With the local tipple of choice - Mosi oa Tunya's ice cold.

    IMG_1011 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    One for laughs.

    IMG_1149 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Back to Kruger and Dullstroom again, but that's been well covered before.

    Probably a good time to throw in a few more Land Rovers - this time from Hoedspruit near the Kruger Phalaborwa Gate.

    IMG_1299 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    IMG_1300 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    And the now much sought after South Africa grille badge.

    IMG_1302 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Returning to the original request for photos - especially of the big cats.

    There were heaps about this time and quite a few close encounters. Unfortunately, in Kruger the big cats often attract big crowds and it can be a bit of a free for all to get near them. But not in this case - they came to us.

    IMG_1416 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    These two ladies were on an evening stroll down the road near the Satara Camp and we happened to be heading in the oncoming direction. It was a bit hot and both decided that the Polo would make a good shady spot for a rest and laid down for a while while the crowd built up.

    IMG_1421 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    You could hear both tails banging on the side of the car - I did ask Ms S3ute to wind down the window for a better shot but she declined - rather emphatically, one of the few exchanges of terse words for the whole trip.

    Loath to admit it, but for Namibia we swapped the usual Polo for a more solid off-roader. In this case, a nearly new Fortuner - and it was excellent.

    Southern_Africa_July2019_644 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Prior to this trip Ms S3ute had never driven on a gravel road and had only very limited exposure to manual gearboxes - after a couple of thousand clicks of deserts and pans neither still applies.

    All up, it was good clean fun.

    And no animals were hurt making this post up.

    Cheers,

    Neil

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    2,000

    Roamerdrives and other stuff

    Hello again from Sherwood.

    Musing needn't be bounded by geography and/or a liking for one particular continent - so, occasionally with Mrs S3ute in tow I've found myself musing on another continent. In this case North America, although it was late last year when the autumn colours were a highlight.

    Going back to the first part of the title - Roamerdrives - I have a low km second hand one on a shelf here with the aim to fit it when Ratel finally gets close to achieving roadgoing status. In the process of sourcing some missing parts, notably gaskets which were lost when the unit was removed from the donor, I found the Roamerdrive personnel to be extremely helpful. Later on I identified a couple of other small bits that were missing - o-rings for the mounting bolts and the special 27mm socket required for the driving shaft.

    These could have been procured locally, but being in Vancouver at the time I decided to head over to the firm's address to see if they were available - plus generally kick a few tyres. Mrs S3ute came along for the ride which is odd because we passed a couple of upmarket shopping malls along the way....

    Anyway, I found the address in West Vancouver but was a bit puzzled because it didn't look like a factory - also the lady two doors down hadn't heard of them.

    In fact, it's a private home with what might be a boutique dress shop at the street level:

    Canada_USA_2018_0010 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    But on knocking was met with a distant voice that said come downstairs:

    Canada_USA_2018_0009 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    To the heart of the Roamerdrive operation:

    Canada_USA_2018_0001 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    The fellow in the photo is Ken Friend and the name is appropriate - genuinely nice guy. He's a space engineer who assembles the drives in his spare time, plus does some work on the marine propulsion systems that they also build.

    This is a bit like Santa's workshop in the various kids' books - it all happens in this one room, with a couple of side cellars for storing sub-assemblies and other parts.

    Canada_USA_2018_0002 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_0004 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    I mentioned the o-rings and they were immediately sitting in my hands, along with the bolts, gaskets, socket spanner and a fresh set of instructions - gratis!

    Canada_USA_2018_0003 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Unfortunately, Ray Wood the founder was away but I was shown one of his latest projects which was an adaptor kit for fitting a diesel into his 101. Ken was actually working on it when I arrived and it was a nice piece of kit:

    Canada_USA_2018_0005 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_0006 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_0007 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    He had another couple of Land Rovers stuck under the house but they were covered in stuff and hard to get to:

    Canada_USA_2018_0008 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Later the same day I called by the home of the President of the Roverlanders of British Columbia Club, another genuinely nice guy. He had a Defender wagon that was nicely kitted out - but more interesting, he was rebuilding an 80" truck in the single car space of his apartment.

    Canada_USA_2018_0033 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_0034 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Anyway, it was a great way to spend an hour or so chewing the fat with the natives - not least, I once lived in Vancouver for a few years and it's one of the great harbour cities of the world. And populated by some genuinely nice folks.

    I won't go into much detail of the rest of the trip - which was both wide-ranging and excellent - but thought there might be some interest in a few of the vehicles encountered along the way'

    Land Rovers pop up here and there - such as this ex-British military 90" at the ferry dock in Digby, Nova Scotia:

    Canada_USA_2018_2149 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    It wasn't the only vehicle of interest there - some Canada Forces squaddies were taking this armoured vehicle on the ferry across the Bay of Fundy to St John, New Brunswick:

    Canada_USA_2018_2154 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_2160 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Crossing the border into the USA there was this veteran near Mount Washington in New Hampshire:

    Canada_USA_2018_2745 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    There was also this ring-in which was nice enough to want to stop and look at:

    Canada_USA_2018_2753 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    But back to Land Rovers - the older series trucks and Defenders are surprisingly common in the New England States, such as the next few:

    Canada_USA_2018_2620 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_2828 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_2831 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_2832 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_2833 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_2844 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_2840 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_2841 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    And considering that they are often in pretty poor condition - totally stuffed chassis etc - they sell for ridiculous prices - $10,000 to $15,000 US would be the typical asking price for the last few above.

    Going back the military theme I thought the following few snaps might be of some interest - all were taken at a Canada Forces recruiting day in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was just up the road from the cemetery where some of the Titanic victims are interred.

    Apart from being Internationals I don't have much of an idea of the technical details other than they are "big":

    Canada_USA_2018_1971 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_1973 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Some were obviously troop and load carriers, there was a mobile field kitchen and a command vehicle built off much the same platform.

    Heavy recovery vehicles:

    Canada_USA_2018_1980 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Plus a seriously armoured personnel carrier:

    Canada_USA_2018_1986 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Their G-wagen plus another armoured fighting vehicle:

    Canada_USA_2018_1970 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_1966 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    And for the IEDs - some specialist kit which seemed to be the most popular display for the kids:

    Canada_USA_2018_1984 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_1985 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    On the topic of Internationals, another ring in, from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, was this classic International pick up.

    Canada_USA_2018_1409 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Canada_USA_2018_1408 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Now for a happy ending - in an earlier post from Africa I mentioned spending what seemed like half a lifetime trying to encounter a Black Rhino in the wild. Success came this year in Etosha NP, if a poorly focused and grainy photo take in Umfolozi NP a couple of years ago is discounted.

    Well, a much longer outstanding personal nemesis involves another animal altogether - Moose. I lived in Canada in the 70's and crawled all over the woods and backblocks looking for one, but without success. Ditto many visits to the western regions of the USA, all boasting healthy populations of unseen Moose - why call something Moose Lake, Moose Camping Ground, Moose Meadows etc? Again, if a too far away speck standing in the middle of the Snake River in Idaho taken about eight years ago isn't formally accepted as a confirmed sighting, then Cape Breton Island finally came to the rescue on this particular trip.

    But it wasn't without much goading - Quebec and the other Maritime Provinces are full of these signs:

    Canada_USA_2018_2267 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Late afternoon after walking around yet another Mooseless Moose bog Mrs S3ute and I decided to brave the squall coming along the Skyline Walk - when up popped old Bullwinkle himself:

    Canada_USA_2018_1601 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Plus his lady friend:

    Canada_USA_2018_1610 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    Close enough to pat and whisper - "where the freak have you been these last forty or so years"?

    I didn't, of course, as these things are silly enough to charge locomotives - rather just smiled as I crossed another thing off the bucket list.

    Something good to muse over.

    Something else to muse over - how many times have you used or heard the term "re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic"? Too many times to count more than likely I suspect.

    Ever stopped to wonder what they might actually look like?

    Then agonise no longer:

    Canada_USA_2018_2036 by Neil Mac, on Flickr

    A deckchair from the Titanic courtesy of the Maritime Museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    Cheers,

    Neil

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