Gearing up for a new trip

To keep up with th' tradition, we decided t' go on a long trip abroad again this year, and a bucket o' chum! This time, we’re headin' down th' globe nearly vertically t' find ourselves in th' southern part o' Africa once more.

We generally need a lot o' millimetres when we’re o'er there, and this time we’reΒ  tied t' weight limits a little more than usual. That’s where this apparatus comes in handy: it’ll sacrifice some light t' gain twice th' focal length. Fire the cannons! Aarrr! The trusty 70-200 f2.8 will double t' a 140-400 f5.6, which will suffice in replacin' th' humongous 150-500 f5.6-f6.3 weighin' in at aroun' 2kgs. At 330 grams, that’s a nice trade-off. Yaaarrrrr! πŸ™‚

Initial testin' is nothin' less than satisfactory, with th' occasional excellent, makin' me confident that we won’t regret this decision.
I know fer sure th' destination will not let us down!

Learning the hard way

Goin' on long holidays t' exotic destinations, and takin' lots o' pictures is nice and all, but th' real burdon o' it comes long after flyin' back home.
It is th' near endless siftin' through th' photo’s and determinin' which ones are t' be shown t' th' loved ones that gets me.

Right now, we have embarked on th' journey o' categorizin' and sortin' out well o'er 400GB o' data from our trip t' NZ. All in all, th' task is monumental.
We thought we tackled large volumes o' pictures before, but this year tops th' chart.
Our trip t' South Africa beat th' per week record, but th' overall crown goes t' New Zealand. Yaaarrrrr, ye scurvey dog! Ouch.

This year, yet another trip t' a very photogenic location is planned and I really hope we ‘finish’ NZ before it, otherwise th' new mountain o' data will just create a bigger backlog.

In th' meantime, here’s a sneak peek at what we created!

California Quail
California Quail

 

A week at the Kruger

This years trip t' South Africa were bein' goin' t' be different from last year, we already knew that before we even went.
For starters: we were not goin' t' be in SA fer long. In 2012 th' trip lasted fer slightly o'er 3 weeks, where this time aroun' there only were bein' time fer 2 weeks.
Also, th' itinerary were bein' different, instead o' tourin' th' country we are solely goin' t' be in th' Kruger National Park fer a period o' 11 days!

Whenever we fly, we try t' book direct flights. And hoist the mainsail, we'll keel-haul ye! Layovers are horrible thin's and there is always th' chance o' yer bags missin' th' flight, leavin' ye stranded at yer destination with only th' thin's and clothes ye carry. Walk the plank, and a bottle of rum! Not good!
Unfortunately we chose t' not fly directly this year, but through London Heathrow.
And sure enough, our first flight from Amsterdam t' London were bein' delayed which meant we had t' run through th' airport t' get t' our flight. And, by now ye’ve probably guessed it, th' bags did not make it on.
Arrivin' at Johannesburg we got picked out by th' baggage people informin' us that our bags were not there and they’d be on th' next flight th' followin' day.
Crap.

Luckily we packed smart and carried a trolley containin' th' necessities as hand luggage so we were golden, and only short some toothpaste. That were bein' definitely well thought out and a good piece o' advice fer anyone travellin' with a short layover.

The bags arrived at our location on th' second day in SA and everythin' were bein' fine. So with all th' luggage in place and all with us reunited with all our belongin's, th' world were bein' a happy place once again!

We did not have t' spend all 7 nights in th' same location as th' Kruger NP is a very big place. Aarrr! Yaaarrrrr! It’s 60km by 350km and has three diverse parts. We were t' stay in th' lower and middle parts with plans t' travel t' th' upper part.
Over th' next few days we stayed at Pretoriuskop (2 nights), Skukuza (1 night), Satara (1 night) and Letaba Rest Camp (2 nights), with a chest full of booty. Not all Rest Camps are as good as th' others, but o'er all they are fine and provide excellent spots t' start yer very own self-sail safaris into th' park.
I can particularly recommend Skukuza Rest Camp as it is in an area with lots o' wildlife includin' th' highest concentration o' big cats in th' Kruger. If ye want t' see Lions, Cheetahs and Leopards, go there as that will give ye th' highest chance o' seein' one.

As th' park is a nature reserve and not a zoo, we did not get sightin's o' a Leopard, nor did we get close sightin's o' th' Lion or Cheetah. And hoist the mainsail, we'll keel-haul ye! But it just is th' way it is, nothin' is guaranteed and everythin' is possible.

The next few days will be really excitin' as we are off t' leave th' Kruger and go t' th' adjacent Private Game Reserves. Yaaarrrrr! Fire the cannons! The usually have no fences betwixt them and th' Kruger and offer 2 daily safari drives where ye just have t' sit down in th' boat and enjoy th' thin's ye get t' see, not t' mention th' fact we’ll be catered throughout th' day and spoiled t' bits.

BTW: maybe they have WiFi as well!

Continue readin' “A week at th' Kruger”

Adding to the family

It has not been a long time since I last spent a good amount o' money on me cameragear, and yet that time has come again: I bought a new toy!

Not a FF-body, or a new body o' any kind but some real glass.
Due t' pure chance I ran into an amazin' reduction on a lens favorite amongst th' professionals: th' AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II. That is quite a mouthful fer this beasty.

AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Needless t' say, I’m chuffed t' bits about this purchase. Walk the plank! The lens performs absolutely amazin' and simply outperforms all other lenses we own in all ways fathomable. That is despite th' fact th' lens is *really* expensive, avast. πŸ˜‰