31 Januar 2011

Tau Encounters

This past weekend we spent some more time in the bush. After a short drive over the border we arrived at the Buffalo Ridge Lodge, a lovely place set on top of a hill overlooking the Madikwe Game Reserve with private chalets nestled in the bush.
When we walked to our chalet, the ranger showed us the footprint of a lion on the path and when they tried to get to the next chalet, they found the lioness just a few meters away from us on the path, and I could hear her growling at the sight of the humans.....
I did not really feel comfortable out there and wasn't sure if I would be able to sleep but after a fantastic gamedrive with a pack of wild dogs and a delicious three-course dinner we got a good night's rest.
The next morning we started early and met a lion couple who had chosen a spot next to the road for their honeymoon.
Their lazy movements and big yellow eyes were incredibly to watch but I was very happy to be in the safety of the 4x4 vehicle and not on the ground with them!

24 Januar 2011

food memories: alfajores

One year ago I was travelling through Patagonia and living on avocado & cheese sandwiches, pasta and alfajores for days. For some reason I just remembered those alfajores and wish I could eat some, but no way you can find them here. So after some research and getting soaked in the rain (also something that happened more than once in Patagonia), I decided to give it a try and bake some myself. Turns out, the quasi 'dulce de leche' I found is better than expected and coconut can replace chocolate cover :)

22 Januar 2011

(so much better than) a visit to the zoo

The beauty of living in Gaborone is that you can just decide on any random Saturday afternoon that you would like to go for a gamedrive and make your way to nearby Mokolodi Game Reserve. And that's exactly what we did!

At Mokolodi we went for the long loop all around the reserve and saw quite a few animals along the way. Herds of impalas and kudus with their babies, some warthog families and dancing giraffes - not bad for our first safari in 2011!

16 Januar 2011

nach nem Sommerregen

We're back in Botswana and everything is GREEN!
There is lots of grass on the roadsides and leafs on every tree and it makes such a difference.

Work has started but there was time for some drinks at Gabs Dam on Friday, where we got into the biggest rainstorm I have ever had here. But after an hour or so, the rain was gone and the sun came back with a beautiful (double) rainbow over the lake and some dramatic skies.

It's good to be back and so far I am quite enjoying the rainy days...

07 Januar 2011

how to start a new year

In late December, I went for a skiing holiday in the mountains with friends from all over the world. For some reason, New Year's eve was kind of quiet and everyone went to bed rather early. So some of us decided to start the new year like we ended it: on the slopes!

Of course, the prospect of empty slopes and fantastic sunshine definitely contributed to our motivation and so we managed to get into the gondola just before 9 am

Up on the mountain the sun was out, the view was spectacular and we were all glad to be able to start the new year with another day on the slopes!

Doesn't this sound like a great way to start a New Year?
Just kidding - I know there are plenty of other (maybe even better) ways...
Thanks to Isi for some of the pics and to everyone for some nice days on the slopes!

02 Januar 2011

it was a very good year...

2010 has been a year full of adventures in different parts of the world. I have travelled a lot (I counted 20 countries - this year I win our internal competition :), spent time on three different continents and started a new job. Here are some of my personal highlights of the past year:

In January I started my great journey and went to the end of the world before making my way back up through Argentina and Chile. In February I spent some great weeks in Patagonia before things got a big shaky in Santiago and I embarked on the longest bus journey ever to La Paz. In March, altitude fatigue seemed to set in after a couple of weeks on the Altiplano, but when I made it to NYC it was time for celebrations.

In April I soaked in some sun on the beaches of Nicaragua & Costa Rica and kind of fell in love with Cuba. In May I spent some time in Europe with my family and old friends, and was really excited to be re-united with my favorite man and start a new adventure in Botswana. In June I got the travel bug again and spent a couple of weeks on the road, watching football and wild animals with old and new friends.

In July, I fell in love with Capetown, saw my first lion and then slowly started to settle in to life in Gabs. In August, we went for a road trip to beautiful Namibia, I played tennis every week and tried to get to know my new host city. In September, I started work again, made new friends in Gabs and loved the sunshine and the warm days.

In October, we went to Capetown for a week before family and friends came to visit us and see the wildlife. In November, work got quite busy and I flew to Mexico for the climate change negotiations. In December, I spent Christmas with my family, got to see my best friends and loved the snow and the winter.

I am so grateful for all of the amazing experiences, for all the wonderful people I've met and the great opportunities of last year. It really was an amazing year! Now I am looking forward to 2011 and to sharing some of our adventures along the way.

Happy New Year to everyone!!!

(picture credits: no 6 by Jean-Francois, no 9 by Keith)