Leaving in 12 days...my heart is starting to race...

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Aug 20th, 2005, 12:34 AM
  #41
 
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Hmmmph! City tour? What happened to visiting moi???
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Aug 20th, 2005, 01:08 AM
  #42
 
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Bon voyage and have a safe trip!

{{Michael - I hope you'll be posting about the Churchill trip. It's #4 on my list. }}
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Aug 20th, 2005, 04:37 AM
  #43
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Roccco -

You know that was my way of playing with you! You're going to have a great time and we look forward to your daily updates and those photos when you return. Safe travels.

Kavey -

Whenever, just email.
 
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Aug 20th, 2005, 06:15 AM
  #44
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Kavey,

Well, gee, I thought you would never ask...I was starting to feel like the geeky guy at the dance...only took till about the 40th reply until you brought it up.

Let me look up my firm times and then I will e-mail you. It will be a Wednesday afternoon, so just block off a couple hours and I would love to meet you for lunch...just please no chips & mayonaisse.
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Aug 20th, 2005, 02:35 PM
  #45
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Well, after playing around with my Sony F707 for the last couple hours, I have a better understanding of this camera than ever.

Being that it is probably only 1 pound and will require that I only bring along a couple batteries, a couple memory sticks and a battery charger, I will probably bring this along.

It will give me video capabilities, as well as offering my f/2.0 - 2.4 on the short end. Mostly, however, I will use it for the video capabilities.

What I am having trouble understanding, still, however, is why there is such a lag in the time between the time I am allowed to take photos with this camera. It seems to be about three seconds between shots. Could this possibly be normal?
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Aug 20th, 2005, 02:48 PM
  #46
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Actually, I meant to say that it will offer me f/2.0 on the short end and f/2.4 on the long end (38mm - 190mm).
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Aug 20th, 2005, 03:19 PM
  #47
 
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Rocco I have suggested us meeting when you pass through London several times and more than once on Fodors itself though I don't recall which of your many threads but it's definitely something we have discussed before and you were going to email me to discuss in detail...

Assumed you'd changed your mind!
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Aug 20th, 2005, 05:47 PM
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Well, only 300+ days until my next safari. I received my SAA tix in the mail today (used Delta SkyMiles) for trip next July (Mana Pools and Kgalagadi).

Rocco, Ukraine was great (very few tourists) and lots to see -- it was a very busy week.

Next up is Churchill in October, and short trip to London/Dublin in November (after watching Hell's Kitchen, we're off to try Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in London, and will also go to The Fat Duck, which recently was, for what its worth, declared world's best restaurant). But I'm most looking forward to Kgalagadi, which will be rustic, but should be very different landscape and animals than I have seen on prior safaris.

10 days to go for you....
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Aug 20th, 2005, 05:54 PM
  #49
 
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Has he gone yet?
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Aug 20th, 2005, 07:41 PM
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Rocco-I volunteered to bring some supplies to Barry (LED torches) that he will repay me for ($175.00), and since the money is already spent and the bill paid, maybe I will just tell him to buy a bike and donate it...and if I can fit in the Dom Perignon that he requested, that might buy 2 bikes!
...just hope it doesn't turn into a story like the lady who went jogging without a guard! (but I'm sure you can outpedal a raging elephant or hungry lion)
Dennis
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Aug 20th, 2005, 09:09 PM
  #51
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Dennis,

Dom Perignon in the Luangwa Valley...that, until now, is unheard of!

I believe Barry from Luangwa River Lodge told me that each bike would cost roughly $125, but for the impact that it will make, this will be the best gift I have ever given.

It is quite a distance from the airport to the national park, so I am figuring that we will likely stop, for safety reasons, a couple miles short of the national park. I do think I would have some serious problems, even if on a bicycle, if an elephant or lion rushed after me...especially a lion who I probably would not see until the very last second!

This will definitely not be like running through the bush...I am viewing it as more a cultural experience than an adventurous activity. It will be very interesting to see how the Zambian people will react to seeing some fat American riding down the highway alongside them!
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Aug 21st, 2005, 03:52 AM
  #52
 
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Have a great trip, Rocco!

In looking at your final itinerary, it doesn't appear we have any crossover locations. However, we might run into each other in the Joburg airport on the way home (husband and I are on a Sept. 20th 7:20pm flight to Frankfurt). We'll also be with Mark off and on for transfers, etc. Safe travels to you...

Ericka
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Aug 21st, 2005, 08:50 PM
  #53
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Ericka,

We will probably just miss each other at the JNB airport, as my flight leaves to London at 9PM.

Have a great trip and I cannot wait to read your report.

-----Just picked up my new laptop today...actually bought it but they are installing all the programs so I will have it in a couple days.

It is some Compaq computer that weighs 5.4 pounds with 80GB and features a DVD player and burner, along with having WI-FI capabilities and actually being better, or so I am told, than the Sony Vaio, yet it was almost half the price. Got the airplane adapter so that we may enjoy it for our approximate 60 hours on major airliners that we will be enduring.

I am a bit surprised at how sharp my good ol' Sony F707 takes photos at short range. I may not use my Canon 17-85mm lens at all except for landscape photos that will get me down to 27mm with the magnification factor.
The Sony is 38mm - 190mm but is f/2.0 - 2.4, compared to the Canon 17-85mm lens being f/4.0 - 5.6.

I will use my Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens for anything over 100mm, as it is really a 112mm - 320mm by the time the magnification factor is counted.

My Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5 - 5.6 lens will be used for anything over a true 300mm distance, and with the magnification factor, this will still cover me from 300mm - 640mm. Although

I will take my Sigma 1.4x teleconvertor along, I will probably limit its use to walking safaris and canoeing on the 70-200mm lens. This will get me to a maximum 448mm at f/4.0. One other possible use would be to even try to play around with it in camp if there are any interesting birds or wildlife. If I put this on my 80-400mm lens (with magnification factor) it would get it up to a 896mm f/7.2 lens, although I don't know what to expect out of such a configuration. This will truly be a learning experience, as by the end of the first couple days, I will have already spent more time with my camera equipment in Africa than I have had time to practice beforehand.

Still have a ton of stuff to take care of, but did some shopping this weekend and at least took care of the laptop and a little bit of safari clothing...no, I will not now, nor probably ever wear "smart" safari clothes...those are for posers making a one time visit to Singita or Mombo.

Most important things still outstanding:

1. Find Passports by tomorrow or make appointment for new passports
2. Meningitis vaccination and pickup anti-malaria meds and Cipro.
3. Flight from Cape Town - Sabi Sand - Joburg
4. Put everything on bill pay through my bank account so there are no surprises with utilities while I am gone
5. Continue to read Canon 20d instructions and anything else relevant that I can get my hands on
6. Learn how to use my new computer to burn DVD's plus download Photoshop Elements 3.0
7. Go to Blockbuster Video or elsewhere and pick out about a dozen pre-owned movies I have not yet seen.
8. Pick up a Giotto Rocket Blaster CMOS sensor cleaner. They are very inexpensive but it is a pain to get over to a quality camera shop that carries this item. I should probably get two of them because they are certainly small and light enough to misplace.

Hopefully that is about everything. I am NOT going to rent a satellite phone this year. I am confident that I can use the Zambian camps phones, if only for a couple minutes per day, and this is really for Alexsandra as she is responsible for human lives with the Elder Care homes. I would much rather pay the camps $3 or $4 per minute than to have to rent a phone for $300, carry it everywhere (it is heavy and bulky) and still have to pay $2 per minute on top of that. Last year it was stolen and ended up costing me $1500 including the rental fee and replacement fee. Access America refused to reimburse me since I did not file a police report in Italy, where the incident occurred, no matter that I did not discover the loss until I was already in Africa!

As I said, I know I am going to burn out and crash hard in the next few days. This is just too much now that I have introduced DSLR photography to the mix. I do hope that I one day become a decent photographer with work that may be published. For now, however, I will be content with photos that may be proudly displayed in my home or office that are good enough into shocking my guests that I was the photographer of such incredible photos.

This has been a very long road leading up to this safari and I do hope that I have grown enough since my last couple safaris so that this will truly be one of my best travel/life experiences yet. I have been happy to share this with my fellow Fodorites along the way and hopefully will not disappoint with whatever I am able to come up with in terms of a trip report and photo album.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me and if I am only on the board sporadically between now and departure it is just because I am seriously feeling burned out and need to recharge my own internal batteries before departure!
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 12:49 AM
  #54
 
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Rocco, speaking of unloved I can only assume you somehow didn't see my post above and have forgotten our previous discussions about meeting.

If you are in anyway serious about wanting to meet whilst you're in London perhaps you can get around to droping me an email?
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:31 AM
  #55
 
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Looks like my latest post did the trick and I've finally heard from you!

Seriously, would love to meet but only if it fits into your schedule...

Hoping we can work this out - should be fun.

ALSO you can bring with you the CD with that favourite picture of yours that you wanted me to have a go at in Photoshop?
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:38 AM
  #56
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Kavey,

Please...no kiss and tell!

Don't you know I am trying to be burned out and resist from posting on the forum, yet here I am at 4:30AM local time doing just that.

Thanks for reminding me about the CD with my elephant/Baobab photo.
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 05:52 AM
  #57
 
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You're welcome, sweets!
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 07:50 AM
  #58
 
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Alrighty then, Kavey...If I have a layover in London next year I'll be expecting the same invitation!
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 08:08 AM
  #59
 
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It's an utterly open invite!

I have met a number of Fodorites over the years - most from Europe board but quite a few from here too - probably near to a couple of hundred - yeah really!
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 08:57 AM
  #60
 
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Roccco - Have a wonderful time! Your comments, experiences and suggestions on Fodor's have been invaluable to me and many others - you deserve to have an awesome time - as I am sure you will. Actually, you and I will be overlapping in Cape Town as I arrive the night of the 16th and leave the 20th for Sossusvlei in Namibia. I will recognize you on the street as the one who is carrying umpteen cameras!!!
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