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

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Aug 22nd, 2005, 09:54 AM
  #61
 
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Lolo12 - funny you should mention that. Here is a pictue of Rocco in Africa
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=10352147

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Aug 22nd, 2005, 10:12 AM
  #62
 
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Great photo -- but it looks like he went out with only "some" of his equipment.
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 10:12 AM
  #63
 
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or maybe this is Rocco
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y16...erabiglens.jpg
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 10:53 AM
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Rocco, are either Kasaka, Sausage Tree, Puku , Royal Livingstone, Luangwa River Lodge still in your final itinerary?? cant wait the hear the stories....Enjoy all of it
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 11:09 AM
  #65
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Alejandra,

My final itinerary:

Kasaka River Lodge, Lower Zambezi (3)
Chongwe River Camp, LZ (3)
Luangwa River Lodge, South Luangwa (3)
Puku Ridge, SL (3)
Twelve Apostles, Cape Town (4)
Simbambili, Sabi Sand (3)

EIGHT MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 11:10 AM
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Sundowner,

I am fat and handsome, not skinny and ugly!
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 11:15 AM
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Rocco,

I cannot imagine what I will be feeling when I get to "12 days to go". I'm currently at "23 days to go" and CANNOT wait!

I wish you the best of luck with all of your camera equipment and hope to hear lots of great stories when we meet at Simbambili!

Happy travels!

Cindy
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 11:51 AM
  #68
 
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All in fun, Rocco! I ordered and received a P2000 last week and ordered 4 more GB of CF cards Saturday. I thought of you when I was ordering.

Serious question, did you buy a card reader so you don't have to hook your camera up to the storage device? It will definitely save your camera battery.


My calendar says 36 days to go before I leave and my heart has already been racing for a week. I don't know how I'll stand it getting closer and closer every day.
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 04:25 PM
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Rocco,
Furio and I would love to come meet you and your family. How generous of you to ask, I think we will have a great time and a huge lagh sharing our pictures. Could we consider bringing our boys, Bozo and Toodles?

Quien sabe, I was born in Huntington hospital, maybe I'll end up in good old Pasadena. Lord help me I hope while I still have some wits about me I jump off the end of a cruise ship after a midnight chocolate buffet ;-D No fuss, no muss. I have no respect for people who leave a gory mess for family or strangers...yuk.

I just want to pack and go! But truth be known I just ordered our duffel bags from IRV'S this past weekend. I'm not used to such complicated shopping and preparation for a trip...or anything really. I love research, but it usually doesn't lead to anything REAL. What I usually actually end up doing is more determined my serendipity.

But now at last I have the freedom and anonyminity of being old. And besides being in debt, I have a little money of my own.

And how can anyone not have a simply amazing time. I feel so incredibly lucky to be going.

After my best friend, who graduated HS with me in '60,found out how much this was costing, and told her husband, he couldn't figure it out. "She was born in so. cal. wasn't she? They could have bought a new car." (Furio has a '86 Toy-truck, I a 97" Prizm) But what if all those folks who HAVE to have nice cars, which seems reasonable to me, HAD to go to Zambia or Botswana, or even South & Eastern Africa? There would be no room for the wild things!!!I don't know why they don't HAVE to go. Seems pretty amazing to me. Can't imagine turning down the chance to just be in that world for a few moments.

I am just aching, ACHING to go. The only thing I know I don't want to do is continually race around in a whatever all day.

I'm watcher.

If I want to speed around I want to be at the wheel on the fwy when the average speed is about 80-85 mph. Let's go surfin' on the good old freeways. It's getting harder to find good waves in the daytime even in San Diego, but night time is always the right time.

We were scheduledto go to start at DumaTau since last Oct. When we got our final papers we were in Savuti. I called, and Bert said that rarely happened, that was a week ago Friday.
At first I was a little unthinking and shook-up. Then I remembered I had a hard time deciding between the two. So I called Bert back and told him not to worry, and as our friend Will says,

"All's well that ends well."
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Aug 22nd, 2005, 08:54 PM
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Mzcuriouz,

Unfortunately, few people will ever share the passion that most of us do for travel, yet less being open-minded enough to visit Africa.

My own best (childhood & young adult) friend thinks that I am stupid for spending so much on my holidays. On more than one occasion he pointed out how he was able to spend a week at a 4* all-inclusive resort in Cancun (or some other place that I would probably never willingly visit) for only $1500 or whatever per person including air fare.

I am at a point now where I MUST go each year and it is more complicated than ever now that I have introduced DSLR Photography to the mix. I had to laugh today when I decided to take my Sony F707 to work today. It was so convenient compared to what my setup will be this year.

But now I have also reached a point where luxury lodges, while still a necessity, are not enough. I want to do more for both the wildlife and the African people. I really hope that I can share the possibilities of what a Southern African safari has the potential to be.

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Aug 23rd, 2005, 03:20 AM
  #71
 
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Rocco - I know the feeling! I leave in 12 days myself. I wish you all the best and have enjoyed hearing about your preparations to go. Only those who love to travel understand the need to do so. I appreciate being part of this board and learning and sharing. Again, I am excited for you and can't wait to hear the next episode!
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 04:34 AM
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I'm torn between envy, pure and simple as I want to do each and every trip you're all setting off on and excitement for you because I'm sure you will all have such wonderful trips and I'll at least get to share them with you through your trip reports and photo albums on your return!

Raise a glass to me when you're out on safari and think of me thinking of you!!!!

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Aug 23rd, 2005, 05:07 AM
  #73
 
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Rocco--have a wonderful trip, we too leave in 8 days--our first--we are very excited.

We also are doing "cattle car" on Virgin, but from Miami to London--we too are praying, praying for a "half empty" flight.

Did want to tell you tho, that when I get my credit card bill--will probably curse you--since reading all of your threads I went and bought a very expensive camera--oh well. On what we are spending for the trip---it is worth it.

Again, have a great trip looking forward to your trip report and pics.

Linda
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 07:55 AM
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Hi,
Got you all "beat". We leave in two, yes 2, days. But we are stopping in England (Dewsbury) for 3 days so maybe it is actually 5 days? Anyway, then it is on to Zambia-Nsefu 4 nights, Vic Falls 1 night, Botswana-Khwai Lodge 4 nights, MalaMala 4 nights. I started planning this November 2004, can't believe how quickly the time has flown.
regards - tom
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 08:16 AM
  #75
 
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If it's any consolation, 'cattle car' on Virgin is a step above 'cattle car' on any other airline I've flown (and at least 3 or 4 steps above United). On the LA-London route you'll probably get one of the new planes with 300 movies loaded for on-demand entertainment.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 08:29 AM
  #76
 
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Thanks Julian--our last long distance haul was with American--FF miles--do not "even" want to go into that one.

Well have to just to please me, spent two nites in the us just to get there--then spent 2 days in London with "no" luggage-ugh.

Anyway, next door to American in Miami was Virgin--flying on time while American said they could not leave due to weather--I told my husband--do not care what it costs--we are going next door to Virgin--alas--no seats--but we tried.

I have heard great things about Virgin, so glad to hear from you that economy is ok. Thanks
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 09:23 AM
  #77
 
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In general, I've found that non-US carriers are much nicer in economy than US carriers (with the exception of certain Eastern European airlines, notably CSA Czech Airlines). Some of the Asian airlines (Singapore, Cathay Pacific) could almost make you believe you're not in coach.

I'm actually flying in economy from London to San Francisco in December on Virgin, and I hope I get one of the new planes!

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 09:38 AM
  #78
 
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BTW, if you join Continental's frequent flier programme, you can get FF miles from your Virgin flight. Though if you live in Florida you may be better off joining Virgin's programme as they have lower redemption thresholds for certain East Coast cities (whereas people who live on the West Coast are better off with Continental).

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:27 PM
  #79
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Picked up a Giotto Rocket Air Blaster, a lens cap for my Sony F707 and one final Gig of memory. I am 100% done with my camera equipment!

(2) Canon 20d bodies
Sony F707 f/2.0-2.4, 5 MegaPixel, 38mm - 190mm Point and Shoot Camera
Canon 17-85mm f/4.0 - 5.6 IS lens
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens
Sigma 80-400mm f/4.5 - 5.6 OS lens
Sigma 1.4x teleconvertor
Sigma 500 EF Super Flash
Dual Batter Charger for each Sony and Canon batteries
CF Cards - 5.5 Gigs
Memory Sticks (for Sony F707) - 512 MB (this should be enough since I only plan on using my Sony for portraits and for video recording).
Compaq Presario Laptop Computer - 14" monitor, 80GB memory, WI-FI capability and DVD/CD burner and player
Tamrac 777 Backpack

I just did also bite the bullet and order a satellite phone. I don't want to rely on the camps/lodges being 100% cooperative...plus this will allow us 24 hour access to the phone. Not to worry, this phone will NOT be used during game activities...you don't know how ape$*** I would go on a person if they ever pulled out a satellite phone while sharing a game activity with me.

Fortunately, most of this will fit right in my Tamrac 777, but my wife is responsible for the laptop...I wish she would trade with me and allow me to help her with the laptop while she took the backpack!

Still out there...

Appointment tomorrow to get new passports...wonder if I can lose 40 pounds in the next 20 hours?

Sunglasses and a hat. I never wear sunglasses but will definitely want a pair for safari. The 99 cent store usually does the trick for me, as my sunglasses are disposable whether they are a $200 pair or a 99 cent pair...may as well save myself a $199 as I am guaranteed to break or lose them within a couple weeks.

Meningitis vaccination...my wife and I are outflaking each other on making the appointement. There is a anti malaria prescription and Cipro prescription ready to be picked up.

Airline ticket from JNB - CPT - JNB. More than likely I will go with Kulula. The reason for such the delay was not being sure whether or not we would want to fly direct from Cape Town to the Sabi Sand, but we would like decent clothes to wear in Cape Town, so this will afford us the opportunity to pack a little more but then check them in at the baggage storage facility in Joburg. Unfortunately we are looking at $6 per day for one bag multiplied by 12 days.

Will now need a JNB - MQP - JNB flight, as well.

Packing! We will do most of it this weekend.

So, I am about 75% done, but there are some very important outstanding matters.

Nice to hear that Virgin Atlantic is not so bad in the cattle section where I will be mooing away for 11 hours straight.

Have a confirmed lunch date with Kavey and Julian ("JAsher") in London in Chinatown! Any other London based Africa Fodorites are welcome to join us.

I have reserved this weekend for getting 100% ready. Of course, I will more than likely forget something very important, but at least I won't be stressed out Monday night / Tuesday morning.

I do need to put a moratorium on my spending for this trip or else Tanzania is NOT going to happen in February. For those of you that remember, I originally put a limit of $1,500 on my camera gear but I totally blew that budget. Hopefully I am able to bring back some otherwise unattainable images had I gone with a top of the line point and shoot, but time will tell. If nothing else, I have really learned a lot about photography and hope to continue progressing in the future.
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:35 PM
  #80
 
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How do you possibly recall what camera equipment you have?

Anyway, I'm sure Kavey and jasher have great Chinatown recommendations, but when I'm in London and in the mood for Chinese food, I go to Fung Shing (on Lisle Street in Chinatown). They have a soft-shell crab with peppers that's great.

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