Rocco's departure is....

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Feb 16th, 2006, 03:19 PM
  #1
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Rocco's departure is....

NEXT WEEK! It doesn't seem possible but the maiden voyage to East Africa is just around the termite mound, or whatever.

So... have a fabulous trip to East Africa, you and Alexsandra, and jot us a note from afield if you can. I'm sure you will fall in love with East Africa as well, and then we will surely have a monster on our hands. ;-)

Be safe~ Sharon
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Feb 16th, 2006, 03:45 PM
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I hope that you see wild dogs.
I hope you don't create the Roccongoro Crater.
I hope you figure out all the regional flight schedules and prices.
I hope the accommodations are up to snuff or close enough.

Most of all I hope you and Aleksandra have a wonderful time!

Safari njema tena. Je, tembo juu ya piki piki?
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Feb 16th, 2006, 04:09 PM
  #3
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hope that you see wild dogs.
I hope you don't create the Roccongoro Crater.



Good on ya, mate!
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Feb 16th, 2006, 04:35 PM
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cooncat.

You will be leaving before you know it, too. Soon you will actually have to deal with all the mundane details associated with a trip like this.

Of course, you've already dealt with the money, and what could be more mundane than that?

Rocco, I forgot to wish you many fantastic wildlife sightings of all kinds as well as lots of laughs between you, your guide and Aleksandra.
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Feb 16th, 2006, 05:37 PM
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Nooooo....I don't wanna go...I am having too much fun around here with a certain unmentionable new venture...well, okay, since my arm is being twisted I will go!

As far as the Roccongoro Crater goes, if I do fall out of that balloon, I am going to curl up into cannonball form and try my best to outdo the Ngorongoro.

Leely, I have no idea what you said (piki piki), but it probably was not good!

So glad that I did not cancel this, as it is starting to get very cold in L.A. recently with temperatures dipping down into the FIFTIES!

Just did a little shopping at the camera shop today and I picked up a couple really good UV filters (B&W is the maker), as well as some interesting new product made by Expodisc that is a custom white balance filter...it is supposed to really improve the coloring. A couple more Gigs of CF cards and another Giotto Rocket Air Blaster, just in case I misplaced my other one.

I am not looking forward to either "the vest" or the Tamrac backpack from hell. At least I will be flying first class to Atlanta and then business class to Amsterdam. Also, I think that KLM (AMS - Kiliminjaro) is not as anal as Virgin Atlantic, so I do hope to avoid stuffing my vest too much.

6.5 days to go and really all I have to do is pack. I "accidentally" miscalculated the amount of anti-malaria meds that I would need last time around (I think I figured, for some reason, that I would need 50 days worth of meds) so, now, I am totally covered with each anti-malaria meds and Cipro.

Bought Alexsandra and I each a pair of stylish suitcases last night. You know, the airlines kept complaining about us using double ply plastic garbage bags instead of suitcases, so we just caved in to the peer pressure.

Fortunately, I have been kept very busy for the last few weeks and have not had anytime at all to get anxious about this trip...it's pretty nice, actually, almost like a Valium, I suppose!

Thanks for the nice wishes and Safari Njema's and even the Piki Piki's...I think!

Now, just as a matter of reminder, here is my humble little itinerary:

Moivaro Coffee Lodge (1)
Tarangire Treetops (2)
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge (2)
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (2)
Olduvai Camp (1)
Nomad Masek (2)
Nomad Piaya (2)
Mbuzi Mawe (2)
Palms Zanzibar (3)
Serena Inn (2)
Canal House, Amsterdam (2)
King George V Four Seasons, Paris (2)

Quite a tax deductible business expense, I must say! Hehehe and Piki Piki, too!
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Feb 16th, 2006, 06:39 PM
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Rocco - Hope you have a wonderful time in East Africa, and see all the wildlife you've been dreaming about. Just remember, don't feed animals, and if an ele follows you into your tent, grab the panic alarm before you head for the bathroom Seriously, I will miss reading your posts and emails while you're gone, but I'm sure your trip report (and pictures) will be worth waiting for. I'll also be interested in what you think about the white balance filter after you've used it the field. Have fun and hurry back - Sharon T.
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Feb 16th, 2006, 07:17 PM
  #7
santharamhari
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Rocco,

Here's wishing you guys a wonderful trip!!!!

Will await your trip report and hopefully you will start marketing East Africa along with your expertise on Zambia.

Have fun
Hari

Mid-50's in LA. That's perfect running weather......
 
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Feb 16th, 2006, 07:17 PM
  #8
 
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The best thing about Rocco's departure is that mine is just 2 weeks later! Have a great trip Rocco and Alexsandra. Good luck with the dogs and all the rest of the critters!
Mucaale Kabotu (Zambian good-bye)
Dennis
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Feb 16th, 2006, 08:48 PM
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johan_belgium
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Rocco,

Have a great trip to Tanzania!!!

I am looking forward to your trip report and pictures.

Hopefully you'll catch up with the dogs and if not you'll see them in Botswana.

Enjoy!!!

Johan
 
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Feb 16th, 2006, 11:40 PM
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Rocco,
I know you'll have a great time and am looking forward to your trip report. Be sure to say Hi to Ranger John at Mala Mala for me
regards - tom
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Feb 17th, 2006, 11:57 AM
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Okay Rocco, I can't let you go in good conscience thinking pikipiki means anything other than motorcycle. That was just a nonsense sentence I threw in there.

Well, now at least you can entertain your guide by pointing to motorbikes and saying knowingly "Pikipiki!"

LOTS of photos, please.
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Feb 17th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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Who's Rocco?

Have a great time -- that's an amazing trip. I'm looking forward to your comparisons between eastern and southern Africa. And your review of the Canal House -- I haven't stayed there, but friends have, and its supposed to be very nice. I know where it is, and its location cannot be beat. Amsterdam is one of the most walkable cities, and one of the prettiest. My only advice re Amsterdam is start with the lowest-tier product in the coffee shops and work your way up -- the Dutch have a much higher ;-) tolerance than Americans.
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Feb 17th, 2006, 09:45 PM
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Lin
 
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Oh Rocco, have a blast! I also can't wait to hear your comparison between East and Southern Africa. My first safari was to Kenya in 1982, and the next 3 have been in Southern Africa, with another to come in June. I think it's time to check back into East Africa, so I hope to make use of your 'unmentionable' venture in '07! Tell all! But please cull your photos so it's not so intimidating to wade through them! I request photos of each camp and the views from your doorway. I also request photos of anything outstandingly different from Southern Africa, whether flora, fauna or other. Not to much to ask eh?
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Feb 18th, 2006, 02:47 AM
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Cannot WAIT to hear all about it, Rocco. Have a great trip!
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Feb 18th, 2006, 03:02 AM
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Safari njema. Nakutakia mbwa mwitu wengi sana.
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Feb 18th, 2006, 07:43 AM
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Why is it that other people's trips get here so quickly? It seems like Rocco's trip was so far away and now it's already here! Mine is planned for June and I know my time will pass so much slower.

Have a great trip, R & A. I look forward to hearing all about it and seeing the pictures.
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Feb 18th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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(PS - Rocco, make sure my plans are all taken care of before you leave!)
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Feb 18th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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Have a great trip Rocco. Wish I was heading out with you.
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Feb 18th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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Sundowner,

No worries...unless I decide to never come back this time, that is!

Also, there will be an announcement shortly about a well known and very capable Fodorite who is joining forces with that unmentionable venture and everything will be well covered in my absence.


Napamatt,

Thanks for the sendoff. East Africa, for me, is like going to a different planet, so despite all my prior trips this will be entirely new.


Nyamera,

Same to you, but more of it!

(That is what American schoolchildren say when being insulted...you are just too good with your Swahili for me to be sure that you do not need a translation on my Americn schoolyard talk)

Kavey, Lin, Thit Cho, Leely and even Tom (smarta$$), thanks for the sendoff.

This trip has snuck up on me a bit but I am living out my dreams right now, each with this the boxing photography, the 11 dogs (just got a new addition, a 5 pound little Chihuahua we named Alfredo, or Fredo for short, who Alexsandra found as he wandered into the boxing gym where she is doing personal training in a not so great area ($10 per hour for private instruction from a pro or $50 per hour for private instruction from a pretender in a nicer area?), so it should come as no surprise to myself that I am leaving for Africa again so soon.

As always, I have my Fodorite friends and the Fodors board to thank for much of this, because without this board, I would not know 1/4 as much as I know, or I think I know, about Africa!
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Feb 18th, 2006, 10:29 AM
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Have fun Rocco. I'm sure Alexsandra will especially love the Crater Lodge. She'll be pampered there.

And congrats on your new doggie addition. At the rate you're going you guys will need to buy a place with some acreage soon.

If I finish up early in Rwanda, I'll come on over to Tanzania and track you down. ;-)
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