Cee’s FFC: Sand and Dirt

This week, Cee has asked us for some pics showing sand and dirt.  Here are a few that I’ve found to show you.

This one was taken in Morocco, where there was quite a lot of sand and dirt underfoot. These two guys obviously didn’t want to get their feet dirty.

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I think this is a rather funny pic of me in Peru. It looks like a standoff between me and the local women. They took this opportunity to try to sell their wares, and were actually quite formidable, not taking no for an answer.

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There was beautiful white sand in San Pedro, and also lots of bicycles.

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A sand sculpture  still under construction on my beach in Umhlanga Rocks, with an important hastily written message for passers-by.

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It’s quite strange how people get the urge to dig when they get to the beach. I bet he’s not nearly as keen in the garden at home. :)

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These white lions are well camouflaged against the sand and dirt of the South African Game Park.

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This is my favourite way to see the sunrise, as a beautiful backdrop to the sand and the sea.

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To see more entries for this week’s Fun Foto Challenge, just click Cee’s badge.

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Vibrant Morocco for Sue’s challenge

Sue of  ‘A word in your ear’ blog, has this week given us the word ‘Vibrant’.

One of the most vibrant countries I’ve ever visited, has to be Morocco. It has been said to be one of the most exotic places in the world. The souks here are a colourful sight, and have an abundance of carpets, traditional dresses and other handicrafts. You can stroll through medieval passages and alleyways, and experience a way of life which has changed little over hundreds of years.

Here are a few photos of some of the vibrant and colourful places and people we saw. Click on any photo to view the gallery.

I hope you enjoyed my vibrant pics. To see more interpretations of the theme, visit Sue’s post here.

Ailsa’s travel theme: Food

“There is no sincerer love, than the love of food.” ~ George Bernard Shaw.

On my travels, I’ve eaten some wonderful meals and blogged quite a few of them already, so for Ailsa’s travel food challenge, I thought I’d just concentrate on shopping for the ingredients needed  to make meals in different countries.

Of course unless you’re a vegetarian, you’ll be needing some meat, so we’ll go to Peru for a nice bit of guinea pig. Feel free to choose the plumpest one that takes your fancy.

Or how about a nice succulent chicken from The Medina in Morocco?

or a few tasty slices of Wild Boar, sold on the street in the beautiful medieval town of San Gimignano in Tuscany?

Now we have the meat sorted, we’ll move on to the vegetables, starting off with a wonderful choice of corn at a market in Peru, on the road from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

Healthy, fresh veggies can also be found at this market in Cuenco in the highlands of Ecuador.

In the hills just outside Marrakech, you will find a vegetable market frequented by the locals, so the prices may be more reasonable than those closer to the city.

As you can see, it’s not too busy, so you may probably be able to negotiate a good price with these guys.

Here at the Medina at Fes, is the most amazing selection of nuts, dates and dried fruit.

Then for a delicious dessert, we can travel back to San Gimignano to the famous “Gelateria di Piazza” in the Piazza della Cisterna. Sergio is the master ice cream maker there, and his ice cream parlour is mentioned in the most important world guides. This small shop with all its tempting choices, is continuously visited by national and international celebrities and television crews; but be prepared to take a number, and stand in line for quite a while.

“Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” Mark Twain

Jake’s Sunday Post: Solid

Jake’s Sunday Post theme this week, ‘Solid’, immediately brought to mind that old saying which I believe must be a universal idiom, “As solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.” This term is used to describe any person who is totally reliable and trustworthy, or any thing that has strength and endurance that is indestructible.

The Rock of Gibraltar, which is the Crown property of the UK, was known to the Romans as Mons Calpe. This enormous rock is 426m high and is the northern of the two ‘Pillars of Hercules’, which in ancient times, according to the Phoenicians, marked the limit to the known world.

We visited the Rock when we did a tour of Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Gibraltar, a few years ago. The charming Mediterranean town’s main street was jammed with pubs, restaurants, cafes, tiny shops, as well as a handful of famous British chain stores such as Marks & Spencers.

We had a minibus ride right to the top of the Rock, stopping en route to see the ‘Tower of Homage’, Gibraltar’s first permanent settlement, built around 711. This castle was rebuilt after the second period of Moorish occupation, in the early 14th century.

Here I am with my friend, who didn’t want to miss the photo opportunity.

No this isn’t my travelling companion, but one of those cheeky Barbary Macaques which seemed to be everywhere. We were warned not to have any food visible, as it would be snatched, and sure enough, one of our fellow travellers was followed onto the bus, and just as she was about to enjoy her packet of chips, it was stolen right out of her hand by one of these fearless bandits.

Here is our farewell view of this massive rock, as the ferry transported us across the Straits of Gibraltar to Morocco for the next leg of our tour. Looks pretty solid to me.

Travel Photo theme ‘Oceans’

Ailsa’s travel photo theme this week is ‘Oceans’, in honour or World Ocean day which was on June 8th. The five oceans of the earth are the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Antarctic Ocean, which is also called the Southern Ocean.

My home in South Africa is just a few yards from the Indian Ocean, which stretches from the east coast of Africa across to the west coast of Australia, including the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. I can see it when I look out of my bedroom window. Sometimes it’s grey and foreboding,

but today it’s blue and enticing.

We often go walking along the ocean front, past the new pier,

and the lighthouse, which has been around since 1954.

Whilst on a cruise of the Great Barrier Reef, we went snorkelling in the Coral Sea, which is right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

A few years ago, as our plane flew into Bora Bora in French Polynesia, we could look down and see the beautiful blues of  yet another part of the Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on earth, which stretches from the western side of North and South America across to Asia and north to south from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

Here is a photo taken next to the north Atlantic Ocean when we visited Casablanca, Morocco, a few years ago.

This same blonde woman who often pops up in hubby’s photos, (I’ll have to ask him who she is), ;) is standing next to the south Atlantic Ocean at Copacabana Beach in Rio. You can see Sugarloaf Mountain in the background.

The Arctic and Antarctic oceans will probably never be on our ‘to visit’ list. I think we’d find them a bit too cold for our liking.

Have a great weekend everyone, wherever you are. Chat again soon.

Jake’s Sunday Post theme, ‘Door’

Jake’s Sunday Post theme this week, is “Door.” I was reminded of my trip to Morocco, and the photo we took of the entrance to the Royal Palace, built in the 17th century, and situated right in the centre of Fez. It’s reputed to be one of the most elegant structures in Morocco, but alas, the beautiful and ornate doors are not open to the general public. As you can see, even from the outside it’s an impressive sight.

I was itching to go inside, as I believe that this palace houses innumerable valuable artifacts from all over Morocco, including carpets from Rabat, pottery, silk fabrics and ancient manuscripts. It also has beautifully painted ceilings and intricate mosaic work.The palace, which comprises 80 hectares of land, is said to have lovely gardens and mosques inside the compound, and is still used as the residence for the king of Morocco when he visits the area. If I had a holiday home like that, I’d want everyone to see and admire it, wouldn’t you?  ;)

Anyway, getting away from the sublime, I decided to show you my own front door, which should you decide to visit, I will gladly open to you.

My next door neighbour is not so friendly, but I persuaded hubby to creep up and poke the camera through his security gate, so that I could show you his custom-made door, on which are carved “The Big Five,” as they are known in Africa. The phrase was coined by big game hunters, and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa, to hunt on foot. These are, the African Elephant, Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Lion, and Leopard. Come to think of it, my neighbour is probably the sixth most dangerous. ;)

I hope you enjoyed my choice of doors for the challenge. You can go and check out other bloggers takes on the theme, here.

Jake’s Sunday Post theme “Work” (#2)

Hi again, everyone. I couldn’t resist a second entry for Jake’s Sunday Post theme, “Work.” My first entry, earlier in the week, was a bit sombre, dealing with the plight of workers who have to travel to work in less than safe conditions. Here is are some pics of both people and animals, busy working  away, whilst I was enjoying my holiday.

Firstly we have the Chinese meat delivery in Xian. I had to ask myself how hygienic this method of transport was, considering that ours gets delivered in refrigerated trucks, and this was open to the heat of the midday sun, as well as the flies which abounded there. Much of the goods transport here was done by bicycle. Those delivery workers must have very strong calf muscles.

This second pic was taken in the Medina at Fez in Morocco. This poor donkey was certainly heavily laden, and even had his diaper in place so as not to soil the walkway for us pedestrians. Laughing He and his owner were taking these boxes of Nivea cream to be sold at the market.

Here is my taxi ride to the restaurant one evening in Marrakech. We were taken through the streets in a horse-drawn carriage to Djemaa el Fna Square, which was full of snake-charmers, palm readers and endless market stalls. I have to say that it was a bit smelly along the route, as many horses had been there before us. Surprised The traditional Moroccan dinner was wonderful though.

Here out in the Atlas Mountain town of Oureka, we saw this Moroccan equivalent of the tandem, except that these passengers are sitting side-saddle. This donkey taxi had a double fare, and looked like he wasn’t too happy to have to work so hard.

Here’s wishing you all a very pleasant and enjoyable weekend.