Okay, here we go. Sorry I haven't gotten around to telling you about my trip yet. I've been catching up on work/rowing/etc.
Speaking of work, I'm at the office, so I can't upload any photos with this post, but I will do that soon. I'll also put up the videos of me being baptized into Pirate's cricket club and the hot hot penguin horniness ass soon as I get them off Pirate's computer.
We had a good time. There were some great moments and not so great moments, but on balance it was a good laugh.
The cricket went well. Mostly. We won 2 out of 7, lost 4, and tied one. Only one of the matches that we could really could/should have been won. The others were essentially carnage. The match that tied was incredibly exciting, and converted me into a proper cricket nutter.
We played at some beautiful fields in and around Capetown, including Stellenbosch, Groot Drakenstein (it sounds scary but tranlates to Greater Ducksberg, which is not scary), and Constantia, the prettiest of them all. Wherever we played we were surrounded by trees, mountains, and vineyards, and the sun shined every day.
Except the day we went up Table Mountain. And that was ok with me. Everyone else was bummed about the fog/cloud cover because they couldn't see the grand views, but I liked it. The mountain has all kinds of wierd plantlife and rock formations, and the fog shroud made it feel like I was walking on an alien planet.
The wildlife was great. I bought a bird guide the first day there and spent a good chunk of the tour twitching. I saw
African Sacred Ibises,
hedada Ibises, cattle egrets,
red-winged starlings (much more spectacular when seen in flight),
egyptian geese (and geeselings!), all manner of sea birds,
a ground woodpecker (i don't understand either),
a juvenal black-crowned night heron (that one was a bitch to indentify),
laughing doves (well, heard more than saw; that was the first ever species i was able to positively identify by call alone),
LOADS of guineafowl (look at that animal and try to claim it has any other reason for living than being food for other things. I mean, it's all meat and NO BRAIN to speak of!),
a flock of cape canaries,
several nesting pairs of greater striped swallows (who LOVE to nest under the eaves of cricket clubhouses, which are ideally situated next to cricket pitches, which are ideal for catching lunch of the 6-legged flying variety),
barn swallows (if there are barn swallows, are there barn spits as well?),
a sunbird that i can't find a picture of,
african darters (which are fun because they swim with their bodies below water with only their necks sticking up, so they look like little Loch Ness Monsters),
ostriches (though i saw these more on restaurant menus than anywhere else, and they are delishous!)
and most importantly, PENGUINS!!!
The birding kept me well occupied, and i spent most of the trip with my binos around my neck. even so, i had probably a dozen sightings of things that i was unable to identify. maddening.
i'll put up some of my own photos of the penguins next week. more to come!