“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

in the air again...

Only a week to go now and whilst I have just about gotten over the Shingles, I have now gone down with a stinking cold – not happy. The to-do list at work doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter and to be honest I am a little stressed. 
Had a go at calibrating the lenses last weekend and I need to start over again as I couldn’t make much sense of the results with the new lens, so I have downloaded a new chart from the internet and will try again with that this weekend. Seriously running out of time to get everything done, but thankfully the movie from 2007 is almost there - just need to burn it onto a DVD and check it works ok and we are good to go. Not sure everything will fit in my rucksack mind, but I have ordered two more 32Gb SD cards and another two base plates for the tripod and new lens, (I can’t be doing with screwing and unscrewing them every time I need to swap lenses) with any luck they will be waiting for me when I get to the office tomorrow.

I have “connected” with one of the other students on LinkedIn this week, an African lady called Leanne. We’ve been messaging each other after I had a nose at her wildlife photos – she’s amazing – she recently went on David’s tour of Skomer Island and has spent time shooting badgers in his wood too. Sounds like we might have a fair bit in common as she also works in IT, so I am looking forward to meeting her. She is heading out on the TAM flight on the 1st and then on to Cuiaba on the 2nd with a 6 hour stopover in Sao Paulo (the same option I took last time) so I won’t actually meet her until we start the course, but she sounds as excited as I am and she too is not taking anti-malarials as they make her ill.
As I type I am flying over Norway on my way home from a few days working in Sweden, but at this same time next week, if all goes well, I will be flying over Brazil getting prepared to land!!!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

So less than a month to go...

...and I have actually started the packing process. Lenses still need calibrating and cleaning, batteries all need charging and cards clearing down, and I still haven’t made time for practise which I’m a bit cross with myself about as the weekends are now all booked too.
I spent £57 on anti-malaria tablets at the docs recommendation only to be told by David that there is no malaria in the Pantanal. Then cleared out my travel bag and found another packet that I stopped taking in Cambodia for exactly the same reason – argh.

Jabs all complete apart from the third and final Rabies which is booked for Tuesday. I had become very tired and achy after the last lot (yellow fever and Rabies number 2) which turned out to be the onset of Shingles - lovely! But nothing can really dampen my spirits too much as I spent last Saturday morning watching video clips from the last trip I took there in 2007 Рlaughing, cringing and getting myself surprisingly emotional for a few hours has made me even more excited to get back there. Bring on the Jacar̩, filmed here during my last visit performing their morning territory call - awesome!