Tag Archives: travel

Moshi to Home

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Whether it was nervous energy or something, I got up early again and finished my packing for home. Basically between the safari and Zanzibar segments, I had stuff spread out over several bags and totally unorganized. Hate to talk so much about packing but while I’d gotten rid of some stuff (like the two point and shoot cameras I brought over), I’d also acquired stuff on the trip to bring home. Anyway, I got it all organized and packed away. I had an late morning flight out of Moshi and had scheduled a 9:30 car back to Kilimanjaro airport. Around 7am I was sitting alone at our tables working on my laptop when Nancy brought out breakfast for just me. Seemed strange to be alone at that table when just a few days ago our TGL team would have been trickling in chatting about the day before or what was to come that day. I really started feeling sad. I expected Sara to show up and was kind of looking for her to arrive when to my surprise Fatuma – the other half of the EEF team showed up. As she had been mostly away on personal business during our intervals at Twiga House, I really hadn’t had time to get to know her. We talked for an hour and covered a lot of topics. She had lost a family member as we were arriving a week ago in Tanzania, I expressed my condolences to her and explained that I too had lost my son this year. At that point I felt my heart sink once again with the memories now compounded by the growing sadness I felt with my leaving Tanzania today. It really got too me and I teared up more than a little at this point. But too soon the driver arrived and I was on my way for the last time back to the airport.

The flight to Dar Es Salam was uneventful. Arriving there, I now had to go through passport control to leave the country. I had thought I’d figured out the airport on the flight back from Zanzibar but the international side was chaotic. My bags got scanned no less than 6 times at the airport passing through ridiculous layers of security. Made me glad I had no film on this trip. After a few hours I was once again in the air on Emirates headed for Dubai. Five hours later in what was now the evening, we arrived in the enormous Dubai airport. I had something like 9 or 10 hours layover there basically through there night for an 8am or so flight back to SFO. I got confused as to what meals were what at that point. I remember, having dinner several times, lunch on the flight, some snacks, and ??? more. At least my previous pass through on the airport had gotten me orientated to the airport. I walked through the duty free shopping so many times I finally bought some small items. Anyway, around 4amish I remember that the airport was finally quiet for a time and then the first Islamic call to parer range through the airport. Was kinda cool and made me remember where I was now. Finally around 6am or so, I went through boarding then yet another security check in a lower level lounge. The view from there in the early morning light was interesting and I got this shot of the view of the terminal wall there.

The curves fascinated my photographer eye. From there too, I could see my waiting Airbus A380 ready to take me home for good this time.

Finally around 7amish we began the long boarding process to the airplane and after awhile were on our way home. We flew over Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, the North Pole, and Canada on the long flight. Not much to say about it except that I got very little sleep on this 15-16 hour trip. Watched about 5 movies though. Tired of flying and the long trip, it was so good to see the familiar terrain of the Bay Area. Took a while to get through USA customs but finally I found myself at the Sonoma County Airport Express stop with the bus waiting there for me! I let Sharon know I’d be getting in to Rohnert Park around 6pm. I had nothing to do but settle back for the long bus ride home.

In all my travels, one thing I’ve never forgotten and always enjoyed is arriving at SFO. It’s the smell of the fog you see. I know I’m home when I see it. Today was no exception as the afternoon fog was shrouding the San Bruno hills.

Finally, finally, finally, the bus pulled up to the Double Tree and there was Sharon waiting at the curb for me, just like when I left 20 days before. So tired but so great to be home.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my trip. I learned so much and I will return sometime again.

#TGLtanzania2017 #thegivinglens

Zanzibar back to Moshi

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The plan for the day was to enjoy the last morning in Zanzibar, pack up, have lunch and take the airport shuttle mid afternoon back to Zanzibar airport for the flight to Dar Es Salam and then back to Moshi. By now, I knew most of the staff in the hotel so breakfast and lunch was kinda like being in my own home…not too bad after just a few days there. Feeling rather burnt out on photography I think my only image today was this last shot from the restaurant area looking out on the Indian Ocean.

Continue reading Zanzibar back to Moshi

Zanzibar Day 3

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My last full day on Zanzibar started well enough and I was able to get a few more sunrise images, although, they weren’t as nice as the day before IMHO.

Continue reading Zanzibar Day 3

Zanzibar Day 2

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After a recovery day, I was ready to get up early and get an Indian Ocean tropical sunrise photographed. Sunrise (and high tide) was at 6:30am (and Sunset was at 6:30pm as well, interesting). Got up, grabbed my gear, and headed out a bit after 6am. With the beach being about 40-50 feet from the common area in the hotel, I didn’t have far to go. It was already light but the sun was hiding below the horizon behind the low tropical cumulus clouds. The light was fairly good but I was hoping for better. The sea was quite calm with only a light shore break very near the sea wall of the hotel.

Continue reading Zanzibar Day 2


Tanzania Blog Start

My first full day on Zanzibar… I had no real plans for the day other than to get to know the place. I got up too late to get sunrise – wanted to do that as the Moonshine Uroa Boutique Hotel, my new location, has beachfront looking directly east towards sunrise and I felt that I might see some nice sunrise/sea/clouds etc. Going out on a morning look around I was greeted with these views of the hotel and surroundings.

Continue reading Zanzibar

Moshi to Zanzibar

Michael and I had a 10am flight out of Kilimanjaro Airport. It’s about an hour drive so we were scheduled to leave Twiga House about 7am. I got up early, finished packing (light this time as I was leaving stuff there). Breakfast and Michael got up, had his usual cup or two of coffee. We packed up and left for the airport. Got there just fine and went in through security, early. Then we waited. Our view of our Precision Air plane was this:

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Day 10 – Moshi – Goodbyes

I took no photos today. Today was a day of goodbyes. Patrick had already said goodbye last night as he had a 4am flight out to Madagascar (luck guy!). Mostly today was about food, writing, and goodbyes. Over the day, by ones and twos, the TGL Tanzania 2017 team went their ways back to home or whatever was next. In the end after dinner it was just Michael and I left. We were flying out tomorrow to Zanzibar on the same flight although to different destinations on Zanzibar. Michael, Sara, and some new volunteers headed out some where for more entertainment. I hit the sack for more rest. I managed to get some blog posts up. The writing helped and still helps.

I already miss the team. So many interesting people and all good photographers as well. Continue reading Day 10 – Moshi – Goodbyes

Day 9 – Karatu to Moshi

Got up early again and finished packing – everything. We were leaving Karatu after breakfast headed back to Twiga House in Moshi for our goodbye dinner.

Breakfast scene in our Lodge Continue reading Day 9 – Karatu to Moshi

Day 7 – A Full Day on the Serengeti

The plan for the day was to get up before breakfast and catch – we hoped – a classic Serengeti sunrise. Michael said to bring your long lenses as this helps make the already big African sun bigger. Me being smarter than that, left my really big lens home and sort of regretted it later. Managed a dawn shot of the moon before everyone jumped in the vehicles.

Continue reading Day 7 – A Full Day on the Serengeti

Day 6 – Safari

Today is the beginning of the real Safari. Up at 3:30 sorta out of bed by 4:30 for more packing. We were told to pack light coming here, we were told to pack even lighter for Safari, it still wasn’t easy as most of us really weren’t sure what we’d need or what to expect. Somehow, I got the camera gear into my ThinkTank hip bags and rest of my stuff into my small bag. Felt like I should have more but I realized I’d have to make do regardless.

Breakfast, noticed that I’ve come to be excited about what we will be having each meal. The cooks put a lot of it in these stainless-steel pots with lids, it makes each meal service an interesting and tasty surprise. Breakfast at 6am on the road by 7ish. We are told that we have a schedule to meet including about 4 hours of driving to the Serengeti. So many questions in my mind about what’s coming and expectations of the animals and things we might see. Seems though that everyone has similar expectations.

By now we had gotten used to each other in our Land Cruiser on the drive to Karatu and the Masai village, it just felt right to be with this same group as we headed west to the Serengeti. (Daniel had told us that we might be switched around between cars and guides but it never happened on the trip as we just sorta bonded. Very cool.) As we headed out of town the terrain began to rise and turn greener. In what seemed like a long time we got to the gate to Ngorongoro Crater park.

Godlove had to deal with the usual paper work and we got out and walked around. First off there were (?) 20-30 similar Land Cruisers and their customers milling around. We were entertained by the small visitor’s center and well, toilets (the often repeated phrase on this trip was ‘never pass up the opportunity to use a toilet,’ very true, very true), and our first real bigger animals – baboons.

Daniel had said that he didn’t like them but they were so cute and so CLOSE. Being a newbie at this wild animal photography deal we…well I…shot lots of images of them. After all they were so close.

Continue reading Day 6 – Safari