Monday, March 16, 2009

Travel shows and slide nights

Great to meet everyone who showed up at the Africa Safari Co's stand at the Travel Xpo (their spelling not mine) over the weekend.

The travel show, at Sydney's number-one tourist trap, Darling Harbour, was heaving with people. Interesting, I thought, given the so-called Global Financial Criss (if Kerry O'Brien can call the war I served in, "so-called", then I can call the GFC s0-called). Perhaps people were wandering around the show picking up brochures in lieu of actually going on holiday - a virtual vacaction, as it were, though with more brochures and less sunburn.

One of the funniest sights I saw was a person dressed in a monkey suit with a sign hanging around his neck saying "I am a snow monkey". He was obviously tired of people mistaking him for a snow leopard.

A few years ago I worked for a PR company that had a client involved in the gaming (ie gambling) industry, so I got to visit the Gaming Expo at Darling Harbour.

I remember showing up one morning to find an attractive young blonde lady wearing hot pants and a tight tank top engaged in a heated debate with a burly security guard of Middle-Eastern appearnce. She had apparently left her show exhibitor's pass at home and the guard wasn't going to let her in unless she bought a ticket to enter.

"But I told you," she said, "I'm, like working here."

"What are you working as?" he asked.

She stamped a stilleto. "I'm a model!"

"Prove it," the guard said.

She rasied her hands and said: "Look at this HAIR!"

At the travel Xpo I met Grommit the Land Rover's mum and dad for the first time and it was refreshing to encounter two people as crazy and Mrs Blog and me. (Grommit is our Land Rover, Tonka's internet friend. He even sent him a get well card when our Land Rover, Tonka, was in hospital getting his heart rebuilt).

Now... grab the beverage of your choice, sit back, and suffer in silence at a little slide show. I've finally moved some more of the pics from our last six-month safari from Mrs Blog's laptop on to mine. If the GFC's got you housebound for the next little while, then join me on a little armchair safari.......

We saw this kitty kat (above) drinking early one morning in Makalali Game Reserve

These antsy antelope are actually worthy of a spot on the blog as they are rare-ish Lichtenstein's Hartebeests. There are very few of them in the Kruger National Park (where this pic was taken). They've been re-introduced into the park. I love how the lady on the ground is so unimpressed by the chaps fighting over her. Boys.

Helloooo, breakfast. This lion (it's a young male - see the bum fluff under the chin?) was sitting with three of his brothers about 200 metres from the Paul Kruger entrance gate to the Kruger National Park, watching the tourists coming and going.

Look familiar? I call this pic "The real Silent Predator". This is a big ol' male leopard who hangs around Malelane Camp in the Kruger National Park. We found him in this tree early one morning 700 metres up the road from where we were staying. With just the teeniest bit of photo-shopping I was able to (kinda) match the colours with the cover of my last book, Silent Predator. (How's that - shameless self promotion dressed up as art!).
If we weren't in the grip of a GFC where would you go on holiday, Legion of Fans?


Heidihi said...

We really want to drive through Botswana and Namibia in a 4x4 with a roof tent, and then end up in beautiful Cape Town for a few days.
We are aiming to put this plan into action and go over next year.

tonypark said...

HI Heidi.

Nice plan. Mrs B and I drove into Moremi from Maun on this trip and pretty much circumnavigated the okavango delta. We drove up to Kasane on the Chope river, then down Namibia's Caprivi Strip; down the western side of the delta; back to Maun, then south to South Africa.

Haven't done the central kalahari, but would love to one of these days. Let us know when you're going.

tonypark said...

Chobe River, I mean.

dozycow said...

My answer is Africa, always has been & always will be the one place I most want to go to.

I was hoping to be able to make it to Sydney on the weekend but, sadly, was unable to get there. I hope you & Mrs Blog had a nice time & a good turn-out.
Maybe you could venture into the wilds of the Hunter Valley sometime soon ??? There is a nice library in Cessnock....

PS : I love your pics !!
I am saving them all onto my PC, that way I can at least have an "armchair safari" (or would that be "desk-bound safari") so please can you include more in future blogs ?

tonypark said...

I'm with you, Dozy. I think I'm stuck with Africa for... well, forever.

I'll be doing some library talks when the new book comes out. If there was huge popular demand for me to come and talk at Cessnock library I'd love to pop up.

(IE: If they'll have me - I'll be there! I might look at a Hunter Trip for this year. Even if no one show up, I can drown my sorrows in Hunter red).

dozycow said...

What do you need regarding "huge demand" from the library ? I can guarantee at least 2 people showing up & have some excellent Hunter Reds at hand......(am actually indulging in one now)

Did you notice my "new look" picture ?

tonypark said...

Well, Doze, by all time low attendance record at a library visit was five people at one of the Darwin Council libraries (I hasten to add, here, that Darwin's Nightcliff library, which was one of the others I spoke at on the same trip set an upper record with about 60-70 people).

The five-person library was, in fact, a very good experience as they had all read my books and the library had put on about half a dozen bottles of wine, so we all got drunk and had a good time.

If you guarantee five plus wine, I'll be there.

Come to think of it, we could always skip the library and go to the pub.

(Nice pic)

dozycow said...

You're on !!
Five, plus wine, is a definite & the pub is closer than the library (come to think of it I have my own little library which does include all your books as well)and the vineyards are only 20 mins away......

TW said...

Nice lion shot!

The last time I tried my hand at wildlife photography was when the format was still 35mm. 30 rolls of film later, and I'd only managed to get one reasonable photo!

Anyone who has decided to take up wildlife photography as a pastime will know how frustrating it can be. As you frame the perfect shot, the subject will move - time and time again. They seem to know when you're just about to press the shutter!

Herr Doktor said...

Great photos! Why not compile them into a travel book "Mr & Mrs TP do Africa"?
Love the blog and photos - howzit back in Sydney?

tonypark said...

Guten tag, Herr Doktor.

Good to hear from you. All fine here and looking for an excuse to get to Perth some time.

I was wondering how you were.. thought you might have headed off to another war zone since I hadn't heard from you for a while.

Must be drink time soon.

TW... share your frustration about photography, though the good thing about going digital is that we can take thousands while hoping for that nice shot.


ali g said...

Cant think of anywhere to go if GFC not a problem... but... seeing as it is there is us ..The Africa you have when you're not having Africa..
yes "VARYKINO' Mudgee NSW We have the big Five [ Well 5 cats anyway]
No german tourists wearing sandals and socks] [although we have 5 German Spitz puppies]
Then there's the geese, cows and goldfish.
Also have some ebony elephant bookends which hold our collection of known 'African authors' so what more could you ask for?
never know ...if you're lucky one of the authors might be here to sign one of your books that you have purchased of him...never never know if you never never go...


ali g said...

meant 'off' not 'of' goddammit

ali g said...

correction again ..'from' him not 'off' him ..just been slapped by the 'grammar Nazi'


Trin said...

I wasn't going to comment for a while cos thought I had more than my fair share recently, however, the Grammar Nazi getting on Ali G's case caused me a not-so-minor snigger or two. Basically because, if my memory serves me correctly (and if it doesn't, blame it on early onset of Alzeimer's), Ali G not so very long ago had a shot at someone for speling chardonnay incorektly - iff I'm nott misteaken.

PS: Hold My Hand I'm Dying is out of print, which is a b*gger, so if anyone finds a cheap (ie not $85) copy, I would be happy to pay costs and postage.

Whilst waiting for TP's next book, am trying out Frank Coates.

PPS: Seeing I'm here.....Africa, then Peru, then Egypt...then anywhere where there is history (no big cities). So, if there is a very rich single man out there who could indulge me...ha ha...

tonypark said...



Trin... Frank....




Trin, how could could you?


If I had my copy of Hold My Hand I'm Dying I'd send it to you express post to stop you... (sob) well... to stop you... (my well-thumbed copy is sitting in a plastic storage box in a shed on a farm just outside Harare, Zimbabwe).

Please, please, please... can anyone find a copy of Hold My Hand I'm Dying in their local second hand bookstore and save this poor woman.






(PS: Frank, if you're self-googling again, hi mate, and hope you're well).

ali g said...

If you'd like to email me your address little Miss 'Snigger pants' & I'll send you my copy of HMHID for a loan.
Anything to stop Mr 'blubber pants' from all that crying....

dozycow said...

Hi Trin,

I have just this morning found you a copy of Hold My Hand I'm Dying - I was going to lend you my own copy but now you can have this one to add to you own collection. If you send me your mailing details (via my email address on profile) I will mail it off to you directly.
Frank Coates is good (I have all of his books) & so is Beverly Harper, another Aussie writer who has sadly passed away.

Trin said...

Ali G - you're an angel, but it seems I will not need to take you up on your kind offer. Thank you very much all the same. I had every intention of accepting until I read the delightful Dozy's comment.

Dozy, you are a BIGGER angel. I will send my details on. What a stirling lot of LOF's you have Tp!! Dozy is more than worth a trip to the Hunter Valley.

And again, Dozy, have read all BH's and very sad that she wrote so few before passing....but now I have Frank Coates.

Tony - I am SOOOOOOOOOOO sorry. How very insensitive of me. But it does not mean I have defected - I am just enjoying a momentary diversion until you get your act together. You wouldn't want us LOF's to starve would you?

dozycow said...

Trin : loved the Angel reference (however there are many who would disagree). I will mail it off to you as soon as you send me details. I regularly haunt this local little Book Den & have found some wonderful, hard to get, books there.
You might also enjoy "Rain Queen" by Katherine Scholes which I found to be a wonderful story set in Tanzania.