home thoughts from abroad

Home thoughts from abroad is a new series on Travel Words featuring a single photograph that reminds me of a country visited and showing something that uniquely identifies it as being ‘abroad’.

This picture takes me back to the 26 day camping trip I took travelling around southern Africa. Although I lived in South Africa for many years I never had the time, money or opportunity to visit neighbouring countries other than a brief trip to Mozambique and Swaziland in my pre children days. In 2000 I went on this journey of a lifetime recorded as a diary on this blog. If you haven’t read about it then please click on the links below. The picture is of  a Sociable Weaver nest. In the Namib Desert these nests can become so large and heavy that they bring the tree down. They are the largest nest built by any bird and may house over 100 pairs of birds. They sometimes build them on electricity poles causing short circuits in the rainy season and fire in the dry season. One look at it and I remember the dryness and the heat of that region. When the hairs in your nostrils smell as though they are being singed, you know it is hot.

  1. Week One – Cape Town to the Orange River
  2. Week Two – Namibia
  3. Week Three – Christmas in the wet
  4. Week Four – Finding Rhino

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

29 thoughts on “home thoughts from abroad”

    1. It was a very dry heat so not as bad as later on with the high humidity, it just made me desperate for very cold drinks, which weren’t available.

    1. Almost as hot here today. 35C in London I believe, not so where I live as we have sea breezes. But warm enough!

        1. I like a nice dry summer and have been happy with our weather so far, but then here it is much cooler as we have sea on every side – 2 miles to one coast and 6 miles to the other!

  1. Proper heat, huh? 🙂 🙂 And amazingly sociable birds. Managed 28/29C here today so we played hooky to Saltburn. As busy as I’ve ever seen it, but the schools broke up today. They’ll be making the most… just in case! Donkey rides… but, no, I didn’t. Overcast now and I’ve taken the washing in. Will come back and read your African posts this evening cos I still haven’t sorted a post for today. Too easily distracted. 🙂 Toodle-oo!

    1. Hotter than us then, we are about 24C but then surrounded by sea which does keep it cooler. Too hot to sit out in though, or do any gardening, other than the odd five minutes trimming hedges, pulling up weeds, dead-heading. My life is so exciting! Your schools are late breaking up. Most finished last Friday or even before then. Practically August!

      1. It’s been 22/24 all week and quite often overcast and I’m a bit sick of the hullabaloo about heat. But that’s easy for me to say 🙂 🙂 Some did break up Friday, the rest yesterday. I’m so hoping the Ryanair cabin crew strike doesn’t affect James and Lauren this weekend.

        1. For me this feels like summer should be like. I am sure we had dry summers when I was growing up. Maybe not such heat, but certainly not much rain. Why Berlin? Business or pleasure? Seems an odd choice for a holiday with a five year old, or is he staying with his dad for part of the summer hols?

        2. Just the 2 of them. Her birthday tomorrow and it’s got the kind of trendy vibe he’ll like. Viveka’s been very helpful with tips for free and inexpensive things to do. She was there just a couple of weeks ago 🙂 🙂

  2. Even untraveled I can tell this is “abroad”! How well you create the heat and the bird village. I’ll be off to join you on the rest of that trip over coffee.

    1. Haha… yes, you don’t find many bird’s nests like this one here! Or that tree. Though some of the countryside is looking almost as parched!

    1. Weaver birds are lovely, though I have only seen them around much smaller nests in Cape Town, they are like cheeping sparrows.

  3. What an extraordinary birds nest. I enjoyed reading about your African travels. I can’t imagine being so hot my nose hairs smell singed. I hope I never find out. 🙂

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