Bucketing, pt. 3 – Africa

Like my previous post on South America, this one will be short because to me, Africa is daunting. The effects that the climate, combined with hygiene/living conditions issues, would have on my frail shell are incalculable. Not to mention safety concerns in many parts of the continent. And while the latter may be scoffed at and scorned by the intrepid travelers out there, I don’t view traveling as a test of my survival skills, nor do I feel the need to prove a point by going to a bombed-out place to photograph rubble and ruminate on war and peace (that’s what war journalists and Tolstoy are for).

I love deserts, though, and I feel a particular affinity with desert countries and nations. Health-wise, I can barely stand them, but so deep-rooted is my fascination with them, that no health concerns would ever stop me from experiencing them. Despite collapsing with dehydration at Petra, Jordan, I will forever remember the first glimpse I had of Al Khazneh, the Treasury, from between the rose-tinted rocks that form the deep, narrow gorge that is the entryway to Petra. I cried silently and felt deep thankfulness that I was able to see this place of unparalleled beauty with my own two eyes. No amount of health issues can mar that experience.

So, my experiences in Africa would be centered around their two wondrous deserts, the Sahara and the Namib. While the Serengeti and Mt. Kilimanjaro and the savannah and the Victoria Falls all look lovely in pictures and documentaries, for some reason I don’t have a hankering to see them in person. I feel much the same about South Africa.

Africa:

Morocco – trekking in the Atlas Mountains, main cities

Libya – Roman ruins, the Libyan desert

Egypt – the whole nine yards

the Sahara Desert – especially at night

the Namib Desert

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