Sunday, March 2, 2014

We're just visiting

Taking a trip for me has always been the best education. Nothing compares to getting into foreign countries and experiencing how others live while being introduced to culture, environment and local traditions. Most trips really only touch the surface of what is happening so having a sharp look out while travelling is key to building an appreciation for what’s going on.

From a young age I’ve enjoyed photography. This has been useful since operating a media company over the years we’ve been on many locations under contract to our clients. A key aspect of being a photographer is travel.  Travel and photography is akin to red wine with red meat.

A recent trip to Cape Town involved a road trip from the city to the Cape of Good Hope
This location is a famous landmark at the southern tip of the African Continent where two oceans both the Atlantic and Indian come together. South Africa has turned this location into a park. The views are spectacular with vistas overlooking the oceans vast expanse. Since coming from the polar vector deep in the North this location offered respite not only from the deep freeze but also the land locked lifestyle I’m accustom to from living within the interior of the North American continent.

Baboons roam this park; they’re reliant on those in cars for food. Although the signs along the wind swept roads indicate to not feed the apes this measure has not prevented people from shelling out along the way.

As a new arrival myself the awesome view along the road struck me, without thinking about any consequences that may be evident stepping out of the car I asked Joshua to stop so I could take a walk across a stretch of field to a location where the ocean waves were crashing against the shore for shooting pictures. This was a deliberate act to get out on the coastline and enter into a mindful state so as to experience the full impact of the force of nature.

While at the oceanfront absorbing the sound and vision of a remarkable place I was unaware that back at the car a city block away another form of sensory experience was unfolding. 

My colleagues Chris, and driver Joshua were under siege from a troop of Baboons that attempted a car jacking. One Baboon, likely the Alpha was opening the door while my colleagues were rolling up the windows and pulling rigorously against the force of the Baboon pulling in the opposite way on the outside.  The Baboons wanted food, evidently to our amazement they raid cars. These Cape inhabitants use forceful entry to rampage people’s belongings to score something to eat. Known to the locals as unwanted passengers once in the car riders surrender on the side of the road as victims of the muggings, the Baboons have their way rooting out food inside the overtaken car. Our car was defended effectively against the full impact of Baboon pirates thankfully.

I wrapped up on the oceanfront and headed back to the car to find my fellow traveller Chris pointing at something around the car. The Baboon which wasn't far from the car was one of three horizontal walking, enormous toothed Cape inhabitants. It did not approach me and I realized for a few minutes I had entered into its range. I was fortunate the Baboon didn't want my camera bag and didn't use the body slam technique deployed against the car.

This experience was an example of the lure of nature taking over and leading me into troubled waters. A lesson learned about the risks of jumping ahead before carefully judging potential threats.

Regardless, I would replay the steps over since being on the coast with the waves crashing was a memorable aspect of the visit. These occasions I've experienced elsewhere without the Baboon part, specifically in the far North within Eeyou Istchee, places that come to mind include Whapmagoostui on Hudson Bay, Wasanipi at Sturgeon Falls, Smokey Hill at Waskaganish among other places such as the St Lawrence River and Leek island on the beach facing west on Lake Ontario. Oh, and then there is this place Lac Mistassini James Bay, Northern Quebec.

Places where we're just visiting.