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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:53 am 
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Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 16 – 16th October – De Hoop (Richtersveld) - Continued

Plants / Flowers

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:24 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 16 – 16th October – De Hoop (Richtersveld) - Continued

We arrived back at De Hoop just after 11am. Had a very light lunch and tried to get some rest but it was the hottest day of the whole trip so far. Once again the river called me to go for a swim. After the swim i had a go at macro photos which were a real disaster – really need lots of practice and time.

Birds

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Later in the afternoon the midges became quite bad so out can the citronella candle which helped a little in combination with peaceful sleep. As it was so hot we decided on wors, cold sweet corn, and beetroot for dinner. After dinner we went and had our cold showers then grabbed our books and got into the tent. We got to sleep around 10h30pm.

Summary of De Hoop (Richtersveld)

Before leaving De Hoop let me summarize:
• The most peaceful place we have ever camped
• Shower block better than expected
• Only cold water so will need to boil water to do dishes
• Remember what ever rubbish you make you must take out with you
• The sunrise and sunset reflecting on the river is really special
• Watch out for the monkeys
• Lots of bird life
• Good opportunity to see birds fishing
• Can get very hot
• Take lots of fluids – you will need them
• Take in all the wood you require
• No demarcated camp sites so your neighbour will be a fair distance away
• Insects can be a little bit of a problem
• River fantastic for a swim and shallow
• Nice drive from camp to explore RTP

Could not resist this last photo before leaving:

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:28 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 17 – 17th October – Tatasberg (Richtersveld)

Today we were moving to Tatasberg for 2 nights. We got up at 6h15am had a relaxed start with coffee as we slowly packed the van for the drive. We eventually left De Hoop just after 8am and started the slow but very pleasant drive.

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I deflated the tyres to 1.4b for the last 3.2km as it states soft sand. We reached Tatasberg at 11h40am and were allocated unit number 1. We were both surprised as the unit was way better than we expected. We started the process of unpacking at the same time having a look around. SO was very happy there was hot water to have her first hot shower in 6 days.

There are 4 units and 3 were occupied but it appeared very quiet and quite remote position on a ridge set back from the river. After settling in we had hamburger with fried onion for lunch. Today we would wash cloths for the last time on the trip therefore no rest today. I downloaded the SD cards and took a short walk to see what i could find.

The position of the unit ensures that you get a nice cooling breeze the majority of the time which makes it much cooler than De Hoop. After sorting a few things i decide to shower and i think something is wrong as hot water is coming out of both taps and this lasted for a while.

View from unit

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We decided to get fancy for dinner and use the table cloth, candles etc for our simple mince and wild rice dinner. I must admit it did look nice and created a different atmosphere in the bush. We finished at just after 8h30pm and relaxed in bed reading our books till well after 10pm.

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:40 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 18 – 18th October – Tatasberg (Richtersveld)

We sleep in this morning – only joking we have got into a rhythm so are up and on the deck with our coffee by 5.30am. The silence of this place is something to experience and is quite strange at first. We did notice some birds starting to move up and down the river from about 5h50am and we heard what sounded like baboons.

The sunlight this morning was very subtle as it lightening the massive rock face on the opposite side of the river. This is day 16 of the trip and we have had no cell phone or 3g coverage except for a few hours when on the move in NAM (what a pleasure).

Sunrise on the mountain

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The book we bought prior to the trip has helped us better understand the environment but we are still very much in the beginner’s camp. As we will be back to civilisation tomorrow we take stock and make a list of things we need to restock for the last week of the holiday.

SO was sure that she heard a porcupine moving its quills under the unit sometime during the night.
We decided that we would have a brunch of pork sausages, fried eggs, cheese, mushrooms and toast we started at 9h30am and finished at 10h30am. One of the things that worked well on the trip was taking Ciabata bread rolls which are small and could be fitted anywhere and when we could not get bread or did not feel like making some we could use them. We cooked them on the fire in tinfoil and they turned out great.

After this we once again rearranged the van while it was still cool. The other guests had departed so we had the whole place to ourselves.

Birds around the unit

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During the heat of the day we went into the unit and lay on the beds just reading our book which was very relaxing. In the mid afternoon heat we had peach halves and ideal milk as a cold desert which went down a treat. SO requested that we leave early tomorrow morning as she has got a craving for takeaway fish and chips for lunch. We need to adjust tyre pressure a few times tomorrow so in the afternoon i rearrange the van to make life easy for me as the air compressor is fitted behind the back seats.

As the afternoon comes to an end the wind picks up and starts to really pump – we start to think that maybe this time we will get some rain. No rain but some clouds came over increasing the view of the setting sun. The wind is the only noise we heard all day – rather a strange feeling. The wind made sure that there was sand everywhere.

Fantastic Light

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After the sun disappeared we had a few glasses of wine and i lite the fire to braai at a very relaxed pace. We had steak, baked potato and butternut with the remaining ideal milk and peaches for desert in this fantastic place. Unfortunately there was no chance for the candles due to strong wind. We both went to shower and then into bed to read. We got to sleep around 10pm.

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:46 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Summary of Tatasberg (Richtersveld)

Before leaving Tatasberg let me summarize:
• The location is amazing
• A fair distance from the river giving a different feel to De Hoop
• The units are very comfortable
• Not a difficult drive on the last 3.2km
• The perfect location for the sunset
• As the saying goes silence is golden

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:51 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 19 – 19th October – Mc Dougalls (Port Nolloth)

We were up at the normal time and packed the balance of our stuff into the van before getting on the road at 6h30am. The drive via the Helskloof gate pass was fun and we departed the park at 10h15am.

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Plants / Flowers

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Summary of Richtersveld

Before leaving Richtersveld let me summarize:
• This is difficult as the landscape is stark but softened by the changing light and the life that is focused around the river.
• The plants, scrubs etc look similar to the untrained eye but clearly there are many.
• This environment should be treated with great care as even to the untrained eye it is fragile.
• Regarding the driving a 4x2 is in my opinion good enough but i must say i have a concern that they may be making the roads worse.
• I had 4x4 high engaged the whole trip to ensure i did as little damage to the roads as possible.
• De Hoop and Tatasberg are very different but i would recommend both.
• Lots of bird life close to the river.
• River is fantastic for a swim.
• Remember that you must take your own garbage out.
• The sun creates some amazing photo opportunities.
• Do not drop the tyre pressure to low due to sharp rocks.
• Seeing the cows was strange but nice.
• Can get very hot.

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:55 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Richtersveld Bonus Photos

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:57 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 19 – 19th October – Mc Dougalls (Port Nolloth) - Continued

You cannot drive from RTP to Augrabies in one day so will need to find a stopover. We reached Port Nolloth at 1h30pm and looked around for accommodation. We settled on Mc Dougalls Caravan Park at R340 per unit. It was very basic but had a nice location. We unpacked a few things and went back to town and did a quick shop at Spar and then got SO her fish and chips takeway for lunch from Port Fisheries.

Port Nolloth

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We took a slow walk along the beach and then download my work e-mails. This took a while as it was very slow and SO contacted family on the cell phone to let everyone know we were alive and well. We had fresh bread so we both had sandwiches for dinner and were both fast asleep by 9pm after SO’s bath.

Day 20 – 20 October – Augrabies

Before leaving Port Nolloth let me summarize:
• Accommodation options limited
• Town nice enough

We were up and out of Port Nolloth by 7am on the drive to Augrabies. The drive was very quiet regarding traffic and towns so we made good time and arrived at 11h50am only to be advised that check in was at 2pm, We thought the check at KNP was a problem let me tell you the heat in the northern cape makes this just as much of an issue. The only difference to KNP is that check out is still at 9am. We then had no choice but to go for a drive in the park and got back at 1h45pm then went to the shop and got wood, ice and tafel beers for SO’s shandys.

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:04 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 20 – 20 October – Augrabies – Continued

Lizard

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Giraffe

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Falls

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We got the key for the chalet at 2pm and off loaded some stuff and had a nap. Got up at 4.15pm and left for a short afternoon drive.

Quiver trees

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 7:52 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 20 – 20 October – Augrabies – Continued

We arrived back to take photos of the falls which we achieved this even thou the insects are a real problem and arrived back at the chalet just after 7pm.

Falls

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It was ribs and chips for dinner so i lite the fire and as the darkness descended the insects disappeared making it very pleasant to sit outside. SO had bought some Archers Peach Schnapps to drink as this is based on a family tradition.

We realised when we got back to the chalet that we had lost our back number plate and the fitting. We know it was still there when we left Richtersveld so must have come of sometime over the past 2 days. The quiver trees were looking nice and there was more water at the falls than we expected for this time of year.

We both showered and got into bed and asleep by 10pm.

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Suej – thanks for the nice comments and the kudu horn was a nice surprise

Kamadejo – thanks and yes it was a great place to just relax

Foxy – thanks cannot tell you if they were rebuild but they where more than good enough

Micetta – note to self slow down with the postings. Yes we travelled alone and the tent is actually very big. We saw quite a few dead quiver trees so may be correct. It was nice to see the sea.

Pumbaa – RTP was one of the places we have always wanted to visit and it exactly as expected. thanks for the nice comments

anne-marie – the dust photo i also like. One thing you are sure to encounter is dust.

anne Catherine– you are correct most of the greener is focused near the river

Day 21 – 21st October – Mosu Lodge (Mokala)

We awoke at 5.20am and after the usual coffee; i packed etc and SO went to take photos of the falls.

Falls

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Flower

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Before leaving Augrabies let me summarize:
• more water at the falls than we expected
• Unit very nice
• Check in time not great due to the heat
• Not much game in the park but a nice drive
• Shop well stocked
• Lots of insects

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:36 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 21 – 21st October – Mosu Lodge (Mokala) - Continued

We departed for the 610km drive to Mokala at 7am. The wild card issue had appeared yesterday but i will not comment as this has been discussed enough on the forum.

The drive was quite boring and we reached Groblershoop at 10am for a pit stop and refuel. We then decided to go the back roads – guess we were missing the dirt. We drove on the R385 and ended up in Douglas a very cute little town. SO wanted a few things so we made a quick stop at OK and i took the opportunity to refuel. We then continued the adventure on dirt roads with no road numbers. We eventually reached Mokala at 3pm. The reception and check in process was very friendly and the unit was unreal.

Entrance

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Tortoise

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Warthog

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:28 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:44 am
Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 21 – 21st October – Mosu Lodge (Mokala) - Continued

After unpacking we relaxed on the patio, SO had a bath while i shower and we then booked for dinner at the restaurant. The unit has everything you could need and also DSTV (different).

Bird

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We took the very short walk to dinner at 7h15pm. What a nicely arranged / clean restaurant with VERY friendly staff. The menu is not large but more than good enough and the food was amazing. We had the following:
• Chicken soup
• Fillet
• Venison Curry
• Malva pudding
• Chocolate Torte

We got back to the unit at 9H30pm and feel asleep very quickly after the long day.

Day 22 – 22nd October – Mosu Lodge (Mokala)

We were on the patio with our coffee by 5.30am and sat waiting for the sun to appear. The birds were up nice and early so plenty of things happening to pass the time till the gate opened at 6am. It was so nice we just sat and only left for our morning drive at 7h15am.

Bird

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On the drive we spotted lots of antelope and a massive variety of birds.

Kudu

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Plant

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Red Hartebeest

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Tessebe ?

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Bird

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2011 September KTP - 17 days

I am against hotels in KNP


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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:28 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 3722
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
Just catching up again, agree with Pumba on the tsessebe, and your very last bird is a European bee eater. I think the others are likely all familiar chats, but you might want to ask the experts on the bird forum?


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 Post subject: Re: KTP / Richtersveld / Augrabies / Mokala - October 2010
Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:40 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Posts: 556
Location: Pretoria
Day 22 – 22nd October – Mosu Lodge (Mokala) - Continued

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Babies

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On the way back we heard a massive bang from under the van. We stopped both expected the worst. We figured out that the fuel tank protector had snapped off at one end. We tried to get to the bolts at the other end but could not and the guard was jammed in a very difficult position. After evaluating the situation we decided to use the hippo jack to lift the vehicle safely as we were on a sand road to give us better access. This is easy to use and with a few minutes the vehicle was lifting and them another snap. We looked underneath and somehow the pressure had released the guard. We put it on the roof rack and continued with the drive. When we arrived at camp around 11am we discarded the guard as on closer inspection realised it could not be repaired.

Guard

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It was now quite overcast with a strong wind so we decided to grab a nap. At 2.30pm we got up and sat outside with some coffee hoping that we would get some rain for the first time on the trip. At 3h45pm it started to rain but it quickly stopped but was enough to completely change the smell of the bush.

We decided not to go on an afternoon drive and to wait and see if it would rain properly. As we sat outside i started to catch up and write down some things for this trip report and about 5pm i took a walk to the water hole which is about maybe 200m from our unit and for information is lite at night.
We had decided to braai tonight so i lite the fire and we had steak, potato and salad. The rain never arrived so after a pleasant dinner we got to bed at 9h45pm.

Bird

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Fire

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Sky

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