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 Post subject: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:50 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:31 pm
Posts: 578
Location: Benoni, RSA
We have just got back from KTP this afternoon!! :( :( :(
We had an awsome trip - 8 nights in total:
- Mata Mata
- Kalahari Tented Camp
- Kalahari Tented Camp
- Nossob
- Nossob
- Bitterpan
- Twee Rivieren
- Twee Rivieren

I had the priviledge of meeting Dreamer, Anne-Marie and Morkel777 - was great chatting to you all and putting faces to names!

Dreamer was going into the Park as we left this morning - I was very :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: - hope you guys have a fab trip Dreamer!

Once I have sorted through a mountain of Photos and video, I will start the TR in earnest (we travelled through Namibia to Etosha, Sossusvlei then across to KTP - hence the title of the TR!!)

But I will start at Mata-Mata border post.....


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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 pm 
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Location: Benoni, RSA
14 September 2009 - Mata Mata

So we arrived at Mata Mata border post at about 14h30, and made our way through....yay....the gate I was longing to see...

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We booked in at reception and put our tents up. We noticed the construction going on on the new huts...which look super! (will put some pics of them up soon)

We headed out for a short drive, but everything was too far away for descent pics...but we did come across gemsbok, springbok and wildebeest. We headed back for some well deserved supper and an early night!

15 September 2009

We decided to go for a drive before we packed up to head over to Kalahari Tented Camp...so we headed out just after 06h30...coffee and rusks all packed!
MMMmmmmm....sunrise...

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We made our way south past Sitzas, Craig Lockhardt...then about 20km south of Mata Mata...there was something different in the river bed..."Stop!!!!!!!!!".....binocs.....

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Very far away, but CHEETAH!!!!!!!!! Looked like 3 - one female and 2 cubs!!!!

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Then a springbok approached the scene....

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They just watched the springbok go by!!
Then mom decided it was time to be on the move...

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They stopped behind a log, mom scanning the horizon for breakfast....

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Then they moved on...

And settled ontop of a dune.

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We had coffee and watched them for about 1,5 hrs then decided we had better go back and pack up the tents...


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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:35 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:31 pm
Posts: 578
Location: Benoni, RSA
Hi

-Morkel: Your pics of the cheetah are great...looking forward to more!!
- RichardJ: Thanks for your TR...looking forward to your TR after your trip in Jan!
-Pumbaa, p@m: I posted the cheetah pics under the arid parks thread on collared cheetah for Pikasso to check if it was Elena - possibly her...but stay tuned, there is a twist to come...(PS I see on RichardJ's TR, they spoke to Margie Mills and she said Elena's area is around Sitzaz...)
- Salamanda, lockie: Thanks :thumbs_up:
- Wannabe nerd: I'll try.... :wink:


I am going to try load a video of the cheetah family on top of the dune...hope it works :redface:

View My Video


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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:22 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Benoni, RSA
Hi

Glad that the video loaded ok :thumbs_up:

Forgot to add the Mata Mata sunrise pics the other day...so rather late than never...sunrise over Sitzas...

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So after spending some time with the cheetah family that was relaxing ontop of the dune, we headed back to Mata Mata to pack up. While there I took a few snaps of the new huts going up there...which are looking great!

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We then decided to head back down the 20km to see how the cheetah family were doing. Just before Sitzaz we came across a guy scanning the veld with a pair of binocs...so we asked the big question..."Seen anything?"...sometimes I don't like asking this because it just makes you aware of what you have missed :shock: ...anyway, this guy told us he had just seen a female cheetah with 2 cubs and the mom had tried, unsuccessfully to catch a springbok, in the road.... :shock: :shock: :shock: ...so we joined in the binocular search...but nothing :? We had a quick discussion about whether this could have been the cheetah family we saw 20km south of Mata Mata, but as this was 6km south of Mata Mata, we though that it was unlikely that the young family could have walked so far in about 2 hours.

Anyway we continued south to look for the family we saw earlier...but when we got to the spot, it was deserted, so we headed back to Kalahari Tented camp to book in. We were assigned tent 9, which we were very happy about, as previously we had been in tent 8, which doesn't have a view of the waterhole. We unpacked and then I took a few snaps of the locals...

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Then the mongoose found something tasty in a clump of grass...the squirrel crept closer...

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The mongoose eyed her out, and then suddenly it was war (unfortunately the photographer was a bit slow :redface: :redface: :redface: )

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So after a bit of relaxation, we headed out to see what was up and about in the afternoon. Near the spot where we met the guy who told us about the hunting cheetah mom, there were some stopped cars.... :shock:

Under a tree...

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Ok, will have to post the rest once the page turns...


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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:51 pm 
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Posts: 578
Location: Benoni, RSA
Hi!

-Caracal: All done!!! :thumbs_up:
-Pumbaa: on the way..... :popcorn:
-Elsa: No bloodshed that we could see, probably just a neighbourhood squabble!
-Salamanda, billyf, p@m, micetta, GavinW, Africat, kamadejo: Thanks!
- RichardJ: I have to agree with you, we think they were to different families. The sightings were 14km apart and I don't think such a young family could cover that distance in the heat of the day in about 2,5hrs. I am going to try enlarge mom some more and see if I can compare spots...
I also think, as you stated in your TR, that the second family is probably Elena and cubs, as this sighting was close to Sitzas which is in what I believe to be her territory. As you mentioned, only 2 cubs.... :cry: :cry: :cry:
- Morkel: Looking forward to more of your pics in your TR...don't worry..we also had a sleep in later in the trip...


15 September 2009 contin...

So we were relaxing watching the cheetah family...family affection

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During thid time, one of the other cars there, started their engine, and drove towards us. Whats that noise.....the car had a VERY flat, flat tyre....he was riding on the rim. After a brief discussion between the 3 cars at the sighting, it was decided he couldn't drive on it any further, it would permanently damage his rim/tyre...so the cars all closed up and out of view of the cheetah family, a compressor was put to use to enable the guy to get to Mata Mata or at least around the corner to change his tyre!!! Shame the poor couple were so embarrassed and worried that the cheetah would be disturbed, but we all kept an eye on the family and they continued to relax it the shade. It was just unfortunate timing for them to get a flat, but at least there were people around to help, and we did our best not to disturb the family.

The cheetah family didn't even bat an eye-lid..... :huh:

About 30min later, mom decided it was time to look for supper...

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Up and over the dune....

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And with one last look, the little guys followed her...

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Our last glimpse of mom...

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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:39 pm 
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Hi

15 September contin...

So after watching the cheetah family dissapear over the dunes, we headed back to KTC, to watch the sunset...

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We settled in for the evening to enjoy a Kgalagadi braai...mmmmmm!

I tried to sleep with half an ear open to hear if the jackals or bat eared foxes warned us of any visitors....but the bed was just too comfortable....I crashed!

The next morning we were up bright and early as we wanted to head down to Twee Rivieren to stock up on some things we hadn't been able to get in Namibia/Mata Mata. On the way out the gate of our tent, we met up with Morkel777, who was setting up his tripod to capture the sunrise :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

A little down the road, we snapped the sunrise as well...

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The road was quite quiet until we rounded a bed just before Dalkeith...a traffic jam.... :dance: :dance: :dance:

In the middle of the Auob river valley we noticed...

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Notice the stick in his mouth - must have been a game of tag!!

While we were trying to keep them in sight we noticed something in the road up ahead...

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They looked like they could be a mating couple...but it looked like they were pretty exhausted...

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Even his lady...

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We sat with them for quite a while, sipping our coffee...a perfect Kgalagadi morning! We waited for them to wake up properly......


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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 9:31 pm
Posts: 578
Location: Benoni, RSA
Hi

-kamadejo: Thanks! :thumbs_up:
-Salamanda: It really was great seeing the lions so close....maybe even closer...
-GavinW: There was a ranger that came past when we were there, even he said they looked pooped!
-billyf: Thanks!! :thumbs_up:

Maybe I can fit in a couple more pics on this page...

They started to look a little more lively...

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What you tourists looking at???

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To be continued...


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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:01 pm 
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Posts: 578
Location: Benoni, RSA
Hi - thanks for all the replies and comments!

-sable, nurse bev, salamanda, micetta, kamadejo: :thumbs_up:
-Pumbaa: we also had quite a bit of rain last night in this part of RSA!
-billyf: she was quite a big girl...wouldn't want to get on her bad books...
-Morkel777: I am sure you have some spectacular pics of the sunrise, judging by the photos on your TR and the equipment you were carrying around at KTC....can't wait to see them!!

So while we were potting around with coffee, sugar and rusks, the pair decided that the sand on the verge next to us looked more comfortable...so the next time we looked up...

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Some movement around to get comfy...

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Ok, so they were now about 2m away from my open window... :shock: ....so the window got wound up pretty quickly, especially as the lady was looking quite shifty. Her constant fidgeting had him growling at her...all 2m away from the window :shock: :shock: And during this time I was frantically trying to change lenses...as there are certain situations that do not require a 100-300 lens...and this was one of them :shock: :shock: :shock:
Finally got the lens on, with the lions growling in my ear...so lifted the camera up.....
"HEY, WHERE HAVE THEY GONE!!!???"
"Look in front..."

:big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

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A through the windscreen view of a Kgalagadi male lion...

Anyway they then settled down in front of our cars' bumper...we couldn't even see them they were so clse to the front of the car...so we backed away a bit...

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And they gave us a bit of a posing session...

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We sat there for a good long time, and then decided it was time to move on...that ice cream at Twee Rivieren was calling...

To be continued...


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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:00 pm 
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Posts: 578
Location: Benoni, RSA
Hi!

-Katydownunder, Pumbaa, salamanda, sable, Morkel777, micetta: Thank you all for your comments! :clap: :clap: :clap:

We left the honeymoon couple to get on with things, and mage our way south. At 13th Boorgat, we came across one of our KTP favorites...but they are always soooo faaaar away :?

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We made our way down to Kamqua where we decided another cup of coffe was needed. As we got out of the car we noticed that something more than just tourists had made use of the picnic site...

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These huge pad prints were all over near the toilets!!!

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Needless to say we scanned the area very well before making our way to one of the tables and the loo's...but we were alone. After a great cup of coffee we continued our journey to Twee Rivieren...


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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:34 pm 
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Hi!

-Munchkin: I think if even a branch moved strangely in the breeze, we would have been back in the car!!
-RichardJ, salamanda, micetta, billyf: Thanks for the comments!

So after our coffee, we carried on towards Twee Rivieren. Along the way we came across a family of Giant Eagle owls (mmmm...think they are now Verraux's eagle owls)....

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The new reception area at Twee Rivieren is looking super...

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We did some stocking up at the shop, had an ice cream, caught up on some phone calls and then hit the road back to KTC. We noticed quite a few new springboks on the way down and couldn't resist a pic...

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We were also checked out by a couple of feathered buddies...

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When we got back to the area of the honeymoon couple, they had moved off the road a bit but were flat out under a tree. We also found the rest of the pride in a clump of bushes...a 4 lion heap...

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We got back to camp and settled in after a long day on the road. We noticed the birds were going moggy in the tree in front of tent 8...the reason...

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A pygmy falcon was on the prowl!

We got the braai going and watched the sun go down over the waterhole...

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To be continued...


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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:11 pm 
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Ok, going to try link a video of the honeymoon couple...




Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:30 pm 
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:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

My external hard drive with ALL my photos on bombed yesturday...I can't access anything on it!!!
Have sent it in to see if they can retrieve anything...so I'm not sure if/when I will be able to continue with the TR...

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :( :( :( :( :( :wall: :wall: :wall: :wall: :pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:


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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:20 am 
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Thank you for all the kind comments!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Unfortunately the news is not good :cry: :cry: :cry: ...in the technicians words, my ext hard drive is "fried". So I can take it to a data retrieval place to get my pics...at a cost of about R15000 :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:
So my SO and I have decided we could go on many a trip to KTP with that money instead of retrieving the photos....unless I win this new lotto thing they have brought out...then we can retrieve the photos and go to KTP!!!!

So I will post whats left of my TR that I had managed to load onto tinypic and the videos, but unfortunately....thats all thats left folks!!!

So in the mean time, the videos of the cheetah families that we saw on our first day...

The family where there was the guy with the flat tyre...if you listen carefully you can hear the compressor going in the background, re-inflating his tyre!




And the family further down the river bed...




I had sent the pics and video off to the KTP Cheetah project, they may be able to tell us if they were 2 different families of the same ones!!

Will continue soon, with more typing than pics I'm afraid!!.....


Last edited by CuriousCanadian on Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:17 pm 
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Thanks for all the fantastic comments!!

So I last finished off with our last evening at KTC....

So the next morning we were up bright and early, packed up, as that night we were staying at Nossob. We headed off down the road, and approached the area where we had seen the honeymoon couple the previous day, and .....

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But they weren't feeling as photogenic as the previous day, and settled down behing a clump of trees. We drove forward until se could catch a glimpse of them around the trees...

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Whilst we were sitting there, we noticed a Bateleur in a nearby tree...

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We sat with them for a while but decided to continue. At 14th Borehole, we found the giraffes, who were having breakfast...

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Further down the road, near to Urikaruus we came across a jackal, which was feeding on something on the ground. The binocs came out...all we could see was feathers...first guesses: kori b.....second guess: secretary bird....

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Yip, as you can see, it was a vulture!!! Makes you wander what happened...




We sat and had our coffee there watching the jackal devouring the vulture...very odd!!!!
After a great cup, we made our way down to the top dune road, and approached Vaalpan waterhole...

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Black headed heron (I think) was scanning the area from the water tank. After a few minutes we could hear the unmistakable calls of sandgrouse...and they arrived in groups of 10-20, eventually all joining up into one large group. They would sweep in and then suddenly veer off to the side, to then regroup, and swoop in again!!

We continued along the dune road to Morevet...which was dry :hmz: :hmz: :hmz: ....on purpose??? But what we did see there was a yellow ribbon!!!! Anne-Marie :clap: :clap: :clap: ...a long way from home on a stunning trip of RSA...great to meet you!
Unfortunately the next water hole was also dry---Eland waterhole :huh:

We had a quick pitstop at Dikbaardskolk and then made our way up to Nossob. The road was quite quiet, but we arrived at Nossob quite content with our day so far. The camp was full but we managed to find a shady camp site in the corner near the pool. Whilst we were setting up, the nearby tap had a few visitors...

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And that is unfortunately that is the end of my photos....may the rest rest in peace in my burnt out external hard drive...but will continue with videos etc

We took a late afternoon drive around Maries - which was very quiet - but I must say, we have never had much luck on Marie's se draai :hmz:

That evening we had a yummy braai under Nossob stars!!!

To be continued...


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 Post subject: Re: Dorsland Trek (Thirstland Trip) - KTP Sept 09
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:22 pm 
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:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


Caracal for President!!!!...Caracal for president!!!


I took Caracal's advise...downloaded the software she suggested, searched through my SD/CF cards......and ta-daaaaa....managed to retrieve about 50% of my pics!!!!! :dance:
So a big thank you to Caracal for her lateral thinking!

So now I can get on with the TR....although for now its still only with videos...but will have some pics to add at a later stage!!! :thumbs_up:


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