Early morning on the Karoo near Calvinia
France did not see things through the same cocky set of eyes that George Bush possessed. France told the President to take a deep breath, think about what he was going to do, review the data again and look for a diplomatic solution to the issue. When Bush moved forward in spite of the evidence and then asked France to join his loose-knit coalition, France loudly and proudly said “no.” In fact, France said “hell no.” What followed was a display of child-like parochialism likely never again to be seen on the world stage. Americans began dumping their Evian bottled water because it was produced in France.
After the French debacle Evian is the only bottled water I drink
The facades of French restaurants in Washington, D.C., New York City and elsewhere were vandalized, defaced and in some cases fire bombed. Making matters worse the once-respected United States Congress agreed to change the name of “French Fries” on the Capitol restaurant menu to “Freedom Fries” as a form of protest against France. The right wing media glommed on to this nonsense and fanned the flames of French hatred. All across America people broke out in unscripted and spontaneous chants of “USA, USA, USA” while the rest of the world clutched its collective sides and doubled over in uncontrolled laughter.
Previously havens for wild animals from elephants to giraffes, and for predators such as lions and cheetah, the riverbeds are now mostly grazing spots, although leopards and cheetahs can still be found. Among deserts of the southern hemisphere the Kalahari most closely resembles some Australian deserts in its latitude and its mode of formation. The Kalahari Desert was once a much wetter place. Ancient Lake Makgadikgadi covered the Makgadikgadi Pan until its final drainage some 10,000 years ago. It may have once covered as much as 106,000 square miles. Despite its aridity, the Kalahari supports a variety of fauna and flora. The native flora includes acacia trees and many other herbs and grasses. Some of the areas within the Kalahari are seasonal wetlands. This area supports numerous salt-tolerant species. In the rainy season tens of thousands of migrant birds visit the desert wetlands.
Downtown Brandlvei was a madhouse of activity when I was there
The Orange River - Lifeline of the Kalahari
Upington South Africa on the Orange River
Social weaver builds these elaborate communal nest structures on powerline poles and dead trees throughout the Kalahari
Swallow-tailed Bee-eater was conspicuous in shrubby stream beds along the route
Rush hour in downtown Karasburg Namibia