we’re ten days into our short sojourn in cape town. its both amazing and a bit tiring to be back in a big city again – on the one hand you get all these things like an access to healthy food, an aquarium, yoga studios, and good restaurants, but getting around is a pain and we are still getting used to all the noise at night. just a different mixture of good and bad i suppose!

here are some photos of our last days in swakopmund.

this is timo, one of the caretakers of our building.

and of course there was not one, but two last visits to the swakopmund snake museum.

the flight to cape town was like this:

luckily our digs in cape town are nice and roomy. we have no less than three bathrooms and two bedrooms, with a big wrap around balcony. unfortunately we can’t really use the balcony. we’re on the first floor so and there are lots of cars that pass through, making it noisy and not so clean. can’t complain though – most other people have a small single room! i also love that the place gets cleaned everyday and we climb into freshly made beds each night. i’m trying not to get too used to it though 😉

we saw this on our first day in cape town. apparently charlize’s mere presence is worthy of front page news.

now that we’re shooting in a studio i have become much busier than when we were in the desert. which means that my explorations of cape town have been rather limited, but brenda and nayou have been out and about snapping lots of photos. here are some from their excursion to a bird park. with bonus monkeys!

in what is becoming an ongoing trend, we met up with one of my high school friends sandra yesterday for brunch. so far i’ve seen old high school friends in australia, mexico, america, bali and now south africa. it wasn’t a big school at all (my class had ~30 people), but we are everywhere! the nice thing is that we all still get along really well. good stuff. here we’re trying to do hand signs for namibia and south africa… but not particularly well.

sandra also took some great family photos of us! its not often brenda and i are in photos together 🙂

two more weeks before we wrap! and less than one week before nayou turns five!

its hard to believe, but we have two more days in namibia. our arrival way back in may seems so distant, yet at the same time our seven months here is all a bit of a blur. its been an amazing experience to come out here and experience life on the skeleton coast. and i’ve also learned so much about the realities of shooting a movie. its a totally different view when you’re just on the post-production side of things.

the small town pace of life has been good for our little family. nayou has done some serious growing up here, mostly all by himself – no more wetting the bed, no more pacifier, a burgeoning interest in snakes and geology, not to mention a big leap in his physical strength and coordination. go nayou! plus he’s made some good friends, both children and adults. we’ll definitely miss living here, and i’m not just talking about the free rent 🙂

for our last foray into the namibian landscape we spent a night at the erongo wilderness lodge, about three hours drive inland from swakopmund.

look at these super mario clouds!

nayou got to drive along the gravel road leading to the lodge:

the lodge is a small eco-resort nestled amidst massive granite hills. you get to stay in a luxury tent, which is something that brenda has been dreaming about for a long time. see if you can spot the tents in this photo:

this is the walkway to our tent:

we arrived in the early afternoon and it was hot hot hot. too hot to do anything except hang out by the pool and take a siesta. once the sun went down we joined some of the other guests for a sunset hike up a nearby hill. the views, as expected, were stunning. i’m going to miss the wide open landscape of namibia!

we snuck in a quick morning hike in before we headed back to swakopmund. even though we only got away for a night, it felt like a restful holiday. i do wish we had a couple of days to spend there though – there is a lot to explore, and the lodge is very conducive to just sitting around and relaxing.

check out this tree growing out of the side of a rock! nature is like, woah, dude.

on thursday afternoon we head to cape town where we will be based for about three weeks. its back to hotel living for a bit before our next adventure begins.

see you later, namibia. its been real!

here are some photos from the camping trip brenda and nayou went on two weeks ago. spitzkoppe is under two hours drive from swakopmund and i think is one of the highlights of this already beautiful country.

unfortunately i had to stay in swakop and work while they were gone but after seeing their photos i was supremely jealous. just look at this campsite!

brenda went with fiona and nataliya, who are both here with their husbands and kids for the movie. fiona’s son atticus is seven and nayou adores him. they are namibian bffs!

the kids had an amazing time climbing all over the rocks and exploring the area. the big mountains you see sticking up out of the ground are chunks of volcanic granite. they are very gritty and tend to crack off in layers (like an onion) due to the way they cooled.

of course the parents were chillaxing hardcore as well 🙂

the landscape makes it the perfect habitat for all kinds of animals, including gazillions of rock dassies and bird species.

they came back exhausted and happy. just the way a camping trip should end. we’ve now entered that mad rush period before the move as we sort out our plane tickets, clean the house, run the errands and pack our stuff. eleven more days until cape town!




there are just under three weeks left before we pack up yet again and move to cape town for the remainder of the shoot. i think chances are slim that we’re ever going to be in this corner of the globe again so we have been busy squeezing in trips to see as much of namibia as we can. a couple of weekends ago i went on a man-trip with some friends down to sossusvlei. its about a five hour drive from swakopmund along very bumpy gravel roads.

sossusvlei is famous for its huge red sand dunes which look stunning against the white salt pans that dot the landscape. combine that with blue skies and you have one of the most photographed landscapes in the world.

we arrived on saturday afternoon in scorching heat. it was way too hot to do any desert activities so we followed the advice of the lodge owner and went to this great little water hole to cool off.

we also snuck in a sundowner drive to see some of the scenery.

the next day we got up early and climbed up big daddy, a 325m high sand dune which is one of the largest in the world. it was definitely an intense climb, all the more so because we were the first ones up. blazing a trail up a sand dune is no easy feat! on the other hand, sprinting down one of its steepest faces into deadvlei was so easy! hehe.

i couldn’t resist getting bodie to snap some yoga photos in deadvlei for me. i think they turned out amazing!

last week brenda and nayou went to spitzkoppe fir a four day camping trip. i stayed at home and held down the fort while they had many adventures climbing rocks and looking for gems. the photos from that trip are on a friends’ camera so we’ll post some as soon as we get them!

in the meantime here are some snaps from a sunset horseback ride we did on sunday. my rear end was hurting the next day but nayou and brenda rode like pros.

one of the visual effects crew members out here is shyam (aka toast). he’s the guy on set who wrangles all the camera data so that when we’re in post production we know all kinds of information about what was used to shoot a particular slate. shyam joined the crew about six weeks after us aussies had arrived in namibia, and in those six weeks the only thing i knew about him was that he made french toast for people and gave it away for free. which sounds cool, but is nowhere near the amazing experience that is french toast and hugs. the whole concept is to create an event that is all about love, sharing and friendship. and the way that shyam manifests it is to pick a day where he makes french toast and gives it out for free, with bonus hugs for anyone who wants one. and i’m not talking your run-of-the-mill french toast. i’m talking about french toast with bananas, strawberries, shredded coconut, maple syrup, whipped cream and ice cream. serious french toast. one of the cast was so impressed with the whole concept that she even managed to get her character’s name changed to toast!

the swakopmund french toast shindig was the 18th one he has put on all over the world – times square nyc, burning man, australia, new zealand, india etc. it went down on september 30th, and it was a blast. our extended film family all got together for the prep the day before and to cook and serve the food during the event. the ever reliable bodie was there to document the whole experience which is nice as well. here is a little teaser from our prep day:

video of the main day is still being edited, but here is a little taste:

and here are some of the photos from the event. they’re all up on facebook already but i’m posting them here for those of you not on the fessebook.

the film crew really got behind the event and someone organised for mad max’s interceptor to come to the event. how awesome is that??

and here is nayou inside the interceptor. i love the ice cream spoon 🙂

this is the mastermind himself with his wife brandy. thanks toast for a wonderful day and showing us so much love and generosity! you are truly an inspiration 🙂

in a couple of days its going be five months since we’ve moved to namibia. which is crazy because it feels like much less than that. the shooting schedule has us here for another five weeks, after which we will either be extended in swakopmund for another three weeks or move to cape town for three weeks and finish up there. i would love to get a chance to visit cape town – many of the crew are from there and say its absolutely wonderful. plus there are lots of yoga studios, asian restaurants and health food stores that stock staples like coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. fingers crossed!

we haven’t been on any adventures lately due to random parties and other commitments, which is why there has been a bit of a drought in terms of updates. we don’t really bust out the camera when we’re just hanging out at home. but we have been enjoying ourselves! but we do take video here and there! here are some highlights:

one of our newer discoveries is this small farmstead about 10km out of swakopmund called desert hills. they are only open on saturdays, when you can go and have lunch, hang out and check out and assortment of food and cosmetics they make on-site. its a really chill place and we’ve been back two weekends in a row. lots of the products they sell are made from the !nara plant, which is native to the area and used by the bushmen around swakopmund for thousands of years.

in other news, one of nayou’s best friends atticus turned 7 last week. and there was a bouncy castle at the party. oh yes.

last weekend the production threw a huge party to celebrate making it halfway through the shoot. everyone was invited and there were easily over 1,000 people there… seeing everyone made me realise exactly how big this movie really is. crazy! many of the people i spoke to where super tired from working long days in the desert for months on end, but it was still a big night. especially for me – i stumbled home early in the morning and passed out cold. i had to burn my hangover off in the sunday sun.

last week i turned 34. its been an unusually introspective sort of birthday for me this year, in a good way. a couple of days before my birthday i had this conversation with nayou:

nayou: papa, i’m luckier than you

me: why?

nayou: because i haven’t decided what i want to be yet

it got me thinking about the general perception that as you get older life presents less opportunities to you. there is definitely some truth to it, in the sense that you can’t go back in time and change all the things you wish you could. but at 34 i find myself really happy with where i am, for which i count myself among the lucky. i’ve got a partner i love so much, we have a beautiful son together, i have an interesting job that takes us all around the world and gives us the opportunity to take long stretches of time off. i’ve got a yoga practice that has give me profound insights into myself and shows no sign of letting up. sure life isn’t perfect, but then again no one’s is. and i have to say that i like mine. a lot. what more could i ask for?


yes, the one thing that was missing was a 30 second freefall at 220km/h (137mph) from an altitude 3000 meters (10,000ft). so this year i set out to fix that at the swakopmund skydiving club. last sunday we rustled up a big group of friends and took turns jumping out of planes. it was scary, exhilarating and really really fun!

check out  my “namibia” gang sign! looks like just an outline of the country!

i’ve also received some really thoughtful gifts. the kind that you end up using every day and thinking about the person that gave it to you.

one of those gifts is a super warm blanket from my mum:

i also got a big delivery of japanese food from my parents, plus another one is on its way from aya. we’ve already made a significant dent in the food stash. i’ve been missing those japanese flavours since we got here. hana has made something for me too so it looks like this is going to be the birthday that keeps on giving!

brenda and nayou got me a brand new backpack which was very much needed, and a massage. oh, and these beautiful works of art which now adorn my office:

thanks to everyone for all of their presents, well wishes and good vibes! its been a really nice birthweek 🙂

for some weird reason all of the photos i batch processed turned out square. oh well, at least it still shows the important bits.

someone is happy with their chocolate ice cream…

last weekend we spent a day driving around to various watering holes south of swakopmund. once you get inland a little bit you see a lot more plants and the landscape starts to look more like the stereotypical african savannah.

we saw tons of ostriches, oryx and springbok, but the highlight for me were the three warthogs. they are so cute! they seemed pretty wary of us and didn’t venture too close but seeing them trotting across the plains was great.

on the way home we got a flat tyre. flats seem to happen very regularly out here. i’m starting to become an expert in changing tyres, although i wouldn’t have managed this one without brendas help 🙂

the silver lining was that it delayed our return enough to see the most amazing sunset on the way home. its a shame that the photo is blurry because it was really spectacular… like something out of “empire of the sun”.

a few days ago brenda and nayou went out to visit this lady’s farm with a troupe of other mad max families. there are these beautiful farms out in the middle of nowhere in namibia. people raise horses, grow veggies and lead the slow life. seems pretty nice given that i spend ten hours a day in an office staring at a computer 🙂 i’m definitely looking forward to some chillaxing after the shoot wraps!