the sword fighting thing started after we watched some fencing during the olympics. i think its also fuelled by nayou’s current obsession with ninjago. occasionally our house will be filled with some cries of “haiiiya”. i have to capture it on video and share it with you because its super cute!
lately we’ve been on an even more intense spree of lego building. nayou has been obsessed with lego for a long time now and his fascination with it hasn’t flagged at all. our creations have been getting pretty cool so i thought i would share some with you.
first up we have a double decker space ship. with a hidden luggage compartment. oh yeah.
a fire truck!
one of nayou’s specialties – a jail truck.
nayou has also been building space aliens and various modes of transportation for them.
i also made a hospital last week. i tapped into my inner boy for this one… building it totally reminded me of what it felt like to play with these when i was little 🙂
we don’t have a name for her yet, but she is a gorgeous 1980 mercedes-benz, in great condition. riding in this thing is like riding in a tank. but smoov, baby, oh so smoov. i think kids these days would say “swag“. we’ve actually had the car for about three weeks now. we had been on the lookout for a car – swakopmund can be travelled on foot, but there are much fun to be had out in the desert! – so when brenda saw it with a for sale sign in the window, it was love at first sight. we didn’t want to buy it outright, so brenda talked to the owner and rustled up a lease for the duration of our stay here instead! win! they don’t make cars like this anymore – its a real pleasure to drive this thing:)
speaking of wheels, we went go-karting! its just five minutes out of swakop but its in the middle of the desert. the photo of our car was taken in their parking lot!
this is the sign of the v8. mad max’s car is the v8 interceptor, and this is the hand sign that one of the guys came up with. they’re using it in the movie as as well. i think its quite clever! speaking of the movie, the shoot is in full swing now (hence lack of blog updates… ahem). the footage they are shooting looks amazing and i am really excited to see the finished version. its going to be awesome!
this looks like some tame david lachappelle shoot to me.
brandberg mountain is a big chunk of rock about three hours north-north-west of swakopmund. it is famous for having rock paintings that are over 4,000 years old, including the well known “white lady“. the place has been on our radar ever since we got here, but last weekend was when the stars finally aligned and we made it out there. we camped out at the white lady lodge, which is a gorgeous lodge/luxury tent/campsite facility right at the base of the mountain. the lodge has a history of spotty reviews from various websites, but the campsites were really nice.
there are some resident springbok and a cute but very grumpy meerkat at the lodge.
the weather was perfect – sunny and hot. it was a nice change from the fog and chill of swakopmund.
we even found kermit the frog sunbathing!
on sunday we did the one hour trek up to see the white lady. some baboons where chillaxing along the way.
the paintings are remarkably well preserved. our guide told us that the artists mixed animal fat in with the pigment which is what has made it last so long. i wonder if anything that we create will be able to reach across four millenia and be marvelled at by distant relatives.
well i’m certianly making up for lost time with all these new posts!
about a month ago brenda and nayou went on a living desert tour, which is a wonderful half-day excursion to see all of the smaller creatures that call this arid patch of land home. nayou really enjoyed it and talked about it for days afterwards. going again was an inevitability (is that even a word? it is now!) and that inevitability happened on monday. tommy the tour guide did not disappoint and both brenda and nayou came back with big smiles on their faces.
look how cute this chameleon is! i can’t wait until i see one in the flesh.
this looks like it could be ticklish… or kind of painful.
there is a wild velociraptor on the loose, which is tranquilised by a dinosaur huunter. an ambulance rushes to the stunned velociraptor and a medic tries to help it, but it wakes up and runs away. however, the dino hunter is on its trail again and the poor thing goes down again with a tranquiliser dart. the medic rushes to its rescue but the raptor wakes up. the raptor is not happy. it sees the dino hunter and chases after him. luckily, the medic grabs the tranquiliser dart and takes the raptor down. then the ambulance people come and take the raptor away…. to where? nobody knows.
oh i know its been another long drought for our blog. not that there hasn’t been anything going on, but with the shoot in full swing its hard to find the time to do any posts. i wisened up and brought a couple of photos into work with me so i am throwing them up here on my lunch break. woot woot! i’ve got a bunch more from a camping trip we went on last weekend which i will get up here asap as well. in the meantime here are some snaps from around the way.
even though we’re working in namibia we still get australian public holidays because technically we’re just here temporarily. so thanks to the queen we had monday off – a rare opportunity to do some serious exploring before the shooting begins. it was tough to decide on where to go, given the vast array of options namibia offers, but in the end we decided to head north to an area called damaraland. originally it was just going to be the three of us but we recruited most of the vfx crew and it ended up being seven of us spread over two 4x4s!
animal sightings were few and far between – we saw some springbok, some ostriches and lots of goats, but that was about it. the road signs are just as good though!
we stayed both nights at camp xaragu. despite its very remote location it was one of the nicest campgrounds i have ever stayed in. the sites were roomy and comfortable, the toilets were sparkly clean, and every morning they would heat water for hot showers. they even had a pool!
on sunday we checked out twyfelfontein, which was listed as a world heritage site in 2007. the region is famous for its very old rock paintings which are estimated to be 2,000-6,000 years old! they are remarkably well preserved and the drawings are simple but very expressive. some of the paintings were used as maps to mark locations where water could be found. our ancestors even had a system of marking permanent vs. seasonal water sources!
it was a really hot day and poor nayou was exhausted after a late night around the campfire and all the excitement. lucky his bff bodie was around to help him out!
the visitor center was built out of flat rocks and rusty drumcans.
our next stop was to the organ pipe rocks. they are located in a small valley about 6km from twyfelfontein. the rocks were formed when magma was pushed up in columns and cooled in place. to be honest i found them to be a bit underwhelming, but the riverbed on which they are located was pretty. plus it gave dmo a chance to fly his quadcopter around 🙂
the last stop we made was at the living museum. this is a small area where some of the native damara people have set up a traditional village where you can see how the people live (or lived). i asked the our guide whether they lived there but she replied they live in a “modern village” about 2kms away. we’re all wondering whether they change into their western clothes to commute back and forth? anyway, we got to learn how to make fire, jewellery and the healing benefits of elephant dung. this was probably the highlight of our trip for me!
as we approached our campsite that evening we saw huge amounts of smoke covering the horizon. it turns out there was a bush fire in the region! we weren’t in danger which was lucky. instead we were treated to a gorgeous sunset.
looks like mordor:
on monday we wound our way home along the skeleton coast. this stretch of coast gets its name because it is really barren. just miles and miles of sand and rock as far as the eye can see.
the route took us through welwitschia valley, a small part of the already small region in which the welwitschia plant grows. these plants are a wonder of nature, living up to 1,000 years old (yes, one thousand)!
the plants are an ecosystem unto themselves:
we had the obligatory flat tire with accompanying shows of manliness:
and a nice stop at the beach for some afternoon tea (with obligatory getting-the-car-stuck-in-the-sand event):
all in all it was a great weekend. we got back dusty and tired but in the best way possible!
dmo shot some great footage with his gopro (mounted on the car) as well as with his quadcopter. i put all of our footage into a highlight reel if you’re interested!