Friday, 20 March 2009

Rap Jumping Johannesberg


Marco Carombo of Purerush Industries is one of those larger than life adventure personalities. I once had a friend of his tell me that Marco is the most decorated sand boarder in South Africa, the person saying it, was referring to his tattoos. Within Johannesburg adventure circles, Marco is a legend, and his company Purerush, are renowned for their excellent service and high level of professionalism.

While Sandboarding, among loads of other activity does form part of the Purerush offering, when I hear the name Marco Carombo, the first thing that comes to mind is rap jumping. In case you don’t already know, rap jumping is like abseiling, except that the harness is attached to the rope at your back, so you face forwards towards the ground and head downward.

Marco and his team have led Rap Jumping Adventures off the top of the well known Ponte complex (see above pic) as well as other landmark skyscrapers in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria. They are the market leaders at what they do, and I see in the latest Orlando Towers Newsletter, the two have teamed up to do some Cooling Tower Rap Jumping, what a brilliant prospect !!!

If you are interested, Marco’s details are as follows: e-mail: info@purerush.co.za. Website: www.purerush.co.za. Cell No. 082-605-1150.
Photo Credit:Paul Keller found on www.flickr.com.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

My Paintball Friends



I again came across the following quote on a paintball forum, and have to say, what I enjoy about it is, it sums up the mindset of just about every paintball player I know. They are a great bunch of people, highly competitive, love what they do and generally know how to express themselves. Off the course, they are best mates with everybody, on the course, it's take no prisoners.

As the quote strongly demonstrates, they live for their sport and can sometimes be a bit melodramatic about it. I have simply taken the text, copied pasted and put a bit of spacing in, so as you read it, is as he wrote it…..enjoy

"It Happens on a random monday
Coming back late from an event, or late on a sunday night right before you're about to get on the plane and be frisked for the third time
You're driving, you're flying, you're sitting in an airport seat with boys from the team.
you're drinking stale coffee trying to stay awake.
you're explaining the fat welt on the side of you're neck to a confused stranger or a best friend.

you're coming back to the other life, the one without paintball, where noone understands why you do it.
you're tired, working off little sleep, and the question creeps up and you try to ignore it.
Why do i do this? why the travel? why the losses? the missed work; the missed school. hours of practice and the complaining girlfriend.
because the lore of living a paintball life is just oo potent.
and the products of the road, the travel, are forever in memories in strange lands with stranger people.

because at tournaments you feel as though you can live as loud as you want.
it's worth all the sacrifices its worth all the bull****.
cause if you work hard enough, a sunday will roll around and you'll be in the huddle screaming, you're hand in, one of ten, playing for the world title.

and suddenly al of those cliche's you've ever heard make sense, and you are defined.
you say it to yourself and it means everything.
"I am a paintball player, and this moment right here is my life."
-Matt Marshall in "Sunday Drivers"

To find your local South African paintball vendor, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Paintball - Headshot



Oh the joys of playing paintball, for whatever reason this is the activity we get the most enquiries for through our adventure website www.AdventureEscapades.co.za, and as the above YouTube movie accurately depicts, its not a pastime for the faint-hearted. In case you missed it, have another look, take note of the headshot he takes, which sends him tumbling to the ground.

The above is essentially footage of the speedball variation which is all about advancing forward in high pressure rapid fire situations. It is all out action played at high pace and encourages players to develop their shooting skills by simulating warzone type attacks, in a fun outdoor environment.

While speedball is hugely popular my personal preference is jumping off things, as far paintball goes, I would have to say bushball. For me bushball is like living out a movie scene, where you know something is going to happen, its the when and the how that gets the mind racing. I like the silent anticipation of knowing that something is coming and strategizing accordingly, as apposed to repeatedly getting the living crap shot out of me ...... AGAIN :)

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Just The Qualification For You


For all those out there who are constantly told by parents or spouses to stop wasting time on adventure activity and to instead work on getting a qualification, today's post is dedicated to you. GOOD NEWS, you can now achieve a recognised academic qualification doing what you do best, abseiling down cliffs, skydiving and sitting on the beach checking out the waves Mmmmman.

The South African Qualifications Authority (Saqa) have registered a one year level four course at the same level as matric to be administered at technical colleges. It is aimed at those wanting a career in the tourism, travel, hospitality, gaming and leisure industry.

Saqa have said that the hospitality education and training authority would identify suitable course designers to map out a curriculum. Activities students will be expected to learn would include conducting an adventurous activity, navigating in natural environments, and setting up a camp site.

There's no getting away from it, people who are able to succeed in making a career out of doing what they love most, go through life a lot happier than those caught in the rat race. Perhaps this qualification is not a bad place to start.

Photo Credit: De Hoop Camp Site by lekkersing found on www.flickr.com

Monday, 16 March 2009

Wild 5 At Oribi Gorge



Operating out of the beautiful unspoilt Natal South Coast region of Oribi Gorge; Wild 5 presents us with an awesome variety of outdoor offerings. Activities available cater for people of all ages, from those who would like to relax and be drawn into the peace and tranquility of their surrounds, to those seeking the thrill of adventure.

There are a number of walking trails on offer ranging from a 1 hour outing to a day long hike. Both a light and advanced mountain biking trail is available for the enjoyment of guests who would like to bring their bikes along and get a bit of off road riding in. Abseiling and river rafting is also offered on a block booking basis.

If you do want to see the gorge from a different angle, flights through the gorge and/or over a nearby game farm can be arranged. Alternatively, you can always have them attach you to a bungy cord extended rope, then take a leap over the edge. As per the above pic sequence, having experienced it myself, I highly recommend you make a plan to get there, you definitely won’t regret it.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Red Devil With Foot In Mouth


The huge global following the English premiership has, never ceases to amaze me and there is no bigger fixture than Liverpool vs Manchester United. To put it into perspective the commentator mentioned that yesterdays live broadcast was going out to 200 countries and was being watched by several hundred million people ....... no pressure there.

Isn't it also amazing how when one shoots one's mouth off, you generally end up with your foot in it. These are some controversial words from Wayne Rooney, spoken on Friday the 13th, the day before the game.

“I’m very excited about the game because I grew up as an Everton fan hating Liverpool.” Rooney said. “And that hasn’t changed!

If we can beat Liverpool it will almost certainly put them out of the title race and that will be great for everybody at Old Trafford – especially me. I get a bigger kick out of beating Liverpool than anybody else,”
said Rooney.

“No other game is ever going to get in the way of Manchester United-Liverpool because it is always a massive fixture and especially so this time, with what is at stake.”

To be fair to Wayne Rooney, for me he was the stand out player for Manchester United, and its not unreasonable that he have an intense dislike for those who feel that same way about him.

In closing, I have to say I do love the premiership, its the real life equivalent of a soap opera that men can too enjoy, without being uncool. WELL DONE REDS!! The last time Manchester United conceded 4 goals at Old Trafford was in 1992, to Queens Park Rangers, when Dennis Bailey achieved a hat trick.

Photo Credit: Britain Soccer Premier League by jquangyt, courtesy of www.flickr.com

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Shoe Tossing Shoe Dodging


I have the feeling we are about to see the emergence of a new and exciting adventure activity called Shoe Tossing Shoe Dodging. While throwing shoes and dodging shoes have apparently been around for a long long time, there is nothing like the participation of high profile people to put something on the map.

The first semblance of it taking off among celebrity types goes back some years to an incident that took place in the changerooms of Old Trafford, home to Manchester United Football Club, after losing 2-0 to Arsenal. You may recall an incident that involved Sir Alex, a flying boot and a resulting head injury to David Beckham. While a head injury may go some way towards explaining why he talks the way he does, this marked the start of Shoe Tossing Shoe Dodging because as we all know, when the Beckams participate in something, presidents are bound to follow.

George W Bush recently showed Becks exactly how its done by defying the odds and displaying brilliant athleticism. His ability to dodge incoming footwear, begs the question as to whether or not Bush is indeed more athletic than Becks, perhaps it was beginners luck. While David Beckham has since moved on from the club, we anticipate a wave of exposure for this, again stemming from the Old Trafford changeroom.

After their embarrassing 4-1 home defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool earlier in the day, who knows, perhaps we will see some variations coming through like hairdryer tossing, or perhaps hair gel dodging. Like most Adventure Activity, this one does come with inherent danger so perhaps having a first aid kit handy, is not a bad idea. Bearing in mind that while we can't all be as athletic as George W, if there is a resulting injury, you will be wanting to mend it like Beckham.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Happy Birthday Blog


Experienced bloggers will know that in order to upload a post such as this, you go through your blogger dashboard which among other things, informs you as to the number of previous entries. At AdventureEscapades.co.za, we do a daily post and since our blog stats tell us that this particular post is Number 365, today our Blog is 1 year old…….. Happy Birthday Blog.

With it falling on Friday the 13th perhaps we shouldn’t celebrate it by going out and skydiving, nonetheless a celebration of sorts does seem appropriate. The majority of posts have been inspired by the various awesome adventure activity available in SA, and the excellent personalities committed to providing them. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients and the followers of AdventureEscapades.co.za for rousing us to make it happen.

On a personal note:

The career path I find myself on these days does not allow much time for traveling or participating in adventure activity which means that in order to keep it up, inspiration has to sometimes come from other sources, such as newspapers, the net, etc. In saying that, whatever it is we choose to write about, will always have a fun and adventurous flavor to it, we do it because we enjoy it.

Photo: Happy Birthday Bro by Jordy_R courtesy of www.flickr.com

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Chuck's Favorites


As a follow on from yesterday’s post, it would seem that Chuck Norris does have a sense of humor about things. www.chucknorrisfacts.com will have us believe that the following jokes have been handpicked by the man himself, they have them listed as his favorites.

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice.

There is no chin behind Chuck Norris’ beard. There is only another fist.

When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the Earth down.

Chuck Norris is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.

Chuck Norris’ hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.

Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.

Chuck Norris doesn’t wear a watch, HE decides what time it is.

Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.

Chuck Norris does not get frostbite. Chuck Norris bites frost

Remember the Soviet Union? They decided to quit after watching a DeltaForce marathon on Satellite TV.

Contrary to popular belief, America is not a democracy, it is a Chucktatorship.

Photo: Chuck Norris vs.Wolf by wheeliegal92, courtesy of www.flickr.com

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

A Legend Turns 69


Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of Chuck Norris who believe it or not, turned 69. I was a teenager in the eighties so for me it’s easy to think of him as yesterday’s action star, admittedly as a fifteen year old action flic junkie, An Eye For Eye was one of my favorites. In more recent times he has become known as the central character for thousands of corny action jokes, which bizarre as it may seem, have gone a long way towards reestablishing Chuck Norris as a recognized global name.

What a lot people probably don’t know is just how seriously good at martial arts Chuck Norris really is, all jokes aside; you don’t want to mess with this guy. His accomplishments include being six-time undefeated World Professional MiddleWeight Karate Champion, as well as being a renowned martial arts teacher. Those he trained included Steve McQueen, Bob Barker, Priscilla Presley and Donnie & Marie Osmond.

His Martial arts credentials are as long as my arm so if you really are interested in knowing, I suggest you visit his official website www.chucknorris.com. Among the more notable are his three inductions into Karate’s Hall of Fame, fighter of the Year 1968, Instructor of the Year 1975 and Man of the Year 1977.

THE BEST OF THE BEST:

In 1997, Chuck (perhaps I should call him Mr. Norris to be safe) became the first ever in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master recognition in the Tae Kwon Do system, a first in 4,500 years of tradition.

WHAT A LEGEND !!!!!

Happy Birthday Mr Norris, may there be many many more to come.

Photo: Chuck Norris introducing Huckabee, by marcn found on www.flickr.com

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Extreme Sport, Wingsuit Flying



Every now and then we come across a YouTube sequence that absolutely blows our socks off, where the reason for uploading it is simply that it would be a travesty not to. In cases like this its unnecessary support it with any sort of written blurb, just make sure you watch it with the sound up as the footage and commentary, tells you all you need to know.

If on the off chance you have never heard of wingsuit flying, this is how that endless source useful information Wikipedia describes it:

Wingsuit flying is the art of flying the human body through the air using a special jumpsuit, called a wingsuit, that shapes the human body into an airfoil which can create lift. The wingsuit creates the airfoil shape with fabric sewn between the legs and under the arms. It is usually incorrectly referenced by the public as a birdman suit or squirrel suit.

A wingsuit can be flown from any point that provides sufficient altitude to glide through the air, such as skydiving aircraft or BASE jumping exit points.

The wingsuit flier wears parachute equipment designed for skydiving or BASE jumping. The flier will deploy the parachute at a planned altitude and unzip the arm wings, if necessary, so they can reach up to the control toggles and fly to a normal parachute landing.

Monday, 9 March 2009

The Pro-X, 2009


The Pro-X annual live extreme action sporting event took place over the 7th and the 8th of February 2009, at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. This year saw the biggest names in FMX, Skateboarding, BMX, MTB and Wakeboarding find their way to our shores to compete in this spectacular affair.

These top riders went head to head for SA's biggest extreme challenge for the glory of first place as well as bragging rights. A selection of SA's hottest bands reportedly kept crowd and athletes alike, well entertained.

Having spent a bit of time web browsing last night, not unexpectedly I came across some spectacular photos pertaining to this event. If you go to www.flickr.com and do a search for “Pro X Games Cape Town” you will see loads of awesome action shots.

Well done to the organizers for putting on an excellent show.

Above Phtograph: posted by rival412; courtesy of www.flickr.com

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Golf, How it should be done.



Following on from yesterday's post, we thought we would show a YouTube video of how it should be done, or perhaps more realistcly how some of us can only dream of doing it. The footage is a bit lengthy, it does however end with an amazing shot from the sand 75 yards out with sun directly in eyes, landing it close enough to edge out the win. For good measure we have thrown in some Golf Quotes, enjoy.

Golf is so popular simply because it is the best game in the world at which to be bad. ~ A.A. Milne

If there is any larceny in a man, golf will bring it out.  ~ Paul Gallico

Golf is like an 18-year-old girl with big boobs.  You know it's wrong but you can't keep away from her.  ~ Val Doonican

If profanity had an influence on the flight of the ball, the game of golf would be played far better than it is.  ~ Horace G. Hutchinson

They say golf is like life, but don't believe them.  Golf is more complicated than that.  ~ Gardner Dickinson

What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive.  ~ Arnold Palmer

Man blames fate for other accidents but feels personally responsible for a hole in one.  ~ Martha Beckman

When I die, bury me on the golf course so my husband will visit.  ~ Author Unknown

Golf combines two favorite American pastimes:  taking long walks and hitting things with a stick.  ~ P.J. O'Rourke

If you drink, don't drive.  Don't even putt.  ~ Dean Martin

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Nutter, Hit By Golf Ball



A few months back, I did a golf post about the Extreme 19th hole at the Legend Golf and Safari Resort in the Big Five Entabeni Safari Conservancy in Limpopo, in case you missed it and are interested in finding out more, just for you I have inserted a link, Click Here.

At the mention of golf, I felt compelled to admit that for me it has always been an adventure experience comprising of plenty of overland hiking, trail blazing, endurance walking, orienteering and boldly going where no golfer has ever gone before.

Upon viewing the above YouTube video I, as I'm sure you did, predicted the obvious outcome questioning what possessed them. Maybe growing up they watched too many episodes of Jackass, or perhaps they have indulged in SAA's famous export, who knows, I wonder if their mother's are proud of them.

Anyway, this is clearly what happens when you give two morons a set of golf clubs and lets face it, victims of their own stupidity always get the best laughs. I hope lots of paintball players get to see this, they think they're the “I take pain for my game” bravados, I dare any paintball player to take a bullet like this guy did.

Friday, 6 March 2009

The Fly HIGH Club


In a recent post titled “Flying HIGH with SAA” I made reference to an e-mail that’s doing the rounds containing three photographs all having a dig at the national carrier. In that particular post I featured the best of the three, to see Click Here, while for today’s blog, I have made use of another of them, I refer to the one above.

At the risk of sounding a lot more spiritual than I in fact am, I’m big believer in the reaping and sowing philosophy and unfortunately South African Airways, by having allowed security levels to slip to appalling standards, have painted a big red target on themselves and every man and his dog are now having POT shots at them.

I’m busy doing work for an organization that has been around for a 107 years who have taken a brave decision to re-brand themselves. Their old logo, rich in history, resembles a coat of arms and as you can imagine, the change has understandably been met with criticism from certain quarters. Their new logo to be launched in April is vibrant by comparison, modern and instantly conveys what it is they actually do.

The plane as depicted above, conveys what it is that SAA actually do and would be highly effective branding, were it not for the negative connotation it carries. All we need now is somebody with a sense of humor within SAA to ensure the in-flight movies comprise of a Cheech and Chong film festival. Picture the scene: "Attention all passengers… today’s in-flight movie like our reputation ……is Up in Smoke. "

Thursday, 5 March 2009

What Are The Odds



I read a book many years ago called One In A Million which is about highly unusual things that have happened to people and in doing so, have essentially defied the odds. There was a whole section dedicated to goods been returned to its rightful owner that were found in the belly of fish, such as jewelery, false teeth and other weird and wonderful effects.

This weekend past, there was a tale in the Sunday Times that reminded me of it and provided further evidence that fish aren’t too fussy about what they eat. The article informs us that British Businessman Andrew Cheatle, who having lost his cellphone on a beach in Sussex, was amazed when it turned up one week later in the belly of a Cod. The Cod in question was caught by a civic minded fisherman who was able to, by using the phone that was still in working order, track down its owner and return it to him.

I’m not sure I buy into it hook line and sinker, to me it sounds a little bit phoney. Perhaps we should ask our resident fishing expert Len from Allure Charters (see pic sequence above) if he has ever encountered anything like this. I suspect not, something about this story........smells.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

The Lighter Side


With world media again being dominated by yet another senseless act of violence, I refer to the terrorist attack in Lahore yesterday targeted at the Sri Lankan cricketers; I felt that for today’s post we would keep it light and humorous in the hope that it will bring a smile to peoples faces.

There is an e-mail doing the rounds that upon opening, immediately caused me to crack up, (no pun intended) as it reminded me of my girlfriend’s teenage son and his mates; the only thing missing is the skateboard under the caricatures arm. It was worded as follows:

What is Generation Y?

Hmm, I've always wondered this myself. Now I know.

- The Silent generation, people born before 1946.
- Baby Boomers, people born between 1946 and 1959.
- Generation X, people born between 1960 and 1979.
- Generation Y, people born between 1980 and 1995

Why do we call the last one generation Y? I did not know, but a cartoonist explains it eloquently (See above pic) ...Learned something new today!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Whale Tale Identification


Hi all, in the process of doing a little bit of research for my whale blogs over last couple of days; I came across this awesome bit of information pertaining to Danie of Adventure Tours. Admittedly I have simply copied and pasted the paragraph from www.advantagetours.co.za, something I generally make a habit of NOT doing, however in this case I don’t think relaying the story in my own words will do it the justice it deserves, this is amazing stuff.

“Over the last 10 years of operating, Danie has been photographing the Humpback Whales, taking samples of slooth skin and DNA and sending it off to his Marine Biologist at MCM( Marine and Coastal Management) Mike Meyer, and was phoned about 3 weeks ago and told that there is a possibility that Danie has the largest collection of photographed Humpback Whale tails in the World.

He has now been invited to be part of a team of scientists who will be doing further research on the Humpback Whales that migrate between the Antarctic, the South African Coastline, especially past the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal, towards Mozambique and Madagascar; at Madagascar the family group of Humpbacks seem to split up to the east and west of the continent before returning back South 6 months later.

With Danie operating on the St Lucia Coast he will be the main contact researcher on this side of the coast. Each Whale Tail is like a human's fingerprint, you can easily identify the whale from the specific markings under the tail....***”

Photo: Again taken from the gallery page on www.advantagetours.co.za

Monday, 2 March 2009

Whale Watching Regulations


As a follow on from yesterdays post where we made reference to the permit that is required in order to be a whale watching operator, I touched on the fact that our listed provider Advantage Tours, does have the required permit and strongly advocates the proper policing of it.

The reason is simple; Danie and the team at Advantage Tours are dedicated ecologists who fully understand the dangers of non eco-friendly behaviour. On their website they have made known the following rules in terms of Regulations of the Marine Living Resources Act of 1998.

Whale Regulations:

1 . It is an offence to approach any whale closer than 300m without a permit.
2 . There is only 1 LEGAL boat-based whale watching permit holder in each area.
3 . No cow-calf pairs may be approached by anyone .
4 . Clients are advised to ensure that their operator has a permit to approach whales closer than 300m.
5 . Clients on board an illegal vessel may be charged with contravening these regulations if the operator approaches a whale closer than 300m.

Your Advantage Tours permit holder is :
Danie Bennett
Advantage Charter
St Lucia
Photo: Again taken from the gallery page on www.advantagetours.co.za

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Whale Watching, A Tough Business


I was watching this week’s instalment of South Africa’s premier investigative journalism program Carte Blanche earlier, whose crew it would appear are highly skilled at hiding tiny little cameras and recording gadgets on clothing parts I can only guess where, this to expose corruption. They have done an excellent job over the years and have continually blown the lid on underhanded dealings by high profile people, their reporters and anchors display tremendous bravery by regularly putting themselves in precarious and dangerous situations.

This week they uncovered a case of bribery within the Marine and Coastal Management, the governing body responsible for the allocation of permits for those who take people whale watching. It featured a gentleman from Port Elizabeth Lloyd Edwards, who claims he has been trying for years to get a permit and essentially as a result of not having it, runs an illegal operation. Suddenly out of the blue he received a phone call from somebody willing to assist him, at a price of course.

The purpose for issuing the permits and the necessity for operators to have them is for ecological reasons and to protect the species from harmful human behaviour, something AdventureEscapades.co.za strongly subscribes to. Our listed whale watching provider Advantage Tours does have the required permit, and when they came onboard, we assured them we wouldn’t sign up operators that don’t. We essentially do not want to do business with those who don’t comply with the standards set out by their respective activities governing body.

I just find incredibly sad that there are operators out there that desperately want to do the right thing and in order to do so, have to be confronted by unscrupulous officials. To have to circumnavigate illegal activity to do something for the sake of being legal, is wrong on so many levels. When one considers the far harsher penalty that bribery carries, it creates the kind of the situation where it’s safer to do the wrong thing, well done to the gentleman from PE for exposing it.

Photo:Taken from the gallery page on www.advantagetours.co.za