An Adrenaline Filled #FriFotos

Last week’s #FriFotos theme was adrenaline (July 25, 2014). At first, I thought, I don’t have anything to share because I don’t sky dive, mountain climb or ski (or ski that often). Then my memory turned to one of my favorite trips, to South Africa, and to a safari I took during that trip.

Riding in the bush looking for animals was at times monotonous, but then we’d see a beautiful bird or a delicate spider web and be in awe. All of that riding around paid off though, when we encountered large animals.

We briefly crossed into Botswana while we were stationed at the Royal Livingstone Hotel in Zambia, and took a boat ride down the Chobe River and loaded into safari vehicles to see elephants in Chobe National Park. We saw lots of elephants milling about, many bathing themselves in water.

Our group got a real adrenaline rush when we were watching a baby elephant. The momma noticed us, and thought we were a bit too close for comfort. As she approached our vehicle in a not so friendly manner, it was scary.

Momma elephant guarding her baby from our vehicle in Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Momma elephant guarding her baby from our vehicle in Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Later during our trip, we stayed at Shishangeni Lodge just outside of Kruger National Park in South Africa.

Although this crocodile was heading away from us, it was still pretty scary to be that close.

Crocodile - even when they're heading the other way, you get a bit of adrenaline!

Crocodile – even when they’re heading the other way, you get a bit of adrenaline!

On one of our first drives during our stay, we were lucky enough to encounter some lions. They were just waking as it was early morning, but seeing them watch us was still nerve-wracking!

Lions waking up but sitll watching us as we stopped to watch them.

Lions waking up but watching us as we stopped to watch them.

After our morning safari drives, we returned to the lodge for breakfast and leisure time. There were safari guides that offered to take us on bush walks. They seemed to think it was a perfectly normal thing to do, so I decided to go along. But, when you have guides with rifles and large bullets, you quickly realize walking alone in the bush can be dangerous.

Here our bush walk guides survey the landscape.

Here our bush walk guides survey the landscape.

At one point, there was a rhino very near us, and they could tell that he could smell our group. It was frightening hearing this very large animal sniffing and breathing so close to us. They quickly gathered our group, and told us if we were being charged to stand behind a tree, because the rhino wouldn’t be able to turn that quickly and get to us.

During an afternoon game drive, we happened upon this momma rhinoceros and her baby. While they didn’t seem to notice us, or at least care much that we were snapping lots of pictures of them, it was still a rush to see them up close.

Momma and baby rhino.

Momma and baby rhino.

I thought of other times I’ve had adrenaline rushes, and one of them was of a very different sort. Dave and I have been to the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monza, Italy, twice. Both were very memorable and exciting – our first trip there in 2007 was the first time I had been to a Formula 1 race, and it was amazing to see how fast the cars zoomed around the track.

For our second visit, we went early for a fan day, where holders of three day tickets can visit the track on Thursday for a pit walk. Being a Ferrari fan, I made my way down to the Ferrari pits, and wiggled my way up to the front – and was able to get 2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen’s autograph before snapping a few pictures of him. Quite an adrenaline rush to be so close to the Ice Man!

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen signs autographs at Monza, 2009.

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen signs autographs at Monza, 2009.

Ferrari driver Giancarlo Fisichella races around the Monza track.

Ferrari driver Giancarlo Fisichella races around the Monza track.

It was fun remembering both my trip to South Africa and to the F1 race in Monza with an “adrenaline” perspective.

I’m looking forward to this week’s #FriFotos – the theme is HEAT.

About #FriFotos

Here’s a quick guide of the rules by Jeffrey Epstein.

#FriFotos was started on 15 October 2010 by Jonathan Epstein (@EpsteinTravels). Jonathan is the President and Owner of Celebrated Experiences, a company focusing on travel to the UK and Ireland. He is passionate about photography, his favorite hobby. Each week Jonathan cohosts #FriFotos with Stephanie Diehl (@TravelDesigned), Charles Yap (@CharlesYap), and two guest co-hosts that change each week. Jeffrey Epstein (@jeffreyinmotion), CEO of HBIM was a key advisor in the creation of #FriFotos and continues to assist in the Forum’s growth and success.

 

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