Let sleeping rhinos lie- PLEASE!

The continuing plight of rhinos because of the absurd demand from the Chinese market for 'medicinal' remedies was brought home to me recently while on safari in South Africa. South Africa has 80% of the world's rhino population but policing the vast tracks of land where these endangered giants roam is a huge task. I read recently that a rhino is killed for its horn every 14 hours.
While there has been a ban on international trade of rhino horn since 1977 there was domestic trade in the horn in South Africa until 2009. When it was finally banned a handful of major dealers were left with an incredibly valuable stockpile and have fought the decision in the SA courts ever since. At the end of January the decision was overturned opening the way for domestic trade to resume. Their argument is that the horn can be 'harvested' without harming the rhino- I leave you, gentle reader, to make your own decision on that.
I read somewhere recently that dying the horn would put a stop to the torture as it would no longer be valuable to the poachers- this presupposes that you catch them first. Even so, it seems a wonderful solution and the mental picture I have of tracking pink horned rhino gives me a warm feeling
We saw a few contented rhino while at Sabi Sands and I hope you enjoy these shots. We also came across the well armed security guys on foot trying to police that needle in a haystack and stop the poachers rip the horns of their next rhino.

Thanks for reading





I've been on the move for the past six weeks, and taken a fair few 'vibrant' shots from Cape Town to Pretoria, Victoria falls and Oman! When I saw the Daily Post subject for this week it had to be the amazing streets of Bo-Kaap, in the shade of Signal Hill. We went on a free walking tour of the streets learning about the early Malay slaves who had gained their freedom and set up their community here. I would recommend these tours as a great way to explore – you simply pay the guide what you think he/she is worth.

Two local residents happy to be photographed by the group- one with an equally vibrant green scarf

In response to Vibrant | The Daily Post

Wishing you all a vibrant day!


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The magnificent, empty piazzas of Arezzo

If you have been following my road trip you'll know we made a significant detour to take in San Marino, and we had no regrets in the extra miles that entailed. Sadly the route from San Marino to Arezzo was full of GPS 'humps in the road'. It's almost always true to say the direct way in a foreign country where road signs, with your specific town,end as randomly as they first appeared, is far from direct and wish you had taken the long route. Anyhow we finally made it to our friends' rented villa in Laterina, the other side of Arezzo; you can see from the google map that it was a cross spun try adventure, free of major roads!

Laterina designated by the marker

It proved to be a super location, close to the A1/E35 North/South arterial road. A goad train network always makes going by train to places like Florence quite sensible, as parking can be such an issue. Laterina itself is a typical, tiny, hill top town, extremely narrow streets, where the pace of life seems to be many notches below that of the average visitor.

Look up from the narrow street...
I am not entirely sure what these shields on the facade represent. Facades like this are commonly seen in towns and cities across the region. They may relate to family heritage or I think it's more likely they could have trade and commerce connections. If any reader knows, I like to be better informed.
A trebuchet, evidence of medieval defence systems

The day we spent in Arezzo old town was hot and humid, oh boy, was it humid. I am so used to arizona heat that I find wet heat quite difficult to handle. On the upside, it was quiet and as the photographs show (I haven't scrubbed anybody out!) walking and taking photographs was hassle free.

Piazza Grande
The piazza is empty here, but twice a year it comes to life when baroque style jousts are re enacted. If you'd like to book a stay around that time I'd be sure to book well ahead as they are very popular. They take place on the last but one Saturday in June and the first Sunday in September. If you want to get a flavour of what's in store search one of the many YouTube extracts.
This impressive monument is to the 14th century poet Petrarca, (also known as Petrarch) a native of the city. The writings of Petrarca and Dante (from Florence) are said to be the foundations upon which modern Italian was built. One of his most oft quoted lines is ” five enemies of peace inhabit with us- avarice, ambition, envy, anger and pride; if these were to be banished we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace”

s Maria Della Pieve
Ferdinando I de Medici
Arezzo Cathedral
Intricate Trompe l'Oeil

I hope I have given you a taste of the ancient Etruscian city of Arezzo. I am so glad we put it on our itinerary.

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