Day 10-Kirkenes

Day 10-Kirkenes.

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On Vertigo in Venice

On Vertigo in Venice.

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From Joberg to the North Coast

Shuey’s travels continue, and we continue to enjoy along with him.  After several weeks in Jo-berg, Shuey rented a car and has been driving southward.  His first week he spent in the Drakensburg Mountains as reported in the last blog, hiking and meeting fellow travelers along the way.  Shabbat he spent in the Bet Habad on the North Coast near Durban(I think), and from there he continued his travels.  He spent two days in Coffee Bay, probably in a place that looks like this. While the accommodations may be spartan, the scenry is five star. I am sure that Shuey took a walk to the Hole in the Wall, a spectacular site.

hole in the wall at coffee bay


The last I spoke to him he was in Hogsback on the Eastern Coast of South Africa.

hogsback, s.a.

This is a beautiful area indeed. A link to some more pictures can be found here.  Some say that J.R. Tolkein was inspired by the scenery here to write his Lord of the Rings trilogy. I am not sure where Shuey’s next stop will be. Your guess is as good as mine.  I will keep you posted.

Meanwhile- we are very proud of Shuey’s friend Hagai who climbed Killamanjaro in five days- a feat that usually takes seven days, but Hagai wanted to complete it before Shabbat.  He made it all the way to the top in -15C weather. Way to go Hagai.



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Back on the Road

It’s been awhile since I blogged Shuey’s trip and it’s not because he hasn’t been having fun, but the pace has slowed down a bit, and I have been busy with the after the holiday’s return to routine.  My days have been filled with: 1. taking care of myself (accupuncture, massage, physio, etc.) studying talmud at migdal oz, yoga, and of course…work.

Last we left Shuey he was on the beaches of Zanzibar having a blast, scuba diving, relaxing and playing a lot of beach volleyball.  He headed back to Daar a Salaam after about two weeks, and after a pleasant shabbat with his “old friend”, he flew down to Johannesburg , a mere 2500 km trip (see this map) where he was met by chanichim from the IBC (israel by choice) group that he led for five months here in Israel. To help you re acclimate, here is map of South Africa.

map of south africa

For the last two weeks he has received an extremely warm welcome from two families, and has spent time hanging out with them, seeing how Jews live in SA, resting, eating well, going to shul (wonder how that felt)  and in general having a good time.  Shuey says Johannesburg is alot like NY (I don’t think he was ever in NYC….) Here are a few photos:

city skyline- Johannesburg

One of the  places Shuey visited was the Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum

Today he rented a car, and set of for his next adventure to the Drakensberg Mountains on his way down to Durban.  It looks beautiful:

Is Shuey the one on the right??

Shuey has a place to stay for Shabbat in Durban, a town situated on the Indian Ocean- a familiar ocean for Shuey. I am sure he is having wonderful adventures as he travels on his own.

Meanwhile Hagai has completed his travels in Uganda and moved on to Tanzania where he hopes to climb Kilimanjaro and then on to relax in Zanzibar.

Shavua tov to all.

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Dar a Salaam to Zanzibar

Shuey has been reporting in regularly, and last we heard he was in Zanzibar.  But first let’s catch you up.  After climbing Mt. Meru and reaching the peak in the three days with two (actually one and a half) Germans, who were planning to conquer Kilimanjaro after Meru- although one didn’t even make it up Meru, Shuey caught a 12 hour bus to the capital city of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam where he apent from erev yom kippur through the first day of sukkot.  He spent time with a welcoming israeli who provided for all religious needs- minyan, sukka and arbaat haminim.  Shuey wandered the beaches of Dar es Salaam:

Coco Beach-Dar es Salaam

and stayed through the first hag.  On Friday morning he set out by ferry to Zanzibar. 

Seabus to Zanzibar

Do you see him on the deck?

His first site of Stone Town, the 19th century UNESCO site probably looked like this:

His first days in Zanzibar were spent feeling under the weather, so as soon as he felt better he headed over to the East Coast to Paje Beach. You can follow his route here.And here is Shuey on Paje Beach (he is under the tree)

Paje Beach-

From there Shuey headed up to Nungwi, to the Spanish Dancer Divers a dive club owned by an Israeli that Shuey had met over Yom Kippur (small world??).  Shuey had already done a few dives by yesterday afternoon and seemed very pleased by the diving.  Here is a pic of the dive club (shades of Sinai??)

and a picture of Shuey at the beach in Nungwi:

woops- he must have just slipped into the water for a dip!

and in case you wanted to know where he is staying tonight- he is at Safina’s Bungalows- they didn’t get the best reviews on Trip Advisor.  We hope he is enjoying in any case.

We hear that Hagai has been Uganda meeting with tribes that claim they are Jewish.  We are waiting to hear some interesting stories from him, and hope he is doing well.

Shavua tov and horef tov to all.

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On my own – up to Mt Meru, Tanzania

Spoke to Shuey on Sunday, and he reported that he and Hagai had a wonderful Rosh Hashana, just a “leetle” bit different from previous holidays back home.  They spent it in the Jewish community of Nairobi where there were two shluchim from Habad who came to help run the services.  Good thing that Shuey and Hagai were around because they ran the kitchen and did lots of cooking the whole hag for all the drop in and unexpected guests.  They stayed in a campsite about fifteen minutes from the shul, and seemed to enjoy the adventure.

The boys decided to notch up their African adventure a bit, by setting off, each one on their own.  Hagai spent the week in Lake Navisha (see previous blog), and Shuey set off for Tanzania. While plans are still open they hope to meet up together in a few weeks? months? possibly in South Africa?  We will keep you posted.  Meanwhile, I will continue blogging Shuey, and if Hagai clues me in to where he is (send e-mails Hagai!!) we will keep up with him as well.  Dorit, Hagai’s Mom,  has assured me that she will not be writing a competitive blog.

Shuey called me from Arusha Tanzania a town in northern Tanzania very close to Mt. Meru as you can see in the picture below:

Mt. Meru as seen from Arusha

Before I forget- here is a map of Tanzania:Shuey decided to forgo Mt. Kilimanjaro, due to both monetary and time constraints and settled on Mt. Meru, the second highest mountain in Tanzani at 4600 meters high.  It is about 70 km due west of Kilimanjaro.  When I spoke to Shuey on Sunday his plan was to begin the ascent on Monday, and complete it on Wednesday night or Thursday morning, and then make his way to Dar Es Saalaam, 477 km away,  the capital of Tanzania, where  he hopes to find services for Yom Kippur.

The ascent to Mt. Meru is done with a guide and Shuey was hoping to share the trek with some partners for both interest and to share the expense.  The only folks he had found as of sunday evening were a couple of honeymooners who were interested in being alone.  He hoped for better luck on Monday morning.  Some photos of the mountain:

Guides are mandatory on this trek, and come armed to protect the climbers from the abundant wildlife particularly buffalo.

Buffalo Protector

The trekkers stay in lodges along the way.  Here is a picture of Mariakamba lodge where Shuey is sure to stay for at least a night or two.

Mariakamba Lodge- Mt. Meru

One of the most unusal geological artifacts he will undoubtedly see is the Ash Cone, a relic of the volcano that formed this formidable mountain.

And here we are at the very top:

What a view-worth the climb indeed!


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Lake Naivsha and Leyning

Hi all-

It is a little late in the week to update you on Shuey and Hagai’s adventures, but better late than never.  After a wonderful week last week hiking in Mt. Kenya, reaching the pinnacle at Batian (5199 m) on Thursday morning after waking at 2 AM, they arrived happily back in Nairobi and were able to arrange to spend shabbat in the home of an Israeli who was away for the weekend.  Apparently the home was well outfitted, with pool, computer, home movie system, and the boys rested and enjoyed with another Israeli couple, staying there until Monday morning.

was this the house?

They enjoyed services in the familiar and local schul, where Shuey leyned (read the torah), and will once again leyn this coming week.  There is nothing that makes Abba more proud than that!

On Monday of this week, Shuey and Hagai departed for two different points, setting up to meet later in the week to spend Shabbat together again in Nairobi.  Shuey set his sights on Lake Navisha, a beautiful lake about two hours south of Nairobi, while Hagai arranged for a safari in Maasai Mara National Park ( you can see it on the map as well).

Lake Navisha-Good Place to Reflect before Rosh Hashana

Shuey is staying at Fisherman’s Camp I believe (will confirm that next week), and while I don’t exactly know what he will be doing, knowing him, I think he may be doing some more one day hikes, possibly to the Aberdare Mountains to see this:

Aberkaruru Falls

If I had to place bets, I would guess that he went mountain biking in Hell’s Gate National Park

mountain biking in Hell's Gate National Park

and viewed some giraffes along the way:

Giraffe's in Hell's Gate National Park

In this clip I could identify Shuey for sure!

We know for sure that Hagai saw alot of animals on his safari:

and we look forward to hearing about his adventures:

good day to you too!

All in all an exciting week. We hope to speak to the boys by phone before Shabbat.

Back here in Efrat, we are deep into grape juice season, having already bottled 30 litres of grape juice and going strong.  Round three of chemo is finished and done with, and we are moving on.

shabbat shalom to all.

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Kenya Here We Are

Shuey and Hagai arrived in Nairobi, after crossing the border in Moyale and traveling for two days by bus and truck, rather dusty and tired.

can you find Shuey on the truck?

Arriving in Nairobi, Shuey and Hagai were overwhelmed by the big city feel of things.  It reminded them of New York City (although I can’t remember the last time Shuey was there).

The skyscrapers and modernity of Nairobi are quite a contrast to sleepy Ethiopia.

City Square in Nairobi

They bunked down at the Upper Hill Campsite, pitching their tent about an hours walk away for the Nairobi Hebrew Congregation.

Shuey's tent is what color??

So they took a cab to shul Friday night, walked back, and then returned Shabbat morning.  They were fortunate to meet up with an Israeli who was lonely and had cooked food- meat and chicken, so the boys ate well, and Shuey sounded VERY happy this morning.

Hagai and Shuey decided to spend the week trekking on Mt. Kenya.The scenery is so amazing I urge you to look at this link to get a feel of the scenery.  Here is one pic:

and by now you know me, I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of Shuey and Hagai as they make their way up the 5,000m mountain.

I think Shuey is number 2 and Hagai is number 3.  Of course, today they are travelling by minivan the four hours to the base camp, and will only start trekking tomorrow.  They hope to be back in Nairobi for shabbat, where Shuey has promised to leyn the parsha.  Wonder if he brought a tikkun with him?

So as the week rolls out, we will be hiking along with our boys, wishing them well and enjoying the fabulous vistas seen from Mt. Kenya.

Shavua tov to all and happy (vicarious?) hiking.

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Shabbat Shalom from Konso

Hello all,

Heard from Shuey via e-mail that he and Hagai will be in Konso for Shabbat, so I wanted to update you all so that we can be with the boys in thought and spirit.  I did not hear a full report yet on the week that was, however we did get fresh regards from Kinneret Fink, daughter of our good friends Danny and Adina Fink from kibbutz Lavi who travelled with Shuey in the Omo Valley that I reported on in my last post. A small world indeed.

So what will Shuey and Hagai see in Konso, the home of the Konso People?  They will most certainly see Waga scultpureswhich are traditionally a type of memorial sculptures, now very popular with the tourist trade.  Here is a sample:

waga sculpture

There are apparently some very important fossils that were found here, but I couldn’t find any pics. sorry.

There is also a market in Konso:  Just got a call from Shuey and they are staying the Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge, and Hagai and Shuey put up their tent, and as soon as we finished talking they will cook.  On Monday they will be taking a bus straight to Moyale (as much as things can ever be certain in Ethiopia).  They hope to travel straight down to Nairobi, a two day bus ride, and they hope to arrive there before next Shabbat.

Shabbat shalom to all.

p.s. had my second chemo yesterday-and today am feeling surprising well, b”h.  looking forward to shabbat. love to all.



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The Omo Valley

Shavua Tov.  We had the good fortune to speak with Shuey on Thursday night and to get an update on his plans and adventures.  He sounds well, happy and healthy, thank G-d.  Just to update from last week, Hagai and he never made it to Harar.  They had some delays on internal flights and ended up in Addis on Wednesday with some time on their hands.Some of that time they used complaining to the folks at Ethiopian Airlines for the snafus they experienced, and ended up getting Ethiopian Air t-shirts (we want pictures) and free night (or two?) at the renowned Deleopol International Hotel with full board.  As Shuey said, they will experience both ends of the spectrum within a very short period of time, as the plan was to depart on Friday morning by jeep for ArbaMincha town 500km south of Addis and the gateway to the Omo Valley.  As Shuey and Hagai travel down there in a jeep that may look like this

jeep near arba minch- is shuey in it??

we wonder if they too are getting stuck in the mud.  We understand from Shuey that it has been a bit rainy, which may preclude them from sleeping in their tent, however if the weather is fine, that is what they plan to do.  If not, maybe they will sleep here:

Beehive Hut of Dorze tribespeople

he Omo Valley, because it is so remote and hard to get to, is world renowned for the chance to get a glimpse of African tribes and cultures that have been virtually untouched by modern life. Around Arba Minch are many different tribes, around twenty in number.  The pictures I found really reminded me of the National Geographics I used to read when i was a kid.

Mursi Tribesman

Here is a closer look at what Shuey and Hagai may see as they set out to tour the valley by jeep on Sunday, along with a few other travelers they met along the way.

There are several more videos on youtube by the same photographer that are well worth watching if you have the time.

Places they expect to visit this week include the Mago National Park which according to the description has “Mainly grass savannah, some forested areas around rivers. Conservation area for plains animals, 56 species of mammals: buffalo, giraffe, elephant, lelwel hartebeest, lion, cheetah, leopard, zebra,gerenuk, oryx.”  I wonder what they will see.  The national park is also home to the Mursi tribespeople, and I wonder what two “bogrei sayarot” will do when they meet up with these folks (kind of looks like the local zevet, no?)

Tzevet Mursi?

Next stop is Konso which is a small town home to the Konso people, who love music.

Maybe Shuey and Hagai will invite this fellow to their next “bira venashira”?

Shuey also mentioned going to a fish market.  The only one I could find was in Awassa but I actually think this far too north for them to get to, so we will just have to ask them.

When they wrap up their visit in the Omo Valley, they will probably spend next shabbat again in Arba Minch, and then head down to the Kenyan border around Moyale a town that straddles both Ethiopia and Kenya.  Press on the link to see a google map showing where it is. So then it will be so long Ethiopia, and hello Kenya.

Wishing you all a shavua tov, safe travels to our two boys, and a great week to all.


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