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Spanafrican Adventures's Blog

The latest news on Spanafrican Adventures operations.

CapeStorm talk: Cycling the Highest Roads in the World 24/02 - A fundraiser for Funda Nenja


Funda Nenja -literally translates from isiZulu as 'learning with the dog'. Every Friday afternoon about 10 volunteers and 65 dogs with their handlers gather in Mphopomeni township to share interspecies and multicultural communication. The vision of 'Funda Nenja' is to develop respect and compassion for all living things by promoting a bond with a dog, using dog training as a vehicle. Education on animal welfare, the need for sterilization, humane handling of animals, as well as kind, gentle dog training methods are included in the weekly classes. The dog handlers learn the need for self-discipline, commitment, responsibility which, in the long run, develops personal growth and self-worth. The dogs learn that interacting with humans can be fun and rewarding, resulting in increased confidence and happier dispositions. Every dog that takes part in the program is fitted with a collar and lead, and the handler is given training treats, both for the afternoon lesson as well as for training at home during the forthcoming week. Most weeks, however, numerous dogs and their owners are reluctantly turned away as there are never enough resources available for all.

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The Hima-lasting days

The Chandrabhagga range from the Kunzum-la pass

The Chandrabhagga range from the Kunzum-la pass

The Indian Himalayas are indeed a spectacle, each day has been filled with impossibly beautiful landscapes that always seemed to get better.  We covered just over 2500km crossing 12 passes, 4 of which were over 5000m.

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Zanskar, the last outpost of Ladakh

Our first view of Nun, one of the 7000m  giants of the Kashmiri Himalayas
Our first view of Nun, one of the 7000m giants of the Kashmiri Himalayas
 
Zanskar valley, one of the more isolated and remote areas of Ladakh that has retained much of the Ladakhi (Zanskari) tradition. We cycled amoungst the giants of the Indian Himalayas - Nun and Kun (over 7000m) and alongside the snouts of giant glaciers. Stunning vibrant crimson and yellow high altitude sedges lined the way, while munchkin marmots were at play. A lonely chorten marked that we were once again in a buddhist area. Vast stretches were unpopulated and those that were consisted of a handful of homes where farmers diligently harvested barley, wheat, fodder and collected dung for the winter that isolates them for 6mths of the year. A herd of 200 yaks nonchalently munched away at sparse vegetation while the dzos were milked for their super rich milk. Gumburanjon, a shark's fin of a granite monolith marked the way to the Shingo-la pass.
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Pangong Tso (Lake) and along the Indus

Now heres a real Munchkin. Marmots are amazing little fellows choosing to live only above 4000m. They delighted me whenever the roads got high. I thought of names for them: Milo, Molly, Marmelade and Marmite. A good start, so I thought.

Now heres a real Munchkin. Marmots are amazing little fellows choosing to live only above 4000m. They delighted me whenever the roads got high. I thought of names for them: Milo, Molly, Marmelade and Marmite. A good start, so I thought.
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Leh

Lonely Leh Gompa

Lonely Leh Gompa

Imposingly the Leh Palace is built on a crag overlooking the town, above it a little gompa (monastry) is perched, almost lonely against the vast blu, cloud-puffed sky. Below the old city, densely built, slowy crumbles and decays. The main bazaar is a bustle of old Ladakhi ladies selling their fabulous apricots and vegetable grown in their home gardens, chatting and knitting with their long grey braids, the belching tata truck and horn blasting jeeps do little to disturb them.

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