Thursday, February 21, 2013

India To Africa and Mt. Kilimanjaro Flyover

Here is a quick last look at Jaipur India and some images of our approach to the continent of Africa

A snake charmer on the streets of Jaipur. The venom has been removed and I watched the man try to rouse the snakes when they wouldn't perform as desired.

Jaipur has an unbelievable astronomical observatory that was constructed between the years 1727 and 1734. Please take the time to read how incredibly accurate the measurements are that can be made here. This is a device similar to a planetarium but is built downward. The spaces are for working alongside the sky map, which is carved on the white slabs. A similar device is seen in the upper left and has the part of the sky that is missing in the spaces on this one.

This giant sundial is accurate to within one or two minutes. The ramp points straight to the North Star.

A painted doorway in Jaipur

All of the buildings in central Jaipur are colored pink - thus it is India's Pink City. Weddings are big draw to this city.

India never ceases to amaze me with its color and textures of life. Not everyone on our trip "gets it". India can be difficult for some. But I love it.

We finally began  to see Africa after flying for about 5 hours over the Arabian Sea. Here is the coast of Somalia just north of the capital at Mogadishu.

It was virtually uninhabited along this desert coast and the water was quite clear. The vegetation increased as we went south.

Here are two estuary systems just north of Mombasa, Kenya. Note how the climate is much different here near the equator from the previous shots.

You guessed it - our Captain would not be satisfied with a simple landing at Mt. Kilimanjaro International Airport - he wanted to give us a scenic ride around Africa's second highest mountain. The massif was clouded in on the south side so we flew on the north side to get some views.

The main part of the mountain is below the clouds and a separate cone has grown on top of this to make it the wondrous summit that it is

A good view of the glacier on top of the mountain. The ice scarps seen in the central part of the photo are about 40 feet tall. There are some good links here in this New York Times article from 2009.

Check out these craters within craters on top of a crater near the summit

What a treat this was to fly around twice and see this mountain. My next postings will be of incredible wildlife seen in Serengeti National Park and then the temples of Luxor Egypt.

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