Arrival in Kimberley, South Africa Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Arrival in Kimberley, South Africa

Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 by Rob

By Rob Meronek

The vert and Mini-Mega are still under construction due to some Skatelite being still stuck on a ship somewhere.
These dudes are mesmerized by the vert skating.
The diamond theme is built into everything here.
The street course is so damn good. This one is staying here after the Contest, too. That's Matt Miller frontside bluntsliding down fresh granite.
I like how there has been at least one element of transition at each course lately. Collin Provost has his vert shorts on for this one.
The grass is spray painted greener on the other side.
The laws in this town, as in most US States, say bars have to close at 2am. The Premier Hazel Jenkins changed that rule for the weekend. Bars are now open 24 hours. Thanks for the skate park and the nightlife adventures.
I think it's been 10 years since I've seen Bob Burnquist skate vert in person. He's clearly on another level. Hopefully it's going to be a damn good Vert Contest.
We're all South African new-comers. Porpe and Ishod soak it in. This Contest is one of those "open" ones where ams can actually qualify for a spot. I think Ishod has a damn good chance of taking it this weekend.
Lizard King is quickly becoming a local celebrity here.
Pause for a foot fetish with Lizard King and his new Supra shoe that will be on the streets soon.
Porpe made his frontside tailslide, but you can see the struggle in the tucked in front arm rather than naturally out like most people. Oh well, that's why we have to work instead of getting paid to skate.
Our new South African homies invited the entire crew over to a traditional dinner of intestine, sheep head, chicken feet, and other delicacies.
Porpe is going for it with the sheep head and intestine.
Pro skateboarders, feasting like kings. Thanks for the hospitality!
Afterwards, we went to some nightclub where the old American MGD was on heavy promotion.
Interesting scene in that place.
What if everyone in the US who had a chain wallet also had a man purse?
Next up was traditional African dance moves.
Our new pal here promoting Global Handwashing Day explained all the dance moves to us. People are super friendly here.
After the dances, Lutzka provided us some microphone entertainment.
Porpe's going Instagram with the natives.
I'm going foot fetish with them.
Everyone got a shot on the mic for some freestyle hip-hop rants and even a few battles. We have to give Porpe the old fishhook to get him off the stage. Good night South Africa, good morning hangover.
A few days earlier on the way here, I had an unexpected stop in Nigera due to some travel plans being jacked by Delta. Here's a sample of their money. No tourist mission here, just stuck in the airport for seven hours.
Upon arriving, Brittany and I went straight to safari where we found ourselves in the thick of the bush in these Land Rovers you see here. It's amazing and super scary at times with how close you get to the animals. This lioness here is hanging out while a lion a few feet away gnaws away at a bushpig he just killed.
It's no zoo here. No cages or anything controlled other than the Land Rover you're cruising in. Sometimes the animals are not so close. These giraffes were lurking in the trees at sundown.
When we got back to our room, we found a snake in there. At first it was all scared of us so I tried to just scare it back out the door. Then it flared its neck super wide at me and I realized it was a cobra. Yikes. When the hotel staff arrived, they told us it was a spitting cobra, capable of spitting venom from six feet that can blind you. My tourist mission cell phone video of it is here.
The bugs are crazy here.
Pause the safari so a herd of elephants can cross. Damn.
We were lucky enough to see the critically endangered Black Rhino. There are only about 2,000 of these guys left in the world because some silly orientals think the horn has medicinal value. They went and killed nearly all of them until sane people came in and stopped them. This one is spraying some body sauce to mark his territory.
Why don't you gamble in Africa? There's too many cheetas. What an adventure. It's all skateboarding for the next few days, though.

Cell Phone Video: Tourist Mission on Safari in South Africa

There's nothing to do with skating in this video, just a bounch of animals and tourist stuff with Brittany for a couple days in South Africa...


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