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Monthly Archives: Aug 2015

Africa, Part 2 of 4: Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Despite being one of the most achievable climbs of the globe’s seven summits, Mount Kilimanjaro remains a rock to be reckoned with. Everyone who makes Kili their home for a week experiences the ills of high altitude, freezing temperatures, loss of appetite, and very few opportunities for real rest. But for those who reach the top, temporary pain dissolves into permanent victory at 5,895 meters on Uhuru Peak.

We had a stellar team of guides and porters who ushered us up the mountain, and became memorable friends along the way. After all, how could you forget legends like Man Africa, Mr. Pole Pole, Big 6, Fabulous, and Forty-Two? Climbing mountains is rooted in personal accomplishment, but it’s the opportunity to face a challenge with others that makes it special. 

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Africa, Part 1 of 4: South Africa

Five years ago, our friend, Reuben Hernandez, left his 9-5 to pursue a creative career of his own making. To kick it off, he packed a bag with a camera and the longest lens he had, and flew to South Africa. It proved to be the beginning of a lucrative career and a life of travel. We liked the sound of that, so it only made sense for the launch of Klein & Corazón to begin in similar fashion.

We met up with Reuben in Johannesburg where we were soon joined by Dudley Gradwell, retired Kruger National Park veterinarian. Dudley spent five days guiding us through the park, recounting unusual encounters with wildlife (lions pawing his tent at night, teaching his pet cheetah to hunt impala, darting buffalo from helicopters), and sharing heaps of rusk each morning. 

We soon embarked on a multi-day drive across South Africa to our friend Garth’s family sheep farm in the Karoo. Garth is a film-maker who got his start chasing meerkats around the Namibian desert with a GoPro rig. We collected Garth and made our way to the Garden Route, winding along the southern coast past famous surf breaks and rivers that cut deep into the green earth. Destination: Cape Town. 

Cape Town is one of those places that delivers on all levels. Dramatic landscapes, vibrant city life, serene wine country, and sharks. Flying sharks, to be exact. False Bay is one of the only places in the world where great white sharks are observed breaching as they hunt seals. We were fortunate to capture a few flying fins, then hopped in a cage to get up close and personal with the ocean’s apex predator. Recent articles point to controversy over cage diving operations, theorizing that chumming is changing shark behavior and contributing to shark-human conflict. Our own unscientific observations? Sharks are curious creatures, but there is a lot of food in the water that they’d prefer. It does make you pause a bit though when you see the shark warning flags fluttering in the wind at Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg.

A bit of pinotage and cheese in Stellenbosch, and we bid the land of Mandela auvoir. Next up, Africa Part 2: Mount Kilimanjaro.

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Mountains of Memories

Growing up in Idaho meant huckleberry-stained fingers, wet waders, and chairlift chats with friends and strangers alike. It’s a land of quiet magic. These days I split my time between two world-class cities: San Francisco and New York. There’s an irreplaceable energy and creativity in these places, but it’s the sort that requires you to keep a brisk pace. So it’s always a pleasure to return to roots, breath mountain air, and explore where the soul rests easy.

– Andrew Klein, founder

 

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