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Sounds and Sights of a Midday Oasis on the Rim of Africa

With a gift of spotted shade and birdsong from a farmer’s oak tree, we collapsed desperate for refuge from our arduous day. Even the air seemed drowned and labored under the unrelenting sun. Our walk started before sunrise and had continued almost without pause until this moment. We laid defeated from the midday heat. Exhaustion...

Photo by Jay Simpson. The shade of an oak tree provides an oasis in the midday heat.
Photo by Jay Simpson. The shade of an oak tree provides an oasis in the midday heat.

With a gift of spotted shade and birdsong from a farmer’s oak tree, we collapsed desperate for refuge from our arduous day.

Even the air seemed drowned and labored under the unrelenting sun.

Our walk started before sunrise and had continued almost without pause until this moment. We laid defeated from the midday heat. Exhaustion slowly weighed every one of us to down to the earth, and as we napped we were fastened like Gulliver to the ground.

I took this panorama, in awe of the patterns within the bight leaves and silhouetted branches, turned on my recorder for the birds’ song, and fell asleep straightaway.

Find the interactive panorama on the Rim of Africa Multimedia Trail Journal
CLICK TO INTERACT: Find the interactive panorama on the Rim of Africa Multimedia Trail Journal

As a National Geographic Young Explorer, Jay walked over 400 miles in the mountains of South Africa, completing the first trek of the entire Rim of Africa Mountain Trail, to help educate South African youth on the Cape Floristic Region and conservation through the story of creating Africa’s first Mega-Trail. More at Rim of Africa Multimedia Trail Journal.

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Meet the Author

Jay Simpson
National Geographic Young Explorer Jay Simpson is part of the Wolf OR-7 Expedition, a 1,200-mile adventure in the tracks of a lone wolf beginning May 2014. Using an estimated GPS track of the lone Wolf OR-7, they’ll have 42 days to mountain bike and hike across Oregon and Northern California. Their aim is to educate and share the story of a real wolf, dispelling myths and misinformation through educational products and presentations. Visit or7expedition.org or Facebook.com/or7expedition for more. Jay's previously walked over 400 miles in the mountains of South Africa, completing the first trek of the entire Rim of Africa Mountain Trail, to help educate South African youth on the Cape Floristic Region and conservation through the story of creating Africa’s first Mega-Trail. More at Rim of Africa Multimedia Trail Journal.