Rants and Raves

The Last Train to Zona Verde – ****

The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African SafariThe Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari by Paul Theroux
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I coincidentally started reading this while friends were traveling in Namibia and posting pics online. It was interesting to see their tourist posts and safari pics while at the same time reading about the area in Theroux’s book. It was like reading a behind-the-scenes account of what could be happening there.

Overall it was a sobering look at parts of Africa. The main points of interest to me were reading about Angola and the Portuguese, the effects of charitable giving, Theroux’s aging, and some anecdotes that I had forgotten about in South Africa: Amy Biehl’s death and a Bono story.

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Why so salty?

I’m not sure why I didn’t do this sooner, but I finally went to the local home brew supply store and bought some Burton Salts (named after an English town that has a particular brew affected by its water supply – wiki). Home brewers use the salts to condition water to make ales in the style og Burton, but as a non-brewer you can dissolve the salts in water to make mineral water in your selzer bottle or sodastream.

Although I could have used the spreadsheet that the Khymos blog has (see this lengthy article) and made my own particular mix of salts and minerals, I decided to go the lazy route and just get Burton salts.

I may try the custom route later, but I was curious to see if the Burton salts would even work. They did. I can now make better mineral water and my hope is to convince someone to stop buying so many expensive bottles at the grocery store and to get a sodastream and salts instead. But we’ll see.

semi-interesting pics:

1 after putting in 1g of salts into 1L of cold water and

2 then after 5 mins of waiting (the water gets even more clear after carbonation)

salty-water salty-water2