Our next stop was about a five hour drive to the town of Swakopmund. On the way we stopped at the thriving metropolis of Solitaire…which was just that! Namibia has no people. About 2.5 million in the entire country.
Swakopmund is a cute town by the ocean. The Germans settled here years ago and all the architecture makes you believe you’re in a small German town. There’s an antique store which is fascinating. Some of the Namibian war medals had the swastika on them. Then there are also tons of tribal jewelry and weird animal artifacts.
Last night we celebrated a birthday of one of the lady’s who is in my group. The staff at the restaurant came out with a birthday cake and put on a real show with song after song like a traditional African choir. It was amazing!
I caused a Heather blunder last night. After thirty some years of taking a shower I have never had an issue, but last night I seemed to have flooded the entire bathroom. Water was about a half inch deep and this was from about a five minute shower. At about 11 at night I had the poor dude from the desk trying to mop up the room. The poor ‘Germanator’ was in her underwear hiding under the covers while this shy little guy was trying to clean up after yours truly. I asked to help, but clearly I’m more of a nuisance!
This morning a few of us went up the coast with a local guide. This area is known as the Skeleton Coast. It has this name because there are only two small towns from here all the way up to Angola. As well, due to crazy weather patterns there is a wall of fog that makes it nearly impossible for ships to sail. The coastline is dotted with shipwrecks. It is a completely desolate area but super beautiful because the ocean meets the desert. The road we drove on looked like asphalt but it was actually salt. There are salt flats all around and at times the salt on the side of the road looked like snow drifts.
We went to a place called Cape Cross where a sea lion colony of about 30 thousand live. From the distance the cape looked like black rocks, but as you got closer you could see all the little bodies moving around and sunning themselves. In December, the sea lions had their pups so there were so many cute little babies waddling around. Thousands were diving in the ocean and the barking back and forth from mother to baby which kept things entertaining. I could watch animals for hours. The smell was a bit intoxicating but other than that I was in heaven. There’s a bit of controversy in the area because locals still club the sea lions. Up the road you could buy oils and and purses! Yum!
While a bunch of my group have gone sky diving I opted for an afternoon of strolling around town and chilling out. As I get older, my fear factor meter has definitely gone up and I am learning to say no to activities instead of jump at the opportunity like I have in the past. Grey hair and fear…what else will age bring me?
Tomorrow it’s back to the bush. We are heading to Etosha to camp for two nights among all the big animals of Africa. Safari here we come!