A quick layover in Swakopmund

Since we had to go to Swakopmund we of course decided to take the long way through a bit of desert and into Walvis Bay. The desert was interesting but only a small foretaste of the desert to come. Like a desert appetizer.

There’s not much to do or see in Walvis bay but we did hear that we could find flamingos there. Since we didn’t have any flamingo sightings recorded in our bird book we couldn’t pass it up. On our way we heard of the Walvis Bay Bird Paradise. Perfect place for there to be lots of flamingos! Well, not. The gate was closed and the place didn’t look like much anyway. Instead we continued on to our next exciting destination: The Salt Works. This area of Namibia makes lots of the salt that is consumed in South Africa so we wanted to check it out to see what we were eating. We saw piles of salt from the distance but were too distracted by the flamingos in the bay to stop. Instead, we took a right turn and finally got our flamingos. Beautiful, pink, flamingos.

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Turns out this was not a bird paradise.  Still took a picture of the sign but that was unfortunately the only picture worth taking here.

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Flamingos!

OK, enough about birds.

Our first impression of Swakopmund was not a very good one. We pulled into a town shrouded in a dense fog that formed water droplets on our wind shield. Since we hadn’t booked for anywhere to stay we did a quick search of the town and ended up at the Desert Sky Backpackers, deciding to treat ourselves to a real bed and a nice shower. Our new plan had us hopefully heading out the next afternoon but deep down we both knew it would be longer then that.

We got Fiona into the shop early the next morning and spent most of the day holed up in the Backpackers planning the remaining part of our trip.

Plan for rest of Namibia: Take it day by day and decide not to plan but one day in advance. We have booked to be in the Caprivi strip (at our next treat to ourselves in a tree-house overlooking a river) in 9 nights so that leaves us with 8 to be flexible with. We’ll be driving north through western and northern Damaraland and up into Southern Kaokoland. Maybe we’ll get to northern Kaokoland but we’ll see.

We expect to be driving through desert and arid land for the next week plus. We also expect to see very few people. Most likely we’ll be camping in the complete wilderness, not in any allocated campsites but wherever looks like a good spot as the sun is about to go down.

No matter what happens, it is going to be an adventure…

We did a bit more planning for when my parents arrive as well before we got stir crazy and went out for a run along the waterfront.

Wow, did our impression of Swakopmund change when we were on the run! With the sun shining we found a town lost somewhere between Europe and Africa with heavy German influences on a distinctly Namibian, laid-back beach town attitude. We enjoyed the quirky paint jobs of the stairs and railings along the promenade while people watching the other exercisers. It is the off-season so there weren’t the throngs of people that we heard can envelop the town. It was beautiful.

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Quick stop for a selfie while on the run.  Good excuse for me to get Cheryl to take a break without showing her that I was beat.

In the spirit of treating ourselves we went out for dinner to “The Jetty”. It is out at the end of a, guess what, jetty, sitting over the ocean. The walk out the jetty is a bit disconcerting with waves crashing below you and causing the wood to sway ever so slightly. The seafood platter we shared was delicious though and the walk back across the jetty was definitely easier after a bottle of wine.

Since we only got our car back late last night, this morning we have to finish our errands (tire alignment, national park permits for the next few days, fill up our propane gas, re-pack Fiona…) and get driving as soon as possible.

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