Seals and Civilization!!!

Trip Start Jun 25, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2007

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Flag of Namibia  ,
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

He Said:

From Spitzkoppe we drove straight west until we arrived at the Atlantic Ocean. The difference in temperature between here and the interior could not have been more dramatic, from the frying pan into the refrigerator! The coast here is flat and desolate...I guess they don't call it the Skeleton Coast for nothing. The water travels here via the Antarctic Current and is even now in the middle of summer is only about 50 degrees. Brrrrrrrr, certainly the coldest place we've been since starting this trip!

After a cold night camping we headed south to the seal colony at Cape Cross. We could not have timed our visit to the colony more perfectly. There were hundreds of very newborn baby seals, flopping around and nursing from their mothers. Many of the pups were only hours old with amniotic fluid still soaking their fur and a placenta lying on the ground nearby. There were thousands of seals on the rocky cape and the elevated viewing area allowed us to get within a few feet of many of the seals and pups. I've never seen such a spectacle; it was like we were watching a National Geographic documentary unfold right in front of us!

After an hour or so of gawking at the seals, we headed further south to the large modern town of Swakopmund, which will be our base for the next few days. This place certainly does not feel like Africa, more like a German town was plopped down here on the Namibian coastline. Anyway, we upgraded to a room and we are loving the luxurious trappings of the modern world. Our room has a private bathroom, hot water, a TV, soft bed, electric power, and door that locks!!! Nothing like camping to make one appreciate little comforts. We'll get another post out from here in a few days. We have a few activities planned like quad biking and sandboarding (just like snowboarding) in the nearby dune field. So our next post should have some good stories to tell.

Congrats to my brother Troy and his wife Sara on a bouncing new baby boy! Oh and last but not least...I went to a beauty shop here yesterday afternoon and had them cut my hair off, it is now about two inches long!

She Said:

Since my eyes were very light sensitive (due to my scratched cornea) I spent the entire ride to the coast with an eye mask on, and Todd described the scenery to me as it went by. It was really odd because I started creating mental pictures (along with imagining how to redo our kitchen when we get home) of what the place looked like. He kept saying that it looked like the surface of the moon... just sand, tiny rocks, and extremely flat all the way to the ocean. Once we got off the truck, Todd set up our stuff and helped me get to the showers about 1/8 of a mile away. It was so scary walking with a blindfold!! I promptly decided that I would NOT have laser eye surgery when we get home as my vision is 100% correctable with contact lenses, and I would hate for something to go wrong with the surgery. Once the sun went down, I was able to wear my glasses and see some of the coast. It was so STRANGE to see it after imagining the surroundings all day... nothing like I had pictured, and I even tried to get in the wrong tent! It is significantly colder here (in the 50s) and we are finally wearing the jeans and long sleeve shirts we have been carrying with us for the last 4 months. It is great to wear different clothes, and the cooler weather makes it more believable that Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.

After stopping of at the Seal Colony (the newborns were so cute!), we pulled into the Promised Land... Swakopmund!! A real modern city! Paved roads, sidewalks, coffee shops, stores....paradise!! And a bed, TV, private bathroom... luxury! We actually are starting to look and feel normal again!! We are here for five nights!! Hooray!

Half of our group is skydiving today (the half that doesn't include Todd and I), so we are going to watch and take pictures with everyone's cameras. The skydiving part of our group has some crazy idea that they are going to talk us into joining them. Todd maybe, but me... not a chance!
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