The second most southern town in Germany.
Trip Start Feb 14, 2006
104Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
On the drive there we passed some pretty interesting wild life. Ostriches, Springboks, Impalas, and most of all these GIANT bugs. Kelly and I were navigating some pretty tough mountain passes in our trusty steed Snowflake. As we rounded this particular corner, we were met with this shiny slime all over the road. I got out of the car to see what it was, and low and behold it was dead giant bugs. The weird thing was that there were other big bugs eating their dead brethren. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that these bugs were eight inches long and they were not afraid of me at all. In fact, as I was taking their pictures, they tried to chase me. It was pretty hilarious. So we ran them over, just to show them who's boss.
On getting to the coast, we first went to Walvis Bay. It was weird to be back in a town again. Walvis is Namibia's biggest port and handles just about anything that moves in or out of the country. As such, it was pretty nice. So we hung out and had a hamburger in a bar and generally enjoyed not having grit in our food. After lunch we headed for a place where we heard there were flamingos. The flamingos were not around, but we did run across the biggest salt mine in the world. We drove around this area for about an hour and I would be at a loss to try and describe it. They build these huge retaining areas, then pump in sea water. The water evaporates quickly as the air is super dry, and then the big machines, come in and scoop up the salt. It sounds kind of boring, but seeing it in action is actually kind of cool.
From there we drove to Swapkopmond, just a few miles up the road. We found a nice place to stay at a backpackers. The owners name was Lofty and she looked and talked like Julia Childs. She was very nice and was a huge sports fan. Lofty and I took turns screaming at the television as the US got it's ass kicked by Ghana in the world cup. Kelly and I decided to check out the town and were extremely impressed. It's definitely a touristy town, but for good reason. The architecture is about as Teutonic as you can get. The Germans settled this area and brought down their ways of doing things. So most people on the street spoke English, Afrikaans, German, and some tribal dialect of some sort. Watching Lofty speak to the gardener in his clicking language with her Julia Childs voice was pretty funny.
Kelly and I spent the night inside in Swapkopmond. This might not sound like much, but we'd not slept in a bed for well over a month at this point, so it was a big deal to us.
We met a very cool and interesting couple from England who were driving their custom built Range Rover from London to Cape Town. They had been at it for seven months. This is a pretty common thing for people from the UK to do evidently. The Cape Town to Cairo route is almost a rite of passage for many people that we've met down there. I'm telling you, the more people that we meet, the more that I realize that we Americans aren't all that adventurous.
We didn't do too much of note over the next few days. We had a braai (bbq) with our new limey friends, and read some books. We went out for a nice dinner at a sea food joint on the ocean that was at the bottom of the most post card perfect light house I've ever seen. So that was nice.
After a few days of not doing much, we decided to kick it up a notch. We went out to the dunes and went sand boarding and quad biking. Sand boarding is like sledding or snow boarding, but on sand dunes. You go really really fast. About 60 mph fast. It's a rush. The shitty thing is that you have to climb back up the dune when you are done. After just two runs I thought might heart was going to explode.
We then climbed on to our quad bikes and headed out into the desert for a "Sundowner". The throttle on my bike immediately got stuck and my brakes didn't work, so I was flying over these dunes at full speed with no way to stop for a while. I impressed myself by not dying. Once we got that situation straightened out, we took off through these mountainous dunes with a vengeance. I need to brag about my wife for a minute. She's a bad ass four wheeler. She was taking angles that I wouldn't even think about, at speeds that I wouldn't try, and she made it all look easy. I was very proud of her.
We watched the sun go down over the desert and the Atlantic Ocean while drinking tall boys of Windhoek Lager. It was quite special. Right below us, was where Brad and Angelina lived and pushed out their puppy while in Namibia. So that's my brush with fame.