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THE SKELETON COAST & A RELAXING CITY BREAK

Namibia

sunny
View SOUTHERN AFRICA 2018 on Tracy87's travel map.

NOVEMBER 15TH DAY 14

It is going to be a long day... thru the rocky Namibian desert.  

At least the air will flow thru the truck today as 2 of the girls, when trying to close the window, let it slip and it smashed to pieces when we got to camp last night, glad it wasn't me this time! (Sam and I did the same thing last year, actually the same window!) 

As we make our way thru to the Namibian coast, the landscape turns to harsh dry beige desert.  There are no signs of life out here, you really  wouldn't want to get lost or break down!

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So Desolate!

Staring out the window, I wonder how the Sans Bushmen survived out here as they travelled their pilgrimages across the continent.  What an amazing people they truly are! 

Even thought it is only a 4 hour drive it feels longer. 

The desert passes by a never changing landscape of dust, sand and rock, until suddenly becomes rocky, winding thru rocky desolate hills.

We stop at the top of a hill of shingle loose rock, Ben has to check the truck as the loud thud we heard earlier has got him a bit worried.  It is nice to stretch our legs for a bit, but I hope it isn't too serious as it is not a place you really want to be stuck in!

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Lets not stay longer than we have too!
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There's nothing out there!
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The road ahead!

It doesn't take long and we back on the road again.

Finally the ocean comes into view, but it still seems long drive away.  The sandy flat desert stretches on forever.  

We stop at the Tropic of Capricorn.  It  is one of the five major circles of latitude marked on maps of Earth, between the Antarctic Circle and the Equator.  

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So there it is!

We are heading for the shores of Cape Cross, but the drive seems to take forever, maybe because we are all hot and tired, everyone is very quiet today.

This landscape seems never changing!  But the smell of the salty ocean starts to fill the air finally we reach the ocean.

The wild Atlantic Ocean seems hazy, the coastline is eerie and quiet, the southern part of the Skeleton Coast.  

We stop for a break at the Cape Cross Seal Colony.  You can smell them before you see them.  

The coastal air is cool and it is famously windy.  

After checking in we walk down to the rocks, there are thousands of Seals everywhere, babies are bleating like lambs crying out for their mothers, they are cute shiny and black. 

But it is heartbreaking, they cry out for their mothers who have gone out to feed.  They are so young and still blind from birth and when the poor things approach an adult that's not their mother they get nipped at, or even violently thrown aside.  I just cant watch it, this violent scene just makes me want to cry so I head o the truck. 

This violent cycle of life is hard to watch after seeing animals like Lions, Rhino and Elephants being so protective of their young.

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Catching some rays!
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Poor little ones...
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... have such a hard life!
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They do stink!
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A sweet moment!
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"Are you my Mum?"

Finally we leave this sad place.  The roads are actually really good, straight, modern and in the middle of no where.  

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Stop... for what?

Further along the coast we stop for lunch next to an aging ship wreck that has been ravaged by time and weather. 

We are on the southern most tip of the Skeleton Coast, I wish I could see more as it is on my bucket list.  But it is now  a private reserve and can only be seen by plane and that costs a lot of $$$.

Skeleton Coast National Park is one of the most inhospitable places within the oldest desert on earth in Namibia. The eerie coastline has long been considered a dangerous area for naval vessels due to the persistent foggy weather and unpredictable Benguela current.

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View towards the North!
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View towards the South!
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The Skeleton Coast lives up to it's name!

After lunch we have time to explore the beach a little.  The tranquility is broken by t he constant hawkers trying to sell trinkets, they just don't take  no for an answer.  

But our stop is a short one and we are back on the truck and headed for Swakopmund.

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Someone has a sense of humor!

The roads stretch on and on, but finally we reach Swakopmund, and it feels good to out of the truck!

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Road to Swakopmund!

Our first stop is to book activities a lot of the group book a quad bike tour in the dunes or fishing trips, I know I should do something but I do all these things every time I go home to NZ, and the plane ride over the Skeleton Coast is a bit over my budget, but I am sure I find something to do!

We are all going out for a group to celebrate a couple on the tour who have the same birthday.  

After a lovely hot shower we walk round to the Old Steamer.  It is amazing, and the buffet, OMG fresh seafood, there is just so much to choose from.  The food is soooo amazing!!!

Octopus salad, fresh prawns, melt in your mouth freshly caught fish, soft and tender beef ribs, oh and the caramel mousse that is so divine!

The night is great, everyone eats too much, the wine flows and the laughter is boisterous.

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The Old Steamer!

With full bellies we waddle back to the chalet.   The hope that I am going to get a good nights sleep are crushed when my roommate starts snoring... and I thought it was jus the boys!

NOVEMBER 16TH DAY15

For the next few days we are free to do as we please.    And since my roomie kept me awake with her snoring so this I morning I am happy with a sleep in.

Once I feel human again Nicole and I go into town to explore.  We get some good advice from some of the other girls and go for a pedicure.  While we wait for our appointment we have breakfast at this lovely little out door café.

The pedicure was worth it, and it feels great to be clean again after our days in the dust! 

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View from the breakfast table!

We do a little souvenir shopping, and enjoy just walking around the city.  We find ourselves in the Brauhaus for lunch.  It is apparently one of Swakopmunds most popular restaurants.  Monique and David are there and they are raving about the wild meat platter which has a choice of Oryx, Kudu and Zebra, the shock must have shown on my face, because they suddenly changed the subject, Zebra I cant, I just cant!

After asking the waitress if the wild meat is hunted and getting total reassurance that it is all farmed we order the Kudu and the Oryx and when it arrives we swap a piece of each.  They are both delicious but  I like the Oryx it has a real strong taste!

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The Brauhaus!

After a lovely lunch we head down towards the beach and find a fantastic little ice cream café, OMG handmade cookies & caramel... sooo yum!

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Best Ice Cream in Swakopmund!

We walk along the boardwalk past brightly colored German Colonial buildings, the trip notes said the local kids are good at football/soccer, and they weren't wrong we watch them for a while playing in bare feet on the hard dusty surface. 

Such a pretty town, with wide streets and it is so quiet!

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Beach Views!
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I'll take the top floor!
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How Quaint!
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A glimpse at the past!

The local school has a great painted wall, the kids have added their art work to make it vibrant and you can't help but spend time walking around it and looking at it in detail.

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Wow the art work is fantastic!
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The kids are so talented!

By the time we get back to the chalet, it is dark.  

The boys went fishing for the day and are sharing their catch with everyone so we are treated to a group BBQ, and Victor, Emmanuel and Ben have joined us.  the fish is delicious and the company is fantastic.  

I opt for an early night in hopes that I beat my snoring roomie to sleep.  I dig out my ear plugs and hope for the best!

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Fresh fish BBQ...
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... with the gang!

NOVEMBER 17TH DAY 16

If I was hoping for a sleep in I was wrong,  2 of the girls are off to do their desert quad bike tour, and were a wee bit on the noisy side.  So with coffee in hand i sit outside and enjoy the cool morning air.

After a reorganization of my gear and some clothes washing, I head into town the walk along the beach front is very peaceful this morning. 

I find the light house and there are a lot of restaurants and cafes  and since I missed breakfast this morning it is time for an early-ish lunch, but there are so many to choose from and it's hard to pick, they all look so inviting.

After reading all the menus, it's the Ocean Cellar, which has an amazing seafood buffet and menu.  They are still setting up the buffet so it's not available yet, so off the menu it is! 

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YUMMM!

I order the seafood platter and it when it arrives OMG this is for one are you kidding it's huge!  How am I spose to eat all that!

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For one the menu said!

It is absolutely delicious!  

Little Weaver birds are my companions for lunch, they sit on the table watching and I can't help myself I have to feed the little cuties and they pick food out of my hand.

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My cute lunch companion!

After paying the oh so hefty bill of $85 Namibian Dollars equal to about $10 Australian, yeap all that for just $10 bargain!

I take a walk and find a arts and craft market, but I think I will leave that for the afternoon.   And instead explore the lighthouse and parliament
buildings.  

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The Lighthouse!
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Municipal Buildings!
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Wide open streets!

I make my way to the city center, browsing thru some souvenir shops, it is so nice to have time to myself for a change.

I treat myself to another one of those handmade ice creams, hmmm... white chocolate not as good as yesterdays but still delicious.  

My walk takes me along the beach front again, past the jetty, unlike yesterday the wind has died down and the ocean is quite calm.  

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The Jetty!

Victor told me about a little inlet near the aquarium that when the water is at the right level Pink Flamingos can be seen there.

So I make my way along the beach and trek over the sands, but alas they are not here, so I sit on the beach for a while before making my way back to the chalet.

I find a little café hidden in a little courtyard and enjoy a latte and the quiet.  Unfortunately that peace is broken when one of my travel companions makes herself comfortable at my table.  She has done nothing but complain since we left the Delta and continues to do so now.

I ask the café owner where we can go to see the Flamingos and she offers some advice and arranges a driver to take us out there at a set price (yes I will out up with the whining  if it means I get to check another item off my my see list) but when he arrives the price negotiated has suddenly changed and doubled, I will not be taken for a fool so I easily decline.

Back at the chalet and the girls are back, Nicole and arrange to go to the market later.  I try to have a wee nap before heading out again for the afternoon, but for some unknown reason one of the girls is shuffling back and forward down the hall and her constant footsteps keep me awake.

Nicole and I walk into  town and visit the Arts and Craft Market.  

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A spot of shopping!

We try to have a peaceful browse thru the displays but the constant "Come to my shop" or "I give a special price for you", we would have been more inclined to stay and shop if we were left to our own devices.

Walking to find a café we come across the weird little spotted Guinea Fowl that seem to be everywhere on this continent.  Attempting to take photos of these blue headed feather balls sends us into fits of giggles, they are so jittery. 

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Helmeted Guinea Fowl!
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Patience Nicole!
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Funny looking things!

We give up and head towards the city center when we hear jazz music and decide to stop at this great little wine bar with a view of the lighthouse.

The atmosphere is relaxed and casual, this little place is full and lively.  We share a chilled bottle of local Sauvignon Blanc or two and enjoy the music for a while.

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Great little jazz bar!
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Enjoying a chilled wine!

Deciding to get something to eat we bump into some of the younger ones as we leave the bar they are looking for somewhere to get a drink our recommendation of the bar are met with expressions of "oh how boring" oh well there loss!

We head to the Brauhaus but it is packed and not a free table in sight.

But we discover this little American themed restaurant.   It is a great little place, if you didn't know it was there you could walk right past it, in fact we did the first time. 

The place is busy and full of locals. we find a table tucked in the corner.  We ask the waitress about the meat platter and she laughs when I ask if we have it without Zebra.

Everyone except us is speaking German and the chef seems to know everyone personally.   

When the chef brings our meal he introduces himself and lets us know that the Zebra has been replaced with Springbok and assures me that it is all farmed no wild animals are part of our meal.  The food is fantastic and we order 2 San Pedros coffee with Amarula which is accompanied with Amarula ice cream compliments of the chef, which is so delicious!

For the second time since we got to Swakopmund we waddle back to the chalet with full happy bellies!

I dive into bed and crash  out tomorrow we leave for the desert.

Posted by Tracy87 01:05 Archived in Namibia

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