BootsnAll Travel Network

July 14th, 2008 Solitaire, Namibia to Swakopmund, Namibia

Rob didn’t really snore that much and before I knew it I was being kicked in the head by Mike along the outside of the tent to “wakie wakie.”  Today we had our journey from Soitaire to Swapkomund one of the larger cities in Namibia.  Here we would spend 2 nights and three days which is a great change of pace from having to wake up early every morning, pack up the tent and move on.  During our journey to Swakopmund we stopped at several places to take some photos.  The first place we stopped was at the Tropic of Capricorn.  Since I had missed the opportunity to take a picture at the line when I was in Australia, on this trip I knew I would have that chance.  Since I didn’t really know the itinerary all that well, I wasn’t sure when we would get to the line.  Well today was the day.  I got someone to take a few photos of me by myself at the sign that said “Tropic of Capricorn,” and then we all took a great group photo.  It was really funny because Mike and JB had to take 24 photos and they had them all on their arms and hands.  The second place was something called the “moon” landscape.”  All around us were hills that represented what people think the topography of the moon to be.  There were some great quartz crystals which I took back with me and then it was back on the bus.  The last stop was Welvis Bay where we stopped about 45 kilometers before reaching Swapkomund.  This is where we were meant to see Flamingos on the coast, but during the winter they are in warmer climates for the breeding season.  Unfortunately there were no flamingos and the Atlantic Ocean smelled just like it did back home during the summer, like crap.


We arrived in Swakopund in the early afternoon and for two nights we would be staying at a hostel.  I got stuck in the 10 person dorm bed with frank and then 7 girls.  There were two showers, two toliets.  Once we arrived, Hannah, Harriet, Sarah, LInda and I went to the laundry mat to get our laundry done.  The laundry service at the hostel was really expensive and I didn’t trust it.  We found our way eventually and then came back for lunch.  After lunch and lounging around, the girls and I made our way to the local street market at the end of the road near this lighthouse on the coast.  This was a really a ghost town in the winter.  It was a beach town and a place for German’s and South Africans to go in the summer,  Namibia was one of the only German colonies in Africa and was only there for 15 years until WWI but their influence seems to be longlasting in Swakopmund. According to the Germans on the trip only this town has the German influence in Namibia. 


Anyway once we got to the market, we walked around and noticed quickly that everyone was selling the same crap.  We weren’t bombarded as bad as thought we would have been, but the girls felt uncomfortable with the guys standing around them while we looked at their stuff.  I ended up buying a bracelet for 20 rand which was way too much but I wanted something and was itching to buy some african crap.  We spent like a half an hour at the market and then Sarah and I headed in to town to check the internet.  I had the first opportunity to upload my blog and pay some bills, check some emails.  The time was brief but the internet was quite fast.  Before we knew it, it was time to go back and get ready for dinner.  Tonight Jabu and Mike were off from cooking as we were staying at this hostel and it was their night off.  They arranged for the entire group to go to this Italian place Nepolitana.  The seats were long benches and it was a little cramped.  Before I got to the restaurant, a bunch of us grabbed a pre dinner drink along the pool and then at around 620pm I headed back to my room to go to get ready to go out and change my clothes.  I went in to the small side bathroom in our hostel room.  I closed the door and suddenly the handle fell off!  I tried to put it back on and then the metal piece that connected both parties of the door knob move slightly back and I was unable to make the connection.  Like in the movies it was “one, two, three, panic time.”  I started banging on the door and then started to kick the door by sitting on the toliet seat with both feet.  When that didn’t work, realizing that the door was a push and it would be impossible to break it down.  Then I started banging and screaming on the door.  For those of you who don’t know I am extremely claustrophobic.  I really didn’t regularly go in to elevators until recently and still get anxious when they pause or take time for the door to open.  Anyway at this point I was really freaking out.  Everyone was in the bar, the music was blasting and what if they just went off for dinner and forgot about me?  Also it should be noted that the bathroom was a mere 3 feet by 3 feet, tall ceiling, no window, so it was tiny to say the least.  Finally after a few minutes of kicking and screaming for help from the bathroom which was tucked away in my 10 person room, Mike the adventure overland trip driver and cook heard me and I told him to open the door.  Once he did, I collapsed on the floor and laid there for several minutes.  I explained to him what had happened and how sensitive I was too small, enclosed spaces.  Afterwards I changed and met the group in time for dinner.


The walk to dinner was five to ten minutes, not long and it was a nice restaurant.  They barely had enough seats for us and it was slightly cramped and uncomfortable in that the seats were long wooden benches.  I drank Savanna Dry Cider’s all night and ordered some great food.  I had chicken livers to start and a 500 gram beef rump steak, served on a cold platter, rare.  It was magnificient.  Unfortunately I was so full that I had to save a serious portion of the steak for breakfast as it was a lot bigger that I expected it to be.  After we settled the bill in which someone definitely screwed the group over and the restaurant refused to split the bill up even by groups of four, Jabu took us to another bar close to the restaurant.  It was playing really strange music, through all decades, old and knew.  It had a dance floor and a nice bar.  They had really cheap shots and I took a few of those, as well as some more savannas.  After there a bunch of us went to another smaller bar while the majority of the group went back to the hostel.  I only stayed like another hour or so at this bar and then went back to the hostel with some people in the group.  Tomorrow would be an early morning as I had signed up quadbiking and sandboarding through the dunes around Swakopmund.


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