BootsnAll Travel Network

July 15th – Swakopmund, Namibia

I woke up at like 8am after being woken up mainly times throughout the night apparently because I was snoring so much.  Oh well, thanks mom and dad for that one.  I had a quick bite to eat and then we all piled in to the minibus to head out to the Desert Explorer, which is the name of the company we were using for the quadbiking and sandboarding.  I decided to take a semi-automatic quadbike and I got a sweet helmet.  It took me a little while to get used to how to apply the gears and which gears worked the best climbing up the dunes and working around and through them.  I got stuck several times at the tops of dunes but after about half an hour I had worked out all the kinks of my quadbike and I was doing just fine.  One issue was how cold it was in the morning.  The desert was quite cold as the clouds were rolling in from the sea and my hands were frozen.  I didn’t have gloves, nor did I think to wear gloves.  My right thumb became so stiff, numb and swollen that I forgot about it and just pushed on.  See the issue was in order to work the throttle you had to push the lever forward on the right handle bar.  Since my hands are not that big, this required me to use a lot of muscle strength in my hand and thumb.  After an hour we got to a tall dune and we all hopped off, snapped a few photos and it was time to sandboard.  Basically they gave us a quarter inch thick piece of cardboard.  One side is rough, the other is waxed down and sand is rubbed on it, to give you a nice glide down the steep dune.  My first run was down the smaller of the two dunes in the area we were going down.  I went pretty fast and only hit a few bumps, it was awesome.  After riding the smaller dune we had to climb all the way up to the upper dune and go for a ride.  When it was my time I was pushed over the edge but didn’t really go that fast.  I thought I heard the guide tell me not to stop and keep going but afterwards he told me that he was screaming to stop and walk back up so that he could try it again.  When I got about two thirds of the way down, everyone was laughing.  I went real slow and barely went.  It turned out that my board was ripped on two sides which is probably why I didn’t go anywhere.


Hannah and I decided to race twice down the smaller dune.  I won both times and she was a graceful loser.  It was cute how she tried to rationalize her losses but in the end I was the better sandboarder.  After our hour of sandboarding and relaxing it was time to get back on the bikes for the second half of our run.  This run would take us back to the company and back towards the sea.  I thought that there were better chances to jump and there were more bumps on the second run, but the first run had better rollercoasters and more chances to really test the speed and durability of the quadbike.


We got back to the desert explorer and I bought a shirt that said “quadbiking namibia.”  It is black with a cool design on both sides, it is a sweet shirt.  We piled back in the minibus and then headed back to the hostel.  When we got back to the hostel we were able to get our laundry that we had dropped off the day before.  Then we returned to the hostel where Hannah, Harriet and Linda decided to go swimming or take a dip in the freezing Atlantic Ocean.  The ocean here is so cold because the jet stream comes from Antartica, hence the water is really cold.   Sarah and I took a bunch of photos and the girls basically ran in screaming and ran out screaming.  Harriet on her way in took a decent fall as she got knocked over by this huge wave.  She cut her upper right thigh and her ankle.  She seems to slip and almost fall a lot.


After the girls attempted to swim in the Atlantic Ocean, Sarah and I headed to the internet cafe in town.  I desperately needed to pay my credit card bill as it would be due in August, but I needed to transfer money in time and my internet access would be severely limited between now and when the bill would be due.  When we got to the internet cafe we ran in to Geyhart who had finished the tour here in Swapokmund but was spending one more night there.  Sarah, Geyhart and I went to a local pub had a drink and we played some pool.  An hour or so later, Hannah, Harriet and Linda joined us.  When they arrived I decided I would venture off to try and buy an adapter for all my electronics.  I had bought 4 adapters for India and either someone told me the plugs were the same or I completely forgot to buy them for South Africa.  As it turned out the same plug worked in South Africa and Namibia, but not sure about Botswana but I bet they are the same.  Anyway earlier I had noticed that the internet shop had an american adapter but the male plug was european.  In order for this to work I would have to buy another plug adapter which had a female european plug and a male south african.  The day before Renee had told me that she bought a european adapter at the supermarket, so I left the local pub and went across the street to the supermarket.  When I got there I noticed that they had a lot of european adapters but that the plugs were guarded by a surrounding of plastic.  After I spent 30 rand on the adapter from the internet shop and after I ran back and forth 4 times between the internet shop and supermarket tgrying to figure out what to do I realized that I would find the plug that fit my USA adapter that I had just bought the best and take my swiss knife and cut the plastic that was preventing me from sticking in my adapter to the south african one and that is just what I did.  I also bought a much needed headlamp from the supermarket as well as soap and shampoo.  I couldn’t seem to find my soap and shampoo and desperately needed a shower.


I then brought back my plugs and explained my story.  Everyone was busting my balls as to how nuts the whole thing was, but in the end using the american plug from the internet shop and the one from the supermarket gave me the ability to charge my electronics!  Also it should be noted that cutting the plastic guard around the european part of the adapter I bought worked, I felt like a genius.  Eventually the group left after a few drinks, and headed across the street to the supermarket.  We all wondered whether or not they would stop the next day to get supplies, but personally I was not willing to take my chance on that one.  So we all went across the street to the market.  I picked up a lot of water, bread, cheese, chips etc…All the essentials necessary for long bus rides and time between set meals.


It was getting late and almost time for dinner so we headed back to the hostel.  When we got back we saw all the kids that had just gone skydiving, including 14 year old Eva.  They were all raving about it and it triggered my memories of the time I went skydiving in Wanaka, New Zealand.  Part of me wanted to go again and part of me wants this to be, for now a one-time experience.  We watched several of their videos, had some drinks and suddenly I got really tired.  I fell asleep after dinner at the daily meeting and went to bed before 10pm.  Apparently I snored pretty bad because I was woken up numerous times again for snoring.  Nonetheless I got a great night’s worth of sleep


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