Cool coastal relief
22 December 20120 Swakopmund, Namibia
We have just been shopping for food, we arrived in Namibia last Saturday and discovered shops only open a few hours in the morning on Saturday and Sunday so we thought we better stock up and make sure we have everything for our Chrissie meals! 🙂 Well it seems shops are just as hectic a few days before Christmas everywhere in the world- just a smaller shop! It was packed! We got our first real dose of Christmas with carols playing, lots of Christmas food, cards and decorations for sale etc. We even got mince pies! I always avoid the nightmare that is shops from sometime in November wherever possible except for one final food shop you have to do and this felt like it, only in Namibia and with less stuff to choose from!
We arrived to the coast a few days ago and it has dropped from the 43 degrees it was when we left to about 28 with a sea breeze and we are loving it! Us and it seems most of Windhoek and part of SA, after seeing so few people in the rest of the country this is a hopping little town (as Namibia’s second largest city its small). It has a real holiday feel to it, with people playing in the sea (the Atlantic… brrr!), shopping and just generally wandering around.
Our first night here we went out for a meal with a German guy who we were camped next to and had a good evening out chatting about this and that. We were in bed straight after dinner as we had been up since just after 4 to go see the dunes in as early of light as we could, magnificent! It was cool and beautiful in the morning and we so enjoyed being mesmerised as the whole landscape changed colour- from brown, then illuminated and glowing yellow to cream dunes and finally the burnt red they are. We spent the morning walking up a few dunes and sitting on top of one for awhile just looking and listening. Certainly a moment of feeling the tiny specks we are in such a big big space. After our scrambling around we had some breakfast in the shade of a tree we parked under and watched two owls who had perched there for the day, dozing, no doubt tired after a night of hunting, every so often waking to stare at us.
We decided to move on for the afternoon and just see how we felt after a few hours driving and stop wherever we ended up. The roads until now have been really good (although very few paved roads in Namibia so far) but this one was an exception, it looked fine but was very bumpy and it went on for ages! The landscape matched our dreary hot mood and it was flat as far as we could see with just tiny brown scrubs and literally nothing else. We carried on to Swakopmund, which seems to us to be an oasis that has sprung out of the dunes, there are literally sand dunes lapping at the edge of town. We were delighted with the massive drop in temperature but Tony, the German guy was not, he has come for a hot Christmas! 🙂
I was feeling excited to be somewhere with good internet, our first in Namibia, to speak to family (as Christmas will prob be a quick sat phone call) but alas it still drops in and out a lot and I was so enjoying speaking to mum yesterday when it dropped all together. I guess we just have to take what we can get. At least we got to say hi and also get some banking and other bits done. I can try again tonight. We spent this morning just doing a few jobs online and reading with a cuppa then went out for a look around town. Swakopmund shows the German heritage of modern Namibia with European looking buildings and food. The German guy we went out with said in some ways its more German than Germany! Being Namibia’s second biggest ‘city’ and a place so many people from Windhoek, SA and Germany (to a much lesser extent) come on holidays for us it means the most well stocked shops we have seen in Namibia (well not much competition as we have only seen a few towns with very small shops) to top up for a few special meals over the next week.
Yesterday afternoon we went for a cold drink at a restaurant on the jetty and decided we are now on holiday, after all if we were in Sydney it would have been our last day of work for a few weeks so we toasted to our final work day for the year 😉
We are leaving tomorrow and will drive up the salt roads that hug the coast before turning eastward and take tomorrow and part of Christmas Eve to get to Etosha. Etosha is a large national park and we plan to spend Christmas on a drive seeing what animals we can see followed by some nice food and a bottle of wine. We will miss our Clovelly home and the beach with our usual Christmas snorkel this year but no doubt our landy home and seeing some animals will make up for that! After all we get to spend Christmas in Namibia, how lucky! We will say a toast to all of our beautiful family and friends that make our life what it is. We miss everyone always but even more knowing people will be celebrating together and we will think of you all- Harry and Charlie dragging N/N out of bed to open pressies, Gwen and Finn running to look under the tree (I guess Jill is too young for all of that just yet), Ash and David making a last minute mad dash to see Mum and Dad and B/N, Geoff and Gill in London with Rach and Mike, Sue/Andrew and all at the farm together, Alice and Tom having a no doubt boozy Christmas in Melbourne with friends and family and of course the new little ones in the lives of so many friends.
Sending much love and hugs from Namibia! Happy Chrissie!
L and O