Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Swakopmund - Ambling Around

In between various excursions to see seals, snakes and lizards, I pottered around Swakopmund.  It's a beautiful small town with lovely coffee shops, bars and old buildings - many of which were built by the Germans at the beginning of the 20th Century.

One afternoon I paid 20 N$ (~£1.20) and climbed the Woermann House Tower to enjoy the views of Swakopmund.
20181010 Woermann House Tower
20181001 Woermann House
View to the north.
20180110 Woermann House Swakopmund N
20180110 Woermann House Swakopmund E
20180110 Woermann House Swakopmund S
20180110 Woermann House Swakopmund W
And down into the wonderful courtyard.
20180110 Woermann House down
With its decorative tiles.
20180110 Woermann House courtyard plants
This is another beautifully preserved building, Hohenzollern.
20180110 Woermann House view
I'd never seen one of these before! A mobile ATM. I'm not quite sure why it was parked here bearing in mind there were numerous ATMs just around the corner.
20181212 Mobile ATM
And when in Namibia, drink Namibian...
20180112 Namib Dunes
But I wasn't brave or probably capable enough to down one of these huge steins.
20180112 Stein
I met some interesting people along the way all with their own stories, backgrounds and cultures. Many of them were German but Swiss, Irish, French, Austrian, South African, American and Romanian all appeared along my journey.

I dined out with a French, Swiss and German trio one evening.  They were fun to chat to although we'd unfortunately chosen to eat in a noisy bar so I struggled to hear the conversation.  The Swiss lady was particularly inspirational as she'd travelled solo all over Africa (Rwanda, Uganda etc) and was driving herself around Namibia.  Perhaps I should do so next time.  The French guy had ridden his motorbike down from Gibraltar and the German was just starting a 4 month exploration of Africa.  Blimey - I feel very untravelled.

The following evening I dined with Reinhard at the Jetty.  A place of glorious sunsets. Rienhard (German) is a paraglider and outdoor instructor who I met on the catamaran trip.  As my German is non-existent and his English poor we had to resort to typing messages on his iPad using a translator tool which made the conversation a little stilted.  But not uninteresting.  I think he was just glad to escape his paragliding colleagues for a bit.
20180111 Jetty Sunset 19.34.30
And there goes another day in Namibia.
20180111 Jetty Sunset 19.44.42

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Walvis Bay - Seals and Pelicans

I joined a catamaran tour on Wednesday.  Me, a boat, the ocean and some wildlife.  What is there not to love?

As soon as we left the wall a seal jumped up aft. They probably lie in wait for the boats to launch as they know there's brunch on board.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 07.11.34
They sit anywhere. Even leaning up against the passengers.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 07.12.05
As we sailed we attracted a following who enjoyed the fish we had on board.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 07.20.22
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 07.00.02
Such beautiful beaks.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 07.18.40
I think this has to be best wildlife photo I've ever taken. Look at that cartoon look on the pelican!
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 07.21.02
I sat on the top of the cataman, wind in hair, blanket over knees and was handed a so-called 'Namibian coffee'. It's sweet sherry.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 07.42.05
And as you'd expect, it didn't take me long to join the skipper on the bridge. 22 deg south - just north of the Tropic of Capricorn.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.02.45
I spotted a lighthouse on the chart, which we ended up sailing quite close to.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.09.00
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.09.49
A flock of cormorants.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 07.44.39
Oyster pot markers.  The oysters are started off in Chile and imported here.  It's a huge business.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 07.57.15
As we motored up the spit we spotted a couple of jackals on the sand.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.18.08
It's a hard life waiting for dinner.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.17.57
We sailed to the edge of the bay to the fur seal colony.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.44.21
This ship looks beached, but it's just the other side of the sand bar.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.33.34
A seal tiff.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.33.55
Lots and lots and lots.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.34.16
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.44.30
And a tourist (elephant seal).
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.33.00
A dead one being inspected for a tasty snack.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 08.35.41
As we sped back to harbour a seal played in the wake of the boat.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 10.04.17
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 10.04.44
We then had a snack - oysters and other meat type delicacies which I obviously turned my nose up at.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 09.13.25
Mmmm, oysters. Yum. Not.
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 09.19.33
But at least I had compensation!
20180110 Walvis Bay boat trip 09.31.46
What a lovely way to spend a few hours.  Muchly loved.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Swakopmund - Snakey Wakey!

On Tuesday I stayed locally: did some work, admin, a little sewing and then popped to the snake park for an outing.  Like the aquarium, it's not a large extensive place, and it didn't take me long to peruse, but it was interesting.

Black zebra snake.
20180109 Black zebra snake
20180109 Boomslang
Burmese (yellow) and South African (black) pythons.
20180109 Burmese and South Africa pythons
West diamond backed rattle snake.
20180109 West diamond backed rattle snake
Vine snake.
20180109 Vine snake
Leopard sand snake.
20180109 Leopard sand snake
Black mamba.
20180109 Black mamba
Bearded dragons.
20180109 Bearded Dragons 12.22.59
20180109 Bearded Dragons 12.23.25
And the tortoise which I nearly stood on to get a better view of the terrapins...
20180109 Tortoise
After a while though I got a little creeped being surrounded by so many reptiles, esp those of childhood nightmares, so I wandered back to my book...