Day 275, Friday 05 October 2012 – Swakopmund, Namibia
Only 5 days behind now, again!
Well it looks liked today was going to be another one of those wow days ! Loving this trip so far.
We were up early yet again to meet Boesman, the farm owner (manager ?) Boesman used to be a guide at Sossusflwei before the rules changed a few years ago and he has moved to the farm. He has a huge amount of knowledge on the area, the desert and all the beasties that live in it, on it and under it. Our hour long tour took almost three hours and was interesting and entertaining. Boesman does not wear shoes and hasn’t done for twenty years, wandering around the desert and the grass lands in bare feet. He is a deeply passionate and enthusiastic man and it comes across in his stories and his speech.
Our first stop was a dead oryx, it has been here for four or five months and like Dead Flei as it is so dry here it has not yet rotted. The oryx died from natural causes and has slowly been munched on by various animals since its death. Eventually there will be nothing left.
The grasslands here should all be desert, but the changing weather has meant more rain than usual and as the sea gets warmer each year the rain will only increase. At a small part of desert that was left Boesman showed us how the beetles and spiders live in the desert and get water. When this beetle goes up to the surface it excretes a wax that protects it from the harsh sun.
After the tour we had breakfast and then packed up and were off again on our travels. We passed through this amazing gorge with some wonderful formations in the rock.
This marked quite a clear boundary between the different terrains and we were into more desert like area now. Late morning we passed by the Tropic of Capricorn…
We stopped off at this really cool little rock that has grown out of the desert, we were not allowed up and into it as a permit was required, which was a bummer as it looked quite interesting.
Soon enough we were in Walvis Bay township, a largish town between the desert and Walvis Bay, the largest natural port in Africa. Walvis Bay has some good flocks of flamingos which we were there to see. Or some of us were, our driver, Will, just lay down.
The flamingos were pretty cool, and it was a good test for me to shoot moving animals at distance with the 2x extender on the 70-200mm at 400mm. Man that 200mm lens is awesome, so crisp.
It was then on to our final stop and our destination for the next two nights – Swakopmund, another big desert town. We stayed in the municipal bungalows in two room bungalows with two singles beds per room. It was weird not being in a tent for the night, though I will say I have been pretty comfie in the tent.
We all had showers and got organised and then went out for a group dinner at a local fish and steak restaurant that was part funded by the tour. I had a piece of kingclip a very nice white fish, though I did try a small piece of orix schnitzel. It was good night and a smaller group of us retired to the Desert Tavern next to the camp ground for a couple of (in my case ) whiskies.
It was another awesome day, Boesman was great, the flamingos were cool and it was a good night.