Twelve photos from each day of our Africa adventure.
We left the mountains and desert and headed toward the coast again, to Luderitz.
Rocks and hills for miles and miles.
As we neared the coast, the terrain flattened out.
And then there was pavement. Geez, when was the last time we were on a paved road?
So . . . this is civilization.
See those power poles on the left? They’re between the road and a train track. Those poles cast skinny little shadows. Sometimes we saw skinny little springbok standing in those skinny little shadows. Sometimes more than one springbok stood in a single shadow, lined up, one behind the other. Desperate? Brilliant? Both.
As in Walvis Bay, the temperature dropped suddenly when we arrived on the coast, and the wind picked up. Significantly. In fact, the wind raged, which seems to be the norm. A local campground advertises sheltered sites. It turned out they hadn’t found some protected place out of the wind but rather had built wind blocks.
Also as in Walvis Bay, we didn’t camp. We stayed at the Kratzplatz B&B. We were ready for another break to clean up, rest up, and catch up. Kratzplatz offered Internet access right in our room. We planned to stay just one night, but wound up staying two.
You might recall the Tiras Guest Farm owner saying that on weekends in Luderitz the people sleep.
She wasn’t kidding. Saturday and Sunday in Luderitz look like this. Granted it’s the off season, but still.
Just outside Luderitz is Kolmanskop, a once-bustling diamond-mining town (between 1909 and WWI) that is now promoted as a ghost town. Surely Luderitz could be promoted similarly—at least on weekends . . . at least during the off season . . . at least while we were there.
Might we have wandered into Stepford instead?
The funny thing is that we had initially contacted a different B&B—one recommended in our guidebook—but were told they were full and then were kindly referred to Kratzplatz. So where were all these people who were filling the rooms at the first B&B?
By the way, I love it when local businesses recommend other local businesses. I took the advice without hesitation or reservation—and promptly made a reservation.
These town photos were taken Sunday afternoon during a walk about town. The only other beings we saw were two other tourists and a couple of dogs. The guidebooks and the Tiras Farm owner consider this sleepiness a bad thing, but we quite enjoyed it.
Sunday morning we got up early because that is our habit and because it was the only time we were likely to be able to walk on the beach without blasting wind.
Sure enough, it was calm. Wind is a late sleeper.
We walked on a short stretch of beach called “Agate Beach,” along with a handful of other beach combers. We did, indeed, find some small, stripey agates. By the time we left, however, the wind was up and already being rather obnoxious.
We drove around to the recommended viewpoints, which, frankly, I didn’t find especially scenic. If it’s a beautiful coastline and pretty beaches you’re after, Namibia isn’t your place. But the flamingos are beautiful.
See? Nice water. Adorable flamingoes. Pretty sea greenery. But the backdrop? Meh. Not very pretty if you ask me.
There were penguins on an island just off the coast and playful dolphins in the bay between us and the penguins.
During our stay in Luderitz, I read a little about the diamond history. When diamonds were first discovered in1908, people simply crawled around on the ground picking up handfuls in minutes. Can you imagine? Sometimes people would hunt for diamonds at night because they were easy to spot shining in the moonlight. What a way to make one’s fortune!
As a lifelong pretty-rock hunter, I’d love to go out and hunt for diamonds. But knowing of the manipulation, corruption, violence, and cruelty in the diamond trade, I’m inclined to steer clear. When you get right down to it, as rocks go, I find colorful jasper, patterned agates, and faceted crystals to be far prettier than diamonds anyway.
Well, that figures. I also like Luderitz when its residents and visitors are sleeping.