December 26, 2011 GMT
Namibia North

Luderitz was founded by the Germans and built on diamond mining money. Most of the older buildings were built from 1900 to 1918, after world war one South African’s took over control of Namibia. The German style architecture is present in many of the towns buildings.
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Luderitz from top of hill

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German house and church

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Old mining town (Ghost Town) just out side of Luderitz

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Sand covering the road

We decided to spend a slow day here and update the blog and soak up some of the cooler air before heading back inland. We hiked up a rock and took some pictures, wind blowing here seems to be the norm but not as bad as a few k out of town where keeping the sand moved off the road is a full time job.

Monday we set off for the inland, battled the winds and sand for about 25k then they slowed some. Not much else noteworthy today other than the temperature got up to 40 C (104 F). Martha was worried about insulin getting warm so when we got to Mariental we got a Chalet with kitchen. Nice place for 450 ($53 US).

For those considering a visit to Namibia a few notes on accommodations. If you see self catoring it means units have a kitchen, B&B are often more like a small motel than what we call B&B in US. Campgrounds are very nice, better than what you would normally get in USA, also will pay more. Every campground we have stopped at had power to each site, (needed to charge up everything). Cost of Hotels and B&B seem to be about 70% of what we would pay at home. There are also some very expensive places such as game lodges which will run 2000 to 3000 N$ per person per night’ (1 US$ = 8.5 N$). Some of the game lodges will have camping available, We are now at Onguma Bush Camp next to Estosha National Park where camp ground was $N150 per person. We have power, tent pad and our private bathroom unit with shower. Swimming pool a short hike away.

We had breakfast and headed out early to beat the heat (7:30). A farmer was already baling nice green little square bales, then there was a field of corn, and then there was a big dairy. And that was about it. It was a long day through semi desert. Saw several donkeys pulling two wheeled carts. The area doesn’t look too prosperous. We stopped in the little town of Karibib and found a nice cabin. We had all the windows open and by morning I was eaten alive. Bob found an internet café so we checked emails.

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Crossed the Tropic of Capricorn

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This is what most of the "rivers" in Namibia look like, very dry country

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Country side

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Met some wild life on the way into a game farm restraunt

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Warthogs entertained us during lunch

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Back on the road

The next morning it was only two hours to Swakopmund. We drove around town, full of people and lots of places to stay. We sat down at the beach and watched the waves roll in for a while. The Marine Museum was closed for renovation and wouldn’t be open until February. We found a nice room and went down town looking for a half dozen items and lunch. We had been wanting to get a small battery charger, 12V, that we could keep the cooler running at night. We were back by 4 pm and called Peter. Peter and his son Simon came over and we chatted and went to dinner. The next day Peter and Simon picked us up, we went to breakfast and headed out to see an area they call moon scape (interesting), then a drive through the desert and huge dunes and on to Walvis Bay where we had lunch at a restaurant on the beach and watched the para gliders and wind surfers(the wind was strong). We went back to Swakopmund the back way because there was a sand storm and still couldn’t see more than 150 feet. We were glad we weren’t on the motorcycle. Back in town we walked back downtown to exchange the battery charger we had bought the day before because it could tell that it was not hooked to a battery, needed a less intelligent charger but it will take up more room. Once back at the motel we were finally able to set up a unit to run the cooler when we weren’t on the motorcycle! That night we had “Fish Cordon Blue”( a big fish ball stuffed with salmon and cheese).

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Park by the beach

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Downtown

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German style buildings

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The lunar landscape

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Martha, Peter and Simon (Peter providing a geology lesson). At this spot there was water and farming.

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Sea salt operation

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Sea salt operation

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Sand storm

The next morning we started trying to book a rental car for Etosha National Park. The computer said all booked, so we tried the car rental in Swakopmund and see sent us on a wild goose chase. When we finally got to Tsumed we found the EuroCar rental place but they would not rent us a car to go into the park because it had rained, (what we saw it would not have had a problem). They were less than helpful, telling us we needed to back track 250k and rent a 4X4 but would not check to see it there was one available. Then I ask them if there were places near the gate we could stay and get a tour into the park, which is what we did but they said there were no places like that. So Etosha was a little disappointing but we did have a great Christmas at the Bush Camp.

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neat signs

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Farm ground, not common in Namibia

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The hot ride north

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Maori Camp Ground 5k north of Grootfontein, I recommend this place for travelers.

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Camp site at Etosha

We were up at 5:30 Christmas day to set out on our tour at 6:30.

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Impala

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Zebra

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Male Lion only 40 feet from the road

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female lion (crouched) that had come across the road in front of us.

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Zebra with small foal at side, this is what the lions were watching

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As we watched the female lion lunged at the Zebra foal, bringing it down.

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the squeling zebra foal brought out the rest of the pack, another female and 8 cubs. the male also came in to finish the kill.

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Here the male lion drags the Caracas with one of the cubs attached

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Wildebeest

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Giraffes at the watering hole

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Christmas dinner with three other couples traveling by motorcycle, they are also headed to Victoria Falls but by a different route. If it works out we will meet up again there.

Well we are out of Etosha and headed north east. Will stay in Rundu tonight, got a room as I seem to be coming down with a cold.

Posted by Robert Thode at December 26, 2011 07:29 PM GMT
 



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