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AFRICA -  DAY TWENTY TWO - HENTIES BAY AND CAPE CROSS

Previous Blogs: Day 1 Pretoria | Day 4 Dinokeng | Day 5 New Years | Day 6+7 Umdloti | Day 8 - DumaZulu | Day 9 Hluhluwe | Day 10+11 PE to Knysna | Day 12 Ostrich Farm | Day 13 Hermanus | Day 14 Hout Bay | Day 15 Cape Point | Day 16 Table Mountain | Day 17+18 Namib Desert | Day 19 Sossusvlei | Day 20+21 To Swakopmund | Day 22 Cape Cross | Day 23 Luderitz | Day 24 Walvis Bay | Day 26 To Windhoek | Day 27 Katatura | Day 28+29 Zambezi | Day 30 The Falls | Day 31 Chobe | Day 32+33 Going Home

Click photos for a larger image...

This is our street in Swakopmund. You will notice despite the beautiful homes only a block from the beach - the road is dirt.

Tar roads are hard to find here. Namibia has 5,000 km (3,000 miles) of tarred roads in the entire country. They have 37,000 km (23,000 miles) of dirt roads.

 

 

We hit the road North driving parallel to the Ocean (on left) and pure desert on the right. Note the mirage of water on the road.

 

Alongside the road there are salt pans, where they reclaim salt from the ocean.  And we put it on our tasty food after processing!  YUM!!!

You can walk on it, it's crunchy.

Along side the rode local township people have chunks of salt with an honor cup, you can choose a piece and leave a reasonable donation in the cup.

 

The salt comes in many different colours depending what type and quantity

of impurities present.

Just outside Henties Bay we found another ship wreck. This is the "Zeila" that was being towed from Walvis Bay to Bombay in India, but its tow rope broke and it landed on the infamous rocks of the Skeleton Coast. This was in 2008 - so a relatively new wreck.

Henties Bay, the last real piece of civilization North of Swakopmund.

Henties Bay is unusual, it was only settled in 1969 as a holiday town and these vacation homes are built on the top of a sand dune that drops straight down to the ocean!

 

>> On the right is "The Gallows". The first permanent settlers got annoyed when the holiday visitors left their mess on the beach and didn't clean up behind them. So they hoisted this noose to warn visitors what would happen if they didn't clean up behind themselves!

We stopped for lunch at a cute cafe in Henties Bay and I got to cross off another favorite food I missed from Africa that you don't find in the USA - Sausage Roll! It was delicious!

Only in Africa. Lined up along the entire length of the public beach is a braai for every other parking spot. Pull you car right up and BBQ in the parking lot overlooking the beach. There were at least 40 of these braais!

Then it was time to visit Cape Cross .  A seal colony that has been located there for over 500 years.

Portuguese explorer Diego Cao (in 1486) who erected the first stone cross in honor of King Johannes of Portugal. It was the tradition of the Portuguese to build a cross where ever they landed.

He chose this piece of coast because we was attracted by the seals living there. He was the first European to visit Africa.

There are a LOT of seals here!

I mean a LOT of seals! Like 220,000 of them!

There are a LOT of babies - many of them barely a days old!

Aaawwwwww!!!

Yo,  you twalking to me???

Hey, you know where mama is??

 

Here's a video showing you the sheer size of the colony:

 

Wendy's Note: Talking to the owner of our flat the evening prior, we chatted about Cape Cross and he was very negative about going there.  Also, reading the TripAdvisor Reviews, I too, was skeptical if we should go.  This time of year is baby season.  Sooooo many babies.  The hyenas and jackal hunt them at night.  Also, there isn't enough fish to support the colony so the babies die, or get hunted, or starve.  The carnage can be a sight not for the weak stomached.

We all decided this is a once in a lifetime experience to view over 200,000 seals in their natural environment doing what seals do.

And then they spoke about the stank and sound.  I worked on a farm in my college years.  Buy some Vick's Vapor Rub and stuff it up your nose and across your top lip.  No worries.  I've got ear buds if the cacophony is deafening.

It TRULY was the most amazing experience of my life!  The carnage was nothing as the reviews or the owner relayed.  Yes, we saw a few dozen dead babies, but Darwinism is being witnessed.  This is truly beautiful, without sounding morbid.

If a baby goes to a mama and it's not her mama, the mama growls, barks and bites the cub.  The cubs rambles around aimlessly looking for her mama.  The mama knows her baby by its scent and will not accept another cub.

To experience this stage of nature's circle was truly amazing.

 

Some of them have boats in their yard, propped up on stands.

 

Why? And how are you going to get that into the water?

Outside Swakopmund there is a tiny town called Wlotzkasbaken. It contains a bunch of funky houses that are holiday homes in the desert on the beach. No vegetation, the yards are separated by rows of stones marking out your property. It was founded in the 1930s as a fishing spot.

 

And finally...

 

So we are staying at an AirBnB. The owners live in the big house and we have a great apartment on the property. They have several workers living on the property including the gardener.

Well, today the gardener went to do his business in the outside toilet that is provided for them. Except he broke off the key in the lock and was stranded for two hours until the "boss" came home.

It was another two hour hysterical show as everyone tried to figure out how to get him out of the toilet with minimal damage to himself and the said bathroom.  The owners even asked us if we had suggestions. 

Finally, they gave up, got the saw out and cut a hole for the poor bugger to climb out of!

Wendy's Note: Ask me about this when I get home.  OMG!!!!!!!  The owners comments are priceless. 

   

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