Archive for January, 2009

Where in the World?

Posted: 18 January, 2009 in Uncategorized

Guten tag!

Imagine a world without water – where the sun beats down on the earth, eroding rocks into a fine sand over millions of years which is moved by a relentless wind, forming vast, undulating dunes over a desert landscape.

Well, thats not what Namibia is like. Not exclusively anyway.

Over the past week, I’ve driven up through Botswana and been in Swakopmund, Namibia since Tuesday evening. Botswana is a land flatter than I thought possible. I could just about see the future if I squinted my eyes into the horizon, the curvature of the earth plainly visible. Not that it’s a dull land. It has a beauty of its own, and granted, I did not see the whole country by any stretch of the imagination (although it felt like it, driving for so long).

Anyway, I preferred Namibia. Passing over the border, the first few hundred kilometres looked much like Botswana, changing suddenly. The variation happened quickly and within a matter of minutes, the landscape changed to that of a desert.

Windhoek was interesting – smaller, yet much like Johannesburg, without a lot of the muck. Adverts for Windhoek Lager are everywhere as one might expect, although I’ve been told that the legendary Tafel Lager is better… the best in the world in fact.

Swakopmund, on the other hand is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Its small, yet not primitive. Quiet and unspoiled with a large German influence which can easily be felt in the architecture and conversation. Although English is spoken, it seems that if you cant, “Deutsch sprechen ,” then Afrikaans seems to be the next choice by default.

I visited a Cafe Anton which pleased me greatly although passers-by would have been forgiven for eyeing me out  as I stood next to the sign taking photos.

I’ve discovered that Swakopmund is also a great place to run. Its scenic, and at this low altitude, I feel much stronger than I would otherwise at home.

Yesterday we hit the famous Dune 7 for some boarding. At first, despite the near-vertical nature of the slope I was dubious about whether one could obtain a decent speed on the way down. My fears were quickly allayed (or should I say, redirected) when I jumped on my board and found myself hurtling head first down the dune at breakneck speed. I quickly realised it was too late to slow down and near the bottom I hit some footprints, wrenching my wrist and grazing my finger on the board. My sister followed a few minutes later, faceplanting and somersaulting over on her neck. I was a bit worried at first but by the grace of God she was fine.

I feel like I’m beginning to ramble. It will suffice to say that Swakopmund is beautiful, and I wouldn’t have missed this for all the spices in India. ¹

Bis zum nächsten Mal (till next time)

¹ Dont be fooled – I wouldn’t pat my grandmother’s dog for all the spices in India either… its just a saying 🙂