The first part of our travels took us through Walvis Bay – the main Port along the coast of South West Africa. The coast just north of Walvis Bay was covered with seaside developments that had been built in anticipation of the tourism that the Africa Cup was anticipated to bring into the area. This didn’t occur and the developments are like ghost towns – lovely properties deserted for the most part. Walvis Bay itself has an upscale area along the water and a walkway that goes for miles along the sandy beach. It could be Vancouver or Victoria – just a different beach and pink flamingos are the shore birds – not ducks.
As we drove deeper into the desert the coastal moonscape of dunes and kopjes changed to flat land and then gradually to mountains. The drive was stunningly beautiful. The rocks are old and the stratigraphy evidence of the great uplifting that occurred during the plate tectonic activity which led to the break up of Gondwanaland in the Cretaceous about 120 million years ago. Our lunch was at a road side stop called Solitaire. It used to be the one stop along the road for gas, groceries and lodging – a graveyard for old cars was fun to see. The car headlights have energy saving bulbs in them that are turned on at night to light the courtyard of the Solitaire lodge.
After lunch we started to see evidence of the famous red dunes of the Namib-Naukluft park. Our evening is at a desert camp just outside the park – the sunset was gorgeous and the air is like warm silk. We can hear hyenas in the distance and the southern stars are out in all their glory.