We only had one full day in Windhoek, and no plans on what we’d see or do … which was probably a good thing, as it turned out. We went to a suburban shopping centre in the morning to get a few things. The outside of the centre was very eye-catching, painted in bright pastel colours. We parked towards the end of the car park, about 20 metres from a police station. Didn’t help much, because someone chucked a brick through the passenger window and stole Greg’s camera. Yeah, we know, he shouldn’t have left it in the car. The locals we talked to were really surprised that it happened, apparently stuff like that doesn’t happen in Windhoek, or it only happens in the centre of town, or only on weekends, or something. But that sort of thing happens at home too – it happened to my mum when her car was parked outside a friend’s place in the ‘leafy Eastern Suburbs of Adelaide’, and when Greg had the child care centre, it happened to the family of a child who attended … and their car was unlocked!
Anyway, that took care of the rest of our day in the big city. I started cleaning up the glass while Greg went and joined the enormous queue in the nearby cop shop, only to finally reach the head of the line and be told that they only stamped forms or something. If we wanted to report it, we’d have to go to the main station in town. We also had another problem with the car – it made a clunking noise when it was in 4-wheel drive, and we had to take it to the rental office to either be looked at or swapped for one that (hopefully) didn’t make clunking noises. The rental office and our hotel were very helpful and told Greg where to take the car to have the window replaced, which took a couple of hours and cost $100. We didn’t bother about reporting it to the police as we aren’t claiming anything on insurance, and the rental office were pretty half-hearted about whether they needed it or not. When we returned the car, you couldn’t tell there had been a problem, apart from a bit of glass under the passenger seat that we couldn’t reach.
We swapped all our stuff from one single cab Hilux to an almost-identical car, apart from the ‘new’ one having 45,000 fewer kms on its odometer, and the back door of the canopy being much easier to open. Even the number plate is very similar. There was a roof tent on it, which was removed because we didn’t want it – those things look like canvas torture chambers to me – several metres off the ground, only accessible by a flimsy ladder, very unstable in high winds, and apparently prone to collapsing if not put up properly. Because of its weight and increased roof height, it increases wind resistance and lowers fuel economy. Here endeth my rant against roof tents.
So, we’re back on the west coast – at Swakopmund. It’s about 350kms west of Windhoek, sort of like the Gold Coast of Namibia, but on a much lower scale. Some nice houses, lots of holiday accommodation, fancy shops, beaches, cafes. You know the kind of thing. We’re spent the last 2 days at the Alte Bruck Holiday Resort and Conference Centre, camping in our tent in an en-suite campsite. Bathroom, huge paved area with sink, braai (bbq), drying rack, power … all the things. It’s lovely. Yesterday we drove 30kms south to Walvis Bay, another seaside resort that offers lots of holiday activities – cruises, sand activities including sand-boarding, go carts, 4WD tours. Undeterred by our recent sand dune experience, Greg was keen to do some more sand dune driving to the northern end of the Namib-Naufluft National Park (Sossusvlei is also part of the same part, but further south), so we headed for the dunes, with more success this time, despite my reservations. Just a bit south of Walvis Bay is a large flamingo colony, and a sand mine.
We’re heading north towards the Skeleton Coast today, and will probably be ‘off the grid’ for a few days. Have a good weekend, all.