Damara for cold beers and motorbikes
Swakopmund certainly is picturesque with street cafes, restaurants, good Eisbein and even bad tempered Germans! Without boring you, a must visit is the Village Café.www.villagecafenamibia.com(not enough data to send you too many pictures, but definitely worth a visit, the best food and value for money!) Also the best pizza we ever had was at Wurstbude on Vrede-Redestreet (thanks for the referral, Mr Big!).
Met up with Neill again as well as 3 Belgium travellers at the Desert Sky Backpackers and enjoyed a lovely evening together , swapping stories and solving some of Africa’s problems. Our new Belgium friends travelled one by motorbike and a couple in a Toyota Land Cruiser and just came down the eastern side of Africa.All of them in their early 30’s have saved up, quit their jobs and embark on this new adventure.
For them quitting a job is not a problem, they know they will find employment in Europe on their return after 9 months. It’s in stark contrast with the way we as South Africans go about our lives and decision making with regards to our future and how we live it. Just telling them we are taking 5 months had them laughing, it’s supposed to be 9 months to a year they say! ‘What do you want to see in 5 months’ they smirked.
With the hot dry summer wind in our faces, we hit the dirt roads again, passing numerous road graders. Now, a bad dirt road is okay but one that has just been graded is well … interesting. Good for cars but we had to work our asses off sliding over the new gravel with zero hard pack line to follow!It still beat the best day at the office and after a day’s riding with dust in the teeth, it’s great to gulp down a!khai!khari!
The Northern side of Namibia is showing a lot of development since we last toured here 15 years ago (now we are giving our ages away!). Henties Bay expanded quite a bit, lodges popped up everywhere along the river and scenic views. Lost is the ‘rough’ camping, hello to cool swimming pools, even cocktails, fancy restaurants and entertainment, there’s lodges and camping everywhere! The camp sites all are in very good shape and affordable.
One sad thing about returning to Namibia is to see the influence that tourism has had on the local tribes. It is not entertainment to see the Himba (apparently the oldest Herero tribe) setting up ‘come see us’ shacks along the main routes – dancing in the road to attract attention, just like street beggars next to traffic lights, child on the hip. At least the crafts on sale areal actually made by themselves. Numerous curios shacks also line the once deserted roads. One even said ‘do not take a picture, come and see us inside’. Guess there’s positives and negatives for this. The influence of main stream tourism on this region has changed them forever.