Tuesday, August 30, 2016

COS trippn' 3rd stop: Namibia - Back to Windhoek

We had to go back to Windhoek to fly to Victoria Falls the next day. We stayed at a different hostel than the first day we stayed. This hostel's name was Chameleon Backpackers & they had 2 dogs!! The one below was just chilln in the doorway to reception. 😄

Being a pet friendly hostel, a family that was also staying there brought their turtle & let it roam around for awhile. 😍

This time we were in the more "touristy" part of Windhoek so we walked around a bit & found some restaurants. We decided to try some native Namibian food...

...mopane worms & peanut soup. Not our faves. The worms (more like caterpillars) would've been better if cooked in a sauce, or at least served with a dip. The peanut soup could've been delicious, but it was too salty for my taste.

COS trippn' 3rd stop: Namibia - Swakopmund Camel Riding

The photos speak for themselves:

COS trippn' 3rd stop: Swakopmund, Namibia - Living Desert Tour

We took a guided tour of the sand dunes outside Swakopmund to learn more about the desert life.

At first glance, it looks barren of all life. But still quite pretty.

These were the bones of horses that were shot and killed out here over a century ago. Some died of a mysterious disease and the rest were killed to prevent the disease spreading. Kind of an ominous start to the tour...

What did we get ourselves into...?

However, our knowledgeable guides were able to show us there was life in the desert after all.

My favorite was the chameleon we saw. Notice the dark color.

Now see the same chameleon change color as it moves. Our guide said they get lighter the happier they are. The reason this one was happy was because our guide was feeding it worms.

Now he's super happy! (Yes, he's a he, our guide told us)

We also saw birds, insects and more reptiles.

Most species get their moisture from their prey. But these plants are a good source of water too.

Some more life in the desert-- we were told they were filming a Mummy movie in the sand dunes this week with Tom Cruise. So when it comes out, look for us in the background. Just kidding!

COS trippn' 3rd stop: Namibia - Walvis Bay

One of my favorite days in Swakop was when we went to Walvis Bay, which is about a 40 minute drive out of Swakop.

heehee 😜

We went kayaking with hundreds, maybe even thousands of wild seals! Here are just some on the beach. In the water they were all around & I even got to pet a few!! That was definitely one of the highlights of this whole trip for me. 😍

A wild jackal!! 

Wild flamingos...what?? 😄

Even a pelican just chilln on the dock!!

Such an amazing day!! 😍

COS trippn' 3rd stop: Swakopmund, Namibia - Township Tour

After sand boarding we went on a "Cultural and Township Tour". We didn't quite know what we were signing up for.

The Township is the area just a ten minute drive outside of Swakopmund, where most of the black Namibians live.

This was from a preschool we stopped at. Spongebob is beloved on multiple continents.

The town is full of makeshift shacks, but the street signs & curbs at the street signs sure are nice...?

This little shop was really similar to the barbershops in the villages of Malawi. Only in Malawi you don't see many dreadlocks.

The last stop was to the home of a local in the township for some traditional foods and singing. We started off drinking homemade ginger beer (non alcoholic). It was great! This is the rest of the tour group we were with.

A local choir sang a few different songs in a beautiful harmony. One was from the Lion King.

They also prepared some traditional foods for us to try. There was a maize dish that tasted very similar to nsima, Malawi's staple food. You rolled it into a ball to eat with the side dish, just like in Malawi.

The side dish shown just under the maize dish was tripe. I didn't know it was intestines till after I ate it. It was pretty good. A little chewy. The green one was spinach.

COS trippn' 3rd stop: Swakopmund, Namibia - Sandboarding

You can't visit Namibia without trying sandboarding. They let you do it standing, like snowboarding, or sitting, like sledding.

Here we are with the other sand boarders and our patient teachers.

Safety first! We all wore helmets, and got a lesson in technique before starting. I opted for the sitting method, which actually is the laying down method at first. For this method you used a board that has been greased up a bit to reduce friction.

Coalee opted for the standing up method. Here she is whizzing down the hill like a pro.

At the end Coalee and I sledded down a giant hill together. We got sand all over, but it was really fun! Then we had lunch with our trainers and the other sand boarders.

COS trippn' 3rd stop: Namibia - Welcome to Swakopmund

After staying a night in Windhoek, we traveled by minibus to Swakopmund (aka Swakop)...about a 4 hour drive...crammed in with our backpacks unable to move our legs, but hey, at least the windows opened 😛.

Swakop is a beach town that reminded us of OC. It was very nostalgic.

Eggs Benedict - German style

Beer sampler 😍

Fork 'n Nice food truck where we went a couple times for their soft serve 🍦😍.

 Beautiful sunset!!