Where am I??? Germany or the Middle East???
Swakopmund Travel Blog› entry 12 of 25 › view all entries
October 18th, 2008 – by: wils0n33
So I wasn't sure how much would be left of Deutsch-Sued-West Afrika, but actually it retains alot of its colonial past. The first thing I noticed once getting off the bus in Windhoek was the German signs everywhere, street signs all say blahblah "Strasse" (actually Windhoek is famous for their "dictator" street names. Like Fidel Castro and Robert Mugabe streets. I had thought about staying in Windhoek for a day or so to see what was there, but it is Saturday and true to its German colonial past, nothing is open, absolutly nothing. The town looks dead, though the town is nice, very clean and orderly. Unfortunatly there is no Intercape bus to Swakopmund today, the adventure capital of Namibia and a mecca for Namibian and German tourists. So I walked around a bit looking for a bus station, since the Intercape just dropped us off in parking lot. I eventually found a local bus station and the guy said he was organizing a minibus to Swakop (as the locals call it) so I payed him and go it. South African Rand is also legal tender here which was lucky for me as I have a bunch left over. I rode with a bunch of locals and their goats and our little wagan pulling bags behind us. Every automobile bigger than a car I saw in South Africa and so far here have these little wagans they pull behind them that are filled with luggage. I was riding shotgun and the bus was in such bad shape I had to hold the door handle during the 4-5 hour journy for fear if it fying open, he actually told me to hold on to it cause it comes loose when we hit bumps. About halfway there we hit a gas station and the guy noticed that oil was leaking all over the back of the van, actually something was wrong and it was spraying all over it. So he pulls aside a mechanic and the mechanic tells him to not go over 100 km/ per hour cause otherwise the bus could catch fire. Driving from Windhoek to Swakop means going through alot of nothing. Namibia is a big country made up mostly of desert and has a small population. It is very beautiful in its own way though, I really liked the drive. Windhoek seams to be a little oasis with deserty/rocky mountains surrounding it. Once outside of Windhoek it starts to get more barren with this high dry grass and these desert type trees. Kind of what I pictured when I think of lions chasing down prey so I thought it looked really cool. You would occasionally see small houses here and there and I imagine that would be tough as it is dry, really dry here. I can't imagine they get much rain fall or do well with crops. The closer you get to Swakop the more barren it gets and the mountains and small trees give way to long stretches of flat rocky/deserty soil with nothing but occasional bushes. The drive reminded me so much of my drive from Petra to Amman in Jordan. Very similar landscape. We passed over several "rivers", you would see a sign for such and such river and then we would cross a brige and there would be just dirt underneath us. There are maybe 1 or 2 real towns between Windhoek and Swakop, there are many little villages though. The towns are all very clean, you can tell Namibians are proud of their country, every town has big sign saying "Keep our country clean" and they do. There is not rubbish everywhere. We hit Swakop and of course everything is closed, but it is a lovely little oasis by the sea right next to giant sand dunes. The town looks so much like Germany it is unreal, the architechture is really cool. Also I spoke German with several people. Actually their German is much better than their English and when they speak English they still throw in alot of German words. Apparently it is still taught in schools. I even got some German cuisine that reminded me why I left in the first place haha.
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