Swakopmund - Sand Boarding
Swakopmund Travel Blog› entry 30 of 36 › view all entries
This beautiful little town was the icing on the cake for me and cemented Namibia as my favourite country that i have visited in africa. It is a tiny town literally caught betweent eh desert and the deep blue sea. You can stand in the road and look one way and see shops leadign down to the coast, look the other way and you see the desert and the sand!!!! It is amazing.
Maybe my love of this unique little place was helped by the fact that no cooking was required for four whole days adn we got a private room with....an ensuit shower room!!!! (These are huge things when you have been living in a tent for god knows how long). One the first things we did (after washing the smell of the seals out of our clothes) was sit down adn listen to an activities briefing, of all the wierd and wonderful things you can do. After a bit of thought we decided upon sand boarding, quad biking and horse riding through the desert (alto of the group chose to go parachute jumping but it really wasn't our thing).
After going out for an amazing meal (for less than £20 for two fo us 3 course and wine) we walked to a local bar, on the way there were 5 small street children begging for food, asking if we could buy them a little bit of bread. Obviously this pulls on the heart strings and so we took them to a petrol station to buy so food, unfortunately it was closed but next door there was a small take away place so we ordered them portions of chips (nice and healthy) and gave the children them. They cant have been oldrer then 10 or 12 and were out alone at night with no shoes on and very little tine clothing. It gets very cold at night out in the desert at night and it is not the best of areas. I cant not describe how these children must have been living but not good is the mildest way to put it. Once we got into the bar there was lots of loud music and heavy drinking! We didn't leave there till just gone 2 in the morning after Aaron and I as a pair beating everyone on the pool table for over 3 hours. We stumbled home and colapsed ready to get up in 4 hours to go sandboarding.
We dragged ourselves out of bed the following morning, managed to munch down the breakfast that was made for us out of pure principle that we hadn't cooked it and then discovered that teh sandboarding had been postponed to the afternoon due of high winds!!!! So it was off to do some exploring around town and buy me a guitar pick as i had begun to learn a couple of days previously, but my fingers were suffering from the struming. It was so hot however and as the wind was coming in off the desert it was hotter in the breeze than out of it. We discovered a KFC, which was a big disapointment and generally pottered about, we couldn't walk too far or too fast as my heals had begun to crack from the heat and dust and kept bleeding, ouch!
We got back to the hostel in time for our lift taking us into the dessert for that afternoons sandboarding even though the wind was still high and it was hotter than that morning we battled on. It was amazing!!! I am definitely taking up sand boarding when i get back to england, it was fantastic. The only downside was the walk! (Yes Walk!!) up the side of the sanddune, everytime you wanted to have a go. Aaron and I began in the starters group but Aaron quickly progressed up to the middle group and then the advanced, even taking on the jump by the end of our session and performing one of the best jumps of the day, by almost managing to stay upright afterwards. I on the other hand didn't fare nearly as well and had to give up after a while due to the heels complaining. Everyone was very lovely though and a few people even offered to carry my board up the due for me. Afterwards we all bought a T-shirt, had a few drinks and some snacks adn were taken back into town.
The following day was time for the quad biking! I was understandably nervouse about this (as anyone who's seen me drive knows why). We got to pick which bikes we wanted to go on (automatic, terbo automatic, semi automatic and fully manual) I chose a terbo automatic and Aaron the semi, this ment that we were in separate groups as the bikes went at different speeds. I started off really well but then our instructor took us to a large drop and my nerve failed me. I just froze and couldn't go over it, so i went round but then i lost all my confidence and ended up going down a group (Oh the shame!). We stoped at a half way point where i saw aaron for the briefest of moments but he looked like he was having an amazing time. And then we were off again, this time i built up a bit more of the old confidence and by the end felt like i had totally outgrown my group and needed a bit more of a challenge, that and a new aim of mine is to over come my fears. So aaron and i discussed it and as he had an amazing time and I wanted to conquer this sport so we booked to come again the next day with a private instructor just the two of us. The next day my enthusiasm was lessened and as the time approached I was very nervous. But we got started and it was another amazing experience, we got up to 65km an hour at points going up near vertical sandunes and dipping at the right points i was totally exhilerated and felt like i could take on anything (aaron claims i didn't hold him back two much either). When we stoped for our 1 hour break i decided to try and do a large drop in the second half of our time and our instructor was very understanding and encouraging about it. However about 30 mins into the second half i hit a patch of lose sand and flipped my bike, it rolled over i came flying off and i bent all the handel bars in as well as badly bruising my hip and neck. This didn't stop me driving at fast speeds once i'd got back on but it ment that when it came to the drop i just couldn't do it. I did however do a jump on our way back into the center. Definitely another repeatable expierence.
We went horse riding through the desert that afternoon I cant tell you much about it though as I was in so much pain from the horse's movement joggiling my bruised and aching bones that I dont remember much, except that Aaron had to ride a donkey (well a mule really) and that our guide was very nice.
That was sunday done and monday we were leavign the place i could have lived and went on to our next big adventure.