Day 399 Namibia : Omaruru - Swakopmund

Day 399 Namibia

Trip Distance 338km (210m) Total Distance 8386km(5212m)
Road Condition   100% gravel  
Time to travel   6.5hrs  
Cost of diesel N$7.69 (£0.69)    
Swakopmund Community Restcamp S22 41.040 E14 31.542 N$235 (£21) - Fishermen's cabin, en-suite, kitchenette, clean

Having had only good experiences on the gravel roads in Namibia (you constantly see graders around maintaining the roads, so don't turn down the chance to drive on them as they normally provide a really scenic route to where you are going) we decided to take the C36 route via Henties Bay to Swakopmund.  It was a great choice.  a_P1000819 We loved how the scenery changed from desert to verdant hills and then finally to sand dunes as we made our way passed the Brandberg to the our first view of the west coast.  We arrived in the very quaint town of Henties Bay where each house is painted a different colour and where house names and not numbers abound.  And when we say quaint, we also mean rather eccentric... and we loved it!

a_P1000824 Which way Douglas Green (for all the South Africans, out there - you'll understand this!!!)

Reading Mike Copeland's Getaway book on Namibia, we decided that our first taste of seafood would be at the Skubbe Bar.  And talk about eccentric!!!  Here they advertise Viswas, Karwas, Keelwas (for those who can't read Afrikaans, it's Fish wash, Car wash, Throat wash) and from that sign you know it's going to be great!  It's a large fenced area with fish cleaning, gutting and washing stations in the form of concrete tables in the foreground, the car wash to rinse off the seawater from bringing the boat in and a substantial bar and restaurant where they sell the freshly caught fish.  An enterprising business at it's best!

a_P1000826 a_P1000827 Lunch was fabulous as we tucked into a starter of west coast mussels the size of dinner plates dripping in garlic butter and for mains local catch of the day, kabeljou (cod), a mansize portion of chips, rice and salad all washed down with some cold, crisp dry white wine.  And with the sun baking down, the skies a deep blue and the sound of the sea gulls swooping around us, I ask you, how can a day get any better than this?

After several hours of rest and relaxation, we finally dragged ourselves away from Henties towards Swakopmund.  We arrived to the cheapest campsite and were left unimpressed by the look and feel of it and its very close proximity to the local Beach Bar.  Not for us, thanks!  In addition to which, the night temperature had been changing as we moved west and the temperature at night now was a chilly 10degC.  So we opted for the Community Restcamp which, although didn't offer camping, did offer fisherman's chalets at a reasonable price.  So we checked in.

With mountains of washing pilling up and with a few hours to kill before bedtime, we hauled our sack of washing to another of Namibia's enterprising businesses - a laundry/bar/restaurant..... we could learn something from this.... and spent the next couple of hours sipping colddrinks, picking at a supper of russia and chips (lunch still filled our tummies and our senses) and watching the world pass by for a time in a tumble of warmth and gentle laughter.