Out and About in Swakopmund, Namibia

Since it is winter in this part of the world, one never knows how the weather will be when he opens his eyes after a night of peaceful sleep.  The other morning, I was greeted with a beautiful clear day and the sun rising in the east.  Oh, it lifts my spirits when I open my eyes to see sunlight!  I made my way out to the kitchen to get my first cup of coffee of the day and this was my beautiful view in the west….the full moon over the ocean.  I knew it was going to be a superior day and it was. IMG_1769

I have joined the gym here for just a month and I am glad it was only for a month.  I really don’t like it.  The aerobic equipment is not maintained very well and there are few aerobic classes offered.   What few classes they have, they are in the early morning or evening.  The gym is a 15 minute walk from our condo and I although do feel safe here, I don’t enjoy wandering around after dark.  Plus, forgive me, I am not motivated to try to make a 5:00 or 6:00 AM spinning class.  My biggest complaint, however, is the horrible “techno music” that is played.  Yes, I will admit that I am now of the “older generation” but I have never liked techno music or rap, for that matter.  I have tried listening to my iPod but have to turn the volume up so loud that I am afraid it will affect my hearing.

Thank goodness for my bicycle, my Jillian Michael’s Power Yoga DVD and YouTube Workouts!  For the past week, I have hopped on my bicycle and ridden along the ocean and around neighborhoods.  Once my sore heel gets better, I will be out there jogging along the ocean path that I mentioned in my last post.  It is getting better and I am hopeful that one more week of rest and I will be able to resume all activities.

On my last bike ride, I took some pictures to share with you.  This is the ocean path that I mentioned…IMG_0885

Here are some of my views along my ride…..

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This is the jetty that we see from our condo……

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At the beginning of the jetty, not in this picture, they are building a large hotel complex.  It will be nice when it is finished if it looks like the photos that are on display at the site.

I rode my bicycle out to the end of the jetty the other day.  This is looking back at our condo building.  It is the building to the left of the rocks, in the center of the photo.  IMG_0872

This is the beach looking south from the jetty.  IMG_0871

In the distance, you can see the pier.  This is a picture of the pier closer up.

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Nearby the entrance to the pier, not seen in this picture, is the Tug Restaurant.  I think the food is good there and like the atmosphere as well.  At the end of the pier, is The Jetty restaurant.  A couple of weeks ago, David and I celebrated our anniversary by having dinner there.  This was what it looked like the night we went……IMG_0844

During the day, the sea had been quite angry……IMG_1764

and as we walked along the pier that night, waves were crashing over the side of the pier.  It reminded me of some mystery movie maybe filmed in San Francisco!  Once seated inside, we could feel the whole room swaying under the force of the waves.  It was a nice time together and the meal was good.  I will definitely remember our “mysterious anniversary” on the pier.

Swakopmund has a lighthouse that we can see from the balcony of our condo.  IMG_0886

According to sources on the internet, this lighthouse was open in July, 1902 and is still a beacon today for ships passing by Swakopmund as far out as 40 miles.  This is a closer look of the lighthouse…..

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While on a “nautical” topic, it would be a good time to share a photo that I took a couple of weekends ago when we drove to Walvis Bay (Whale Bay).  The city is about 30 miles south of Swakopmund.  It is the only natural, deepwater port of its size along the Namibian coast. It was considered so valuable to South Africa’s import business that when the rest of Namibia was granted independence from South Africa in 1990, Walvis Bay remained under South African control.  It wasn’t until 1994 that Walvis Bay was turned over to the country of Namibia.

We didn’t find Walvis Bay to be a very quaint.  It is very industrial with several shipyards.  These are a couple of the ships in dry dock for repairs.  IMG_0842

There is a bird sanctuary in Walvis Bay that I hope we can spend more time at.  Last year, we saw great flocks of flamingos at the sanctuary.  Driving back to Swakopmund, I counted about 20 ships floating along the coast.  I wish I had made David stop to take a picture. I am certain there will be more opportunities to share that sight with you.

I was walking into town the other day and saw a crew of men trimming the palm trees.  Quite a job and I am not real certain about the safety precautions that may or may not be taken on this project. IMG_0824

I clicked this picture of the carnation growing in the garden at my condo.  When I saw it, it dawned on me that I have never seen a carnation growing.  I have only seen them in flower arrangements!

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I just googled where carnations are grown and it appears that the prefer the climate of Columbia and Ecuador.  Although Florida and California were once producers of carnations, this industry; like so many other US industries, has been outsourced.  The year round growing season found in Columbia and Ecuador and low labor cost are the main reasons.  80% of Columbia’s cut flowers are shipped to the US!

Are these children not the cutest?  IMG_0816The little princess in the middle, holding her skirt was the birthday girl.  She is 5 years old.  The group was on their way to celebrate.  I asked if I could take their picture and the mother of the birthday girl proudly lined them up.

Finally, last weekend, I clicked this picture of some of the Himba ladies who sell their beaded jewelry in the nearby market.  The Himba tribe is an indigenous group of about 50,000 who live on the northern Namibian/Angola border. IMG_1761

I think that they are very interesting and I would love to take a “proper” photo of them but try to be sensitive to them as well.  Due to living in the arid climate, they tend to wear very little clothing.  Both men and women wear skirt-like garments but no tops.  In my photo, these women have capes on because of the cooler winter weather.  They cover their bodies in a mixture of butterfat and ochre.  This mixture gives their bodies a reddish hue and helps to keep it clean as well as protect them from the sun and mosquito bites. I would love to see a tribe in their natural habitat and not at the market where I have seen them so far.

That is all that I have to share with you this morning.  The sun is out and I am off for my daily bike ride….

6 thoughts on “Out and About in Swakopmund, Namibia

  1. Shar I love reading your storys! I feel like I’m there with you. Thank you for taking me around the world with you! Love Sis Hi David

    • Thank you, Sister. I enjoy spending the time updating my blog so you can enjoy seeing the world through my eyes!

    • Thank you, Lori, for your kind words. Thank you for the anniversary wishes. It has been a wild ride!!! Best to you and David, Sharalyn

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