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Namibia 2017: Two Cats on a hot Tin Roof


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xelas

Day 4 (parallel reality #1): Desert is Alive

 

 

Swakopmund is offering many activities, for more active and for less active and for more curious etc. One thing was sure to us, we will go with Batis Birding, whatever the tour of the day will be. We did booked Living Desert Tour for Tanja, and 1/2 day birding for Zvezda and me. The day before I have phoned Louise only to be told that there will be no birding guide for us the next day. A quick reshuffle, and Zvezda joined Tanja on the tour, and me, I've got 100 NAD and a free day. What a man can do with 100 NAD, that was a mystery to be solved in the "parallel reality #2 :rolleyes: .

 

First photos from the tour. While from the road the dunes looks deserted and void of any life, up close and personal, desert is alive!

 

The tour is about to begin

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Quad bikes are popular around Swakopmund

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Train to Nowhere

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Go up, get low

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The scene is set

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Focused on Nature

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I have a long and sticky tongue

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(to be continued)

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xelas

There was usual introduction to how old the desert is, how the dunes are formed, and when Swakopmund will be covered with them. Yet the main starts of the show were its inhabitants. Not all as cute and harmless (to human) as the chameleon. Bites peringueyi or Sidewinder snake is one such exemplar. Its diet consist of lizards and geckoes but its camouflage is such that it is invisible to all but the sharpest eye of the guide.

 

Easily visible?!

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Can you still see it?

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Well, try now!

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Another of the slithering family is Bitis caudal aka Horned Adder. Why horned? Look here:

 

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Now to more docile animals. Pachydactylus rangei also named Web-footed Geck or Namib Sand Gecko or Palmate(d) Gecko (this last one is probably the least correct scientific name) has big eyes that serves not only to better see if above sidewinder is moving close by, but also to quench its thirst. Really cute one!

 

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And for the end the fear of all ground tent campers and midnight toilet goers: Parabuthus villosus or aptly named Black hairy thick-tailed Scorpion. I would not like it climbing my hand. Based on previous experiences I am quite sure Tanja has volunteered to give that scorpion a helpful hand :); also based on previous experiences I know this idea was immediately vetoed by Zvezda :angry: .

 

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The trip (report) ends as it has started ... with railway

 

Surely not Desert Express!

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Still operational ... but for how long?

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Edited by xelas
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xelas

Day 4 (parallel reality #2): Town is Not Alive

 

 

At least, it is not alive for a person with only one 100 NAD banknote in its pocket :( . Luckily the town is small, and I do like to walk the streets, and with a pocket camera in my pocket, I was able to survive. Here are snapshots from same day different reality :lol: .

 

Streets of Swakopmund

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The place to swap the banknote

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On the other side of the cafe latte

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The Tug

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Fishing is a family affair

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Swakopmund is a seaside resort town ... with a beach ...

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The Jetty

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Best looking building in Swakopmund

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Am I in Barcelona?!

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What else??

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When the cashier has finally came from the tour we all went to nearby beach bar

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Peter Connan

Looks like a great tour.

 

Next time you have N$100 and a morning to kill, the pool where I found the Caspian Tern and all the other birds in Swakopmund is just 200m past the beach barwhere you ended up!

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xelas

Looks like a great tour.

 

Next time you have N$100 and a morning to kill, the pool where I found the Caspian Tern and all the other birds in Swakopmund is just 200m past the beach barwhere you ended up!

Good advice ... but not for the man with a pocket camera in his pocket . We have been there, with proper lens, before the beach bar, yet only seen a couple of birds, mostly gulls. The way of the nature ...

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Dave Williams

 

Looks like a great tour.

 

Next time you have N$100 and a morning to kill, the pool where I found the Caspian Tern and all the other birds in Swakopmund is just 200m past the beach barwhere you ended up!

Good advice ... but not for the man with a pocket camera in his pocket . We have been there, with proper lens, before the beach bar, yet only seen a couple of birds, mostly gulls. The way of the nature ...

 

 

That makes me feel better that I might not have missed an opportunity after all!

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xelas

To put it in other words, @@Dave Williams , I have seen more camels then birds in the estuary of Swakop river :huh:.

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Peter Connan

I guess it depends on the time of day as well, as it seemed some birds spend the night there.

 

I was told Pelicans often roost there, but on the day I was there, they failed to arrive.

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Atravelynn

Great job with the Swakopmund desert creatures. The wormy thing on the sticky tongue is truly exceptional!

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Zim Girl

@@xelas

 

Finally got to start reading this report and what a start - only on Day 1 and loving the wonderful atmospheric pictures of the sunsets, clouds and rain (hoping the latter didn't play too big a part in the days to come).

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Zim Girl

@xelas

Caught up now and loving every minute of it.  Stunning pictures of the dunes and Dead Vlei and the chameleon shots are superb. 

All the scenery pictures are brilliant and I enjoyed the tour around Swakopmund.

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xelas

Thanks for your words, @Zim Girl ! Looking forward to meet you in Slovenia!

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xelas

Dear readers, I have to apology for this unexpected delay in our trip report. A business trip to winter-chill Germany has given me a severe case of cold and now I am in a quarantine :( and my production manager does not want to share the computer room with me :wacko:. But it gets better, so by the end of this week, we will be back! To boost some interest, the title of the next instalment: Pretty in Pink :).

Edited by xelas
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michael-ibk

Get well soon, Alex. :-)

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xelas
1 hour ago, michael-ibk said:

Get well soon, Alex. :-)

 

Thanks, Michael, Zvezda is doing her best ... and me to. It was quicker when I was younger ...:(

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Peter Connan

I wish you a speedy recovery Alex!

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xelas

Thanks, Peter! If nothing else I will shed a couple of kilos :unsure: ?!

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Feel better, Alex!

And if I understand this correctly: a short trip to Germany ensures a cold, which triggers weight loss - did I get this right? Is this what I need to do after each trip? ;)

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xelas

Not that simple: a short trip to cold Germany ensures getting ill, getting ill means loosing appetite, sweating a lot, which at the end triggers weight loss. At least that is what I hope for :P.

 

 

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Hmmm, here's my problem: our vacation trip this year is to Germany, so I hope the above is only true for short trips, not 2 weeks long. Getting sick AFTER getting home, with loss of appetite and weight...now that doesn't sound bad. I only need to be able to process pictures :)

Knowing how clean and pleasant planes are nowadays, I don't think that's too difficult.

 

 

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xelas

You will have lovely weather, @xyz99 ! Planes?! I would not know, I drove there and back, and will have to do it again in a month . 600 km, 6 hrs, and some Germans are driving way too fast. In Austria, situation is much better, and also the highway passes through some seriously scenic locations. As for kilos, I am afraid there might be only grams :(.

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michael-ibk

Everything is much better in Austria. ;)

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PeterHG

Great photos and tales of the first days, @xelas! The scenery pictutres are brilliant and, of course, also the photos of the dune tour creatures. I can't wait to read your next installment, but now I know more about all the challenges you have to face in putting together this trip report, I will be patient :)!

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xelas

Thanks for your support, @PeterHG ! I have been busy lately, but I will re-start reporting right away (or at least later today)!!

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On 2017-6-1 at 1:35 PM, xelas said:

@@MR1980 , that is another fairy tale; Hoodia Lodge is known for its mesmerising views and sundowners. There must be an anniversary close, to celebrate it in Namibia :wub: !

 

Hahaha I'm afraid not very close @xelas... Proposed in June 2014 and we got married last September so an anniversary is still a couple of years away... :)  But Hoodia fully deserves all the credits it gets, truly epic views...!!

Edited by MR1980
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