Hey there


Well we are in Swakopmund at the moment so we thought that we would bang off a quick email to you all letting you know our latest news.  Cell phone reception in Namibia is erratic at best (to say the least) so when our phone works we greedily try to send off news before moving on.  I fear that it will only get worse as we move further north and we might have to revert to a more traditional form of communication - may even have to put pen to postcard!


We have been in Swakopmund for the last two days - we kept being told by Namibians that Swakop is the jewel of Namibia, Namibia's premier holiday destination etc and they were certainly right.  The town is really quaint with lots of fantastic German restaurants, taverns and bakeries. There is also a roaring fishing trade on the go and Nev and I succumbed to the temptation and booked ourselves onto a deep sea fishing trip.   I have never fished before and thought that I would just go along for the boat trip and take some photos - the chances of me actually catching something were less than zero - or so I thought.  When we arrived at the harbour and were introduced to the skipper of the boat - a crusty Namibian ominously called "Hakkie" - it was clear that there were going to be no passengers on his boat and that everyone was expected to fish.  Our other crew mates included some very hard-core looking dudes from the Otjiwarango Angling Club who were all chewing tobacco and seemed quite put out that there was going to be a woman on the trip as they may have to curtail their language usage.  Hakkie took us about 10 kilometres from the shore (hardly deep sea but nonetheless) and we were all handed fishing rods and bait and expected to get on with it.  I must say that Hakkie took pity on me as it was my first fishing trip and treated me to a few hook baitings (I was quite relieved as the bait that was being used consisted of some really smelly pilchards and some day old white mussels).  Within five minutes of putting his line in Nev had hoisted out 2 "Kolsterte" or Blacktails that were of decent size.  And low and behold I had a quiver at the end of my rod and hooked one myself.  We continued for the rest of the morning and by the end of the trip Nev had caught over 10 Kolsterte and a Galjoen and I had caught about 7. I was most pleased with myself!  On our return from the trip Hakkie had his helpers gut the fish for us and although we did not take all the fish that we had caught as we did not have space for them in our fridge, we came away with a Galjoen and a couple of Kolsterte.  We braaied the Galjoen last night and it was superb.  I think I am now hooked on this fishing business - next stop Henties Bay.



  Hakkie and the Boat                                                       Fisherman Nev                                                   Galjoen for dinner



Aside from Swakopmund we spent quite some time exploring the Namib desert.  The highlight was definitely Sossusvlei which had water in it due to the recent rains that the region has experienced.  The area is absolutely stunning and surrounded by the most gorgeous orange sand dunes.  Nev and I decided to hike up the largest one behind Sossusvlei to get a better view of the area.  Although the view did prove to be fantastic and we felt as though we were on top of the world we almost died of heat exhaustion schlepping up the dune in the midday sun in temperatures over 35 degrees centigrade.  I was only too happy to return to the air-conditioned land rover and gulp down some water.  Namibia seems to have had a lot of rain recently and the desert looks more like savannah or grasslands - it is literally covered with green grass and bushes.  The bug population also seems to have doubled and we have been inundated with every species of creepy crawly in existence from mossies to locusts!



The famous Dune 45 and a very hot and bothered Pen after a hike up the Dunes near Sossuvlei




Desert Trek


Apart from our stint at Sossusvlei we also stayed at a private camp called Koiimasis which is on a farm at the edge of the Namib desert.  The farm is run by a young German couple who farm ostriches and are absolutely starved for company! We were treated to some wonderful German hospitality - as you can imagine - including the most fantastic ostrich steaks, lots of Windhoek beer.  Koiimasis is definitely worth visiting on a trip to Namibia as it is situated in one of the most stunning areas of the country.  It makes quite a nice change from the municipal and government run campsites that one finds all over. The farmers in the area have also agreed that their farms will form part of a larger nature conservancy and the aim is that they conduct their farming operations so as to leave nature as undisturbed as possible.  Its quite an interesting concept and seems to work quite well.     


We have also visited the Fish River Canyon where we camped at Hobas, (Ai-Ais was unfortunately closed as it has been badly flooded and will in all likelihood be closed for the rest of the season ), Luderitz, Aus, Walvis Bay, bits and pieces of the rest of the Namib-Naukluft park and Schloss Duwisib (a castle built by a member of the German nobility who was stationed in Namibia with the German Army at the turn of the century).


Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Ghost Town, Komanskop, Namibia

Luderitz Landscape, Namibia

Route 707



Duwisib Castle

House filled with sand, Kolmanskop, Luderitz

Luderitz Sunset, Namibia


Desert Landscape, Namibia



We are heading up to the Skeleton Coast later today (via Henties) and then on to Etosha. We are having a fantastic time and hope that you are all well.


lots of love



ps.  Nev keeps threatening to do the next update - but so far it has been left to me to handle correspondence.  He sends his love though - at present his is perched on the land rover putting down the roof top tent.  I must say I am quite happy with our respective roles as they are! P