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Across the Desert.

Getting to Swakopmund.

sunny

Next day we had booked a Carlo's Shuttle to take us from Windhoek all the way to Swakopmund. We were very happy with this service as it would pick us up from our hotel and drop us right at our next hotel, so no messing around with luggage for us. Our pick up was scheduled for around one in the afternoon, so we still had a morning to enjoy Windhoek and sort out our hotel bill!!!

After breakfast, we walked to the nearby Namibian Craft Centre which has been in existence since 1990 and occupies the site of Windhoek's old brewery. As well as having a wide variety of different Namibian handicrafts this complex also has a cafe and a bar called Chopsi's.

At the Namibian Craft Centre.

At the Namibian Craft Centre.

Tall giraffes at the centre.

Tall giraffes at the centre.

Shy Giraffes at the centre.

Shy Giraffes at the centre.

Chopsi's Bar.

Chopsi's Bar.

Namibian Craft Centre.

Namibian Craft Centre.

After visiting the craft centre, we returned to the hotel for our last swim before check out. Of course when we did check out, the bill was way too much and the meals that should have been included were added on as extras. After a rather unpleasant fight, we eventually got things sorted out, but it was not the happiest way to depart and spoiled what was otherwise a very comfortable and happy stay. This is a hotel that needs to sort itself out. Our shuttle arrived on time and took us to a central bus station where we boarded a second shuttle for Swakopmund.

Bye bye Hilton, Windhoek.

Bye bye Hilton, Windhoek.

The journey to Swakopmund takes around four or five hours. We travelled along the Trans-Kalahari Highway which apparently runs all the way from Walvis Bay in Namibia to Johannesburg and Pretoria in South Africa. The scenery at first was quite green with distant rolling hills. I saw several herds of domesticated cattle and goats. There were also some buffalo with long, curving horns. I also saw some wild deer and ostriches. One of the things that fascinated me was the huge termite mounds that lined the sides of the road - some of them were incredibly high.

On this journey we passed through the town of Okahandja and were fortunate enough on our return journey to pass by its huge craft market. We stopped on the edge of the town of Usakos. Across from the service station area a football match was in full swing. Near the service area I admired a lovely garden filled with strange spiky plants.

Football match on the edge of Usakos.

Football match on the edge of Usakos.

House and garden, Usakos.

House and garden, Usakos.

After leaving Usakos the scenery became much drier as we entered the Namib Desert. The ground sparkled in the bright sunlight due to the many pieces of quartz and other stones that covered the it. In the distance we could see the outline of the Spitzkoppe. A mountain range that literally translates from the German as 'pointed dome' and rises dramatically from the flat, parched surroundings of the Namib Desert. These granite peaks are more than 120 million years old and rise to 5,853 feet above sea level. They are famous for interesting rock formations and examples of bushmen artwork painted onto their rocks.

Passing Spitzkoppe.

Passing Spitzkoppe.

Passing Spitzkoppe.

Passing Spitzkoppe.

As we neared Swakopmund we passed some uranium mines. The Namib Desert is rich in uranium and Namibia was once the fourth largest uranium producer in the world. Production has declined in recent times as nuclear power has fallen in popularity since the Fukihima Daiichi Disaster in Japan in 2011.

Uranium mine near Swakopmund.

Uranium mine near Swakopmund.

One of the things I liked about Carlo's Shuttles was it drops everyone where they want to go, so we had a tour around the suburbs of Swakopmund on our way in. Quite interesting as we would have no reason to go here normally, but I like to see real places where people actually live. Eventually we arrived at our hotel the AHA Beach Hotel near the seafront in Swakopmund. The receptionist here was so friendly and helpful; it was completely different to checking in in Windhoek. We were given a lovely room with a balcony. We deposited our stuff, then headed to the hotel roof with its small pool and spectacular views over the seafront. The sun was just starting to go down and we watched it for a while before heading down a floor and enjoying sun-downers in the little hotel bar. Later we ate a delicious meal in the hotel restaurant. My husband had wiener schnitzel and I had pork medallions in a Dijon mustard sauce. The restaurant is called Anchor Point as it stands on a site that was once occupied by a huge German radio transmitter. The anchor points secured the guy ropes that held the eighty-six metre high radio mast in place. This transmitter enabled the Germans to stay in radio contact with Berlin during the First World War. When Union troops entered South West Africa near the end of the war, the Germans destroyed the transmitter to prevent it falling into enemy hands.

Our room.

Our room.

View from our balcony with an anchor point on the right.

View from our balcony with an anchor point on the right.

View from our roof towards Swakopmund Pier.

View from our roof towards Swakopmund Pier.

Me by our roof top pool.

Me by our roof top pool.

View over Tiger Reef campsite and restaurant. The structure in the water used to be a rail line.

View over Tiger Reef campsite and restaurant. The structure in the water used to be a rail line.

Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.

Looking towards an anchor point.

Looking towards an anchor point.

Sun-downers in the bar.

Sun-downers in the bar.

Sundown.

Sundown.

A delicious dinner in the Anchor Point Restaurant.

A delicious dinner in the Anchor Point Restaurant.

Posted by irenevt 19:35 Archived in Namibia Tagged desert namibia windhoek swakopmund

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Comments

I love the desert! Your hotel here looks very nice - and a lovely setting close to the sea. We stayed in a place run by a Swiss guy with a huge Bernese Mountain dog - he had a whole album of photos of the dog which he showed us, just like a proud parent ;)

by ToonSarah

I really liked this hotel. In fact, I really liked Swakopmund, a very relaxing place, all my sinus problems cleared up here in the fresh sea air.

by irenevt

There is something clean about deserts. We lived near the desert for 20 years in southern California and loved to go out walking, especially in spring when the cactus were in bloom. Tried to avoid it in summer though. Too hot! Your dinner looks like one I would enjoy. Hooray for Anchor Point.

by Beausoleil

Yes, that restaurant was very good. There were several very good restaurants in Swakopmund. Thank you for visiting my blog.

by irenevt

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