Saturday, June 2, 2012

coast

dear friends,  thank you so very much for bearing with me as this travelogue continues. i promise to try to keep these posts short and share what may be of interest, as well as to keep documenting our trip here in this space.
would you like to see something that came home with me? this hand stitched giraffe and ellie fairly jumped in my bag. the elephant tusk is made with a porcupine quill. LOVE.   :)


here is a well worn old friend, our trusty map. i was the navigator and know this paper very well now. we started our trip at the two dots in the middle right (windhoek), the dunes were at the lowest dot (sossusvlei) and now we are headed to the coast, walvis bay, swakopmund, cape cross and the skeleton coast . we're hoping to see white pelicans, migrating flamingos, shipwrecks and cape fur seals. but to see anything is a treat.


we noticed first the huge amount of sand, and then random signs here and there, this one says fog.


and this one ! sand


on the coast the temps dropped by 20 + degrees. we found white pelicans at walvis bay, and looked for migrating flamingos. it is a little too early for them and the pelicans were far away to photograph, but what a fabulous place for birding. here is our room at swakopmund, we needed the down covers in the evening.


the town of swakopmund is charming, with colorful storefronts and old german architecture. after checking in we went for a walkabout, admiring buildings, shop windows and the ocean.


we ate kingklip, a delicious fish caught here in the atlantic.


on the outskirts of swakopmund, where much of the population lives. the constant encroachment of sand is only one problem here.


we passed henties bay and lonely settlements along the coast.



and we saw a shipwreck. this is an old fishing boat out of angola. beached four years ago. her name is sela. now seabirds use her to nest on.


we were alone on an endless stretch of beach, or so we thought


out of the dunes two gentlemen suddenly appeared. selling their wares. here i was given a demonstration of how a makalani nut is carved.


i was asked my name, the artist wanted to carve it on the nut. i asked him to please carve his own name since he created it. he seemed confused and then pleased. he carved his name tsudi, and then asked me to take his photograph.




after henties bay it was just us and the road



for many kilometers


passing through vast landscapes, we scanned for signs of life. its really spectacular to be in such wide open places. suddenly these unusual tables began popping up by the side of the road.


i took a few drive by photos until curiosity got the better of us and we stopped.



namibia is a geologist dream, fantastic minerals and crystals are found everywhere and right near the surface. on the tables were beautiful crystals for sale. using the honor system, you could choose whichever one you liked and put the appropriate namibian dollars in the small jars.

we've arrived, cape cross


and the cape cross seal reserve. here is a cape fur seal





the sights, sounds and smells are staggering, cape cross is a breeding colony and there are hundreds of seals here, thousands. we watched for hours. the sounds they make have been compared to barnyard animals, there is barking and baaing, mooing and clucking. so entertaining! i liked watching the pups wrestle, so cute and funny.


arriving at cape cross lodge, felt a bit like being in a spooky movie, it's very isolated, but also wonderfully peaceful and the reserve is fascinating.



 the accommodations and food were excellent


 early for dinner, we sat in the bar and caught up on reading and


knitting, hee hee


morning view at cape cross


cape cross seal reserve, i like the stone seal gate!


heading away from the coast and back into the interior, damaraland is next and mowani mountain camp. temps on the coast were 14c and an hour later inland, 35c.


traffic


sharing the road. driving in namibia is mostly a solitary experience, you might be alone for miles. every so often passing another vehicle, or a home, small round huts. and a few times we saw something that looked like this:


craft market


this damara mother and son were running what seemed to be a craft shop. we stopped to say hello and buy something to help support their endeavor. communication was limited. well the little boy jumped up and down, to demonstrate his joy!    :)


i remembered the gifts and ran back to the truck for them. the little boy jumped up and down again at the surprise. his mother smiled, and we grasped hands in friendship. first pockets delivered!

thank you for coming along,  lori xxx

56 comments:

  1. Cape Cross - a w e s o m e!!
    Definitely on my bucket list
    Am loving your posts on Namibia
    xxxxxxxxxxxx

    sigh - you're making me seriously consider finishing my adventure now - sigh so much to do

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    1. janet i know how you feel, we also feel we've hardly touched the surface, there is so much to do! when you go to cape cross allow for enough time to obtain a permit to walk on the beach to the seals (to a point) and wait for hyena's that come to feed at dawn and dusk.

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  2. Lori, for somebody who has never been to Africa this is absolutely AMAZING! I have loved this post. You have simply brought to life a tiny pocket of a huge continent and it is fabulous. Bring on the next installment.

    Stephanie

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  3. Lori, I love reading your posts about your travels. I have always wanted to visit Namibia, I am sure once our little ones are older we will. My sister went there many years ago and loved it.

    The flamingoes have just arrived here at our pan down the road for the winter months, they are so beautiful, bright pink feathers under their wings. We will be walking there later today, I will try and take some photos.

    I can feel the joy in your photos! What a wonderful experience for both of you and for the poeple you met to have received your pockets.

    Wishing you a peaceful Sunday.

    Love
    Linda

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  4. Simply beautiful. The giraffe and elephant are gorgeous. I love the photo of you knitting, you look so happy. And the children with your pockets wow. Fantastic every single photo. Thanks for taking us on your journey.

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  5. Aaaah Lori, aaaaah! What shall I mention first, the saaaand, wow so much sand, or the little giraffe and ellie toys, that boy with his mother, and your pocket with him, and his jumping for joy, and your wish to carve the artist`s name onto the nut and his surprise, you are such a heart-melter, Lori! I am following you with deep breaths, now that I can really SEE what you saw. In my mind I had followed you all the way, as I had your map. I am waiting for Skeleton Coast, that really sounds good. Also that shipwreck, and the birds taking over, and that cute seal portrait haha, oh man. My eyes were big when I looked at EVERY picture! Thank you so much for sharing them all with us!

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  6. yay, more photos! The barren landscape is so haunting. I'd be nervous on the long roads alone. There's so much to comment on here, as always! So much fills my eyes and heart.

    I love the raffie and ellie :)

    And the sweet little boy who jumped for joy by your purchase. And the gifts of the pouches, the first ones! That's so special.

    "Traffic" cracked me up!

    It's sad to see the poverty there. The huddles shacks reminded me of Calcutta in a way. But maybe they feel wealthy, yes? They do live in a beautiful area and they have the sea.

    Those seals are darling! But Lori, what is standing in the foreground? Is it a tapir? I've never seen a seal stand like like or have such a long nose. I'm curious!

    I love the photo of you downtown in the glow of the sun! And your accomodations along the way have been so nice. Wow! Is that a window or a mural behind your bed?

    You must miss so much about being there. I imagine this has been the experience of a lifetime even though you had been there before.

    You are so blessed, as are we for knowing you.♥

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    xo
    Lo♥

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    1. lo, i see what you mean, but it is just a seal. sometimes hyena come to the seals looking for a meal. and the room had huge murals in it, so beautiful! thank you so much lo :)

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  7. what vast barren beauty!! This is the best travelogue!!! I'm just loving every word!!!

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  8. Truly fascinating photos! I especially love the seal portraits! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.
    Xo's

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  9. Lori, once again Thank you. I am so enjoying my view of your trip and to see a pocket around the neck of a wee little one so far away is heart swelling. The contrast of views is startling in these photos and now I am wondering what's next!? I hope your weekend has been unfolding into days of beauty here in the states and you feel the love!

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  10. Dear, dear Lori, so good to have you back!!! I have just started reading what you have brought for us and I am in awe! Your pictures are so, so, so amazing, I have no words!!! Thank you so much for sharing all this. i can't wait to continue reading. What a perfect way to spend a very raining Sunday afternoon, to go on very exhiting trip to Africa with you. I hope Aaron will let me. He has missed you too and says "Whats up Lori" ;-)
    My very favourite place is the craft store, of course. How it is build from desert woods washed by the sand, all that lovely jewelery, the wonderful people inside....
    Sending you all my Love! Gesche

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  11. Good morning Lori,
    What a wonderful treat to see this first thing in the morning...I was so excited and fascinated by every photo and your words...really feel like I was traveling with you and was wondering what we would see was down the road....
    The seals were wonderful and loved the stone seal gate...the craft shop touched my heart and seeing your first pocket delivered was so heartwarming. Loved the honor system crystal mineral tables.
    Enjoyed it all and to see a country and landscape so different from my tiny part of the world is so captivating. I looked at it again with my hubby!
    Looking forward to the next part....

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  12. Thank you again for sharing your trip. I think my son would love it there - he fancies himself a collector of gems and minerals. When we travelled in Ireland we encountered similar roadside wares. We bought a wee vase from an anonymous potter. The honor system is amazing. So glad the pockets made it into the hands of wee ones.

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  13. I was so excited when I saw you had posted again. I love seeing the landscape and your travelogue helps envision a place I've never imagined. I have a dear friend in South Africa, but that's the closest I come to knowing about this continent until meeting you.
    The smile (and imagining the jumping up and down) of the little boy is precious and reminded me how Kelly always reached out to people for a connection--it's the best part of the human race. Love, XOXO

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  14. Lori, visiting your blog is always a special treat. but, every once in a while the experience is extra special. this is one of those times.

    thank you oh SO VERY much for sharing this experience with us. its not just that its fun, its also so inspiring and motivating. what joy of living!

    :-)

    enjoy, stay well and stay safe.

    again, thank you.

    ..
    .ero
    .

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  15. Lori, so wonderful! The beach, the seals, the rooms, The local people, I love that some pockets made that sweet boy smile and I love that they trust people to leave the money in the jars. Thank you for whenever you post! xoxo

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  16. Amazing...is all I can say. Someday I WILL go to Africa! I love the elephant with the quill tusks, the honor system gems on the tables and especially the mother and son craft shop. Your pictures and commentary are wonderful!

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  17. i love this little tour you're giving! and that sweet elephant and giraffe...how could you have passed them up?

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  18. Love your beautiful photos and stories of your trip! I'm so glad you had such an amazing time in Africa.
    Blessings,
    G

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  19. Oh that seal pup with his droopy ears - he nearly brought me to tears! (hormonal wreck!) but then to see that wee boy wearing his knitted pockets, ach Lori it all looks wonderful ;-)

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  20. We are ALL loving your trip adventures!! There is no bearing with you necessary :)

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  21. Those little seals are adorable and their expressions are truly memorable! I wish I could hear their music. You knitting in the photo is so beautiful :) Thanks for sharing your trip with us :)

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  22. Enjoying this journey with you and curious to see some more of your knitting!

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  23. Lori I didn't think it would be so sparse there on the coast. I didn't know there were seals with little ears! Your accomidations are spartan and perfect every time.
    All that expanse of sky and land. What a feeling it must have been to part of that.
    xx
    julie

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    1. julie fur seals are sometimes called eared seals, which are different from true seals. three different species occur in southern africa. it was great to see them!

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  24. Enjoying your stories and pictures so much. Please keep sharing! Such wonderful adventures :)

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  25. I could never get tired of seeing a part of the world I've never been to before. Thanks for sharing your adventure. Those seals are absolutely adorable. What a sight! Such barren land for the most part. Amazing how folks can set up home and shop just about anywhere. When you see life that way, there's certainly not a thing any of us can complain about. With all that sand, I certainly can imagine what their sand storms must be like. Hope your Sunday is a good one. Blessings, Tammy

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  26. Perfect. You capture it all so well. Thanks for bringing some of it back!

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  27. Just an incredible experience reading your posts,I can't imagine actually being there. Thank you!
    Loved your accomodations,,,simple and perfect. Whoa,,,on the balloon ride. Not exactly sure I'd have managed to smile.
    And did you get an honor system gem? How cool that is!

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    1. we didn't babs, space and weight considerations meant photos only!

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  28. thank you for sharing your journey. i am very happy to "bear with you" in this! your pictures and words are truly beautiful and the love with which you approach the people you meet shines through. keep the travel stories coming!

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  29. so now i know there are seals and ostriches in africa. i will never forget :^)

    i also did not expect you and chuck to need hats.

    what i most see in this post are the faces of the seals, the poverty of the crammed structures in swakopmund, and the lovely honor tables in the middle of nowhere. you bring this area and its people to life, lori. this is like being inside a three dimensional national geographic magazine.

    i thank you for everything. thank you.
    love
    kj

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  30. The nut carving - Wow! The seals - awwwwww soooo cute when they are sleeping! And my goodness, that craft hut looks like a craft itself! So resourceful! I'm loving your jouney!!!!

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  31. Each image is more incredible than the next. After reading and viewing your posts Lori, I seem to let out a sigh. Just amazing.
    Greedily I can't wait for more!

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  32. The variations in temp are amazing, from hats to sleeveless - how interesting, kinda like the california coast? I am SO enjoying seeing your photos - I never knew it was such a beautiful country

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  33. Oh I am enjoying going on this journey with you :) By far my favorite picture was the one of you knitting!

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  34. you're right, better idea for the artist to carve his name into the nut! and those tables (I love the honor system, around here, it's vegetable stands of corn, or eggs for sale with a coffee can beside them) with minerals for sale is pretty neat!!! what a sweet little boy...he looks like he will put those pockets to good use! ♥
    have you heard of: http://thegoodwinproject.com/index.php/footer-about ? reminds me of YOU

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  35. thank you so much for sharing your journey. the photographs are just stunning. those minerals were amazing, and the seals. wow.

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  36. oh, i have to show this to james(my son)....rocks and seals and everything else...lovely.and i was wondering about knitting when out it popped!

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  37. Lori, I am enjoying your travel log so much... thank you.

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  38. When I was little I developed a fascination with National Geographic Magazine. It really shaped my interests in history throughout my life. In fact, I have a stack of them that I just can't get rid of - there's an emotional hold, if you know what I mean. But. Lori, your blog. Your adventures. Your life. Wow. Even more thrilling than my treasured magazines. Thank you so much for sharing this newest trip of yours with us. (:

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  39. Oh those precious seal ♥
    and I love that you asked the artist to sign his name on his beautiful and creative art xo
    giraffe & ellie would have come home with me too ~ they are gorgeous!

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  40. No need to try to make these short posts, it is such a treasure to travel along with you. I've seen many photos of Namibia but they're alwaysthe adventure travel, or dramatic landscapes, never these wonderful "daily life along the road" glimpses. Loving every km of it, and the way you narrate!

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    1. gale, thank you for saying that! that is what i'm trying to do. i do have photos like that as well, namibia is a land of endless stunning landscapes. but in sharing here i really hope to show what it was like to be there. (chuck will often look at me and say what are you shooting? haha, i like everything while he shoots for mags and stock only).

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  41. I agree with Gale - please don't keep these short. And keep 'em comin'!

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  42. love love the barren shots. that wide open space is why i still live where i live (eastern montana), but my heart soars when i look at your photos. thank you so much for sharing the way you do! such joy, now multiplied.

    sherry

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  43. Yeah for the pockets! I think we are all living your trip vicariously so keep up the wonderful photos and have a peaceful venture. I'm struck by the juxtaposition of the area - so beautiful (even with its barrenness) and yet so sad with its poverty.

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  44. It really is a treat to get to travel with you. To feel this closer connection to what the photos depict. Thank you, Lori. And please do keep 'em coming!

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  45. I have just been catching up on your travels - so interesting! You take beautiful photos and write so well. I loved your description of the balloon ride - I think I would have been the same myself. More please :)

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  46. Lori, I love travelling with you through your blog!!!Those seals are so cute and love that gate:)Thanks for sharing and have a great day!

    Shantana

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  47. aah! again! so touching. i love your story telling. what great changes in weather you had. i love those seals. the one looks kinda like indy. : 0

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  48. I realize I am reading and seeing your adventure backwards........
    It looks a little cold there......
    Those pictures at the coast look like scenes from movies.......

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  49. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

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xoxo lori