Cool in all senses

Cool, in all senses…..

We move over to the Skeleton coast of Namibia and are surprised by how cold it is, we are suddenly rummaging around for fleeces and long trousers after the dry heat of the desert. A cold current (Benguela) runs up the west side of Africa here creating a cool windy and misty microclimate just for 5-10km from the coast. It’s nice to feel cool air again for a few days.

The skeleton coast is desolate, sea on the right, desert on the left as we head south on the “salt road” which is a pretty nice driving surface. Although the main feature of the drive is its relentless desolation we do find a few interesting things to see.

First was a massive seal colony at Cape Cross, this is not cute, it is unmanaged so there are many baby seal carcass rotting in the sun, the smell of 100,000 seals is overpowering but you can really walk amoung them (for as long as your stomach/nose can stand it).

Second we head a bit inland to the Messum crater, all that remains is a ring of mountains around a plain with a small hill in the centre, but you can drive right into it through a gap and cross pristine flat desert navigating by line of sight making fresh tracks. A silent majestic contrast to the cold of the coast and the assault on the senses of the seal colony

A nice sunset and a staff choir finish off another super few days in the wonderful experience that is Namibia …..

The sunset through the coastal mist, mind you we have to duck out from behind a wind shelter to take the photo as the breeze is constant and cold
The coastal effect means it is a bit cool at night so the fire is lit to warm up the shower water, a luxury to have hot and cold water in a shower in all the central Africa we were lucky if there was just cold (and did not mind as it was so hot anyway)
In these campsites, as there is no rain there is no roof on the abolitions
The bane of our lives is this horrible “ripo” which threatens at times to shake the car to pieces despite soft tyre pressures and different speeds it’s still really tough on the truck
At times we are navigating by sight over the flat plain in the centre of the crater, we see no one else in the five hour round trip, not a place for a breakdown
Back into the warmth we head towards the small mountain in the centre of the Messum crater
There are hundreds of thousands of seals in the colony attracted by the plentiful fish in the cold ocean current Thankfully for you the overpowering breakfast losing stench is not transmitted by the nice view
The salt road, hundreds of miles, sea on the right, desert on the left, the coast got its name due to the sand banks off shore and the certain death of any who shipwrecked onto this desert
We are not allowed to drive off the designated routes in the park and have to get a permit, the sign says stay in the car due to lions but they have not been seen here in recent times due to drought
Arriving at the Skeleton coast we are surprised by the cold wind

About Gerry Mulligan

Check Also

Quiet Times in Kenya

Now I am in Kenya, country number 81 for Nelson and I, this is the …