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Pictures from There She Goes Again

There She Goes Again

Discovering myself, one trip at a time.

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Fri
30
Sep '11

Skeleton Coast

We’re being rebels and going “off” the itinerary so that we can see part of the Skeleton Coast.  This is great, it was one of the things I really wanted to see.  Before we arrive at the Skeleton Coast we stop at Cape Cross, to see all the Cape seals (which are actually sea lions – sea lions have ears, seals don’t).  Minus the 60-80,000 they clubbed to death a few months again, of course.  The fact that they do this at all is awful, the fact that they do it so viciously is horrific.

Sea Lions

How could anyone hurt one of these cute little critters?

We also passed salt mines. I’d love to tour one of those, being the salt addict that I am. Instead I had to settle for salt rocks.

Salt for sale

The local people (I can't imagine where these local people live - there isn't ANYTHING local here) go to the salt beds and collect salt rocks. They leave them on the tables and hope people use the honor system to pay for them. I paid but I wouldn't be surprised if someone came along and took the money out of the can before the real salt picker-upper returned.

I’d always thought the Skeleton Coast got its name from all the shipwrecks.  Turns out it’s because of the whale bones.  We didn’t see any whale bones but we saw a shipwreck before we even reached the gate.

Shipwreck

Our first shipwreck, before we even enter the Skeleton Coast. It's an Angolan freighter that they believe was purposely wrecked so they could get a new ship.

It was worth driving this way just to see the gate, actually. So cool.

Skeleton Coast Gate

The gate leading to the Skeleton Coast.

Dead tourists

Our group, dead already.

Shortly after entering the Skeleton Coast proper we saw another wreck and almost got soaked.  Annelie and I were crouching down to take photos and Charles starts yelling “water, water, water.”  I look up and see a pretty good size wave heading for us. Annelie was focused (or focusing) and still hadn’t seen it.  I pulled on her arm, we all ran and fortunately outran the wave.

Shipwreck

We're lucky Charles started yelling "water, water, water!"

We also saw an abandoned oil rig.  Nowhere near the water.  I think it’s always been inland.  Someone thought it would be a good idea to drill for oil there.  They never found anything so now the rig is on its side, rusting away.   It’s home to at least one black-backed Jackal, he didn’t stick around to give us his census information.

As soon as you pass into the Skeleton Coast the landscape became completely barren and desolate.  And it appears to go on forever.  Very bizarre.

Skeleton Coast Landscape

See, I told you. Barren and desolate.

Skeleton Coast Road

Still desolate.

When we leave the Skeleton Coast and enter Damaraland suddenly there are mountains and trees and green and dry grass everywhere.

Damaraland Road

Leaving the Skeleton Coast the scenery immediately changes.

This country is just beyond description.  When we get close to camp Regan gives us a choice, drive 40 minutes over a really bumpy road or drive one hour through a dry riverbed.  We opt for riverbed.

Once again we’re all thinking there can’t possibly be a camp out here.  We turn near some beautiful sandstone rock formations and there it is.  And it is really, really nice.  Martha and Ilias are holding down the fort here.

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