Lüderitz, Fish River Canyon and departure from Africa (July 2014)

 

A beautiful gravel piste a bit inland with stunning vistas led us to another small desert town – Lüderitz. Like in Swakopmund a lot of the buildings from the colonial time are still intact and being maintained. Best example is the grand Goerke Haus on a hill overlooking the town next to the church Felsenkirche. Lüderitz had a very relaxed atmosphere to it and we enjoyed walking around. Our campsite at the tip of the bay was stunning but windy. On a side note we visited the Oyster Bar for lunch where we were served the best oysters we ever had at a great price. The bottle of white wine to it knocked us out a bit but we were back on track for the evening worldcup match of Germany against Brazil in the Barrel’s Pub. The celebrations of the locals were unbelievable after the 7-1.

 

Just outside Lüderitz lies the fantastic ghost town Kolmanskop. The Germans created this place in between the sand dunes of the Namib desert to serve as accomodation for the diamond miners. Almost everything was imported from Germany and the miners could enjoy a gym, bowling alley and even an ice factory. Nowadays the sand is claiming back the buildings and makes for some unbelievably good photo opportunities. With beautiful blue skies and none of the infamous fog we enjoyed a great guided tour and also explored the tracks of the Lüderitz peninsula with its many flamingos and moonlike rocky landscapes.

 

An uneventful driving day brought us to the Orange River which serves as the border between Namibia and South Africa. A beautiful drive leads through the Richtersveld Transfrontierpark with its very unique landscape of rocky hills and the quiver trees which are part of the aloe species and look like from another planet. The highlight of the region is the Fish River Canyon which is the largest canyon in Africa and truly spectacular. The night was spent in one of the few quiver tree forests where we were attacked by bees that had nothing better to do than to sting us repeatedly in our heads!

 

On the way back to Windhoek we visited the Brukaros Crater which is a former volcano. The hike up to the rim rewarded us with amazing views over the flat surroundings and we enjoyed a fantastic star sky during the night.

And then it was time to say goodbye to Africa for a while. We had been on the road for over a year at that point and our funds were running very low. The plan was to do some seasonal work back in Europe again and then continue our journey around the continent. The Land Cruiser was parked on a farm close to the Windhoek airport and we borded the plane to Johannesburg. With our incredible “luck” we managed to miss the connecting flight to Doha and had the choice of being stuck for several days at the airport waiting for a flight which wasn’t overbooked or take the last seats on a Lufthansa flight directly to Frankfurt for 1500€… We were exhausted and tired and the immigration of South Africa did not allow us to leave the airport transit zone for a second time to speak to the airline offices so we spent our last dimes and borded. Farewell Africa and see you soon!

It had been a fantastic journey with all its ups and downs and both of us came back once again as different people than before.

 

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