Cafe to rent
Our last breakfast at the Hansa Hotel. Richard and Dawn check the bags and August gets ice for our cool box. We’re all loaded up and ready to go by 8am, not bad. We head north out of Swakopmund along a stretch of the Skeleton Coast. The road looks and feels like tarmac but it is gravel. The local road workers spray sea water on to the gravel, the water evaporates in the sun and the road is left baked solid and fairly smooth. Some of the rubber from the car tyres leaves a dark colour on the road surface so it looks like tarmac. It is a nice smooth drive but car owners must wash their cars regularly otherwise the salt will decay the vehicle bodywork.
Shortly before the town of Henties Bay we make a brief stop to photograph the wreck of the ship, Zeila. The vessel was under tow a few years back when the cable broke and the ship grounded itself on a sand bank, never to move again. With the Atlantic waves breaking over, and cormorants using the ship as a perch, it makes for an interesting view.
Henties Bay is our comfort stop before we turn inland to pass the Spitskoppe rock, with the Bramberg Mountains on our left. We stop for lunch in Uis, and old copper mining town that now looks rather deserted and quiet. We stop at a small tourist information centre and café – both of which are closed and “available to rent”. There is limited passing trade here so we decide not to take on the lease.
Continuing our journey we stop at a roadside market to buy locally made souvenirs. Tiny dolls dressed in typical Herrero clothing are popular purchases.
By early afternoon we discover some more tarmac road. And half an hour later we are arriving at the Damara Mopane Lodge for our 2-night stay. The swimming pool here looks very tempting and it is not long before our guests are taking a dip. The water is a touch chilly as you first get in, but after that it is apparently wonderful. Around 5.30pm we all walk to the lodge’s viewing platform to enjoy the sun set. We can see across the plains for miles and the colours of the sunset are magnificent. All no doubt helped by copious amounts of wine?! After a tasty dinner some of us venture out to view the stars. The sky is dark and clear, and the Milky Way is clearly visible. Thousands of twinkling stars and a few planets too. Absolutely stunning.