12 October 2018
Our morning started off well with everyone in a lovely good mood. We could hear some strange revving in the near distance, and quickly discovered three local guys stuck with their vehicle. I went over to see if we could help, and one of them explained to me that they had been camping overnight and the car was not a 4×4, and they had indeed become stuck in some sand. I invited him over to our van, and Ian retrieved the spade and levelling block for them to use. It was clear a few minutes later they were still stuck, so Ian went and within three minutes they had been freed! Apparently, they were still trying to escape by going up the sandy hill… Ian reversed the car and they set off on a new, firmer track. Hurrah for POI!!
We then spied our neighbours (the Swiss/Italian family from yesterday) with a flat tyre. I yelled over to ask if there was anything we could do to help, and he replied “I’m lost!!” Ian went over to see if he could be any use, then called me over to help get the rod used to release the spare tyre into its correct position, as Amos had shown us back in Cape Town. I tried to get it through, but couldn’t, so I crawled under the van to see if I could get a better view. A few minutes later and a happy Italian has freed his spare tyre and we’d done our second good deed for the day.
We finished packing up, and I made the five hour drive to Swakopmund. On the way, we stopped off to mark our entrance to the Tropic of Capricorn’s then wound our way through some planet-like countryside, until the road gradually flattened out as we neared the coast. We watched the temperature drop from 35 to 25 to 17 very quickly and donned our jackets as we exited the car on arrival at Sandcastle Apartments.
There we were greeted by Silke, a German lady (ex Hamburg lawyer) who was very thorough taking us through the apartment and making suggestions for our visit to the local area. She was very pleasant although she made a comment about “the so-called New Germany for 28 years” which made me raise an eyebrow!
Cornelia was most excited about the abundance of elephants in our apartment, including the towels folded to look like elephants!
Once we’d filled the apartment with our bags, handed over our ton of laundry to Silke, and showered, we had time to speak to Auntie Carole and Auntie Lizzie, before we drove to Suzanne’s campsite on the south side of town, ten minutes away to pick them up. We were all so happy to see each other again! We parked near the lighthouse (which is still in operation) and, with no clear plan in mind, walked off to try and find a restaurant, via a playpark in the promenade. Silke had suggested a pizzeria, but when we got there, we decide that none of us really fancied a pizza, so we carried on trekking. Luckily a local asked us whether he could help, and guided us to Kücki’s Pub for the seafood we were hunting. Manuel gave him $N20 for his help and he cheekily replied that he was expecting twice that amount! When he realised he wasn’t getting any more from any of us, he cheerily waved goodbye to us and wished us a good evening.
Kücki’s Pub was busy and loud and just what we needed with two tired and excited children. Poor Suzanne had been adopted by Cornelia which was making Elia slightly annoyed, so there was a bit of upset about who was sitting where! Eventually the kids agreed to play a game on my phone which kept them occupied while we waited for our meals to arrive. I had Kingklip again, this time with potato salad and veg, and it was delicious.
During dinner, we all admitted we were so glad to have met each other and it looks almost certain that they will come to stay with us in the U.K. in April or May next year, which would be absolutely brilliant.
After the meal, we found BigBell and dropped the family back off at their campsite, and returned to our own apartment. We all flopped into bed, exhausted, full and very happy.