Fear and Loathing in Luderitz
Dec 9, 2008
|After Aus we drove to Luderitz a seaside town on Namibia’s southern coast, just above the restricted diamond mining area.
Although our Lonely Planet guide describes Luderitz as a ‘surreal colonial relic’, a more accurate description would probably be shithole. The town is located on a barren, rocky coastline.
It could be northern Newfoundland, but with sand and shrubs instead of muskeg. True, there are some interesting old colonial buildings, but there are a lot more crappy, derelict warehouse-types with seedy bars, cheap chain stores and dusty roads.
While the cook groups were shopping, a bunch of us had some time to explore the town. Rebecca and I set off to find an internet café, while Kate, Gabby and Lee went in search of a pint. They reported back that the closest bar was not the friendliest place in town. The actual bar and bartender were secured behind a cage. The Lonely Planet also states that travelers are greeted with “a warm smile and a cold pint”. The words ‘warm smile’ should be replaced with the word ‘suspicion’ and ‘pint’ should be replaced with ‘stare’.
We stopped here to visit Kolmanskop, the old diamond mine ghost town and perhaps take a boat to Halifax island. After checking things out, Adam and Elton reported that we would be unable to do either activity that day, so we ended up with a free day.
We camped at Shark Island campsite, a windy place on a rocky outcrop that juts out into the Atlantic. We were forced to use extra pegs on our tent and weigh it down.
Elton and Adam took off in the truck and mysteriously disappeared for a few hours. We had no idea what they were up to and the only explanation they provided was that they were ‘gassing-up the truck’. Huh?
We spent the day exploring around the rocks and tidal pools, and relaxing. Lee and Chris attempted an ambitious dinner of gnocchi that evening and we all stepped in to help them roll the little potato dumpling pockets.
The next day a bunch of us left the camp and walked into town to check internet and pick up some things. Our truck would pick us up on the main street outside of the post office. We waited there in two groups; one on either side of the street, since we didn’t know which way the truck would come from. As I saw our truck come up the street, I yelled to the other group “Hey – there’s Jesus. I can see Jesus guys; he’s coming up the road. Everyone, Jesus is coming!!” Our truck had been christened Jesus (pun intended) and we had just developed the habit of calling the truck by its name. Suffice it to say, I caught some looks from the locals. A little embarrassed, I climbed aboard our truck Jesus, and we set off for the Kolmanskop ghost town.