Al's tent survived the night winds this time. Before driving to Luderitz today we had to stop at the gas station to pick up our spare tire. The attendant had everything ready just as promised. Contact had been made with Bobo Campers and all we had to pay was thirty bucks labour. Awesome!
Luderitz is 122 km west down a paved road. On the way is the ghost town of Kolmanskop. We are warned to drive careful as this road often has sand drifts on it along with strong wind gusts. We admit that we are used to watching for snow drifts on our roads during the winter. The road is well signed.
Eleven is the final ghost town tour and we make is with a little time to spare. The tour was very interesting. Explanations of how the town once boomed because of diamond mining. Warnings were given about not picking anything up off the ground here or the surrounding area. The threat of ten years imprisonment is a deterrent.
Following the tour we were allowed to wander in and out of most buildings except one. The blowing sand is invading most buildings and makes for unique photos. Five families stayed on living here once everyone else left. They attempted to keep the sands from burying everything but only stayed for five years. Since then it has become a tourist attraction with many a famous photographer snapping photos of the place. Strange sunlight and sand peek through the token windows, missing doors, and broken boards. Elaine and Al took some stunning shots! I'm sure we will transfer some of these to canvas.
An ad claiming "Most Delicious Chocolate Cake", along with coffee drew us in to the little cafe. We enjoyed this most delicious moist cake before having to leave. We were disappointed to learn this place closed at one o'clock and that the diamond sales only happened during the week.this was unfortunately for Elaine and I, Saturday. Dick and Al seemed relieved.
Luderitz is the town on the coast further west of the ghost town. The town has no open shops and few people are on the streets. I guess nothing but a couple retaurants and bars are open here on weekends either, well at least not after one. Too bad, the town looks interesting. It is a port for ships. The wind made it very cold today. The locals are wearing winter coats. Curious about the campsite on the ocean where the winds can take away your tent if it's not pegged down we drive in for a peek. The guide book suggests not setting up your tent until you are ready to get into it. Yes, it is that windy! The ocean looks rough and cold. Noticeably the wind is playing havoc with one camping pair. The temperature gauge now reads 16 degrees with a cold ocean wind. Quite a change from Aus at 29 and Kolmanskop at 20.
On the road back, signs indicate the penalties in place for anyone caught in the restricted areas either side of the road. Most of this place is still a restricted diamond zone. Special permits are necessary for entry. I wouldn't know a diamond in the rough if I saw one anyway.
Just before Aus there is a water hole off the highway where the wild horses come to drink. Aus is know for it's wild horses. We arrive at 3:45 pm to a few horses leaving and some more on their way. A light snack was in order while we watched the horses come and go. Al and Elaine took many photos. The scenery reminded me of the old cowboy movies of the wild west. It was a very fitting backdrop for the wild horses.
Back at Klein Vista Camp we eat dinner and prepare for the night. Elaine and I walk together with her headlamp to the washroom down a long sandy path. Elaine walked in front because I can see by her; well actually over her but she doesn't like being vertically challenged. Returning together in the same fashion Elaine suddenly stops and points her headlamp at something in ou path. Yes, it's a large black scorpion! She kicks some sand on it which causes it to curl up. It is still on the path so we decide it is in our best interest to take a wide route around him. That's twice now that I have come across a scorpion at dusk. Scary!