I stayed at the Beach Lodge for a lovely weekend in Swakopmund, in Namibia. It’s a wonderful oddball looking building which caught me by surprise the first time I saw it. It looks like a cross between a full-size hobbit house and a ship. It’s meant to shaped like the prow of a ship rising from the sands of the desert but I can’t help seeing similarities to Bilbo Baggins and friends’ houses in The Shire.
My soul country, the moment I step onto Namibian soil I relax and feel at one with the earth. Maybe it’s the desert, or perhaps it’s the starkness of the land, but it’s a place that has a piece of my heart.
“You must like the sea very much,” the man said to me as I stepped off the pier onto the sand, “I’ve been observing you and you’ve been following the waves with your eyes for a long time.”
I looked at his work clothes and suntanned face and reasoned that he had stopped by the beach during his lunch hour. I did not feel creeped out in any way. He looked like a good honest man and sounded sincere and curious.
I decided to take the opening and continue the conversation. When I travel, it’s the unexpected conversations with strangers that anchor a lasting memory to the place.
“Oh I love the sea. It is a part of me. I love watching the ebb and the flow. The force of the waves makes me feel like a part of something bigger than me. It washes through me and makes feel alive. It’s like a lullaby for my senses,” I responded.
“You’re not from here are you?” he remarked.
“I’m visiting my friend, I live in South Africa. I come to Swakopmund as often as I can – the desert grounds me to the earth and the sea restores the flow to my frazzled lifestyle in Joburg.” I smiled.
He smiled too and we parted ways.
These photos were taken on a cloudy day with my iPhone 4S camera.
Which orientation works better -landscape or portrait?
During breeding season pelicans rear their chicks on the Guano Platform. Often the chicks falls off the platform and wash up on the beach. Those that are saved by members of the public are brought to the Pelican Rehabilitation Project who look after them and once fully grown, are encouraged to fend for themselves.
The project is situated at the Walvis Bay waterfront and this gorgeous big boy felt very comfortable walking around in the restaurants’ parking lot, waddling among the cars.
All of a sudden a bakkie drove up to the kitchen door of a restaurant. When the bakkie’s canopy door opened he raced at top speed towards it, almost colliding with the chef who’d started unloading the fish and seafood from the back. He scared the living daylights out of her and when she saw who the intruder was she burst into laughter. From clutching at her heart in terror to clutching at her stomach in mirth, it was funny to witness. Off course, this gorgeous big boy didn’t understand what the fuss was all about and hung around the car hoping for a tidbit.
I got the feeling that this wasn’t the first time he’d tried this stunt. I don’t think that’s what the rehabilitation project had in mind when they encourage the pelicans to fend for themselves!
Social Entrepreneur, chief wide eyed in wanderer, wonderer and bottlewasher