Dunes, sandboarding, quading and ocean... yes please!

           Our Namibian experience started with arriving at the Gaborone bus station at 5am.  The bus left at 6 and we wanted decent seats for the 12 hour journey.  Instead of being a bus, it was one of those new mini buses by Mercedis.  It held 27 people and all the seats were full except one.  The kicker is that the seats were made for children, not adults.  I am convinced that the thing was designed in Asia as they are the only people on the planet that could fit in those seats. 
            In Southern Africa, commercial vehicles must have a sticker on the back stating their maximum allowable speed.  This mini bus was only good for 100km/h.  However, once we hit the city boarder the driver laid the hammer down and we crushed across the Trans Kalahari HWY at 130km/h.  The road is bumpy and the wind from trucks blew us all over the place, as well as randomly slamming the breaks to allow for donkey’s, cows, goats and the odd Ostridge.  The cops even waved him over at a speed trap but never gave him a ticket.  As soon as the cops left the mirror, we were cruising again.
            We arrived in Windhoek and waved down a hatchback taxi.  We managed to fit all 5 of our luggage and us in that little sucker and cruise to the Chameleon Backpackers hostel.  The hostel was like Fort Knocks, electric wire and security everywhere.  The sign on the gate said, "The Windhoek Experience:  Take your bag to town, get robbed at knife point".  Apparently Windhoek is not a safe place!  We called another taxi and went to Joes beer house for dinner.  It was kind of like the rainforest café but only outside and for adults.  They serve all kinds of stuff like Zebra and Kudu steak.  Our room that we stayed in at the hostel didn’t even have a bathroom door, only a curtain that was see through.  Although it was actually a nice place.
            In the morning we grabbed the combi to Swakopmund.  The combi sat 17 people but was air conditioned and comfortable.  He was rated for 100km/h as well but 130km/h seemed to be his speed of choice as well.  We came close to getting pulled over as well but he knew the spots to well.
            We were dropped at Ville Weise, our hostel.  I grew up around butcher shops and it didn’t take long for me to realize that the main section of the lodge smelt like an old smoke house for meat and the kitchen still had the smell of the actual butcher shop.  I could also see that the building had one or two additions and I assumed the other buildings were built after.
            Our room was on the third floor of an exterior building in a sloped ceiling attic.  It was cozy and warm.  We unloaded our stuff and hit the beach for the afternoon.  In the morning I went out and caught this Roman Catholic, partial German, church service.  The Germans colonized Swakopmund back in the day.  I found a souvenir market down by the water and was harassed for a while to buy some typical African stuff but they didn’t break me.  The afternoon was spent on the beach and most of us got burnt.  I have never been to an ocean where the salt was so aggressive.  It was large chunks, almost like small hail.  I guess that’s why 90% of South Africa’s table salt is produced close by Swakopmund.
            After grabbing coffees and stuff at this little restaurant out on the peer, we were bored and took a lot of pictures trying to all do a heal click at the same time under the post lights of the peer boardwalk. 
            In the morning we were picked up by 4 guys to go sand boarding in the dunes.  The owner had placed 5th in the world sand boarding championships in German a few years ago.  They were super chill guys and we had a lot of fun.  They spoke a "click" language as they are from northern Namibia.  Sand boarding is awesome.  You get sand EVERYWHERE, have to walk up the dunes, and have to wax your board after every run but its worth it.  I will post pics when I can.
            We spent the afternoon relaxing along the beach in the shade, went out for supper and caught the sunset but 3 of us were starting to feel the symptoms of a flu. The flu didnt stop me from 4-wheeling in the dunes the next morning.  I drove the snot out of my machine.  The girls took these pieces of crap automatics but I got a Yamaha Viper.  At first I was bored out of my skull as the girls were going so slow, so I started pulling catwalks and stuff in the back.  After a bit we started hitting some sand dunes.  The girls were kind of scared but once I got the hang of it I was givn’r full out.  I realized the leader didn’t care what I did in the back so I would fall behind and run the dune a couple times before flying across the desert in high gear as fast as the thing would go to catch up.  The sand responds very much like snow so you can drift in 4th and 5th gear while flying around corners.  Probably some of the most fun I have ever had while 4 wheeling.  I figured I paid for it so I would drive it as hard as I could until he told me to relax.  Finally he called me up when I was running all these dunes that no one else was running and just calmly asked me to stay off this one section as it was restricted.  HAHA, that guys was kinda weird but he was alright in my books.
            In the afternoon I walked all over town to find a shop that would cut my hair.  Try being an English speaking white person and explaining to a Namibian who barely speaks English how to cut a white persons hair.  Black people know how to buzz curley hair with a clipper, not cut white people hair.  I could tell he didn’t fully understand but I figured it would be a month before I am home and it would grow out.  He definitely cut it too short but he did a nice job on the beard so I give him props for that.  That evening we went to the cinema and saw 127 Hours.  Its by the same director as Slumdog Milionare.  It was very good, I would recommend it.  I was sick of sleeping in that hot attic so I dragged my mattress out on the walkway and slept outside for the next two nights.
            The morning bore REALLY sore muscles, the type that the flu give you.  Luckily the symptoms passed by the end of the day.  After getting my hair cut I bought a book for a couple dollars at a buy and sell shop.  I read it most of the day in the shade because it was so nice; the perfect temperature and the perfect breeze.
           We were all ready to start heading back to Botswana but when we got to the bus station our hopes were dashed a little.  Instead of a nice comfy combi we rode in an old one where the seats were so hard that your butt starts hurting before you sit.  You know when your on the decent down to sit and your butt is already telling you not to do it.  It was so squished that I had to trade seats with Emily because I sat back as far as possible yet my knee was jammed into the seat in front of me.  Not rammed into the cushion part but the bar part.  Again, must have been an Asian invention.  Anyways, we spent 4+ hours in that thing before landing at Windhoek. 
          We slept at the Cardboard Box hostel but I didn’t sleep much.  Again we arrived at 5am to load for the 12 hour journey but our nice hostess was replaced by this lady who had no personal relation skills.  The seats were to small already as it was but at one point we had 32 people in a 27 seater bus with 4 people standing.  I think even some of the Botswanas wanted to choke her.  The thought crossed my mind a dozen or so times and I felt like warming up a back hand and smackin the taste out of her mouth.  Oh well, Corine and Katrine picked us up in the Venture and we made it home, that’s what counts.