mobile malaria project

Day 9: Walvis Bay

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Jason Hendry
Sunday 31 March 2019 | Distance travelled 0km

We took a rest day today and did some tourism. This morning we went to Dune 7, reputedly the largest sand dune in the world! It was incredibly beautiful, and although hard work to get to the top of, it was worth it for the view.

We next went to Swakopmund, which is a larger town than Walvis Bay with a much stronger German influence. We walked out on a pier and really took in the view of the sand meeting the sea. It's a sight to behold, and although it's much more dramatic further up the coast, it really gave the impression of the juxtaposition of sand and sea. We went to a sweet little art cafe for lunch and got talking to a wizened old man called Wayne. A white Namibian, he'd be born in Johannesberg 'but conceived in the Copperbelt'. He was perfectly charming and had a lot of stories to tell about how the WWF had supposedly killed elephants up north to make it look like there were poachers so that they could get more aid money. We told him about our trip and he was interested and enthusastic about our work. It's nice to get some recognition, however small, from people living in the places where we hope to work.

We then went to an aquarium which was small but very sweet. They had rays and shark and a big tunnel going under the main tank. There were plenty of people visiting there, and as it's a Sunday both in the aquarium aand on the beach, lots of African families enjoying their day off.

There was a really impressive set of info-graphics spread around the place, in particularly striking font. The Namibian coast is one of only a few in the world where plankton come to the surface in huge quantities. This because of the unique combination of the earth spinning, ocean currents and wind mean that there is an uplift that pulls water from low down, containing lots of nutrients higher in the water column.

Our trip in Swakopmund finished with a swim in the Atlantic Ocean. I'd long wanted to initiate the trip with a swim in the sea. The journey had originally been called 'CostaPwani' coast to coast in Portuguese and KiSwahili. A big part of what I want to do personally is to complete the journey from one side of the continent to the other. When our toes next touch the ocean, it'll be the Indian.

Tomorrow is Monday, and I really hope for good news and no more delays. We may well have the car by this time tomorrow night, but this is only an outside chance. We should have it early on Tuesday though and then, at last, we will be able to start out journey proper.