Henties Bay, Namibia: From Sossusvlei, we drove several hours on the gravel roads through the Namib Desert on our way to Swakopmund. We were looking forward to making it to this booming metropolis because the guide book said (a) it was ‘anything but boring’ and (b) the effect of the hot desert against the icy Atlantic made it feel ‘like a movie set.’ Unfortunately, the guide book was wrong. Swakopmund was most certainly boring and actually felt pretty weird. Sure, the fog was a bit reminiscent of San Francisco, but instead of being romantic & mysterious, it was eerie & sketchy.
We found this small city is most definitely still in the throes of segregation, and the inequality between races is pronounced. There are Germans – all of whom immediately spoke German to us assuming we knew it – and there are native Namibians. There seemed to be little mixing of the two.
Our one night there, we found a good German dinner, stocked up on provisions & then immediately continued along our way. From there, we headed north along the Skeleton Coast. This is a treacherous stretch of coast where many ships have become graveyards. The rolling fogs and swirling sandstorms create a ghostly and isolating experience, and it’s among the most remote and inaccessible areas in Namibia. There was no one else around, and again, we felt the eeriness of this region & a little out of sorts.