I travelled along the Skeleton Coast today, so named for the many shipwrecks that happened along that treacherous stretch of sea in times gone by.
We stopped off at the Cape Cross Seal Colony which is the home of up to 20,000 seals. I have never seen so many animals of any type in such a small area! Its the breeding seson so there were hundreds of little seal pups, many dead from jackal attacks or clumsy big seals sitting on them. The stench for hundreds of metres around is something that has to be expereinced to be believed it is just so bad. Imagine rotting seal carcasses in the hundreds and 20,000 seals wallowing in their own waste right where they lay, it was just disgusting and the smell permeated our skin and we all stunk. If you could get past the smell (and a bit of tiger balm under the nose did help a little) if was a pretty amazing sight, and the sound of all those seals barking was just crazy!
What made it worse was that we were heading out to Spitzkoppe to a very primitive campsite with no running water so no one could shower until the following day!
Despite it lack of modern conveniences Spitzkoppe is one of the most stunning places I have been to. There are these mammoth rock formations that come up in the middle of the plains that stretch as far as the eye can see. The main peak, coincidentally named Spitzkoppe(!) is nearly 1800m high. While I didn't have time to climb that one because we got into camp too late, I did climb ne of the others which was about 900m tall and the view was incredible, especially when the sun started to set. In fact it was so fantastic I got up at 5.30am the following morning to watch the sun rise as well!