|I have been in Swakopmund for the last few days and to me at the moment it is the closest I have been to heaven on earth in ages. Not only is it a small city (complete with a few traffic lights) which I haven't seen in weeks, I am sleeping in a real bed!! Albeit its an 8 bed dorm that I am sharing with others from the trip and the mattress is so thin you can feel the bed slats against your ribs and the pillow could double as a napkin but to me is is a glorious luxury!
In addition there are restaurants, pubs, clubs and cafes...you just can't believe how excited I was to get here. So the first thing I did when I arrived was to book myself on a skydiving trip half an hour later and did a jump out over the sand dunes. If possible it was even better than the first time I did it back home, such an adrenalin rush and spectacular scenery. It was a half hour flight up to 10,000 feet then out the door for a 30 second freefall which is the most incredible feeling in the world. At 5000 feet the tandem master who I was strapped to pulled the chute and we floated, swooped and spun for the next 5 minutes, in cluding a couple of minutes where I controlled the chute myself, until I landed back on mother earth. Fabulous, fabulous day!
I was so excited at the prospect of actual things to do that the next morning I headed out to try my hand at sand boarding down 90m dunes in the desert. It was so much fun and as you can imagine (seeing as I have zero experience with that sport) many many tumbles and sand in every crevice of my body imaginable. By the time lunch rolled around I was so exhausted I could hardly stand up after trudging all the way back up the sand dunes after each trip down. I mostly did the stand-up boarding but also gave the lying down (toboggan style) trip a go. The lying down was crazy, you have no control whatsoever over speed, direction or anything and you are flying along at speeds of up to 80kph head first down a sand dune. They also had a speed gun out there to measure how fast you went but I only got to 77kph :(
I took it easy for the rest of the afternoon before kicking off the evening with a few drinks in the room (iPod speakers are worth their weight in gold) before heading out to dinner for a Springbok steak, followed by a bar then a club and finally ending up at the Casino at 5am. We were charged a $5 Namibian ($1AU) cover charge to get into the casino, lost $100N on blackjack and stumbled home.
I had every intention of getting up at the crack of dawn to go paragliding off the sand dunes today but somehow the crack of dawn came and went without me noticing and I've just spent the day chilling out, checking out the markets, buying a couple of souveniers (like a warthog tusk bottle opener, not sure if I can get the one through customs or not!).