Zachary Sabbatical - 2006/2007 travel blog

And you thought your personal space wasn't respected.

Proud papa.


Sigh. Here we go.

Beginner's smile.

Speed is your friend.

So far, so good.

I think I need a shower.

Quad heaven.

Vroom! Vroom!

Don't even think about touching my cake!

Walking up a high sand dune in snowboarding boots is not easy. Boarding down the steep side of the dune - now that was fun! Lying on a piece of slick fiber-board charging down the backside of the dune at 76 km/h (clocked by a radar gun) - was even better! We were in Swakopmund for three days, and were taking advantage of some of the many activities available. Our family chose to do sand boarding and quad biking, but many from our group also included tandem sky diving. After sitting in the truck for so long, I was looking forward to doing something!

On our way to Swakopmund, we had stopped at the Cape Cross seal colony. It's one of the largest in the world, and provides a great opportunity to watch these very interesting creatures up close. It was foggy, cold, and smelly, but also amazing. The colony stretched far up and down the beach. The seals were loud, pushy, and so cute! Little black pups were napping, nursing, or flopping after their moms. Their flippers looked too large for them - as if the pups were in zip-up pajamas! We saw a couple mating, and just missed a pup being born. It was incredible - worth even enduring the strong fishy smell that clung to our clothes!

The sand boarding was a blast! We drove out to the dunes, trudged to the top, waxed our boards, and flew down the slope. It's like boarding in heavy snow, but more fun because it's warm and dry! We also got to try the lie-down boarding, which was very fast and fun. At the end of the morning, exhausted from trudging up the hill for each run, covered with sand, and sufficiently thrilled, we snarfed-down a boxed lunch and headed back for our next thrill - quad biking in the dunes! What a blast! We charged up and down the sides of the dunes as we raced through the desert. Eventually, we circled back to the ocean, stopping for a cold soda while we enjoyed the view! What a day!

Dad's Notes

Swakopmund is wedged between the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Dessert. It has become one of the premier tourist destinations in southern Africa because of the recreational activities it offers. Being a former German colony, Namibia also offers many European amenities. We enjoyed great food, did some shopping, and relaxed at phenomenal coffee shops. The Namibian dollar is equivalent to the South African Rand. We found prices for many items (meals, accommodations, etc...) were approximately half of what one would expect to pay for the same quality and quantity as in Canada. An excellent cappuccino was about $1.50; a steak (or springbuck or oryx) dinner was about $10. Namibian roads are in pretty good shape, and the variety of wildlife and terrain makes this country one worth visiting! If you ever do come to southern Africa - don't miss this gem!

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