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Published: November 30th 2008
We set ourselves a gentle target today. Ian wasn’t feeling too fit. He had left his gout pills in Kenya so had bought some locally and the pharmacist gave him the wrong instructions and he took double the dose he should have. This may well have prevented any recurrence of gout but it didn’t half upset his insides - poor man. So we took it gently and drove the short distance down to Walvis Bay
(Whale Bay) where we drove gently around the southern edge of the bay looking at the bird life.
Camilla and Ian were really rather disappointed with what they found; there were not the hordes of flamingo which they had been lead to believe lived there, but there was some quality if not quantity. It was also interesting to see the huge salt farming which goes on there, great pans of water drying off to leave the salt deposit, and some of the magenta colours too were somewhat misleading - but very attractive.
After lunch we explored the town. The waterfront was dominated by a massive oil rig which was being serviced, beyond which was the docks area with a queue of about four or five cargo ships anchored in the bay awaiting their turn to dock. The town itself was laid out again in a grid pattern, much like Swakopmund; again with nothing more than two storied buildings. Some of the houses along the front were extremely smart, positioned back from the shore line, looking across a grass covered esplanade with lines of palms, to the sea beyond. The house designs were all different, most of them very attractive, and it was clear that this is where the local gentry reside.
The town centre occupies, in reality, two long parallel streets with low shops, some of the older ones having verandahs at the front with raised walkway. We found one shop selling 4x4 kit and camping equipment. This drew us like a magnet and we must have spent anything up to an hour exploring the contents. Both Ian and I bought bits of kit which we convinced ourselves we really, really needed (which we did, of course) and Chris and Camilla did a little provisioning in the Spar shop opposite.. Ian was feeling much better so we decided to camp and located the nearest Caravan and Camping setup which, apart from having very a nice toilet block, had little else going for it at all. It was crammed into a small housing estate - although activity was slight - but it adequately met all our needs.
However, there was another organisation which used this area too - buses with loads of youngsters from South Africa who played endless football in the road while the bus drivers were for ever leaving their static buses with the engines running. We complained bitterly to “management” in the morning, to what avail I know not. In summary, we liked Walvis Bay, it had a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere.
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