Part 6: Namibia Bike Trip - Stuck in the Desert
SWAKOPMUND: The next couple of days were set aside for some leisurely activities - the type of thing normal people do when on a holiday. You know - long, lingering dinners in a cosy restaurant, lounging with a drink while watching the sun go down over the ocean, taking walks through quaint streets and enjoying the vibe of the season perhaps visiting some attractions and sights in the area.
Those noble plans got sidetracked somewhat with the flat rear tyre as the first half of the morning was spent replacing the tube. The test ride felt ok and we were smiling again - went for a drink at the beach and promptly burned ourselves to a crisp in the unforgiving Namib sun!
The following morning very early we took a ride to Walvis to join a harbour tour with Mola Mola. The boat goes as far as Pelican Point and the sight of dolphins frolicking in the bow wave is something to behold. Right next to Sandwich harbour is the estuary where we watched thousands of pink flamingo's gargling saltwater and doing Jesus impressions.
On the road back to Swakopmund I felt a slight vibration at the rear which swiftly turned into a more violent shudder. A fat bulge was developing along the side - clearly, the wall of the tyre was damaged. Horror of horrors.
Thus started Operation Tyre Search. Being the 27th of December didn't help much and it took half a day worth of phone calls and some tears and sweat to find a suitable tyre in Windhoek. Rassie from Suzuki in Swakopmund really came through for us and without his help, we might have still been there waiting for a shipment from Cape Town! On our penultimate morning in town, I collected the tyre from him and with great relief fitted it!
Some of our planned excursions suffered as a result of our transport troubles but we still had a great time in Swakopmund. It really is a lovely town with LOADS to see and do. Even with all the people around, it's still possible to find a quiet spot somewhere.
One warning though. Some restaurants are fully booked for days in advance. On the day we arrived (25th) The Tug claimed that they could only give us a table on the 4th of Jan! Another tip I'd like to offer is to NEVER order pizza from ANY restaurant during the busy holiday season. They just can't cope with the demand and we waited for hours on more than one occasion. Really odd.
The weather was surprisingly cool with one morning of rain and most others with mist until late in the day.
Although a drive up the salt road towards Cape Cross would have been nice, the wetness made it dangerous and we abandoned the idea.
Swakopmund has some really nice hang-outs and I would love to go back there one day and spend more time.