Still hyped that we had our first wild camp (some other overlanders do this almost every night, but for us it was a wonderful first), it was time for another highlight. Finally reaching our 'turning point'. Before we could leave, we noticed a rather unpleasant smell in the car. The game steak came with a lot of meat juice, which had been sitting in the cooler box. Overnight, this juice had gone bad and the smell was not our favorite to say the least. Hopefully we could do something about that later. 

When we started planning our trip, we planned with a few months in mind. We wanted to drive around lake Victoria. As we talked more about the trip, our ideas became more idealistic. Reaching the Victoria Falls would be a beautiful turning point. Later we said that if we could reach the Vic Falls, Namibia was not far away. And if you are in Namibia, why not go to the west coast of Africa. When we left, we had the west coast as a mythical turning point for our epic trip. 

After having cleaned up our wild camp and we left absolutely nothing but our tracks, we headed further west. We were about 15 minutes away from the Skeleton Coast National Park. This national park runs along the west coast of Namibia from Angola to Swakopmund. The name Skeleton Coast was initially given due to the large number of whale skeletons washing up on the coast and was later enforced by a large number of ships that had run ashore due to the hidden rocks along the shoreline. We did not have to pay for our entry if we would transit (enter and exit the park on the same day). 

The road was very scenic and we really took our time. We drove slowly and stopped several times to enjoy the spectacular views. The desert and rocks were beautiful. A nice addition was the fact that this helped in making sure Gigi did not overheat. Slowly but steadily we drove towards the coast, hoping to spot a rhino, elephant or brown hyena. Unfortunately we did not see animals, but there were many beautiful hills, dunes and rocks. 

Then there it was. Just before reaching the shore, we turned south and on our right we could see the sea! As soon as we could, we stopped at a view point to take some photos of us, Gigi and the Atlantic ocean. For us it was a really emotional moment, the moment we had been driving for about 3 months toward. Again we took our time and we excitedly drove along the shoreline. There were several 'sightseeing stops' where we stopped and enjoyed the views. An old oil rig drowning in the sand, the engine of a ship run ashore, salt pans on the shore, they were all beautiful, but none of them could compare with the Atlantic ocean for us. 

The temperature was a lot cooler here than further land inward and we could drive at a steady pace without any risk of overheating. We reached our next campsite much earlier than expected. This next spot, was something Emma had been looking forward for quite some time. Cape Cross is known for having a huge cape fur seal colony. This was one animal we had not been able to photograph before, so it would be a nice opportunity to add these strange but funny looking animals to our list. 

The seal colony is infamous for having a terrible smell. During December and early January a lot of baby seals are being born. The seals go out in the water and when they get back to land, the babies have to try to find their mother in order to be fed. As long as they don't find their mother, the babies are very vulnerable for starvation or for being killed by jackals or brown hyenas. This leaves many baby seals dead on the beach, as far as to the parking lot. The smell of the decaying babies and the seal poo is horrendous. However, we were happy to get out of the car and into the seal smell, as our car smelled even worse due to the dead game juices that had been boiling in the hot car. 

Despite the bad smell of the seals, we took our time to take in this crazy mayhem of seals. Many babies bleating to find their mothers, many mothers mooing to let their babies know where they were, and in the meantime the males were just trying to find the best places in the sun to dry their fur. The best sunny places were taken by the largest and fattest seals and they fought others for the best spots. This cacophony of sounds and smells was something that seemed out of this world. A little further down the beach, the seals were crawling over each other and mostly crawling over the carcasses of their deceased family members. The scene was quite morbid, but similarly amazing. Some of the seals had made their way on the walking path and many of them were outside around the parking lot. They clearly ruled this place. 

After having spent quite some time with the seals, we went to our campsite. We stayed at the campsite of the Cape Cross lodge, where we could go straight for dinner. We sat outside, watching over the Atlantic Ocean. WE HAD MADE IT!! The only thing that dampened our enthusiasm slightly, were the many flies around us. It took us some time to realize we spent so much time with the seals, that we had started to smell like them. Our clothes could go straight to the laundromat. 

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