Where the desert meets the sea

After having explored the moon, we returned to Swakopmund. There was still a lot we wanted to do in the dunes and Swakopmund was the best place to use as a basis to do these things. We were able to book the same accommodations as last time in Swakopmund, but this time the other way around. We started with the AirBNB that had an amazing view over the sand dunes. We took some morning walks into the dunes and we relaxed a bit for a few days. We did some admin and edits as well. As per usual, we just went to the same places again and again. After that, it was time for action!

Our first activity was one that we had been looking forward to for quite some time: Quad-biking! We spent two hours driving over the dunes, up and down. The guide was able to slowly teach us how to control and our quadbikes and how to navigate the dunes, so we were able to go faster and faster. It was amazing to feel the thrill of driving through the desert, a very different way of enjoying the dunes than we had done before. After that, we returned to our favorite coffee place in Swakopmund for lunch to say goodbye. They would miss us, as we had been there every day for the last 3 days. 

After lunch we went to a town a little further south, called Walvisbaai. Here another adventure started, a trip to Sandwich Harbor, the place where the desert meets the ocean. This place is famous for having huge sand dunes disappearing in the Atlantic ocean. There are many different companies offering these trips, and we had decided to go with the company of Wolfgang, who gave us the amazing experience during the living desert tour. The tourguide was none other than Wolfgang's father-in-law. Apparently this was his 2.000th 'first day'. This tour was wonderful as well, and we were wondering who enjoyed it more, the two of us, who came here for the first time, or our guide who seemed like a little kid in the playground. The tour first past through the salt pans where the local salt companies produce their stock, and then went through the dunes. Driving up and down the slopes, along the dunes was amazing. At some point we drove on the beach with on one side the Atlantic ocean and on the other side sand dunes towering more than 100 meters above us, such a crazy experience. After a photo-stop at the famous place where the desert meets the ocean, we had a snack and drink stop in the dunes, after which we drove back to Walvisbaai through the dunes. 

The next day was the first day of this trip that we would be on the Atlantic Ocean. The catamaran cruise is one of the most popular activities in Walvisbaai, in search of the dolphins that swim along the Namibian coast and towards the seals that inhabit the peninsula just off the coast. We were not even cruising for 5 minutes, when two huge pelicans and two cape fur seals joined the party. They know that there is always some fish on the boats, so they come and visit almost always. It was a wonderful opportunity to see these huge animals up close and even to touch and pet them. 

The boat ride was not super special, but it was lovely to be on the water, out of the heat and to just enjoy cool breeze. We had not seen the dolphins, which was quite a pity, but we still loved to be so close to the seals and the pelicans. There was a sunfish that was spotted just past the seal peninsula, but another group kept getting too close to the fish and it swam away. The trip remained not very spectacular, but a lovely day away. On the way back, we took some time to close our eyes in the on the upper deck, with the sea breeze across our faces. 

We were just out the docks when Emma suddenly exclaimed 'Dolphin?'. Jeroen woke up and indeed, there was a dolphin swimming just by our boat. None of the crew had seen the dolphin, so we had to tell them exactly where we had seen it. Then we saw another dolphin a little further off the shore, and back we went. We were all very happy that we had still seen the dolphins, so the trip felt complete. Back at Walvisbaai, Emma had another chance to take photos of some of the most beautiful creatures she always loves to photograph. Just outside our place of stay, on the shoreline, were huge groups of flamingos foraging. We had spent a wonderful time in the dunes and the sea, but it was time for another adventure. 

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