Glad we went, because we saw some interesting things.
Walvis Bay is a large shipping port, but it also has some local attractions. The bay is full of pink flamingos, and there is a huge salt mining operation that was interesting to see. Also, we drove this long strange road out to the ocean, where we saw some seal pups!
On the beach in Walvis Bay we saw these huge jellyfish.
The bay if full of pink flamingos.
The flamingo is such a strange bird. There are two different types of flamingos, the greater flamingo and the lesser flamingo. Flamingos regularly live to be 60 years old, and there is one in a zoo in the United States that is over 80 years old!
This is the greater flamingo. The lesser flamingo is more pink and is slightly smaller.
Look at their funny curved neck.
But their neck is perfectly straight when they fly!
There were a lot of other sea birds around as well. We continued on this dirt road around the bay towards where we saw a salt mine. We didn't have a map of the area, we were just exploring!
More sea birds. Don't know what these are. I like the picture though!
Salt mine at Walvis Bay.
Mining the salt.
They have these huge flats of saltwater where the evaporation takes place. They put something pink into the water, not sure but we think it must be to speed evaporation. It was so pink, that the clouds in the sky above the flats were also pink!
We continued on to the coast in hopes of seeing some seals. When we got there, we looked around and there wasn't much to see. Ruth got the binoculars out and said..."Kevin, there's some baby seals right there!". I had seem the dark spots, but it looked like a black garbage bag fluttering in the wind! So we got out and went for a walk on the sand. Sure enough, two baby seal pups, and they looked very fresh. We would say they were no more than a day old. One looked like it still had an umbilical cord attached.
We were only a few feet from them and their mommy was nowhere to be seen. We had read that the mother still has to feed, so will often leave the pups behind but usually with a babysitter. We saw a couple of other pup carcasses on the beach, so hopefully that is not the fate of these two. Apparently the jackals sometimes come to the beach in hopes of a tasty meal!
There was a larger group in the distance so we walked over there but didn't get too close.
Walvis Bay seals.
Can you scratch my back please?
We drove back to the town of Walvis Bay and took a back road that led to the largest sand dune in the area. Dune 7 is where the tour companies take people for sand boarding. You actually climb up the dune and ski down, similar to snowboarding. We've heard that the sand can be pretty hard on your skin if you wipe out!
Dune 7 at Walvis Bay.
This would have been a pretty desolate area back in the late 1800's when people decided to come here. Not sure what it was that attracted them. Sand everywhere! And the coast is difficult for shipping with a lot of heavy fog. There are shipwrecks strewn up and down the "Skeleton Coast".
We have another long drive today to Sesriem, so depending on internet at our destination you may not hear from us for a couple of days. We've had a good break from the heat here at Swakopmund, but we're back in the desert this afternoon. Oh, by the way, my temporary fix on the fridge is working perfectly. Good thing because we'll be back around 35C (95F) today.