Sunday, November 20, 2011

On to Swakopmund

On the flight from the Kulala wilderness, you can easily see the dunes rising up off the floor of the desert:

Salt pans and small watercourses that allow some plant life appear once in a while:

The remains of the 1909 wreck of the Eduard Bohlen are now a quarter of a mile inland from the sea, which has silted in the intervening area:

A ghost town, remnant of the short-lived diamond rush in the area:

Salt ponds feature all over the area, some colored by minerals:

The name of Swakopmund derives from a Nama word which essentially means "shit opening," referring to the dead animals carried down to the sea by the Swakop River when it's in full flood. Charming, eh? The town was founded in 1892 as the main harbor for the Imperial German colony, since the British had already snagged the better harbor of Walvis Bay, a few miles south. When the country was taken over by South Africa in 1915, all harbor activities were removed to Walvis Bay and the town languished until uranium was discovered nearby.

No comments: