Namibia Sand Sea
Namibia is home to the world’s oldest desert, some 21 million years in the making. It stretches all the way out to sea and contains within it the Namib Sand Sea. This is unique in that it is not derived from erosion underneath, but carried by the wind, river and ocean currents to it’s resting place. It consists of two dunes resting upon one another with ripples resembling stagnant waves on dry, red, open water.
Today in Kolmanskop, the buildings are inhabited only by sand, but were once filled with dreams and diamonds. In 1908 a railway worker dusted some “interesting” stones off the tracks, which turned out to be diamonds. The rumor quickly spread and those in search of fortune descended from far and wide to this part of the desert where you could pluck a diamond from right atop the sand. A town was built to accommodate the growing population of seekers and the wealth they discovered in the desolate land allowed them to build luxury around them with butcher shops and baker shops, an ice plant, hospital, post office and performance hall. Then, as quickly as they appeared, they vanished at the first whisper on the wind of larger diamonds just a little further north. You can tour the sand-filled ghost town, then get some time to take photographs, and who knows, sift through the sand and maybe you’ll find your own treasure left behind.
Believe it or not, there is something in the world that has yet to be explained. There are bald spots growing among the plant life in the Namibian desert that are so baffling to science that we can still believe in magic and fairies. These perfectly round patches in the desert grass resemble crop circles showing the way to an alien invasion. Though theories abound, there is no one proven explanation to their cause. They are worth seeking out before science explains them away with some banal, and disappointing reasoning.
The Wreck of Eduard Bohlen
On September 5, 1909 Eduard Bohlen met his match on the Skeleton Coast as have many before him, when his 310 foot cargo ship ran aground. In just over a century it has moved approximately one kilometer, making it a sight to see the huge vessel lying in the middle of the desert and reminding us of the constantly shifting landscape. In fact, we do intend to see it. The only way is through a tour group and the trek can take 5 days. This would likely mean that we will miss the first checkpoint party. We have unsubstantiated confidence that we can catch up. Have any of you been to this sight? Tell us it’s worth it!
Bwabwata National Park
Bwabwata National Park is not only fun to say, it is a rare place in many ways. Among the vast desert of Namibia, it is a lush green land, no doubt lending to the fact that both elephants and people share the patch of park. It is part of the migration path of traveling elephants as they trek across several countries, and home to more than 5000 Namibians. It also gives us hope that we can all live together, share the best parts of the world, and not trample on each other.