Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dry bones, walls, soap, up and leftover.

1. Driving down the Skeleton Coast. I mean just the name is wonderful... it is like something out of H. Rider Haggard. It's cold Atlantic surf on one side and scorched salt desert on the other. The skeletons are shipwrecks. It would be a bummer to be wrecked there: 'Land! Land, we're saved.' Oh. One zillion miles from anywhere or anything but dust and rocks. We stopped for lunch at a wreck from 1976. There were a few sad ribs left and a bit of rusted solid winching gear.

2. Building a maze. Sand is lovely to draw on with a piece of bleached driftwood. And the shore is littered with things to line out the edges: kelp strands, flat stones, big mussel shells and, strangely, an awful lot of dead butterflies in every colour and shape. I made this maze to acknowledge all the things I have lost and found on this trip.

3. We got within feet -- actual feet -- of the seals at Cape Cross. If seals had whites in their eyes, you would have been able to see them. We saw them playing in the water, leaping up and waggling their back flippers in the air. And we saw their awful parenting. The babies flop around the rocks crying 'meh meh meh' searching for their mothers who are having chavtastic fights over sunbathing spots or disappearing off to play in the surf.

4. Rosey says: 'Climbing Spitzkopf: When you get to the top it looked like the Plains of Rohan because its completely flat apart from the occasional outcrop.' Spitzkopf is a red rock jutting 800m out the plain -- the top is 1,700m above sea level. The rock is a rough granite that you can almost walk up, and at this time of year there is a pleasing amount of green around. We camped at the bottom and ate barbecued kudu for supper.

5. When the sun is gone but the rock is still warm.

Namibia