This morning we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn on our way to Swakopmund, the coastal town that is famous for its range of activities on offer. On the way we had lunch at the Walvis Bay Lagoon where there are often Flamingo's but all we saw were Pelican's and the lagoon itself wasn't very nice and was very smelly.
On arrival in Swakop' we were dropped off at the local activity centre where there was a lot of advertising about the fact Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been quad biking there with the kids on 14 separate occasions. Apparently!
There was a big presentation on the available activities but the only thing we haven't done already is Sky Diving but unfortunately it was way out of our budget! So having decided to save our money we headed to our Lodge for the next 2 nights…yes that's right…no tents for 2 whole nights!!!
We spent the afternoon exploring the town and booked a massage for Adam and pedicure for me. After 5 or so months of walking in flip flops my feet were feeling pretty rough and Adam's back was sore from sleeping in a tent. Others from the group who were not taking part in any activities also booked massage's and pedicures.
Now that I'm starting to get to know the group better I'll introduce them all:-
1. Cristina, Brazilian - 2 years older than my Mum and the oldest in the group, I'd like to point out that she is also staying in a tent! Sorry Mum! Cristina is a dentist by trade with her own practice. She is amazingly fit and active and leaves most of us standing in her wake!
2. Andre, Brazilian - Geology student. Very quiet but really nice.
3. Christina, Australian - Christina is a year younger than me and is Chinese by descent although she has lived her entire life in Perth. She tells me she can speak Cantonese and Mandarin as well as being fluent in the lesser known dialect spoken by her grandparents. I'm not sure what it's called.
4. Stefanie, Dutch - Medical Student. She has been working/training in Cape Town before coming on this trip.
5. Simone, Dutch - Medical Student. Has been training with Stefanie. Both speak excellent English.
6. Johannes, German -I've spoken to him quite a bit but actually know very little about him. I know that he works in the car industry though and has been talking to Adam quite a lot.
7. Solveig, German -Solveig is the clumsy one of the group (by her own frequent admission) and has been working as a volunteer in Durbanville, Cape Town with children. She says that her English is not good but has been improving with practice.
8. Anke, German - Anke has left her children at home with her husband and gone travelling. She does this quite a lot apparently, visiting various continents each year.
9. Marcus, Swiss -Marcus does not speak very good English, at least he is not confident about it, so relies heavily on Thekla to translate. I have not spoken to him much because of this, and because he is very shy. But he seems lovely and clearly has a very good job back home as he likes to buy rounds of drinks/shots for everyone!
10. Lea, Swiss - Lea is a nurse back home and has also spent some time in New Guinea prior to coming on this tour.
11. Hisako, Japanese - The odd one out on the tour Hisako prefers to keep to herself and we all know very little about her.
12. Wing, Hong Kong - Wing (nickname) is married and also a nurse. She left her husband at home to visit Africa where she plans to do some volunteering when the tour is finished. We are well kitted out in the medical profession! Her English is good and is improving all the time but she sometimes struggles to understand Siziba. She is really lovely and I have a feeling she is a bit of a dark horse!
And us! So that's everyone for now. The way Nomad run their tours though is that each one interlinks so some people will be coming and going throughout. So far Hisako is the only one to join us all the way to Nairobi and in fact she is going further and all the way into Uganda as well.
So back to the day. It's Christina's birthday making her 28 so the group arranged an evening meal. Or rather Siziba did. The restaurant was really good and Vincent ordered a HUGE rack of ribs. You'll have to see the photo's to understand just how big it was! Siziba bought a cake and arranged for the staff to sing happy birthday in the local language and Christina cut the cake with the biggest knife I have ever seen…it was almost a machete! Afterwards we all went to a local nightclub where there were several other tour groups and had fun drinking shooters and taking over the dance floor!