Yesterday (Friday, Feb. 19, 2010) we stopped at our second African port, Luderitz, Namibia. This was a small port, of no historical significance, but one of the harbors south of Walvis Bay (the major Namibia port) that gateways the interior. It is surrounded by a barren, desolate land that has some of the most important mineral mines in the world, especially diamonds. The town of Luderitz was founded in 1880 by a Bremen merchant, Adolf Luderitz, who was the first man to purchase land from the Nama tribe (natives of the area dating back 27,000 years). This port can only be explained by pictures and again I’m going to break my rule. If fact I’m going to throw out my rule of ten photos per port, because it just doesn’t seem to work on this cruise. I promise to keep it to as few as possible, but I’m sure you would rather see a whole picture (pictures) than half. If you disagree with my approach, please send me an email, and in fact, send me an email from time to time anyway, and let me know how I’m doing with the blog, any comments for improving, etc… I ask you to send an email even though there is a comment place on the blog because it’s hard to get those “comments” where as an email is easy to pick up.
Let’s get on to the photos. Look above at the photo album titled “Luderitz, Namibia”. As the port is not very deep we had to use the ships tenders (lifeboats) to get ashore. The first photo shows Susy in the tender ready for a day’s touring. Oh! I want to explain Susy’s cap at this point. You will see it reads “Club 21”. For those of you who remember, Susy was a champion blackjack player on the last cruise, you should know that she lost in the first round of the first tournament on this cruise. Yours truly however (who Susy always makes fun of as a poker player) got into the finals in the same tournament, thus winning the “Club 21” baseball cap. I have lent it to Susy for the cruise, since I have moved on to better head cover as you will soon see. As we arrived at the port and got off the tender you see in the second photo a panoramic view of the dock area. I left the photo untouched so you can see how I stitch together three photos (by the dates). Once on the pier restaurant I took a photo (3rd photo) of the bay with Susy in the foreground. The fourth photo is the port sign with Susy in front.
As there was not much to see outside of Luderitz (a ghost town 8 miles east) we decided on a walking tour of the port. The main attraction was a Lutheran church which sits above the town and overlooks the bay, so off we went. The first thing that strikes you is the German architecture, and the colorful buildings (all seemingly painted yesterday for our arrival). The fifth and sixth photos show typical street scenes as we walked upward to the church. The seventh photo shows a striking red and blue building, the eighth a gambling house (I can’t even describe the color). The ninth photo shows a small house (probably for a poor family), but notice the wire fence in front. For some reason, many of the residence areas were fenced off from the commercial streets with this barbed wire probably for protection from thieves or separation of areas???, even though most of the fence had holes big enough to drive a truck through. I haven’t touched on our observations of black and white living conditions and really don’t want to get into it as a tourist just passing by for a short time. I will say, however, that we understood in Walvis Bay and especially Swakopmund the blacks lived in small villages outside of the area, while in Luderitz they actually lived in the town (could be a reason for the fences???). The tenth photo shows a white building which says “Mansions”, meaning apartments. The eleventh photo shows Susy in front a large home or apartment house close to the church. Before we got to the church, in the window of one of the businesses you can see in the twelfth photo a flyer (you can hit the pause button and read it), which basically advertises setting up an internet scam. We finally came to the church which you can see in the thirteenth photo, while in the fourteenth photo you see Susy on the side. OK, here’s what you have been waiting for (15th photo), yours truly with his safari hat in front of a beautiful view of the bay below. Finally (16th photo) you see a view from the church back into town as we returned (thank goodness all downhill) to the dock and tendered back to the ship to end the day.
We have a day at sea today (Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010) with the whole upper swimming pool deck decorated like a Safari. Tonighs dinner is a Safari cookout around the pool. Tomorrow we arrive at Cape Town for a two day stay. Susy and I have planned a full day tour with our Latin friends including going to the Cape of Good Hope, the tip of Africa.
Until then, Love You All,
Gary (alias Gagu)