Today was a great day!! I got up really early, drove to the lodge restaurant and had some breakfast and hit the road by 7:45. I was super excited today because I was going to the ghost town of Kolmonskop. I've seen photos of that place and I was super stoked to go there. I took a lot of photos of doorways. Maybe too many. But it was fun.
So, I hit the main B4 road and it took me about an hour and 15 minuets to get to Kolmonskop. I arrived at 9:00, paid my entrance fee, and had a cup of coffee while I waited for the tour to start. I think you have to go on the tour first. It was really interesting to hear about life in the diamond mining town and how the town came to be and it's ultimate demise.
So, a little history about Kolmonskop. It was started in the early 1900's. Some German dude came here looking for copper. He found diamonds, but thought that it was a bust because he didn't find any copper. But then the diamond business exploded and he claimed the rights to the area before the government could. So he started this mining town. It is named after one of the transport drivers, Kolmon. His ox cart broke down here and he survived in the area for a long time until he was rescued. I think maybe skop means cart in German. I might be making that up in my head, but that is why they call it Kolmonskop. In my tiny brain anyway. When the diamond business boomed, the town boomed. At one point there were 180 men and women living here, and 44 children. They had a full town. They had stores, a train that went through town as a taxi service, a bar, a bowling alley, a huge entertainment hall where they would have shows, a gym. Just about everything you would need. Business was booming!! All the workers were paid in diamonds. 900 karats per week. In today's terms, that would be almost $200,000.00 per week! That is crazy!! I hope those workers families saved those diamonds. Anyway, business was booming and they were finding thousands of karats of diamonds per week. Then World War 1 happened. The mining came to a halt. When the war was over, the diamond industry moved north and Kolmonskop was abandoned. It is a tourist site now. I am so happy that they have kind of let the elements take over the town. They are doing some work on some of the buildings, but most have been left exactly the way they were almost 100 years ago. I loved this place. I took a lot of photos of doorways and windows. Maybe that is what I should take photos of now. I feel like I'm pretty good at it.
After the Kolmonskop, I drove about 10km to the town of Luderitz. It is a coastal town and is where the main B4 road ends. I parked my car and walked around town for a while. Then I found a coffee shop and had a grilled cheese and a pine nut soda. Pine nut soda is basically pineapple soda. It might me one of my new favorite things next to sundowners. You remember sundowners from the previous blog? So, after lunch, I walked around town a bit more and was trying to find a good spot by the ocean. I couldn't find one. I saw the ocean, but couldn't get to it, as the coastline, in town, is lined with manufacturing plants and business. So, I gave up and decided to head back towards Aus and my hotel.
On the way back, I saw the wild horses of Aus!! They were wandering around in the desert and one was right by the road. The wild horses of Aus are famous. If you haven't heard of them, you've been missing out. I never heard of them until before I left on this trip. I'm not too sure of the history, but I'm 90% sure that the Germans brought them here before World War 1. Then, when the war was happening, and then when the Germans left, they just let the horses run free. The horses multiplied, but not too much. I think maybe there are 180 horses now. It is amazing how they have adapted to such harsh conditions. Amazing! They are in the desert and there is barely any water here. But they survived. The Namibian people built a watering hole near Aus. So, I stopped there and got lucky as 4 horses were on their way to the water. They drank for a while and I took some photos. Then, just like that they walked away. If I was a horse in the desert, I would hang out by that water all day. They must not be very smart. But maybe they don't need that much water. Who knows. I should probably do some research before I spit out these kinds of things as facts. These are not facts. Research on your own if you want. I bet it is interesting.
After hanging out with the horses for a while, I was close to my hotel and I was tired and it was 3:00. So I headed back. On the way back to my room I saw some ostriches!!! Right there hanging out. Those baboons were still around too. I only saw one today and it was in the distance, so that's cool. I wonder if the ostriches and the baboons are friends. I wouldn't think so. But who knows. So I was happy to see ostriches instead of a nasty group of baboons. I got back to my room and had a beer and took an hour nap. It was nice, but hot. Whateves. I got a nap today.
Now I am at the hotel, blogging and listening to other people's conversations. There is a professional photographer here from England and he is talking to his group about his creative process. Ugh. I stopped listening now.
Oh, and there is a video on the blog today!! It's from last night. On my way back to my room in the dark. It's not fun driving at night here.
Tomorrow I head out early to Soussuslvei. It is the place with the giant sand dunes and is a certified no light pollution area! I will take some star photos there. I am going to hike up to the top of those dunes. But early. It gets REALLY hot there. So, that's tomorrows agenda. Lots of driving tomorrow. About 6.5 hours. Hopefully the gas station in Aus is open in the morning so I can top off the tank and not worry about the drive. I'm sure I have enough to get there, but better safe than sorry.
Until tomorrow, if I have internet access!! Thanks y'all for reading!!!