Namibia was our first “safari” location. We decided to visit Walvis Bay before heading towards the Namib Desert. Walvis Bay is a port town (the country’s largest harbor) with a large tidal lagoon that is home to flamingos and pelicans. Walvis Bay should be renamed Flamingo Bay….there were thousands of them! In fact, the flock of flamingos here is one of the largest in Africa. There are two types- the Greater Flamingo and the Lesser Flamingo. While they do not breed in Walvis Bay, they return to feed in this area. Flamingos in the wild are vastly different from my observations touring zoos (flock congregation, eating habits and noise, feather color). For other interesting Flamingo Facts, visit https://www.thespruce.com/fun-facts-about-flamingos-385519.
Why all the details about birds? In the morning of our lone run day, the tide was low and the birds were so close we could touch them. By late afternoon/dusk, the tide was high and the birds had disappeared to other feeding areas.
Now…on to the run! We stayed two nights in Walvis Bay with a late arrival and an early departure, so we had one day for running. We stayed at a hotel on the water and were able to literally walk out the back door and start running. We headed out and into the wind. We noted a turn around point during our drive to the National Park earlier and estimated it was about 2 miles out. One way to guarantee a negative split? Run into a brisk headwind and then turn around for the assistance home. The weather had been a bit chilly, so I picked long sleeves. I should have left my hat in the room because I ended up carrying in my hand due to the wind.
We had noticed earlier that it was low tide while we were bird gazing. However, we didn’t realize how close the tide came in. It was only after my shoes were wet that I noticed the sidewalk was a “sea-wall”. In a matter of minutes, we lost the sidewalk and had to run closer to the main road. We passed by the city park that we had stopped at earlier for flamingo watching but the birds had moved on to calmer waters. We rounded the corner of the park and were greeted with at least a dozen kite surfers that had appeared as the tide and wind moved in.
As we hit our turn around point, we enjoyed the wind at our backs, the setting sun, and the sky dotted with windsurfing. And I ran in Namibia!
How did I keep up my exercise streak while in Namibia if I didn’t run? Hiking up “Big Daddy” sand dune was my activity for one day. I managed a HIIT routine in our room on another. We stayed at a hotel in Windhoek before moving on to Kenya, and I used the gym. I briefly thought of running outside while we are Little Kulala Camp but never had a free morning.