Before I left, I had one last thing to do in town. I wanted to go on a desert tour. These are popular as people come back with tales of madmen digging for exploding chameleons. Okay, not really exploding. But sun-sensitive.
There are two outfitters in town, and using a careful scientific method, I went with the one that Tourist Information booked for me, Tommy's Living Desert Tour.
if quad-biking is bad for the environment or not. The answer is sure, it is. But the outfitters in Swakopmund are generally responsible and involved in conservation. The problem is the independent quad-bikers, the weekenders who come to town and have no awareness of the eco-system they're destroying when the run rampant off the set tracks. Nature is losing its battle even as the outfitters try to raise awareness among their sympathetic clients.
We saw snakes, chameleons, spiders...everything we'd been promised. And after the trip, I went back to the coffee shop that had once been "Out of Africa," and now...I never even looked at the sign. I read the life-affirming quotation on my sugar packet as the sun went down.
Would I ever be back to Swakopmund? I'd thought that each time I'd come here. I hope so. I love the funny combination of cultures here.
I hope the chameleons are still there when I get back.