Day 14 - morning Day 7 - Northern Experience Tour 35 Celsius, cloudless blue sky, hot
In the horizon and just before the sun lighted up the sky, the dunes started to be covered by these dark blue shadows leaving me speechless as I kept taking pictures non-stop.
Hot air balloons were already in the sky reminding me of my adventure over Cappadocia in Turkey and making me wish that once more, I was inside one of them! Ostriches and springboks ran around freely on the flat deserted land as the paved road led us deeper inside this vast dune land.
Gradually, the sun rose over the gigantic dunes highlighting their rich tints ranging from pale apricot to vivid reds and oranges or golden-red colors. It was breathtaking! I just couldn't believe my eyes that here I was witnessing this phenomenal beauty!
A stop was made along the deserted road for us to capture this moment without the constant movements of Mhondoro. Being seated right next to the door, you bet I was the first one out!
The air was already hot and dry plus with the sun’s rays, I knew that we were in for another very hot day! Looking around, I was surrounded by these red colored dunes of various sizes and heights. Experts say that these dunes of the Namib Desert were developed over a period of millions and millions of years. Wow!
It is believed that the Orange River that separates South Africa and Namibia…..yes, the very same one that I went canoeing on…..deposited over time enormous quantities of sand into the Atlantic Ocean. That this sand was then regularly moved northwards by the strong Benguela currents to be dumped back onto the land by the strong surf over hundreds of kilometers.
Due to this, the dunes of the coast developed and moved further and further east by the strong winds. And voila! Today I was seeing the results of this phenomenal process! Interesting facts!
Back inside Mhondoro, we continued deeper in this Namib Desert Park where time appeared to have stopped. Where nature was still and no sound was heard except the constant vibration of the vehicle. Where small bushes appeared all dried up and trees skeleton looking! It was amazing! Now you know why I was so anxious to come here! I wanted to see all of this beauty in person!
We were heading to Dune 45, the famous dune that reaches more than 170 meters in height. Not the highest one around but a very popular one with tourists being close to the road and accessible. It was named "Dune 45" due to its distance from the Sesriem / Sossusvlei Namib Naukluft Park entrance’s gates being 45 km! Dah! Doesn’t need very much imagination to figure this one out!
So, by the time we passed the entrance gates at 7:00am and the time we made it to Dune 45, it was 50 minutes later! Mind that we did stop twice along the route to capture those amazing stages of sunrise!
A handful of people were already here climbing or descending Dune 45. I was happy that there wasn’t more leaving me all to myself the thrills and excitement of experiencing my climb at my own pace without being rushed to do it! Plus the fact that I didn’t want people in my pictures!
From the bottom of the reddish sandy dune and looking up, way up to the top of its winding sandy path created by the wind, I started to walk towards Dune 45 with a fierce determination of climbing way to the top of it and this, even in this intense heat!
To be continued…Monique :-)