Day 14 - late morning Day 7 - Northern Experience Tour 42 Celsius, deep blue sky, very hot
I felt strange! Sooooo strange! I just can't describe it but in a way, I felt just like "Alice in Wonderland" in this Deadvlei place!
I felt as if I was in a fantasy world populated by these dead 900+ years old skeleton trees that appeared frozen in time with their twisted and contorted black branches! Wow!
I felt as if I was in a strange unreal world walking around on this white colored clay pan all dried up and cracked due to the sun’s intense heat. Surrounded by these highest sand dunes in the world, I felt so small! The views were indescribable and I felt terrific! It was awesome!
Not a sound could be heard, not even the faintest whistle of the wind. It appeared as if time had stopped. And in a certain way, time did stop! It stopped 900 to 1000 years ago when drought hit the area and sand dunes encroached on the pan, blocking forever the river from coming here!
With time, these acacia trees died as there was no longer enough water to survive but in a certain way their remaining skeletons believed to be as much as 1000 years old are forever immortalized because you know what…..these trees’ wood will never decompose due to the dryness and intense scorching of the sun! They’ll live forever, frozen in time!
Michel and I were the only ones around. The rest of the group had retreated way at the end of the clay pan along the dune’s border finding a spot to rest in the little shade they could find.
I had Deadvlei all to myself to wander around as freely as I wanted to! I had the entire area to run and yell, to jump and laugh! But as I stood in total silence on the dried clay pan and took the time to grasp my surroundings, I felt strange and wonderful at the same time! Sighhhhhh! And this is why I felt like Alice in Wonderland in this unreal fantasy world! It just looked like one!
I had to do it…..of course I had to do it! I didn’t come all the way here being miles and miles away from home and not do it because as I told myself, I would definitely live to regret it! I had to climb one of those 900+ years old acacia trees and be forever immortalized with them…….on pictures that’s it! Hehehe!
Tons of pictures were taken! The entire area being a photographer’s paradise definitely appeared surreal and breathtaking! And the pictures, even though they might look like paintings, they are not! They’re real and exactly what I’ve seen. Deep blue sky, white clay pan, red sand dunes, black skeleton trees, I couldn’t have asked for anything better from this strange and alien landscape of Deadvlei!
After staying here a little more than 30 minutes, regretfully it was now time to move and head back to the area where we were originally dropped off by the park’s local driver.
It was almost eleven o'clock and the sun’s heat had intensified. While my poor body was still aching from my previous two climbs, I now had the additional pain of having to walk in this reddish desert for a good half an hour and this, under the atrocious glare of the deadly sun! Plus, to make matters worse, very little water remained in both Michel's and I plastic bottles making me wonder if I'll ever make it back all in one piece! One thought that came into mind was that Michel carried me! Wouldn't this be fun!
So, what do you think happened! Of course I made it back all in one piece after practically dragging myself for thirty minutes! It might have been a very long thirty minute but I’m tougher than you think! Even though Michel and I rationed the water, to tell you the truth.....I drank all of it! Hehehe! I guess Michel just didn't want to carry me!
To be continued….Monique :-)