The most beautiful dunes in the world
Trip Start Mar 17, 2007
435Trip End Ongoing
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It is only 75 km drive to the entrance of the park. Dangerous gravel roads on which Hubby drives too fast! We enter the park and: waaaaaaaw. We drive over 2 hours on the following 75 km in the park, we stop constantly! We come to the end of the 2 wheel drive section. I want to hike the 6 km to the last dune, Dr T thinks it is not a good idea with my knee: I am still limping. So, we settle of the 2 km hike. Of course, by now it is noon and this is one of the driest and hottest places on earth.
Despite being Namibia's number 1 attraction, it is deserted (!). We see nobody on our whole hike. The total surface of the desert is 32.000 km2. The dunes can be up to 300m high and the whole place contains almost no water. The sand probably comes from the Kalahari Desert and is between 3 and 5 million years old.
The beginning of the hike it says: follow marks. What marks? Dr T finds a pole, a tiny pole, is that the mark. Yes, it is. We walk for an hour to the dune, over just 2 km. every step you sink into the sand, sometimes till your knees. The heath is visible on the sand. The sand temperature can go as high as 70 degrees. No, no, this is Celsius! There is no hiding. A little breeze but burning hot. Tomcat took the back pack with beers and ... ice! No food. And yes, some water. The destination is a plateau, lower than the others surrounded by dunes. Dr T climbs on top of one. My knee is already nagging big time. Tony's backpack is leaking the melted ice. Refreshing. But in the mean time. Also a heavy luggage to carry through the desert. Halfway, we have our first beer and Hubby puts his t-shirt on his head. When he picks up the backpack a big beetle is sitting under it. Where does this one come from? He was attracted by the water dripping out and by the shade. Back in the full sun, he runs to Dr T's shadow and then to mine. Seeing it moves he runs back to a little bush next to us. Cute. I hope he got a little drink. Should I offer him some beer? We also see trail in the sand of lizards and snakes.
We drive back and almost get stuck with our crappy car, when Hubby goes to find another dune and turns around a tree in the sand. We stop at the exit and manage to get a sandwich.
From there we head to the 1 km long 30 m deep Sesriem Canyon. There is no water in it and you can hike till the bottom. The pictures do no shoe the beauty.
But, either do the dune pictures. The reality was so much nicer!
We drive back, a bit worried about our lack of cash and fuel. We ask the shop-petrol station owner and he does except credit cards (which is exceptional for Africa). 'You can even withdraw 1000 N$ on your Visa and get a hug on top', is his cheerful comment.
We try to swim but the swimming pool is taken over by the screaming children end their wild parents. Dr T and I have a different opinion. I think this is a public place and it should be able to be used by all, Dr T thinks it is OK for a family to take over a swimming pool, making it impossible for anybody else to even HANG in the pool.
We try the early approach in the restaurant. Luckily, we had our main course when the horror families step in. It is probably me but I cannot stand children crying twice during a meal. Why? Cold, hot, hungry, thirsty, sick or pain: fine. But they just cry, scream, shout, stand on their chairs, kick the table, throw their food, if you are lucky without the plates and ... people think this is OK, or even funny. It is not for cranky Marina!
All by all, despite the children, the long dangerous rides, the crappy lodge: it was worth it!
But I am glad to go back to Windhoek, tomorrow for 2 days and then hopefully to the coast. Whey do we want to go to the coast? Not for the water temperature: 17 degrees, so not to dive. Wait and you will see.
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