Sunday, 24 July 2011

Namibia - Sossusvlei

I thought we were going to die of cold at Sossusvlei.  We stayed at the Sesriem camping site.  We had the nicest site, and after the admin people saw my foot in plaster, they gave us a site quite close to the ablution blocks.  Normally not your best site, but if you have to go there on crutches you will understand the allure.  Unfortunately I had to cross the equivalent of Dune 45 to get to the toilets.  Hennie says I exaggerate, it was barely a molehill of sand.  Not in my mind.
 In the morning when we left the camp site at six, the temperature was minus two degrees.  But Hennie and I are optimists and believed the day would turn into a scorcher, and wore our shorts.  BIG MISTAKE.  As I could not climb Dune 45 to see the sunrise, we took a much slower approach into the park, and played with the camera in the low light conditions.  Unfortunately that did not pay off.  There was also no complaints from Hennie that we could not climb Dune 45.
Dune 45
The road into the park was as green as I have ever seen it.  It was beautiful.  The fairy circles were present in abundance, and lots of Gemsbok and Springbok were gawping at us (and we at them) as we drove by.

As we drove the last 5 km to Sossusvlei proper, the frost was still lying thick on the sand ridges.  It was not even necessary to deflate the tyres.  The previous time we were there we encountered so many vehicles that got stuck in that thick sand, and now it was the opposite.

 After our trip into the park we went back to the camp site.  We were all still frozen, and Carl Hein realised that his gas bottle was running on empty.  As Anita and Adri were leaving us on that day, it did not bode well for the rest of us.  We were planning to cook pasta on the gas stove that evening, and it also meant no warm coffee the next morning.  In addition, we had a bit of an incident at the gate the previous night, and all of thus motivated us to find alternative accommodation for the coming night.  But mostly it was me that said I CANNOT camp any more.  It feels terrible to sit in a chair and someone else has to pack everything, and still bring my anything I need in the mean time.  Also, Hennie does not have the patience to pack things were they belong, and I saw the back of the car was degenerating into a big pile of camping stuff and clothes.  So we consulted our travel journals to find a suitable alternative...

 Sossusvlei itself was full of water, which was quite a contrast from our previous visit.  I was glad that I have been there before, as it would have been a big disappointment going there and not seeing anything.

Poor me.

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