Published: May 5th 2010May 3rd 2010
During our meal last night, three Black-Backed Jackals came into camp obviously interested in our food. Later in the night, whilst we were all tucked up in our tents, they came back, this time as a choir and serenaded us!
At 05h30, it was time to get up. The sun wasn't yet in the sky but it was beginning to get light as we went to wash. Once dressed, I loaded all my bags on the bus and lowered the tent before getting breakfast. Once sated, I packed the tent into its little bag and loaded it on the bus. By 06h40, twenty minutes early, we were leaving the camp site!
Early morning in the desert is still cool and we passed Springbok, Kudu and Ostrich in the early morning sun. Unfortunately, last night's rain had the effect of leaving puddles in the road, which was already a mud track. As a result, we were for ever slowly down in order to negotiate the poor road conditions.
Heading north on one of the few roads, we came across a rather large mass of water which was blocking our path. Other vehicles, probably 4x4, had successfully made it through
but our guide decided on a safe option and did a U-turn, opting for a side road. Whilst this did lengthen our journey, at least we didn't get stuck!
Joining the main B4 was a little luxury as the previous 150km of dirt track had given way to roughly 100km of tarmac. This road took us up to Bethanie, the oldest town in Namibia, founded as a missionary station in 1814. Although it is so small, there are several churches visible from the main thoroughfare - which itself is small.
We continued across the desert, heading for Sossusvlei, our stop for the coming two nights. Sadly, the Namibian Authorities had completely messed up the booking and we didn't have a camping spot. Refusing to move, we camped by the reception area, whilst our guide contacted his office to see about lodging a formal complaint. I later found out that the receptionist had received a call from his boss informing him that he no longer had a job!
In the meantime, we set up our tents and the French Guide and myself went to the bar. It was there that I found that my phone was now completely
dead - nothing would coax it back to life at all.
Oh well, at least the stars are bright, the Milky Way highly visible and, at 04h00 in the morning, we'll be driving to Dune 45 to go and watch the sun rise over the desert; life can't be that
There are more photos below