Namibia 2016 Day 11 - Namib Desert Lodge

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August 13th 2016
Published: August 13th 2016
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An early start to today as we wanted to get to Sossusvlie before the day got too hot. Although we have been there before we wanted to do a return visit where we had more time as previously we had to rush as we had another excursion booked.

We were out of the car park here at 7:00am and spent another 40 minutes getting an African massage, although it is only the last 5km that is really rough. We were treated to some wonderful vistas on the journey as the mist that forms overnight above the desert was still hanging in the shadows of the mountains. On the way we saw a crashed Land Rover that had had an accident on one of the bends. The gravel roads can be treacherous if you do not treat them with the respect they deserve. We hope the occupants were OK - you are a long way from any help here.

After completing the inevitable forms and purchasing the required permit we headed off for Dune 45 where we had unfinished business. Dune 45 is the only dune that you are allowed to climb. When we were here in 2012 we were unable to complete the climb through lack of time and fitness. This time despite the two steps forward one slide back that is climbing up a dune we made the 370ft assent. For the descent it was straight down the steep side, which is easier than it sounds, as you sink rather than tumble. We also for the first time on this trip met some other English people.

After this we headed up to the far end of the reserve to revisit Dead Vlie the petrified forest. But first we had to complete the journey through the deep sand, so tyre pressures duly dropped we headed off: a nail biting journey until we picked up the tracks of one of the official tour drivers as they know the best routes. We made it through without getting stuck unlike some of the other cars. By now it was heading towards midday and the temperature was climbing into the thirties so it was a hot walk over the dunes. Pictures duly taken we headed back through the deep sand again following one of the tours and we made it through. It's something that gets the adrenaline flowing because if you stop you sink axle deep.

This afternoon after our return journey we have been out on a walk, but just before we left one of the oryx gave birth to a calf so we watched it take its first steps. The walk took a circular route round and was fairly uneventful but it was good to get some exercise after spending so long in the car.

On to Swakopmund tomorrow; last time we were here it was one of my favourite drives, but first a stop at Solitaire the oasis to see if they still have some of their world famous apple pie. We might even see the meerkats this time.

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