Daily Archives: May 14, 2019

“You’re Going to Namibia? It is a Postcard”

Here’s the problem with going on safari to places where access to the internet is sketchy. First of all there is so much going on, it is tough to find time to write about everything. Second, even when you do you can’t post for the thousands and thousands of people who follow a blog to be kept up to date. And third, most importantly, when you get home there isn’t the sense of urgency to get your experiences out there.

So, following in the vein of number three, this will be a brief, but colourful explanation of the first part of the last half of our trip.

It starts with being picked up in the capital of Namibia, Windhoek, a city which, if it isn’t described as the dirtiest city in the world, it certainly makes the top ten list. We leave Windhoek heading for Sossusvlei, apparently a 5 hour drive and for the first hour or so are on a nicely paved road. Then we turn right and for the next 5 hours – (yes 5+1= 5) we are unpaved, gravel, washboard “African massage” roads. In fact for the next 7 days we are almost exclusively on said roads. People with bad backs are not going to be happy on Namibian safari. A final caveat about Namibian safaris. The distances between points of interest are far. A common travel day will be 5-6 hours of driving, with some points of interest on the way, but generally it is where you are going that is fantastic.

Having said that, let’s get to where we are going. After about 2 1/2 hours of gravel roads, we are getting to the point of what have we done when we pull over a rise and get our first look at the Namib Desert.

Incredible colours

An 800 metre drop from where we are to the floor.

I know we are in the Namib Desert, but even a desert gets rain. Penticton, which is the 4th driest city in Canada averages about 350mm per year. Vancouver somewhere above 1450mm. We stop for lunch at a place called Solitaire, where they are recording the annual rainfall. Namibia has a drought going back 8 years.

Not a lot of rain

From there it is on to the Sossusvlei National Park to visit the dunes. All I have for you are photos. First, the dunes as we head toward Deadvlei.
Remember, these are dunes, as in sand dunes. Those are trees at the age of them. The dark is the shadows.  I have lots more, but I think you are getting the idea.
We  finally get to Deadvlei. Deadvlei means dead pan. It is a salt pan surrounded by the dunes. There are somewhere between 50 and 100 dead trees in the pan. They are all somewhere in the area of 900 years old and still there because there is no moisture in the air (or not enough) to cause them to rot.

The next few photos were taken by Terry – Geoff couldn’t walk anymore along the ridge. The ridge is about 18″ wide and hard going. You can’t really get off and let people go past as it is just too difficult.

Tough walking


A few days later we had the opportunity to fly over it.

You can just see the two people on the ridge.

This is the ridge we walk along. It is several hundred feet high. We walked from the “top” of the E. Geoff got to the middle of the first curve before bailing. Terry went much much further.

Meanwhile, down on the pan itself.

Dead trees in the middle of the pan (Listen for Loudan Wainwright…)

This  is  a  fog  beetle.  When there is mist in the air, he sits on the top of the dune, which his backside up and his head down. The fog settles on his shell and the water then runs down his back and he drinks it in. Nature is amazing.The Shoe Blog Returns

As we are leaving a tour comes in. You guess the nationality.

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