Day 8 Dec. 20 Saturday
Up very early at 430 and on the road to Dune 45 before breakfast to catch the sunrise from the top of the dune. Mike, feeling rough with the effects of his cold, didn’t climb with us, opting instead to take pics from below. We climbed …. and we climbed ….. rested …… and then we climbed some more. Finally, when we couldn’t go any farther, we just plopped ourselves down in the sand and enjoyed each other’s company until, in awe, we witnessed the rising of the sun in silent splendor. As the sun continued to rise, the light became good enough for a selfie or two which turned into a selfie flood. Here are just a few of the pics I took from both top and bottom of the dune.
Panorama from the top of Dune 45, looking down, framed by Claire on the right, Rachel on the left, and our crew below.
Panorama shot from the bottom of Dune 45, looking up.
Ran down the face of the dune, creating little mini-sand-slides as we went, supervised by an oryx below who wasn’t too concerned (probably came to see the show from his perspective – crazy humans!).
Our different styles of descending the dune.
The guys were waiting for us with a big breakfast of french toast, coffee and the ever present rusks.
Parting shots of Dune 45 and the ridge we climbed, as we left for the next challenge, Big Daddy Dune.
Big Daddy Dune was indeed, BIG!! After breakfast we drove a few kilometres further and parked the bus. We set off walking cross country but parallel to a sand road much the same as what we drove on in the Wahiba Desert in Oman. Rides in safari vehicles to the dune were on offer but we opted to walk the 5 kilometres to the dunes. Here is some of the spectacular scenery we saw.
Mike and I had had enough of climbing the shifting red sand of the dunes and chose instead to skirt the edge of the dune and watch the others trudge their way to the top.
We took the lower altitude route around the base of the dunes to Deadvlei, a huge white salt pan with twisted, blackened, dead, acacia trees. It made for some spectacular shots with the red dunes as a background and the blue sky above. Saw some great abstract art in the sand/salt pan.
Everyone else in our group went up the dune and I took pics of them perched way above us. (You can just see them there, in the last pic on the right, perched as a small cluster, on the very top, in the “V” of the tree branch.)
We left to walk back to camp while the others came down, took pics and caught the shuttle back. It was a long walk back, and very hot but still, I enjoyed it. We walked over 10 km.
One last view of the most beautiful dunes in the world and then lunch where we were parked. Then, back to camp.
We were all tired but our tents were in the full sun so we sat in the bar for a while sipping a beer and chatted, waiting for the shade to reach our tents so we could snooze. We didn’t feel the wind rising. When we finally settled into our tents for a snooze, the wind gathered strength and before long, we were covered in a layer of fine sand. We closed up the tent and returned to the bar.
Back to camp for a dinner of stir-fry beef and veggies with macaroni.
To bed and sleep.