Monday 15 January 2018. Photos.
Highlights: Climbing Dune 45, Hiking to Deadvlei (the Dead Valley), Namib-Naukluft Park Canyon
An early morning pickup from my hotel just before 6 am so we could get into the National Park the moment they opened the gates which was critical to avoid the worst of the sun and heat in the desert across the day. Our driver got us though the traffic and to Dune 45 before most of the other vehicles that were in the line ahead of us.
For the climb we took off our shoes and went up bare footed which was fine given at this time in the morning the sand wasn’t yet hot. The only draw back was the rocks around the sand dune. The climb was still difficult as you end up sinking a little back after each step, there were times when I didn’t think I’d make it but avoiding humiliation can be a powerful motivator and I did make it in the end. The views definitely were worth it.
Once back at the truck and after managing not to damage my shoeless feet on the various rocks we enjoyed a heartily breakfast and drinks to rehydrate ourselves for the Deadvlei (Dead Valley) experience before us.
A 15-20 km drive got us to the starting point for this experience. We than transferred to 4WDs that took us to the starting point for the hike to the Dead Valley. I ensured I had my cooling down cloth soaked with water and around my neck for this experience as it was getting hotter every minute.
I hiked most of this experience with the lovely Isabelle and together we both went the the very end of the Dead Valley which I think we were the only people to do. It’s a very barren place with only one live tree and lots of dead trees. It wouldn’t take long to die in this area that’s for sure. I also discovered during this hike that one of my shoes now had a small hole in it which ensured I had a lot of sand for a few hours before I got clean it out. Hopefully these hiking shoes make it to the end of the trip.
After this experience and a return trip by 4WD to our truck it was a 50-60 drive to our last stop the Namib-Naukluft Park Canyon. While this canyon and it’s formations were brilliant it’s safe to say most of us were wrecked by this stage and just wanted to get back to camp and a very cold shower and drinks. Still on some level I enjoy this canyon as well.
It was 12.10 pm when we got back to the campsite and after lunch and as much water and soft drink as I could handle (but I was thirsty again an hour later) I was driven back to my hotel for a shower and a nap. I decided that my soaks for the day were beyond repair and left them to the travelling gods. That night we enjoyed a quiet dinner under the stars.