The Dunes

January 10, 2008 - Sossusvlei, Namibia

Sossusvlei, Namibia

We got up at 4:30 in the morning to begin the drive in order to see the sunrise at the dunes. The dunes were spectacular!  Our first stop was Dune 45 which is 45Km in from the gates and approximately 150 meters high (the highest dune at Sossusvle is 325 meters high).  We began to hike Dune 45 at 7am and it was already so hot!  When we got out of our car at the foot of the dune, there were bees everywhere! We quickly got out of the car and shut the doors before too many bees could get in. The climb itself wasn't too exhausting as we followed the footprints of the tourists before us, however, it was hot and very different to walk uphill in the sand. With every step up we would slide back half a step.There were also a lot of sandflies so we kept swating at them as we went up.  From the top of the dune, we could see dunes far and near.  It was an amazing view.  When we started the hike up there were other tourists that had already started the climb, however, by the time we reached the top we had Dune 45 all to ourselves.  The decent down the dune was a lot of fun.  Mark, Terry and I went down the conventional path at the back of the dune while Dave went down the steeper face of the dune. As we ran down, the sand behind us also pushed us along.  When we returned to our car we noticed that our footprints on the dune had already disappeared - sand had already blown over and covered them.  It was like we were never there!

From Dune 45 we headed to Dead Vlei (another 15km away).  We drove 10km in our vehcile but the remaining 5km required a 4x4 which was waiting for us at that point.  Dead Vlei is basically a dried up lake.  To say the walk to and from Dead Vlei was exahausting would be an understatement!  By now it was close to 11am and the sun was strong (it was almost 40 degrees and a guide that passed us said it would soon get much hotter).  We had water with us, but it was already warm and therefore not cooling us down.  The sight of Dead Vlei was worth the walk though.   We could see exactly where the lake had been and the dried up trees that remained.  As Dave took some pictures, Mark and Terry started the walk back.  I waited for Dave (sitting on an old tree) and then the two of us walked back. We were both very happy to see the 4x4 waiting for us at the end. 




January 20, 2008
Dave and Namita,
Thanks for the Blog. You look and sound like you are having a good time, despite your lack of 5 star accommodation. The Blog is great for others as well to share in and enjoy your trip. Keep it up and take care. Cliff & MM
January 21, 2008
Great pix! It's amazing what photoshop can do :) Dave, I could have sworn I saw you at the movies last Thursday afternoon...
sue monk:
February 1, 2008
Hey Dave. Hope you had a great birthday... the countryside looks good from here, the pictures are fabulous! I check the blog almost daily to see what is happening with you two. Love the dunes!!
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