07.07.2017 30 °C
3 July 2017
We had an early departure at 6.30am for the drive to Dune 45. I originally thought we would be going to the dune to watch the sunrise but apparently that option is only available to the groups that camp inside the national park. We were staying just outside the park and arrived to find a line of cars at the gate before the opening time of 6.45am. Once inside the gate Dune 45 is still about 50kms away – an incredible drive, on either side there were hundreds of massive red sand dunes.
Dune 45 is the main attraction, it’s one of the dunes that you are allowed to climb. My goal was to climb the dune to the top but the conditions were terrible – it was cold and the strong wind was whipping up the sand. I managed to get about three quarters of the way to the top when my asthma forced me to turn back. I did stop and take in the view from high up on a sand dune … not something you get to do every day.
Breakfast of bacon and eggs was being prepared at the truck as people started coming back from climbing the dune. We sat around shivering wearing coats and beanies.
We drove further into the park to see Sossusvlei and Deadvlei – dried up lakes surrounded by red sand dunes. To get there we boarded open seating on the back of four-wheel drives to take us on a wild ride down a very rough track with deep sand – there were a couple of vehicles stuck in the sand.
The temperature had now risen to around 30C and we had about a 20 minute walk through the sand. The hot walk was worth it to see Deadvlei – a dry pan with petrified trees, with a backdrop of high red sand dunes and clear blue sky.
Another four-wheel drive journey and we were back at the truck emptying the sand out of our shoes. I was hot, sunburnt, very dirty and tired … and it was only lunch time. Well it should have been time for lunch but William decided to visit the Sesriem Canyon before we went back to the Desert Camp. I went down into the canyon but wasn’t too impressed after the incredible things we’d seen in the morning.
It was around 3.00pm when we finally had lunch, just sandwiches, and we then had time to shower and rest.
Once again I enjoyed the beautiful sunset. Later we had dinner, lamb chops, sausage and stir fry vegetables all cooked on the barbeque.