A dozen drive into the Desert - Day 338
A dozen drive into the Desert. I wonder what adventure we will have.
Ten minutes into our trip, our guide Alvin received a phone call and signalled to us that we had left a coat at our BnB. I looked at Tim, probably accusingly, as I knew I had both my puffer jacket and raincoat. He had both of his, there must be some kind of mistake….Oh…. It suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t left a coat, but I had forgotten to empty the drawer next to my bed. Oh dear. It is usually Tim who forgets something, this is the first time it was me and I am sure that I will never live this down. I could see how it had happened. It had been a busy morning; I coached a client first thing, got my blog wrote and posted for the previous two days whilst Tim took the hire car back. I remembered that we needed to organise a transfer of money so it was necessary to contact the bank. The computer said no! It turned out that the bank doesn’t allow transfers unless we come into the branch. Well, that wasn’t going to happen for a long time. Quickly I thought of another solution. All this took time. No problem, Emsie had received a message that our pick up was delayed until 11:30am. I relaxed…too much. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. The tour bus had arrived early for us! Argh! So, we quickly closed our bags, picked the rest of the stuff up from the bed, but I didn’t do my usual check and that was my mistake. Moses, our lovely driver took me back to retrieve my things whilst Tim stayed with Alvin to buy some water. Twenty minutes later we returned to meet some of the other tourists; Rose, a lovely mature lady from Switzerland, plus a group from Bangkok; Verapol, otherwise known as “V”, his friend Kao, her brother Kien and their mother Tom. We drove into the Namib Desert and picked up Kevin, Jonas and Angelines who had just done some sand boarding. Straight away we knew that we had joined a great group. They had all been together on a longer tour for the previous 3 days at Etosha Safari and welcomed us warmly. Off we went, through the desert, on our long bumpy journey to where we were staying for the next two nights, situated just 5km to Sossusvlei. The drive through the Namib Naukluft National Park, the size of which is larger than Switzerland, was breath-taking. Yes, it has amazing sand dunes, yet, to my surprise, it also has incredible rock formations, a geologist’s delight. The Naukluft Mountains formed about 850 million years ago and it is unbelievable to think that a lot of this area was covered in water, it is so dry now. Many of us in the bus were uttering lots of “Wows” and clicking our camera along this trek. There were what looked like layers upon layers of slate that had all been pushed up to various acute angles from some huge force. I was intrigued to see mountains side by side with completely different rock, one being smooth and golden-orange and the other being jagged and a deep purple-grey. I wish I understood more about geology.
We stopped off for a few comfort breaks, used an open toilet one time which was remarkably not as whiffy as I would have thought, plus passed the Tropic of Capricorn. Another stop was at a place called Solitaire, a farm that has developed to cater for passers-by with a petrol garage, bakery, café and lodge. It exudes character with paraphernalia everywhere, including various stickers and blackboards with quotes. One had details of rainfall for this year, the last entry was 11mm on 16th June. For some reason, several old rusting bikes and cars painted in bright colours were arranged. Of course, I loved the old American orange one.
Finally, we arrived at the Desert Camp. After a short rest in our very nice chalet, we enjoyed a wholesome meal cooked by Alvin and Moses during a wonderful sunset. This followed by a similar conversation to what we had experienced in South Africa about the after-effects of Apartheid. Slightly changing Einstein’s quote: we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that was used when they were created.