WOW – what a day!!! As I have already announced for two or three days, today was my personal highlight of our trip on the program – Sossusvlei and the Deadvlei!! And seriously, it was more than I expected it and I am still speechless.
But let’s start at the beginning … This morning, at 7:00 am, our tour group met at the reception of the Sossusvlei Lodge to leave at around 7:15 am for Sossusvlei. Today, we also were to move to a new camp, we had to leave our stuff already packed in the room. However, we left our motorcycle clothes outside, because we still had 5 kilometers to drive today. All of our belongings were collected by the staff of the lodge when we were at Sossusvlei and kept safe.
After about an hour’s drive, we arrived in the white clay surrundings (Sossusvlei). This is a former waterhole (or lake), which has dried up over time. The name Sossusvlei consists of two different languages, as our driver Gabriel explained. On the one hand “Sossus”, which means “meeting place” in the language of the Bushmen and on the other hand Vlei, which means something like “swamp” in Africans. However, this is only rarely true. The last time was in 2011 when water made its way to Sossusvlei. Arriving at the Sossusvlei, Gabriel prepared a breakfast, which we could not have got better in the hotel. There was fresh fruit, fresh sausage, cornflakes, muffins, milk, juices, just everything you need for a good breakfast! It was a very nice experience! When we were done with the breakfast,
One thing I learned, is that I am very good with birds – the others kindly called me the “bird whisperer” :-D. Why? Well, I managed to get some birds to eat out of my hand. Sascha felt the scenes similar to the scenes in “Kevin Alone in New York” in which there is the pigeon woman who feeds the birds by hand … It was definitely a super nice moment that I will never forget as long as I live!
When I finally managed to get away from the birds, I immediately went to Deadvlei, which is an incredible place. In this place I immediately had the song “Welt der Wunder” by Materia in my head. Our earth is simply an incredibly stunning place and how nature regulates itself and keeps it alive is indescribable. In Deadvlei, however, almost nothing is alive. Surrounded by over 300-meter-high dunes you can see a large white, dry clay surface, with countless dead trees, but they do not fall over because the ground is solid enough to hold them upright. Three different ways lead there – depending on how and what you want to see. You can walk over a dune about 350 meters high, which is the most challenging route. The second option is to walk over a 200 meter high dune, which should be a bit easier, and the third option (which we used today due to time constraints) leads along the dunes. Here you the slopes are less steep and the distance is shorter. The view as you cross over the last dune is as I mentioned before, unbelievable!
After Sascha took countless pictures of Deadvlei and Sabine, Kathi and Cordi were done with their “photo shoot”, we went back to our friendly and humble driver Gabriel, who brought us back to Sossusvlei Lodge. There we donned our motorcycle gear and drove directly to our next camp – the “Desert Quiver Camp”. For Reiner and Zimpi there was a free afternoon, the two spent time at the pool enjoying some ice cold beer. Sabine, Cordi, Kathi, Sascha and I went back to the desert after we checked into the camp and and dumped our gear in our rooms. I experienced a bit of trouble with the Internet yesterday and I could not upload my new blog entry. We therefore went to a restaurant at the entrance to the Namib Naukluft Park where I enjoyed good fast Namibian internet given the conditions where we were.
Here, I could tell you about our experiences yesterday. Afterwards, we drove to the “Sesriem Canyon”, which, like the Sossusvlei, occasionally carries water. Translated it means “six belts”. The farmers used to fetch water from here in times past and needed six straps to get water out there. This is also a very nice, yet mystical place and she hides hereself from the surroundings because from above there are no signs of what is underneath! Then you descend into this hidden abyss and it opens an incredible, interesting and mezmerizing new world! Due to time constrains we could not stay long and we again headed in the direction of Sossusvlei. However, we stopped at the “Dune 45”, which is a popular dune to climb for most visiting the park, to see for ourselves. As the sun positioned itself perfectly at 5.30 pm, we were fortunate to capture postcard pictures and video footage of the dunes and the colourful landscape surrounding us. It was a serene moment difficult to put in words! Unfortunately we had to exit the park at 6:30 pm (which we did not manage to do, of course) and we only had 20 minutes to spend at the dune.
On the way back to our camp, mother nature spoilt us yet again with her magic. A patient Oryx crossed the road ahead of us in a very relaxed and slowly way and Sascha claimed it smiled at him (rather Sascha, who jumped out of the car and took a few more pictures).
Back at the camp, Gavin, Reiner and Zimpi were waiting for us with a barbecue, which was unparalleled. There were chicken kebabs, kudu steak, salads and deserts. Delicious, to say the least!! Now all of us settled down arround a large bonfire and let the evening come to an end in a relaxed atmosphere. We all hoped for an early night, because tomorrow morning we continue towards Swakopmund.
I wish you a nice evening and enjoy reading.
Until tomorrow! Sven