Sunday, 3 July 2016

ON THE ROAD SURPRISES - Part 7 - THE NAMIB DESERT

This series is not called On the road Surprises for nothing. When I see something that tweaks my sense of humour, I just have to take a photograph, if at all possible.



Namibian Road Sign

I'm staying in Namibia this week to give you a few more tasters of this wonderful country. The following is an edited extract from one of my travel articles:


Any feature you see on Namibia will generally have a photograph of the apricot coloured sand dunes of the Namib Desert.   



The most popular and accessible area is Sossusvlei via Sesriem. At Sesriem we stocked up on refreshments because there are no facilities at Sossusvlei. 

From Sesriem we drove a further 60 kms on a badly tarmacked road to what is called The Two Wheel Drive Car Park. 

This road took us through a broad valley flanked with massive dunes up to 300 metres high.  We were compelled to stop frequently to photograph these fabulous natural sculptures which looked like part of a Star Wars landscape.



At Sossusvlei we climbed a monster dune, then jumped and slithered back down again like a couple of kids.









After emptying the sand from our boots we walked across the silvery crackle-glazed vlei - or pan - to take the shuttle back to the dusty car park.  The only facilities at the car park are three individual toilet huts that look like the privies you see in old Westerns. 

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Ostriches are ubiquitous in Namibia. I was delighted to see a lone bird strutting its stuff in the Namib.







Do let me know if you've enjoyed this post.



Next week I'll be taking you to the South Pacific for more On the Road Surprises.








  

27 comments:

  1. These pictures are so cool. I'm picturing Lawrence of Arabia to come to you on his camel. It's so stark yet so beautiful

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    1. Thanks, Birgit. Yes, I found it very compelling and beautiful.

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  2. Looks like a place you wouldn't want to run out of gas in.
    Enjoyed the Sand caution sign;)

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    1. Absolutely! We had to very conscientious about keeping track of our fuel, Sarah, because the gas stations were few and far between... some were on private farms. Glad you liked the sign. :)

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  3. Had to smile at the sign. Such a landscape could be considered boring yet with the wind constantly changing it no two photos from the same spot would be the same and the light hihglights these wonderful sculptures. Glad you saw your ostrich.
    Ann

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    1. Thanks, Ann. Yes, the dune shapes constantly change due to the wind. This area is a spectacular part of the Namib. :)

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    2. Ann, I can't reach your blog when I click on your initials. Could you post a link? Thanks.

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  5. Thank you for sharing, and how odd it must have been to see an ostrich strutting its stuff!

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    1. Hi, Maria. Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, we saw ostriches on many occasions in Namibia in what seemed to me to be the most unlikely places!

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  6. Good job there was a sign to alert you to the sand, otherwise you might never have spotted it! :-)

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  7. Not a place I'd like to visit - I like my home comforts (like proper toilets!). But that sign did make me laugh!

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  8. Travelling to out of the way places doesn't suit everyone, Sally. :)

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  9. That first photograph reminds me of one on the tortuous mountian road in Tenerife that warned of BENDS FOR 2K followed be several more with similar messages. The authorities clearly thought telling drivers there'd be bends for 20K would be too scary!

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  10. That's so funny, Liz. I wonder if it's also because they thought drivers might forget about the bends after a few kilometres and need reminding? :)

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    1. If you forget about the bends you're dead!

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  11. SAND? I wonder why they'd have that strange sign? Nam is some place... I spent many a day in northern Namibia. I've also walked the Fish River Canyon.. when God's Finger was still standing! (Giving my age away again!)

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  12. I think the Sand! sign is actually a warning to drivers that sand can sweep across the road. Lucky you to have walked the Fish River Canyon - we stayed top-side only (will have to do a post about it). As for God's Finger - def showing your age as I couldn't find out anything about it! :)

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  13. Apricot colored sand dunes. Remarkable.

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  14. Yes - they're remarkable and beautiful. In another part of the Namib the dunes were white.

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  15. Some people do need to have the obvious pointed out to them, but after laughing at the sand sign it did make me wonder how the roads are kept clear of the stuff in a desert. Do they have road sweepers?

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    1. Good question, Linda - I've no idea how they deal with it. Given that the road stretches for hundreds of kilometres, I suspect they must use some serious machinery.

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  16. I laughed out loud at the sign. SAND! You think? It must be incredible to explore the dunes like that. The color is astounding.

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  17. It's a wonderful - and safe - African country to self-drive and explore, Sue. One of the most magical journeys I've ever taken.

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  18. A great post. I love the desert. That first picture is priceless.

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  19. Thanks, Darlene! Yes, there's something very special about desert environments.

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Thank you for your comment!