Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Dunes of Namibia

Daryll writes:

Our ride towards Soussesvlei was going to be a long tedious ride as the only road to get there was a gravel/sandy road.  Since January, Namibia has had more rain than the entire of last year, but we were in luck, as it hadn’t rained for the last few days and with the baking sun during the day, the road was hard packed and baked solid in some spots.  Pat and Dom where up front and after every 30km or so, would stop for a break as Angela and I joined them.  At one of the rest stops, Dom had taken a photo of a local farm worker and his family and printed it out on his small polaroid printer.  The farm worker was ecstatic as Dom gave him the photo of all of us together.

The road was good, however there were a few sandy spots which got a bit tricky and had us slowing down to almost a crawl.  We spent 4 days riding in the dirt and had a few water crossings enroute and thanks to Dom, got a few amazing pics of us along the way. 

Photo courtesy of Dom Giles

Photo courtesy of Dom Giles
We camped in a few small town and got in our first few real Africa sunsets and sunrises.  At one of our campsites, we met an Australian couple coming from the opposite direction that gave us some tips on road conditions and the heads up that we weren’t able to ride our bikes into the Soussesvlei National Park

Sunset in Helminghausen, Namibia

Sunrise in Helminghausen, Namibia

Even though we weren’t able to ride into the park, we decided to camp there nonetheless and take a shuttle into the park the next morning to watch the sunrise and spend some time in the Dunes of Namibia.  Our shuttle driver took us to Dune 17, which was fortunate for us, we where the only ones there and away from the hordes of tourists that had already started climbing the more popular dunes.  As the sun rises, the colors of the dune changes and goes from a deep red to an orange tone. 

Dune 17, Namibia
We also stopped off at Dead Vlei (Dead Pan), where the river was cut off by the dunes surrounding the pan, which later dried up leaving behind 900 year old trees still being preserved as there is no moisture in the air.

Dead Vlei
Our last stop was at the most photographed Dune in the world, Dune 45 and those that have visited us at our home in Vancouver would have seen this photo that I had taken 11 years old.  As it started to warm up, we hit the road yet again to another small town (Solitaire) which is known for it’s apple pie.  So even before setting up our campsite, it was time to indulge in some divine apple pie, yum!

Dune 45
As we left Solitaire and headed towards to touristy dune town of Swakopmund, we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn again.


 New photos added to the Namibia photo album.
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  1. Greg those are some amazing pictures. Africa looks to be a photgraphers heaven! Enjoy your next section of the trip and we look forward to your next update. ride safe. Greg and Jill

  2. Thanks Greg! Namibia specifically has been amazing for photos and a surprise to me as it's all a bunch of sand:)