Namibia Dunes Trip

26 September to 1 October 2010
"Must Do At Least Once in a Lifetime"

We, being Gordon and I, arrived in Solitaire at about 14:00 after a three and a half day trip, which was an experience itself, from Johannesburg to Pofadder, Fish River Canyon and Sossusvlei, details of which I will elaborate on in another article.

As part of the group doing the Namibian Dunes we were all to meet at the garage at 17:00 and then make our way to to the Solitaire Guest Farm.  Since we were so early it only made sense that we go through, get ourselves refreshed and settled and anticipate what the next week was going to hold in store for us.

At the guest farm we were greeted by Will, who look very relaxed in his open sandals, slax, loose shirt and broad-brimmed sunhat, with his sunglasses perched on top.  His welcoming smile and warm nature cooled the heat as he walked us through the lodge and explained the arrangements made for our group.  He also explained that Bokkie could be a bit troublesome and we must just spank her rump when she becomes too much.  A hand-reared Springbok the likes of which one has never seen!   She was given to the owner of the lodge when she was only a day old and is now an energetic three year old and FULL of bounce - in every sense of the word!

We drove down to our campsite and while in the process of setting up camp we were greeted by two curious little critters!   Very busy they were, digging here, there and everywhere for tasty little morsels buried in the sand.  And nasty teeth - wouldn't like to meet with those pearlies any time soon!

The farmyard up at the main building is alive with Roosters, Hens, Chickens, Ducks, Hamsters of all ages and is very interesting to sit by and observe.  In the front garden the Guinea Fowl nibble whatever they can find in and under the variety of cacti growing in the interestingly laid out desert garden.  There are "Mothers-in-Law" pincushions the sizes of which are unbelievable.  The variety of dogs laze about and a sleek cat adorns the inner corridors of the intriguing structure.     An Honesty Bar is available and is well stocked with local beers.  All in all this is one jewel of a guest farm with loads and loads of interesting nooks and crannies and activities to keep even the most fidgety being preoccupied!

We each showered in the roofless facility available and because the donkey hadn't been burning yet, we were well cooled and refreshed.

By about 16:35 we made our way back to the Solitaire Garage for a final fuel top-up and vehicle check and met the rest of the group.  It was nice to see some familiar faces again and one could feel the nervous tension of the expedition we were about to embark on.

19:00 saw us all at the pub catching up with one another over refreshing drinks.  Andre Lacock, Johnny and Gonzalez introduced themselves to us - these are the guides from Uri Adventures who do The Faces of Namib Tours - and started the briefing on what the week would entail, but more specifically the next day.

We enjoyed a wonderful supper, said our goodnight's and toodled off to bed, with wonderful thoughts of what was to come. 

In the middle of sweet slumber, we were all rudely awoken by a wind that came from every compass point available.  We being in the rooftop tent felt as though we were going to be lifted right off the rails and blown into the big beyond.  At times it felt like being on a rollercoaster, everything shuddering from side to side, forwards and backwards.  In all my life I don't think I have EVER felt like my eyes were the sizes of gobsmackers, the lids peeled back in the darkness and the wind trying with all its might to get inside. 

As soon as the sky began to pale with the light of dawn everyone was up and getting tents folded and things together became very challenging, but we all managed.  Nothing had blown away strangely enough - our chairs had been toppled and moved about two meters from where we had left them the night before.  We watched as the rubber dirt bin in the lapa was picked up and carried away before being tossed over and rolled around by the wind. 

The Mother-in-Law Pincushions
Hoodia - Pretty Flowers - Bad Smell!

Caught Running!

More to follow soon...

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