Category: Namibi, 2015

On the Road to the Dunes

April 30.  After breakfast at the hotel, we drive a short distance from Swakopmund to visit two poor townships nearby, Mondesa and DRC.  They are a stark contrast to the prosperous city we spent the night in.  Again, Nevada delivers photos she has taken last year to the people, including  Agnes of Agnes Barber Shop (hair parlour).  People are friendly and, except for one guy, willing to be photographed.  This is a side of Swakopmund that visitors would not normally see, just as visitors to a US city would not see its poorer areas
We continue on down the coast and stop to photograph a huge flock of flamingoes and some Pelicans.  The weather now is very chilly, making us happy we wore fleeces this morning.
Along the way to our destination we make several stops–for a picnic lunch in a dry river bed, for various unusual forms of plant and animal life, including quiver trees from which Bushman make quivers to carry their arrows, hoodia a type of cactus that looks like a coral reef and is sold as a hunger suppressant and was used by Bushmen to avoid eating game before bringing it back, a huge social weaver nest, a pygmy falcon and more oryx.  We stopped for pastry at an excellent bakery, the Solitaire, in a most unusual desert location.

Around 6PM, we arrived at our hotel, the Sossus Dune Lodge, which is situated inside the Namib Naukluft National Park, and gives us great access to the stunning giant sand dunes of the Namib Desert. The Lodge is ideally located with dramatic views out over the surrounding desert landscapes; its unique location allows us early entry into the dunes at Sossusvlei an hour before sunrise and a late exit an hour after sunset. The Lodge has been constructed on stilts linked by wooden walkways, thus creating the least amount of impact on the fragile desert environment. Accommodation is in very comfortable en-suite wooden and canvas chalets that lead on to a private wooden veranda overlooking the expansive desert plains. There is a large main area consisting of a dining room, a swimming pool, and a pleasant bar.
After a welcome shower, we go up for a good dinner at the Lodge.  Dessert includes a surprise birthday pastry with candle and singing for Erika, which I have arranged.  It is a complete surprise, as it is not Erika’s birthday, nor was it her birthday two nights ago, when we had the first surprise party for her.

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