Desert & Dunes

Trip Start Sep 15, 2009
Trip End Nov 21, 2009

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Flag of Namibia  ,
Thursday, November 12, 2009

We left at the butt crack of 6:15am and set off on a long 9-hour drive westward.  Nothing really to report here other than PC time, nap time, and read time.  We arrived in some desert in the middle of somewhere and put our tents up.  Then quickly put back on the bus for a quick drive to meet our tour guide for a 2-hour walk.  We arrived and were put in the back of a truck with a metal cage like you see people in 3rd world countries.  We were stopped in the middle of the desert and met our tour guide.  It was a Japanese woman which is kind of a surprise because we are in Africa.  She told us the story about how she came to Namibia as a tourist and pretty much fell in love.  12 years later she is still a tour guide.  This woman was so Japanese it was so funny and entertaining.  I guess the team of guides in the park are world-renowned and have won all kinds of awards.  And it definitely shows!  She was so engaging, intelligent, and passionate about her talks it made the whole experience really incredible.  Who knew the desert could be so much fun and interesting.  We learned how to survive if lost, about the history of the desert, and what we can expect in a few years time.  Like I said the tour was really good and informative.  We were again quickly herded onto the truck for a short drive for our Dune 45 sunset hike.  What Dune 45 is is still a mystery.  It’s one of the those things tourists go to but probably don’t have a clue why it’s famous.  I thought I read that it was the highest dune in the world but not necessarily the tallest.  I asked our tour leader about it and she didn’t have a clue.  Looking around at the other dunes when at Dune 45, it didn’t appear to be the tallest one in the sky so I don’t really know what the deal is.  Maybe it’s always on postcards.  Nick and myself were determined to run up it as fast as possible but were quickly defeated as it was a real chore to climb up it.  After 10 steps my heart was racing and I down-shifted to walking quickly.  I must say this was still hard to do because the dune just got bigger and bigger the more you climbed.  After sometime I finally made it on the top and just sat down to catch my breath.  The whole group was chilling up on top when we had about 30 minutes to chill before sunset.  Instead of just sitting there, I decided it was time for somersaults down the side of the dune.  I recruited two guys to do it with me and we would do 3 rolls forward and then lunge face first.  It was really fun and it felt like being a kid again.  The only problem was all the sand everywhere and especially on the head.  It sure was a chore to climb back up though.  Sunset happened and we just set off on a sprint down the side of the dune because it would be easier than walking the way we came and it was amazingly easy to do.  -We arrived back at camp and ate the catfish that Nick, Ras, and I caught fishing.  An early night was had.
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