Day 285 (15th June) -Sossusvlei to Namib Desert camp

27 06 2011

We were up at4:45amand soon heading to the huge Dune 45 to watch sunrise over the Sossusvlei dunes. Unfortunately, the sunrise was obscured by thick fog and as morning broke it just simply got brighter without the reward of a multi coloured sunrise. Throughout our trip the consistently poor sunrises we have made the extra effort to see has begun to get a bit annoying. Overnight the perfect blue sky had been replaced with thick fog which was quickly burnt off once we left and the sun rose higher in the sky. Our guide told us in eight years this is the first time he had seen fog like this at the dunes. Despite this what we could see of the huge red rolling dunes was impressive.

We made our way to Bosman’s bush camp where we went on a Bushman walk and drive which was a fascinating insight into survival in the desert and desert life. For example rain is bad for a desert and it’s better to eat a lizard raw than cooked – I hope we’ll never need to use that one…

The countryside here is quite simply stunning. Due to the previous months high rainfall what would have been iron ore tinted desert rocks and sand was now golden straw coloured grasses stretching all the way to the impressive distant mountains. In the strong African sun the grass shone a golden buttery hue, the landscape looked like butter – we were driving through a massive tub of Lurpak, where rocks became toast crumbs.

That evening after dinner, when we were all around the camp fire we were witness to an amazing astrological rarity – a complete lunar eclipse. The impending event was totally unknown to the group and we all felt very lucky to be out camping in a remote desert in the middle of the second least densely populated country on the planet. As the shadow of the earth passed across the face of the moon the billions of stars shone even brighter in the diminishing moon light. With no light pollution the Milky Way bloomed and shooting stars made a rare but joyous appearance. A phenomenal experience and not one to be forgotten any time soon.

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