Friday, 24 March 2017

Swakopmund to Sesriem: Sand and Storms

On Monday 06 March we headed for the desert proper.  It wasn't a long day driving but once we left Walvis Bay we were on dirt roads for the next few days.
Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 11.24.32
We left Swakopmund and stopped briefly in Walvis Bay so I could get my flamingo fix.
2017-03-06 Walvis Flamingoes
I spotted this cafe - nice name (my family will know why).
2017-03-06 Walvis Bay Cafe
And we're off.
2017-03-06 Leaving Walvis Bay
You'd see a line of trees where there was a seasonal water course.  This is near Kriess se rus.
2017-03-06 Swakopmund to 23_5S80
Magnificent scenery.
2017-03-06 Swakopmund to 23_5S84
A panoramic shot of sand and sand.
2017-03-06 Swakopmund to Solitaire  2
We swept down into the Kuiseb Canyon.
2017-03-06 Swakopmund to 23_5S89
2017-03-06 Swakopmund to 23_5S91
Martin had never seen the rivers with water in.
2017-03-06 Swakopmund to 23_5S92
The Kuiseb River.
2017-03-06 Swakopmund to 23_5S96
We climbed out of the Guab Pass and awaited eagerly the next geo feature.  Here we go.
2017-03-06 23_5 South3
Hey, I'm back! This time, north to south across the line.
2017-03-06 23_5 South2
And then we were off again headed for Solitaire.
2017-03-06 23_5S to Solitaire04
Solitaire is basically a fuel station, lodge and cafe.
2017-03-06 23_5S to Solitaire09
And it's another location which has creatively made old vehicles into an art form.
2017-03-06 23_5S to Solitaire11
2017-03-06 Solitaire  3
2017-03-06 23_5S to Solitaire10
Check out how much rainfall they had in 2016 - 68 mm.  And then see how much they'd already had in 2017 - 44 mm in February - no wonder the rivers were flowing.
2017-03-06 23_5S to Solitaire08
We left, stopping briefly for a panorama shoot.  I think Martin liked this not only for the clouds but that it was near a landing strip.  I play 'spot the trig pillar' whilst we motor; Martin plays 'spot the landing strip'.  He's landed on most of them around here so there's always a good story to be heard.
2017-03-06 Swakopmund to Solitaire  9
We arrived at Sesriem in the sunshine where we stayed at the campsite inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park.
2017-03-07 Sesriem     25
See the huge bird's nest? (Not that the birds are huge if you get what I mean).
2017-03-07 Sesriem     31
We set up camp in a hurry as we could see the dust storm approaching.
2017-03-06 Sesriem 4
And we fell into the bar area (shame) along with the other campers just as it rolled through.
2017-03-06 Sesriem 5
2017_03_06 Dust Storm
Even though we were indoors, the bar area wasn't dust tight due to its canvas walls and we all required a bit of de-sanding afterwards including my Mac, rucksack and me.

I should have researched this place and Sossuvlei before I came (I was preoccupied with MSc before I left the UK and left Martin to plan our route) as I would have been stunned at how amazing my next 24 hours was going to be...

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